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Showing posts from March, 2010

2010 NL East Preview

Here is my prediction for how the NL East will wind up come October: 1st Place, Philadelphia Phillies Lineup: SS Jimmy Rollins CF Shane Victorino 2B Chase Utley 1B Ryan Howard LF Raul Ibanez RF Jayson Werth 3B Placido Polanco C Carlos Ruiz Pitching: RHP Roy Halladay LHP Cole Hammels RHP Joe Blanton LHP Jamey Moyer RHP J.A. Happ SU: Ryan Madson CL: Brad Lidge The Phillies are really the most stocked team in the NL, but they do have a slight weakness, and that is in their bullpen. Brad Lidge is coming of a monumentally horrible season in which he went 0-8 with a 7.21 era, finishing with 21 saves in 67 games. If he continues to struggle to start 2010, look for Madson to take the 9th inning reigns with Dannys Baez getting consideration too. Other than that though, their lineup is ridiculously strong from 1-7, as all guys can hit 12+ home runs, and all but Ryan Howard can steal you a base if needed. Their rotation is also a huge strength, especially after they added Roy Halladay this winter

Giants Extend Cain, Schierholtz Struggling

With us trying to squeeze out the MLB divisional previews before the season starts next week, I haven't been able to do any Giants only posts over the last week. However, there was some big news to come out of camp on Tuesday. The Giants inked Matt Cain to a 3 year contract extension which will pay the 25 year-old right- hander $27.5 million over the next 3 seasons. Cain had his best season as a pro in 2009, and looks like he's taking that next step. He's threw more strikes in '09 and put himself in favorable counts more often than not. The Giants also extended closer Brian Wilson though the 2012 season, a deal that will pay him $6.5 million then $8.5 during the 2011 and 2012 seasons. They also locked Jeremy Affeldt up thorough 2012 as well. As far as on-field performance goes, Nate Schierholtz has really tanked over the second half of the spring. Nate is h itting .236 with a homer and 7 RBI. He hasn't exactly taken the bull by the horns like the Giants were ho

2010 AL West Preview

With the MLB's opening day just 5 days away, I will be posting at least one post per day leading up to Monday's Giants' opener. So stay locked here cause we're going to have plenty of info over the next five days. Here's our AL West Preview: 1st Place, Los Angeles Angels Lineup: SS Erick Aybar RF Bobby Abreu CF Torii Hunter 1B Kendry Morales DH Hideki Matsui LF Juan Rivera 2B Howie Kendrick 3B Brandon Wood C Mike Napoli Pitching: RHP Jered Weaver LHP Scott Kazmir RHP Ervin Santana LHP Joe Saunders RHP Joel Pinero SU: Fernando Rodney CL: Brian Fuentes The Angels lost thier offensive centerpiece over the winter when Vladimir Guerrero signed with Texas, but the emergence of Kendry Morales (.306/34/108) and Juan Rivera (.287/25/88) should make Vlad's absence easier to overcome. The tougher loss for them in my mind was Chone Figgins, who anchored their leadoff spot over the last 5 years and could play all over the diamond. Their starting rotation is very experienced,

2010 AL Central Preview

Here is our projection for how the AL Central will look in 2010. Also, we have some Giants news at the bottom of the post with the recent trading of Kevin Frandsen: 1st Place, Chicago White Sox Lineup: LF Juan Pierre SS Alexei Ramirez 2B Gordon Beckham RF Carlos Quentin 1B Paul Konerko CF Alex Rios C A.J. Pierzynski DH Andruw Jones 3B Mark Teahan Pitching: RHP Jake Peavy LHP Mark Buerhle RHP Gavin Floyd LHP John Danks RHP Freddy Garcia SU: J.J. Putz CL: Bobby Jenks The veteran-heavy White Sox should win the Central, especially with the Twins missing Joe Nathan for the year. They have a strong offensive lineup with Juan Pierre and Alex Rios bringing in some much needed speed. All hitters in that lineup after their leadoff guy are capable of hitting 15+ home runs per year as well, so they have the proper mix of speed and power. They also have a nice mix of effective vets and productive youngsters in their rotation and bullpen. If they can keep Peavy and Buerhle healthy, and their lineup

