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Sunday, February 23, 2014

Spring Notes: Colvin brings much needed depth

Last season, the Giants lack of depth ended up costing them big time, as many of their key players hit the DL at various points in the season and they weren't able to sufficiently overcome it.

While adding Michael Morse brings some depth to the outfield by enabling Gregor Blanco to carry the fourtt outfield role, they still have very little depth outside of their starting 3, with Blanco the only one with legit ML experience there. Juan Perez looked decent at times, but for the most part, looked like a AAAA'er and not a guy who should have a prominent role on a team with championship aspirations. They did take step towards adding some more depth earlier this week however, bringing in Tyler Colvin on a minor league deal, a player I mentioned a few times this winter as a potential low-risk/high-reward type. He basically fell off the face of the earth last season, thanks in part to some back issues that kept him sidelined or down in AAA for most of the year, but he was once a highly touted prospect in the Cubs organization and does have a couple of solid seasons under his belt at age 28. Before his abysmal .160/3/10/.472 line he posted in 27 games last year, he put up a respectable .290/18/72/.858 line over 136 games in 2012. He also had a nice year in 2010 with the Cubs, hitting 20 HR and driving in 56 runs over 358 at-bats in more of a reserve role. If he's healthy, and he says he is, he should be the clear-cut favorite to win the Giants' fifth outfield spot, which currently is Perez's by default. He won't be handed the job though, and he'll have to prove last season's injuries and ineffectiveness are behind him.

So, as you can probably tell, I very much like the addition just cause there really is no downside here. Worst case; he doesn't make the opening day roster. Best case; he reverts to 2012 form, not only makes the squad but makes it hard for Bochy to keep him on the bench. He can play all 3 outfield positions and handle first base as well, so having him on the team in a reserve role gives them more flexibility than many other players would.

There are still a few other players, especially bullpen guys, that are looking for homes that could come in and provide some competition for roster spots. They did bring in David Huff a few weeks back to add some depth, but regardless of what Bochy says, he doesn't have a realistic shot at making the opening day roster unless someone gets hurt or he absolutely dominates this spring. Kevin Gregg especially stands out as he's got experience in nearly every bullpen role, including success as a closer. The Giants bullpen is probably fine as is, but Santiago Casilla's missed some time last year and it hurt. Plus, Sergio Romo, with his small frame and violent style of pitching. is always a risk to go down. In any case, adding another arm would certainly not hurt matters.

Notes: Things are definitely starting to pick up in Giants' camp with the exhibition opener a few days out. Brandon Belt got his deal all wrapped up, Santiago Casilla got his visa issues taken care of and has arrived in impressive fashion (throwing in the high-90's during his live batting practice session Saturday), and Bruce Bochy announced his starter for Wednesday's Cactus League premiere. Yusmiero Petit will draw the start Wednesday, then the Giants will delve into their rotation starting with Friday's game... According to Alex Pavlovic, the Giants have been particularly impressed by Derick Law (our #11 prospect on our annual Giants top-20 from last month) and Jose De Paula, two guys with outside shots at making the opening day roster but aren't considered serious candidates at this point. De Paula, a young hard-throwing lefty, is interesting though as a rule 5 guy and must make the opening day roster in order for the Giants to keep him (barring a trade). As of now, the favorites to fill out the Giants' pen after Romo, Casilla, Affeldt and Lopez are Petit, Heath Hembree and Jean Machi, but that's where we'll see most of the competition for spots this spring.
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1 Comments:

  • At 9:00 PM, Blogger Ashoka Packer said…

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