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Showing posts from February, 2010

Spring Training Notes

The Giants full-squad are all in camp and besides Freddy Sanchez, it looks like everybody's at or near %100 and all should be available when the Giants kick off their Cactus League schedule next week. Spring workouts have begun to intensify a bit with pitchers now throwing live batting practice instead of coaches, and there have been a couple of young guys who have put on some shows in BP. One of them has been one of the Giants' top-5 prospects, outfielder Thomas Neal. Neal has gone deep more than any other player in camp so far, and reportedly hit 5 jacks in one of his sessions of about 10-12 swings. Neal really generated a lot of interest last summer, after quietly putting together a nice 2008 season and AFL showing, and if he tears the cover off the ball this spring, he very well could be in the mix for a big league call-up at some point in 2010. His 2009 season reminded me a lot of Pablo Sandoval's 2008 campaign and we all saw how well Pablo fared when he got his call-u

Giants Full-Squad Workouts Begin

The Giants had their first official full-squad workout scheduled for Tuesday, but weather conditions have kind of kept teams from getting into their full-planned practices. The two new additions to the Giants lineup, Mark DeRosa and Aubrey Huff, both arrived a few days early and got some work in on Monday before the rains came in and cut the workouts short. Huff arrived in good shape, supposedly down 10-15 pounds from where he ended last season at and appears determined to bounce back from his sub-par 2009 season. The 1 year deal could be a blessing for the Giants as he's again in a contract year and will have huge incentive to produce. The Giants projected number 5 hitter and left fielder, Mark DeRosa, is still easing his way back from surgery on his left wrist, but has been able to take part in most baseball activities and expects to be on the field for the Giants' Cactus League opener March 3rd. DeRosa took live batting practice in the cages on Monday, and reported no ill ef

Spring Training Begins

Pitchers and Catchers have officially started their workouts, and the rest of the full-squad's arrival is just a few days away as the first full-squad workout is scheduled for February 23rd. Unfortunately, there is already in an injury report going as one of the positional players who arrived early, Travis Ishikawa, will be sidelined for up to 3 months with multiple fractures in his foot. Ishikawa was set to back-up Aubrey Huff at first base and provide the Giants with a stellar defensive glove late in close ballgames, but it looks like he'll be unavailable until early June. Ishi's injury could open the door for Jon Bowker or even someone like Brett Pill to make the team for depth at first base. The team did get better news regarding injured second basemen Freddy Sanchez, as he appears to be a little ahead of schedule on his rehab from shoulder surgery in December. Sanchez's rehab was originally diagnosed to keep him out through the beginning of the regular season, but

Successfully Quiet Offseason Winds Down

With pitchers and catchers set to report to Scottsdale on Wednesday, followed by their first workout on Thursday, Spring Training is officially upon us. Finally, in our next post, we'll actually have some on-field happenings to discuss! It was a relatively quiet offseason for baseball this winter, as the free agent market wasn't stocked with big name talent, but there was a big bat (Jason Bay) and a few aces (Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee) who will be in new places in 2010. It seemed like this years' market was flooded with players who either were injured or had sub-par years in 2009. With the market as shallow as it was, the Giants didn't get involved with any of the bigger names on the market, and wisely stuck to the second-tiere of free agents this winter to help upgrade their offense. They didn't trade for an Adrian Gonzalez or Prince Fielder, or get involved in the Matt Holliday or Jason Bay contract talks, but they did bring in a couple of bats in Aubrey Huff and

Lincecum Goes Easy on Giants

I'm sure by now, most every Giant fan on the planet has heard that Tim Lincecum and the Giants just barely avoided an arbitration hearing Friday, and agreed to a 2-year pact that will pay the 2-time Cy Young Award winning right-hander $23 million over the next 2 seasons. Tim Lincecum is quite possibly the best pitcher in baseball right now, and there are guys that are earning nearly double of what he's going to make in 2010 ($8 million). I'm extremely surprised he went the route he did, but what this shows me is that he's serious about being a Giant and wants to try and make things work. I don't think there is any doubt in my mind that Lincecum would have won his 13 million in an arbitration case, and probably could have kept taking the Giants to arbitration each year over the next 3 offseasons and breaking the bank each time. However, his new deal will pay him the Giants' proposed offer of $8 million in '10, then Lincecum's proposed offer of $13 million

Giants Should Wise Up With Lincecum

As we inch closer and closer to the spring training reporting date for pitchers and catchers, it's becoming more and more likely that the Giants and Tim Lincecum will need to go through a hearing to determine the right-hander's salary for the 2010 season. There has been so much on this topic bandied about throughout the cyber world and sports talk radio/TV shows, so we've tried to stick with on-field topics rather than continue to beat this topic to death. I just don't understand why the Giants are toying with their most important piece of their franchise, and risking the possibility of irritating the 2-time Cy Young Award winner. And offering him $8 million for 2010 season has to be insulting to Timmy. He's still saying all the right things regarding the situation, but I seem to be picking up a little frustration from him as this thing continues to drag out. He's taking a "whatever" type approach to this situation, which I take as meaning one of two t

Giants Add Relievers

In the last few days, the Giants have come to agreements on minor league deals with 3 different relief pitchers and will have all three in camp battling to make their opening day roster. First, the Giants took on a project, a guy who hasn't thrown in the major leagues in a couple of years, Byung-Hyun Kim. The 31 year-old, submarine throwing right-hander was successful in the early 2000's with the Diamondbacks, and is most famous for blowing consecutive saves in the 2001 World Series, games that could have sealed the series for Arizona, although the D-Backs still managed to win it that year. For some reason, Arizona decided to move Kim into the rotation in '03 (after he saved 36 games with a 2.04 era the year before) and he was never the same pitcher after that. Kim's last appearance in the MLB came in 2007, when he made three different stops with the Rockies, D-Backs and Marlins, carrying an era of 6.08 in 118 innings, also sporting a WHIP of 1.68. He was a starter for