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Showing posts from July, 2009

Giants Trade Alderson for Freddy Sanchez

Well, I am on vacation, and didn't plan on making another post until the weekend, but anytime the team makes a big-time trade, that always calls for immediate posting. I'm sure most of you baseball fans are aware by now that the Giants have traded one of their top pitching prospects in Tim Alderson to the Pittsburgh Pirates for oft-injured all-star second basemen Freddy Sanchez . The first I hear about this move was actually on line, as I was scrolling through Yahoo Sports and saw the headline "Giants acquire Sanchez from Pirates". I read said article, but that article only had information about the player the Giants attained and didn't give any info about who they gave up. At that point, I figured they may have gotten him without dealing anyone too significant, otherwise the Yahoo writers would have included it in their article. However, that couldn't be any less the case. The Giants had to part with their number 2 pitching prospect, and a guy who a lot of s

Giants Add Ryan Garko, But Not Finished

The Giants made a move in attempt to jump-start their waning offense on Monday, adding first basemen/outfielder, Ryan Garko from the Cleveland Indians. They sent to the Indians one of their better young pitching prospects in left- hander Scott Barnes, and they may not be done quite yet as the trade deadline looms just 3 days away. Right off the bat, I have to say, this move reminded me eerily of the one that landed the Giants Shea Hillenbrand back in the 2006 season, as has been pointed out by a couple of media members already. Garko is a solid hitting first basemen, though not great, and not necessarily a middle-of-the-order type of guy, much like Hillebrand was when the Giants dealt for him. However, that's about where the comparisons stop if you ask me. Garko seems like a much better teammate and is getting better, whereas Hillenbrand was a cancer who's career was spiraling downward. Not to mention, Garko is under team control for another 3 years, and should be a

Giants Stumbling Into Trade Deadline

The non-waiver MLB trade deadline is just 5 short days away, and the first big move of the summer has already taken place (Matt Holliday trade to Cardinals). Giants' fans are still on edge waiting to see what general manager Brian Sabean can pull off before Friday's 1 PM deadline, as the team continues it's downward spiral since the all-star break. If Brian Sabean is going to make a move to help this team for the stretch drive he still could get something done after the trade deadline, but that would involve waivers and is a much more complicated process which doesn't always work out. Therefore, if the Giants are going to add another bat or two, or maybe another starting pitcher, chances are it will be done before July 31st. The thing is, there hasn't been much talk about the Giants over the last week or so. They've really struggled out of the gate after the break, and they're on their way to another series defeat as they trail Colorado 4-2 in the seventh in

Giant Trade on the Horrizon?

The Giants offense has gone into an absolute tail-spin since the second half of the season started up for them on Friday. Fortunately they did muster up enough runs late in Thursday's game vs. Atlanta to support Barry Zito's stellar outing, but the Giants offense had totaled only 11 runs in their first 6 games out of the break. The stagnant offense has caused fans to start getting antsy for the Giants to make a move to bring in a hitter, and with trade deadline just a week away, Brian Sabean is likely making his last minute inquiries. Henry Schulman reported in his blog earlier Thursday that the Nationals had a couple of scouts in Connecticut over the last few days, scouting out some of the Giants AA prospects. The Nat's have a number of players who could actually help the Giants out. Of course, the two names that have been bandied about the most have been Nick Johnson and Adam Dunn, but those aren't the only guys on the Nat's roster that could provide the Giants an

Giants Minor League Report: July

With the Giants offense still in a rut, and there's not much new to discuss since the last post, we're going to use today's post to take our overdue look down on the farm. At the beginning of the year, most of the hype in the lower ranks of the organization surrounded the San Jose Giants, the teams single-A affiliate. However, as the second half of the season gets underway, most of the teams top prospects that started out in San Jose have been promoted to other levels within the organization. The most recent move the team made was sending their top non-pitching prospect, Buster Posey, from A San Jose to AAA Fresno. A leap up of two levels is something that the Giants don't do too often, but apparently they've seen enough in Posey (.326. 13 home runs, 58 RBI) to warrant that jump. Even though Posey is no longer on the roster, there still are a few hitting prospects making plenty of noise in the California League. Roger Kieshnick leads the team with 19 home runs and 7

