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Showing posts from 2012

2013 Projected Roster

We're getting ready to close the chapter on 2012 and with just 7 weeks away from pitchers and catchers reporting to Scottsdale, the Giants appear to have their 2013 roster nearly complete.   The Giants have been relatively quiet in terms of free agency, but they did manage to take care of their priorities and get all the key components from the 2012 championship team back on the roster for 2013 and now appear content with what they have heading into the new year. They do however still have a few roster spots that are yet to be determined at this point, and I'd still like to see them aggressively trying to improve the team rather than sitting on their hands. One of the big spots that I'd like to see them address most is finding another right-handed bat in the outfield. They did bring back Andres Torres earlier this month to add depth to the outfield, but if they could manage to find a right-hander with some punch, that would really round out this roster in my opinion. The

Andres Torres Returns

After doing most of their heavy lifting this offseason by re-signing Angel Pagan and Marco Scutaro, the Giants made the first move towards filling out their roster by bringing Andres Torres back on a one-year deal. This is a solid move to add some depth to the bench and get more speed onto the roster, and it's one I saw coming from a mile away. Torres was non-tendered by New York last month and became a free agent at a time when the Giants had only Hunter Pence and Gregor Blanco assured to return, so I'm sure the discussions with Torres have been ongoing for a while now. He really hasn't done much since his breakout year in 2010 when he was a catalyst during the Giants' first World Series run, but he also hasn't been fully healthy for much of the past two seasons. I was hoping the Giants would find that right-handed, power hitting corner outfielder they were looking for, but apparently in this market, even guys like Scott Hairston are out of their price range. Tha

Giants Set After Re-Signing Pagan, Scutaro

After wondering for weeks whether the team would be able to bring back either Marco Scutaro or Angel Pagan, Giants fans have to be pleased that both will be returning to San Francisco for 2013. On back-to-back days, the Giants were able to re-sign their leadoff man and center fielder, then their number 2 guy and second basemen, pretty much wrapping up Brian Sabean's work in free agency. I have to say, I do like both deals, even though both were a year longer than I was hoping for. Pagan did get his four year deal that he was seeking, but the Giants were able to get him for roughly $10M per season, which doesn't look bad at all considering what Torii Hunter, Shane Victorino and B.J. Upton just got. Heading into this offseason, I thought the best deal for the Giants in terms of Pagan would have been a 3 year, $30 million deal with an option for a fourth. Based on that, I have to say this deal looks like a win for the Giants seeing that they only had to go an extra year. Plus,

Still Quiet On the Free Agency Front

With the calendar ready to flip to December, MLB Free Agency has started picking up as expected. B.J. Upton has been the biggest name to switch teams thus far, and his deal may set the market for the rest of the outfielders. Upton landed a huge, 5 year, $75 million deal with the Atlanta Braves, signaling their moving on from Michael Bourn, and really setting a precedent for outfielders in this free agent market. I mean, Upton is a nice player with some upside who is entering his prime, but $15M/per for a guy who hits .240 and doesn't carry an OPS over .800? Granted, he's a skilled defender in center, and does have 20+ home run power, but he was hitting in a live yard in Tampa and never really developed like everyone expected he would. With Hunter getting $13M a year earlier this month from Detroit, and now Upton getting this deal, it certainly helps out Angel Pagan's status. Maybe he will find that 4 year/$50M deal he's been reportedly seeking after all. He doesn'

Decisions, Decisions

The Giants made a few moves since they won the 'Series last month, but since the Affeldt signing and assuring Pence a contract for 2012, things have been pretty quiet. Well, you can expect that to change in the coming week as MLB's free agency appears to be picking up, and there has been a lot of talk about the Champion San Francisco Giants. Most of the talk, to nobodies surprise, has been of Angel Pagan, and the chances the Giants have of signing the second-half machine. As I've suspected all along though, I just don't see him coming back, as some other team is destined to overpay for him for what he did from August 3rd-on. Friday, it was leaked that the Giants and Pagan's party seem to be a ways apart on a new deal and both will look towards other avenues in the next few days. I don't know the details of what's holding up negotiations for certain, but it's likely coming down to years. Most likely, the Giants won't go more than 3, and won't pa

2012 Minor League Report

I know free agency is starting to heat up, but with Buster Posey winning the NL MVP Thursday, I wanted to take a quick look back down on the farm and see who the next big stars are that will be heading our way. We'll be right back into the free agent frenzy this weekend, by which time it wouldn't surprise me if the Giants make another move, but until then, I wanted to look at some of the standouts from the minors this year. First off, we'll start down in Low-A Augusta, where the name of the game down their for the Giants was their starting pitching, particularly in the form of their two brightest young arms in Kyle Crick and Clayton Blackburn. The 19 year-olds each had their way with the the SAL's hitters, as Blackburn piled up an 8-4 record, 2.54 ERA and an astounding 143:18 K/BB ratio over 133 innings of work. Crick was equally impressive, firing off a 7-6 record, 2.51 ERA and 128 K's in 111 IP. He didn't show the command Blackburn did, but got stronger