2010 AL East Preview

As we do towards the end of every March here at the Giants Baseball Blog, with the regular season quickly approaching, we're going to start the division-by-division preview and standing predictions for the upcoming 2010 season. Starting as always in the AL East, and finishing up in the NL West, so here we go: 1st Place, New York Yankees Lineup: SS Derek Jeter DH Nick Johnson 1B Mark Teixiera 3B Alex Rodriguez C Jorge Posada 2B Robinson Cano LF Curtis Granderson RF Nick Swisher CF Brett Gardner Pitching: LHP CC Sabathia RHP AJ Burnett RHP Javier Vazquez LHP Andy Pettite RHP Phil Hughes SU: Joba Chamberlain CL: Mariano Riveria The reigning world champs have again improved themselves over the offseason, bringing Nick Johnson back to the Bronx and trading for the versatile Curtis Granderson. Those two offset the loss of Johnny Damon and Hideki Matsui, so the offense should once again be one of the league's best. With Damon out and Brett Gardner in, their outfield defense improves

Giants Continue Strong Play In Cactus League

After the Giants most recent victory on Monday vs. Texas, they have bumped their record up to 15-6 this spring after totaling just 9 wins during the 2009's Cactus League. Again, these numbers and wins during March don't mean much, but I do like a lot of what I'm seeing go on with this Giants club, spring training or not. Giants fans have to be pleased with what they've seen out of the Giants' top two offensive free-agent signe es so far, with Aubrey Huff leading the team with 3 homers, second with 9 RBI and is carrying a .380 batting average. DeRosa missed the first half of the spring schedule, but has looked solid in his seven games played since, hitting .300 with a pair of RBI's. Also, Edgar Renteria has looked moderately better than he was last year, and apparently looks like he's a little bit quicker in the field. They don't really have an everyday player, minus Freddy Sanchez who is still out with that shoulder recovery, who is having a bad spring.

Giants 2010 Roster Preview and Predictions

Like we do here around the middle of every spring, I wanted to give my thoughts as to how the Giants roster will look come opening day, and give my best estimate as to what their players will do in the 2010 season (Keep in mind I reserve the right to change these a bit before opening day). So here we go: 2010 Giants Projected Roster Lineup: 1. CF Aaron Rowand ( .272 avg, 13 hr, 68 RBI, 79 runs, 7 sb .756 OPS) 2. 2B Freddy Sanchez* ( .295, 10 hr, 57 RBI, 75 runs, 2 sb, .751 OPS) 3. 3B Pablo Sandoval ( .315, 28 hr, 102 RBI, 84 runs, 6 sb, .975 OPS) 4. 1B Aubrey Huff ( .261, 21 hr, 82 RBI, 65 runs, 1 sb, .790 OPS) 5. LF Mark DeRosa ( .279, 18 hr, 80 RBI, 72 runs, 2 sb, .794 OPS) 6. RF Nate Schierholtz (.285, 12 hr, 52 RBI, 52 runs, 8 sb, .747 OPS) 7. Bengie Molina ( .272, 13 hr, 65 RBI, 40 runs, 0 sb, .729 OPS) 8. Edgar Renteria (.269, 8 hr, 53 RBI, 58 runs, 9 sb, .710 OPS) Bench: C/1B Buster Posey ( .287 avg., 10 hr, 48 rbi, 41 runs, 11 sb, .773 OPS) IF Juan Uribe ( .272, 17 hr, 66 rbi,

