Giants Enter Youth Movement as Season Slips
The Giants are 7.5 games out of first in the NL West as I type this, and depending on what the D-Backs do tonight, they could fall a season-low 8 games below. But that's not the only reason the Giants have gone into a September youth movement, they're simply beat up physically.
I'm on one of the weird computers again, so I'll keep my post short and sweet, but today I wanted to talk about the young Giants, both those getting a look at the Major League level and those still down in the minors and prepping for the Fall League. First off, as far as the young guys who are here, Brett Pill and Darren Ford need to be playing daily. Torres is pretty much toast for the year in center, so why not role with D-Ford, who at the very least, could prove himself more valuable than Torres when it comes to roster spots in 2012. Not to mention, Ford seems to swing it better in the bigs than he has in the minors this season, and scores virtually every time he's on base. Not saying he's a savior in center field, but with all the holes the Giants have in their outfield in 2012, Ford should be firmly in the mix. Speaking of outfield, it looks like the Giants are also into the idea of playing Belt in left field possibly full-time in 2012 splitting time with Huff at first, until Huff's deal runs up after next season. I fully expect the Giants to explore the free agent market big time in the outfield this winter (we'll talk that in a later post) but it's looking like Belt could have one of the spots locked up. That would leave center and right as spots to potentially upgrade. I think the club views Schierholtz as a 4th outfielder and won't want him as a starter entering 2012.
As far as some other players, I'm a bit surprised the Giants haven't resorted to using Hector Sanchez more and more often and easing him into the mix. I'm sure that the Giants would love to have his bat behind Buster next season if he can handle the pitching staff, but we won't know unless we see. Unlike Sanchez, Brandon Crawford has no question about his defense, but his bad could ultimately keep him from becoming even a utility guy. He needs a big fall league and Spring Training to make this roster in 2012. The same can't be said for Eric Surkamp. He's looked like he was in for a rough one vs. the Pardres yesterday, then held his own, completed the five innings and got his first big league W. It wasn't his best outing, but he showed already that he can pitch when he lacks his elite stuff. I keep saying it and saying it, but I'm very stoked the Giants pocketed this guy at the deadline. I don't want to say Wheeler becomes the next Tim Alderson (last top Giants pitching prospect dealt who hasn't amounted to much in 3 seasons in Pittsburgh) cause I think he actually is going to be a good ML starter, but so is Surkamp, and at least the Giants hung onto one of em. Who knows how htis Kyle Crick will be, who Giants scouts are going gaga over, so after Surkamp, the cupboard's pretty bare. There are some guys with lights out stuff, but nobody who's succeeded above A-ball. With Barry Zito's time very possibly done in San Francisco, Surkamp could and should be (barring an unforeseen signing) the #5 going into spring 2012
Speaking of A-Ball, again, in high-A San Jose, the Giants produced an offensive powerhouse. Outfielder Gary Brown had a tremendous year, .336/14/80/53, and could start helping as soon as the 2nd half of 2012. Another outfielder ready to help is Francisco Peguero, the reason the Giants felt OK with dealing Thomas Neal. Peguero's developing power and speed and reminds m of a slightly less powerful Delmon Young. Tommy Joseph (.270/22/95) had a terrific second half after a slow April/May.