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Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Giants Notes: Huff, Schierholtz and Sanchez

It's been a while since I've just done a "Giants Notes" post, and just threw out random thoughts about where the team is right now. Since I'm in the midst of putting together my 2012 Giants top-20 prospect list, I figured I'd let go of so random thoughts.

First on the agenda, big news amongst Giants faithful this week is that Aubrey Huff is supposedly getting himself into the shape of his career. Not surprising since he's heading into another contract year, but it's very good to see Huff humbled by the horrible year he had last season. Anytime your OPS drops over 200 points in a year, you know you didn't do your homework that offseason. Whether it's the Pilates or the weight lifting that getting him "ripped", the Giants need the 2010 Huff to show up in order for this team to not be a total disaster offensively again. If Brandon Belt or Brett Pill beat him out for first base this spring, it'll be a flat-out nightmare, but I think Huff is going to be fine in 2012. Still would like to see him at spring training moving around and swinging before I make concrete numbers predictions for 2012, but I'd say a return to 20 HR's with 85 RBI and a .270 average would be just fine from Aubrey and not far off from his 2010 numbers. As far as the other two guys who will be battling him for PT, I love both of those guys too and would like to see them given a shot somewhere. Of course Belt isn't going anywhere (unless something huge is on the horizon), but maybe Pill shows up in AZ, tears the cover off the ball and the Giants can highlight him in a deal. Either that or give him a 2nd basemens glove and let him work as a utility guy. (Played 57 games at 2nd and played some 3rd in Fresno last season!)

Besides the first base competition and the new and improved Aubrey Huff, I'm curious to see just what transpires with the Giants outfield. I still think they need another right-handed bat with some punch who can play the corners, and I'd prefer Cody Ross to the options that are out there. I've already mentioned that here before, so I won't get into it too much but his talks fell through with the Rockies, now the A's are looking at him... If I were him, I'd almost return to the Giants on a 1 year/$2 million deal just to have a chance to play for a winner. Then again, if he goes to Oakland, chances are he'd be dealt to a contender mid-season anyway, and that could appeal to him. Ahh, the wonders of hot-stove baseball and all the possibilities. Either way, I think the Giants end up with Ross or Ryan Ludwick, as they need another guy who can play right and who hits right-handed to caddy Nate Schierholtz, if not push him for the starting job. I know Nate had his moments in 2011, but is so streaky that I don't know he'll ever be an everyday, 600 at-bat per year player. He's a guy you play when he's hot and put in for defense in my eyes, cause when he goes cold, he goes into deep slumps that can last weeks.

Speaking of unsure starters, I again wanted to voice my worries about Freddy Sanchez. Nobody hopes he comes back stronger than ever by mid-March, but he's still just an akward dive or throw away from another blowout. The Giants NEED insurance in the middle infield, and Mike Fontenot just isn't a guy who could take on that load if needed. I still like Wilson Betemit's bat but I just fear his lack of range would make Jeff Keppinger look quick. Still think, besides Hiroyuki Nakajima who the Yankees obviously don't want and have the rights to, Ronny Cedeno is the best bet as far as the best defensive right-handed bat (albeit a light-hitting one) off the bench up the middle.
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3 Comments:

  • At 7:41 PM, Anonymous Schultz said…

    I like Nate and if the Giants would have signed Beltran for left field rather than traded for Pagan, I still don't get that trade. I would have lived with Nate in RF with Beltran or someone similar in LF like Quentin but they used the chips on Pagan.

    I like Nate and all, but in this lineup they need a better hitter. Ross is a better hitter, so yes, I would take Ross to help the outfield!

     
  • At 12:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Lets see Schierholtz given a shot. I'd bring back Cody too, but give Nate a legit shot, cause he has more of a future. But I can't argue with Ross' 2009 when he was healthy playing full-time, then in the fall of 2010 with the Giants. He can play when he's healthy.

     
  • At 11:08 PM, Anonymous hitnrun said…

    I could care less what shape Huff thinks he is in, let him prove it on the field, and at the plate. After last seasons non-performance, he was lucky he wasn't cut along with Rowand. I also cannot believe that Sabean's backup middle infielder could be Manny Burriss, who has never hit at this level, ever. Uuh, are the Giants doing anything to keep Cain around, or was all that talk about retaining the pitching just b.s?

     

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