Spring Battles Still Unsettled

We're a little over 1/3 of the way through Cactus League action, and the few spring battles that are taking place this spring are no clearer today than they were at the start of spring training. The biggest battle going on in Giants camp this spring is the battle for the fifth starters spot. Madison Bumgarner was considered the favorite coming into camp, as he's been one of the most dominating starers in the minor leagues o ver the previous 2 season, and came up to the big leagues and really impressed in a brief stint at the end of last season. However, Bumgarner hasn't been quite as impressive this spring as the Giants were hoping, and hasn't really run away with the job. The main concern with Bumgarner is his velocity, which is down significantly from where it was at in during the majority of the 2009 season. Before Bumgarner was called up to the Giants last year his heater was consistently clocked between 92-95 mph. But he was down around 90 mph at the end of the yea

Giants Keep Winning, Top Team in Arizona

If you've been following the Giants closely this spring, you know that their bats have started off extremely well. Aaron Rowand, Aubrey Huff, Pablo Sandoval, Bengie Molina, Juan Uribe and co. have all gotten going offensively and have contributed early. Surprisingly, it's been the Giants pitchers that were off to a slower start than their hitters, however, the starting pitching has begun to take form, and the Giants have continued their spring dominance. Jonathan Sanchez provided quite possibly the best start of the spring by any Giants' starter on Wednesday, throwing 3 strong vs. the Cubs, allowing just 3 singles and striking out 5 batters. The 27 year-old lefty has yet to allow a run this spring. Sanchez's solid outing came on the heels of both Matt Cain's and Barry Zito's solid, 3 inning, 1 run outings. The only Giants' starter who hasn't yet completed 3 innings this spring is ace Tim Lincecum. In Timmy's most recent start Thursday, he was tattooe

DeRosa Set for His Giants Debut

One of the Giants new additions from this winter, Mark DeRosa , hasn't gotten a chance to get into any Cactus League action yet, as the Giants are bringing him along slowly after offseason wrist surgery. However, the Giants' projected #5 hitter did take a big step towards readying himself for live action as he took live batting practice of actual pitchers for the first time this spring. DeRosa had been getting himself in shape with the rest of his teammates throughout the last few weeks and the only area of his game that was handicapped a bit was his hitting. No that he's gone through some sessions without any set-backs, it appears plausible that he'll probably make his Cactus League debut sometime this week. DeRosa thinks he'll be ready to go by Tuesday, though Bruce Bochy thinks it could be closer to Thursday or Friday. Either way, it looks like DeRosa will be in the Giants lineup at some point this week, and we could start getting glimpses as to what the op

Giants Start Exhibition Season 3-0

Despite general consensus on Spring Training, like not take the numbers too seriously, and the fact that wins and losses rarely translate over into the regular season, it's still good to see the Giants get off to a strong start in the Cactus League. Surprisingly, it's been the Giants' bats that have started off ahead of their pitchers, as the offense has carried the team through the first couple of games. In the Cactus League opener, Tim Lincecum was touched up by the Mariners a bit, allowing 3 earned runs in his 1 inning of work while throwing in the low-90's. I mentioned in the last few posts that there would be some focus on Timmy's velocity, as it came down at the end of last year. The same can be said for Madison Bumgarner, who followed Lincecum on Wednesday with 2 shutout innings. Bumgarner's fastball was in the upper 80's for most of his 2 innings, but he said in an interview on the Giants hot stove league show that he's not too worried about it a

Giants Set to Begin Cactus League

The long, baseball-less winter will finally come to an end Wednesday when the Giants face the Seattle Mariners in the first game of their 2010 Cactus League schedule. The Giants got in some scrimmage time on Monday, as they held a 3-inning intrasquad game that was highlighted by a long John Bowker home run down the right field line and Darren Ford putting on a show with his legs. There weren't any regulars who played in the scrimmage, so Ford got the nod to leadoff for one of the teams and hit a stand-up triple to the left-center field gap, a place in which you rarely see someone get to third on a ball hit, especially standing up and not making it even close. Ford also ran down a gapper in right-center field that took extra bases away from another bright young prospect, Francisco Peguero. Both of these guys have a big spring ahead of them, as Bowker tries to find a role on the big league squad for good and Ford's goal will be to show that he may be worth a look in the leadoff s