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Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Giants Spring Notes: Halfway Point

We've about hit the halfway point of the Cactus League schedule and with about 3 weeks until Opening day in Arizona, the Giants main concern at this point is pretty much getting and keeping everyone healthy.

With so many different things going on with the club, we figured we'd do sort of a "Giants Notes" post were we touch a little on everything going on with the club.

Starters rounding into shape: As far as the starting rotation is concerned, over the next couple of weeks in the desert Bochy would like to get Matt Cain and Tim Hudson stretched out a little bit more. Both have looked strong in their outings so far, but neither has thrown more than two innings yet, and for Cain especially who hasn't pitched a game since July, it's gonna be key these guys get up to 5-6 innings while still in Arizona. In the bullpen, it looks like things are finally starting to shape up as Javier Lopez and Sergio Romo have both thrown and thrown well, but those guys will need a few extra reps as well as they missed much of the early part of spring. We're at that stage where we're going to start to see the starters stick around longer in games and throw 5 innings or so, and although it's just spring, this is when we really can start to see how starting pitchers are really throwing the ball. Madison Bumgarner went 3 innings on Tuesday (in his best start of the spring by far), so they're already starting to stretch it a bit. I bet next time out he goes 5... Tim Lincecum is the only guy who hasn't thrown lately as he's battling a sore neck (insert home run joke here).

Prospects re-assigned: It's also that point in spring were guys start getting optioned off to the teams they'll start the year with. Top pitching prospect Kyle Crick had a nice spring before a rough outing Monday  and has been sent over to minor league camp along with Christian Arroyo, Chris Stratton, Ty Blach, Adalberto Mejia and Mac Williamson while Cuban outfield prospect Daniel Carbonell's was optioned to AA Richmond. Bright young right-handers Derek Law and Joan Gregorio will start the year in A San Jose. None of these guys had any shot at making the big league club so it should come as a surprise to few, though I did expect them to let Crick get another crack at things. The Giants' prized young righty did finish the spring on a sour note but the Giants have to be overall pleased with how he threw the ball this spring.

Bochy expecting more offensively: Well folks, we're not the only ones starting to wonder about the Giants play and lack of offense through the first couple weeks of spring. Manager Bruce Bochy did state Tuesday that he is growing a bit concerned with the lack of performance he's been getting throughout the roster and especially his expected starting lineup. He more so put it on the team as a whole not playing well, but it's the offense that's obviously a problem right now and is the area that's drawn the most concern. Plus they had yet another guy go down as Angel Pagan is now being sidelined because of a stiff back (not the best news for a guy coming off back surgery only half a year ago). Pagan has been on of the Giants' regulars who's struggled, going just 2-16 so far this spring. We can only cross our fingers and hope his back holds up cause that's the last thing they need right now. Nori Aoki is hitting just .148, Posey's sitting at .176, Panik's at .103 and Crawford's hitting .125. That;s half your lineup well below the mendoza line. Practice games or not, that's ugly.... On the contrary, Brandon Belt seems to be getting the bat going, and newcomer Casey Mcgehee's been perhaps the most impressive regular on the Giants roster this spring hitting a cool .440.

Final Roster Spot Battle: With Hunter Pence expected to start the year on the 15-day DL, it opens up another roster spot not expected when spring started. One would assume that the spot would go to an outfielder, but that's not necessarily the case. With Gregor Blanco slated to start, and Juan Perez expected to start the year in the fourth outfielder role, that opens up a spot for a possible fifth. That would give an upper hand to Justin Maxwell, although the former 'Astro has not really seized the opportunity thus far. I've talked about Adam Duval, but he's more of an infield option and has tanked heavily since that hot start. I don't think the Giants will start the year with a guy like Jarrett Parker who's never appeared in a big league game in his life although he's been getting a lot of hype this spring. My guess is they carry an extra infielder with the ability to go out and play a corner outfield spot. Ehire Adrianza, being out of options and unlikely to pass through waivers, seems like the winner if he can prove he can play the outfield in a pinch and holds his own with the bat over the final few weeks of exhibition play.

Extras: In case you didn't see the internet rumors Tuesday, there were a few sources out there stating the Giants had maybe contacted the Red Sox about the availability of Allen Craig. If you've followed us here over the offseason, you know how accepting I'd be to a Craig trade, and hearing that certainly peaked my interest. However, Peter Gammons apparently shot down any truth to that rumor saying the Giants were not actively pursuing any outfielder. I can't think of a better fit for this team than Craig, but it makes sense the Red Sox don't want to sell low. With his track record, all it will take is a hot April for his trade value to sky-rocket again.

Coming Up: We've begun to work our 2015 MLB Previews and will probably start posting those this week at some point, but don't worry, we'll still be mixing in plenty of Giants stuff. We also would like to remind you to check out this spot for MLB Picks for the upcoming campaign. We always enjoy doing our MLB divisional previews just to get a lay of the land on the league for the upcoming year and get an idea of how the Giants stack up vs. the rest of baseball.
The Giants Baseball Blog


  • At 10:10 PM, Anonymous Jason Billingsley said…

    Ya know, I just wish we coulda swung the deal for Ben Zobrist. Man would he have been a huge add to this offense and help out huge with Pence out... It's too bad, I saw him hit a bomb today for the A's too, I bet you he tears it up over there.

    Giants gotta make a move. I'd love to get Allen Craig. Or what about Shane Victorino too? Bring him back to the NL would prbably be a boost for his offense.


  • At 11:48 PM, Blogger Trevor Cole said…

    Well they certainly made an effort to obtain him... But yes, with the way the offense has gotten off to such a slow start and without Pence for the first few weeks of the season, Zobrist would have looked mighty fine right about now in the middle of that lineup.


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