Offense Obsolete in Pittsburgh

The Giants did manage to score a couple of runs on Sunday to support Matt Cain's strong start and salvage their finale in Pittsburgh, but look no further than the offense as far as why the team lost this series. In the first two games after the all-star break, the Giants mustered just 1 run on 12 hits in 23 innings of play (Friday nights game went 14 innings). So it's pretty easy to see why they lost the first two games of the second half, despite getting superb pitching performances out of Barry Zito and Tim Lincecum . Zito's start was especially intriguing because he had been coming off a horrible one, and his 5-9 record was starting to cause some chatter. His record did fall to 5-10, but he gave a quality effort, throwing 6 1/3 innings and allowing just 2 runs on 6 hits while striking out 4 batters. So yes, he did take another loss, but it was another loss in which he pitched well enough to win but got zero run support from the offense. Lincecum's start the night

Giants First Half Review - Part II

Even though they sit atop the NL Wild Card standings and carry the second best record in the National league as the second half kicks off on Thursday, the Giants still have some issues that need to be addressed if they're serious about making a real run for the postseason. Last post we broke down the first half and what went right for the Giants, today we'll look at what didn't go so well and what needs to improve. The Giants offense, while it's been a little better than expected coming into the year, has still been below league average throughout the first half. The teams combined average of .262 isn't bad, but their 368 runs scored ranks towards the bottom of the national league and a big reason for that is they've only hit 63 home runs as a team. Heading into the break, there really isn't one guy in particular though who is in danger of losing his job. A few guys who could improve in the second half though are Randy Winn (.275, 2 homers, 35 RBI) and Fred

Giants First Half Review - Part I

With the first half of the Major League Baseball season completed, and the all-stars of baseball all gathered in St. Louis for tonight's mid-summer classic, I figured today would be a good day to break down the Giants first half. So in the first part of review, we'll take a look at what went right that has the Giants atop the NL Wild Card standings and with the second best record in the NL. Coming into the season, nobody but those in the bay area had very big expectations for this team. People figured that they had a young exciting staff that should keep them in ballgames, but ultimately their offense would struggle to support it. However, that really hasn't been the case. Even though the offense hasn't been great, they've done enough to support their starters for the most part this season. Pablo Sandoval (.333, 15 hr, 55 RBI) has led the offensive charge and even though he didn't get all-star honors, he's may just get himself some MVP recognition if the Gi

Giants End First Half on a Roll

Even though the Giants couldn't complete the 4-game sweep of the Padres on Sunday, they still took 3 of 4 from San Diego, and enter the all-star break with the second best record in the National League at 49-39. Once again, it was the starting pitching that paved the way for the Giants in the Padres series. Although it's kind of old news by now, we didn't get a chance to touch on Jonathan Sanchez's no-hitter Friday Night yet, and I wanted to do so. Sanchez was bounced from the Giants rotation at the end of June, do to his struggles at finding the strike-zone, but he went to the bullpen for a few weeks and had a couple of really nice outings in relief. He showed enough improvement to where Bruce Bochy felt comfortably inserting him back into the rotation in Randy Johnson's spot, and he did he best impression of "The Big Unit", no-hitting the Padres and striking out 10 batters in the process. Almost as impressive as the no-hits though, was the goose egg in t

