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Sunday, March 11, 2012

Giants' Sunday Spring Training Notes

Well, over the last few days, the Giants have seen the return of all of their key figures that were either battling injury, or recovering from injury coming into the spring. Closer Brian Wilson, who battled elbow problems towards the end of last season and was eased along this spring, made his spring debut Sunday and did so in typical B-Weezy fashion.

The game is still going on as I type this, but it's been such a positive weekend in Giants camp, that I couldn't wait any longer to talk about some of it. Wilson's return Sunday put the icing on the cake, and his outing was nearly flawless, as he got a strike em out, throw em out double play to end the 4th inning on Sunday. Oh yeah, the catcher to gun down Seattle's runner was Buster Posey, as he caught his longest game of the spring yet, going 4 innings before yielding to Chris Stewart. Before Brian Wilson came on and threw his scoreless 4th, the Giants got a very strong outing from Eric Surkamp, who really looks like a different pitcher this spring. He looked like he lost some confidence at the end of last year after his nice start with the Giants after his call-up, but he's picked that confidence right back up and turned in his second solid outing of the spring, throwing 3 strong innings allowing just 1 run on a couple of hits. That's yet another solid sign for the Giants as they are extremely thin as far as their pitching rotation depth is concerned. 1-4 they're as good as anyone, but they have Zito penciled into that 5th spot and no real backup plan besides Surkamp, so it's good to see him on his game and pitching like his minor league track record suggests he should. Again, I've said it plenty of times here before, the guy's path to the big leagues and pitching style really reminds me of Noah Lowry. Remember, Lowry didn't really break into the big leagues and establish himself until he was 25-26 and Surkamp is 25.

Now, as I said, Sunday's game is still in progress, but is now in the fifth inning and the Giants have a 2-1 lead. In this game, and really this whole spring, Gregor Blanco has again impressed, as his speed and ability to get on base has him in the drivers seat to make the roster as the 4th outfielder right now. I liked the deal when the Giants gave him the minor contract in December and thought it was a nice low-risk, potential high-reward signing. Playing a reserve role for Atlanta in 2010, the 28 year-old put up a .283 average and .360 OBP, and the Giants could really use that kind of production off the bench, as he also is quite possibly the fastest guy in Giants camp, outside of Gary Brown. Speaking of impressive springs, Tommy Joseph burst onto the scene in Saturday's split-squad matchup, as the 20 year-old catcher homered twice in the Giants home game vs. Milwaukee. With Posey, Joseph, Hector Sanchez, and 2011 first round draftee Andrew Sussac, the Giants may have baseball's best core of young backstops. Joseph is a guy I'm going to really watch closely this summer, as I ranked him very high in our annual top prospect post back in January. Also having a nice afternoon in the Giants away game vs. the Angels, and continuing his fine spring, was Aubrey Huff, who homered and went 2-3. Huff's strong start has quieted a lot of the demands for starting Brandon Belt at first base. I think Giants fans realize that Huff did have an off year in 2011 and is much more prepared and is certain to improve upon that this season. A motivated Aubrey Huff, like we saw in 2010, is a potential 25-30 HR, 100 RBI producer and that's the Huff the Giants are hoping they get this season and will give him every opportunity early on to do so.
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4 Comments:

  • At 9:22 PM, Anonymous SoCal Steve said…

    So far so good for the Giants in spring it sounds. Good, they need a good healthy spring, I got so sick of injuries last season it was really hard to watch by September.

     
  • At 3:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    BWeezy's back... Can April get here fast enough?? I think not!

     
  • At 8:11 PM, Blogger Trevor Cole said…

    Hector Sanchez with another 2 HR day Monday... Will talk more about him in Tuesday's post, but he's proving each day he deserves a spot on a team that needs all the offense it can get!

     
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