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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Giants Extend Cain, Schierholtz Struggling

With us trying to squeeze out the MLB divisional previews before the season starts next week, I haven't been able to do any Giants only posts over the last week. However, there was some big news to come out of camp on Tuesday.

The Giants inked Matt Cain to a 3 year contract extension which will pay the 25 year-old right-hander $27.5 million over the next 3 seasons. Cain had his best season as a pro in 2009, and looks like he's taking that next step. He's threw more strikes in '09 and put himself in favorable counts more often than not. The Giants also extended closer Brian Wilson though the 2012 season, a deal that will pay him $6.5 million then $8.5 during the 2011 and 2012 seasons. They also locked Jeremy Affeldt up thorough 2012 as well.

As far as on-field performance goes, Nate Schierholtz has really tanked over the second half of the spring. Nate is hitting .236 with a homer and 7 RBI. He hasn't exactly taken the bull by the horns like the Giants were hoping he would. Also, John Bowker is carrying over his 2009 AAA success into 2010, as he leads the team with 5 homers and 20 RBI. The next closest in each category is 3 hr (Huff, Lewis) and 12 RBI (Huff). Bowker is showing that obviously he deserves to get a chance to carry this success over into the regular season. I think they should stick with Schierholtz for the first couple weeks of the season though, but Bowker needs to be getting at-bats as well. Nate's defense would be a huge asset in right field, he's much better than Bowker with the glove and has a cannon arm. One option to get Bowker into the lineup a little more could be giving DeRosa more time at second and putting Bowker in left a few times a week, then he could get at least 1-2 starts in right and be getting basically full-time at-bats. I'm a little surprised he didn't get more of a chance last year after his 10 homer, 43 RBI rookie 1/2 season.

On the mound, Jonathan Sanchez looks like he's in regular season form after striking out 11 batters, and allowing just 1 run on 3 hits over 6 innings vs. the Brewers Monday. A re-assuring outing for a Giants rotation that has struggled as a whole this spring.
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The Giants Baseball Blog
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