Pablo Appreciation Post

Well, the final verdict came on Thursday, and Pablo Sandoval just missed being voted onto the NL all-star team, as he finished second in the voting behind Philadelphia's Shane Victorino. Now, there is still a slight chance the "Big Panda" will sneak onto the team if someone gets injured between now and then, or to a lesser extent, if somebody decides to bail out on the game. Unfortunately, Charlie Manuel decided to take Jayson Werth as a replacement for Carlos Beltran, who will not be available for the National League. I understand supporting your own players and what not, but Sandoval's hitting .328 which is 60 points higher than Werth's .268 clip. Whether he gets to go or not, Pablo Sandoval's first half has to be appreciated, as he's become the most exciting offensive Giant since the days of Barry Bonds. Heading into Friday night's game, Sandoval's also got 13 bombs and 50 RBI to go along with that .328 average. What's more impressive though

Giants Take 2 of 3 From Florida

Even though they failed to pull off the sweep on Wednesday, the Giants beat the Marlins two out of three times this week en route to pulling off yet another series victory. The big bright spot in the series for the Giants was Barry Zito's magnificent start on Tuesday night. The Giants 18 million dollar fifth starter put forth one of his best efforts since dawning a Giants uniform in 2007, going 8 1/3 scoreless in his victory over Florida. This start was a huge one for a few different reasons. With Randy Johnson recently hitting the disabled list, the Giants are going to be without their #2 starter for the next couple of weeks, and while The Unit is out, the Giants need their starters to step it up a bit. The two guys in particular who will have the spotlight on them are Barry Zito and Jonathan Sanchez, who's taking Johnson's spot just about 10 days after he lost his own spot in the starting rotation. Although he won three games in the month, Barry Zito did not have a partic

Cain and Lincecum Named All-Stars

The 2009 Major League Baseball all-star rosters were announced on Sunday, and, as expected, the Giants had their top two starting pitchers named to the NL's squad. However, not all the Giants that were deserving of the honor got the nod. Pablo Sandoval, who's leading NL third basemen in OPS and average and is amongst the leaders in all other major offensive categories, did not get named to the team as a reserve, but he is on the ballot of five NL players with a shot at that final roster spot. Sandoval's numbers are more impressive, all around, than the NL's starting third basemen, David Wright, but with the fans deciding who gets to start, Sandoval never really had a shot at getting more votes than the Mets third basemen, but I'm a little perplexed that he wasn't named as a reserve. Whens the last time you saw a guy who's fourth in the league in hitting? Not only does he have all these impressive offensive numbers, but he's also got the ability to play m

Offense Comes Alive Vs. Astros

The Giants put up one of their most impressive offensive showings of the year Friday night at AT&T Park against the Houston Astros , banging out 15 hits and scoring 13 runs en route to a 13-0 victory! Leading the offensive charge for the Giants were Nate Schierholtz , Pablo Sandoval and Edgar Renteria . Schierholtz rebounded after a couple of o-4 nights by going 3-4 with a double and 2 RBI hitting out of the fifth spot in the lineup. Sandoval had his typical multi-hit night, going 2-5 with his 12 home run of the year while knocking in 3 runs to give him 43 on the year. Finally, Renteria , who's temporarily been moved to the sixth spot in the order because of his solid RBI output, provided a three hit night as well and both scored and drove in a run. A couple of other Giants who haven't been quite as productive as the three guys mentioned above, but have been starting to turn things on lately are Randy Winn and Travis Ishikawa . Both of them had multi-hit nights on Friday a

Giants Keep On Rollin'

The stretch of baseball that the Giants have put together since late May up to now (July 1st) is probably the best 6 weeks of ball the Giants have played since 2004. After winning the first two games of their 4-game set with St. Louis on Monday and Tuesday, the Giants upped their record to 42-34, a season-high 8 games above .500. Once again it was brilliant pitching, from both the starters and relievers, which carried the Giants in the first two games of the St. Louis series. Tim Lincecum provided his second straight complete game, and his third in his last four outings on Monday night. He held the mighty Cardinals lineup, led by Albert Pujols, to a measly two hits en route to his second shutout of the season. Lincecum may have cemented his place as the NL's starting pitcher for the upcoming All-Star game in a few weeks. The kid just keeps getting better and better with each start. His June stats were ridiculous, as he threw 48.2 innings over the month, allowing just 8 earned runs