Let the Offseason Begin

Fresh off their 2nd World Series tittle in 3 seasons, Brian Sabean has gotten right back to work and has already made multiple roster decisions regarding the 2013 team. After declaring that the Giants will be tendering Hunter Pence arbitration last week, the Giants have apparently agreed on a new three-year deal with Jeremy Affeldt. The internet was buzzing Tuesday with news that the Giants and reliever Jeremy Affeldt were enclosing on a new three-year that would pay the lefty upwards of 18 million dollars during it's span. It's now become official, and that goes to show you the market for quality left-handed mid-relievers, cause that's a pretty large deal for one about to hit his mid-30's. Now, don't get me wrong, Affeldt has been huge for the Giants since he put on their uniform, but you hardly see relief pitchers that aren't closers or elite set-up men get three-plus years in a contract. That being said Affeldt is one of the best left-handed relievers in t

Pence to Return, Undecided on Wilson

Well, we were going to use today's post to go back and review what went on down on the farm in the Giants' organization, but the Giants are already making some moves towards shaping their 2013 roster. Brian Sabean announced Thursday something that every Giants fan was expecting, stating that they will offer arbitration to right fielder Hunter Pence, ensuring he'll be in the orange and black for the 2013 season. There was never really any doubt as to whether or not Pence would be back after he helped spark the team's incredible run in October, but the Giants are hoping his personal production improves next season. Pence hit just .219 with a .671 OPS to go along with 7 HR's and 45 RBI in his 59 games with San Francisco, and struggled even more in the postseason. However, even though he wasn't as prudent with the stick as he'd have liked, he was one of the Giants most clutch hitters with runners in scoring position as evident by his high RBI total, and he als

Giants Celebrate, Shift Focus to 2013

Although Giants fans all over the world get to relish in this World Series Championship all winter long, it's time for the Giants management to start shifting their focus towards 2013. Now, before I start putting this season in the rear view mirror, I just wanted to talk a little bit more about this World Series victory and the incredible parade we all got on Wednesday. Again, we'll be doing season reviews in the coming month, rating how each unit of the team did this year, from starting pitching to the bench guys and everyone in between. There just isn't a lot to be said about the 2012 Giants that hasn't been eluded to a number of times. I would be lying if I told you I had the World Series on my mind after this team lost it's star closer and then their top hitter midway through the season while also getting pedestrian numbers out of the guy they were hoping would help carry the offense in Hunter Pence. But that's further testament to how well this team playe

World Champs!

After having to go the full 5 in the NLDS then 7 in the NLCS, the Giants  weren't about to be turned away on the biggest stage in baseball. Now, Giants fans all over the world gets to bust out the party hats and celebrate their second World Series victory in three seasons. I must say, I really had no idea what to expect in this World Series coming in. After the Giants fought back in both their previous series' to get to this position, I knew they were going to put up a fight, but I honestly had no idea we'd see this kind of dominance over the team that was clearly the AL's best. The Giants showed they were a team on a mission though, and played really exceptional baseball all-around this whole October. The thing that I really liked about this squad was that they didn't just rely on one or two big hitters in their lineup to support them like Detroit did. Marco Scutaro and Pablo Sandoval were really excellent throughout this postseason, but the Giants won this year

World Series: Giants Off to Detroit, Up 2-0

In their first two series' of this postseason, the Giants were slow out of the gate, getting down 2-0 to Cinci in the NLDS then 3-1 to St. Louis in the NLCS. Their start in this World Series has been drastically different. After getting a historic day out of Pablo Sandoval in game 1 Wednesday, the Giants took the commanding 2 game lead Thursday behind a rebound effort out of Madison Bumgarner. They flexed their muscles and racked up 8 runs against arguably the best pitcher in baseball, thanks to an all-around great effort out of the top four hitters in the lineup (including Sandoval's 4-4 day with 3 big fly's), but they didn't need the offensive out poor in game 2. After struggling through his first two starts of the 2012 Postseason, Madison Bumgarner finally looked like the young lefty that was so dominant the last time the Giants were in the playoffs, shutting down a potent Tigers lineup, allowing just four base-runners over 7 innings. Unlike his first couple of sta

World Series: Giants Ready for Verlander, Tigers

Well, if you watched the NLDS and saw the Giants comeback from the unthinkable with three straight wins on the road to get to the NLCS, you might of saw this comeback vs. St. Louis coming. After Zito won that crucial game five to get the series back to San Francisco, I just had a really good feeling about things. The starting pitching locked things up and fed off Zito like I was hoping they would, and Ryan Vogelsong and Matt Cain turned in a few of the most clutch pitching performances I've seen in a while. The trio of Giants starters held the potent Cardinals lineup to just 1 run over those final three games, and reminded all of us that they're still the incredible pitching staff we've grown to know here in San Francisco. What really stuck out for me in games 6 and 7 was the Giants finally woke up the offense at home in AT&T Park. We saw them tap into it in game two, but for the most part, the Giants had been struggling to score on their home field. They had no such

Zito Lifts Giants in Game 5

In a win or go home situation, the Giants got their best starting effort from their most unlikely source and will return to AT&T Park for another do or die game on Sunday. With the ramifications coupled with the way he threw, it was easily Barry Zito's best start of his Giants career, and he even admitted after the game it was probably his biggest start of his whole career. With a tough right- handed heavy lineup to face the Giants soft-tossing lefty, everybody was giving the Giants a slim-to-none chance of walking out of St. Louis with their season still riding, but Zito showed up Friday night ready to go. He went 7 2/3 scoreless, striking out 6 and walking just one, an intentional pass to get to Lance Lynn during a crucial spot in the 2nd. Zito did dance out of some trouble early on in the game, but what really impressed me was how he kept getting stronger later into the game. Typically with Zito, he hits a wall around the 5th or 6th inning or 90 pitch mark, but you could s

Back to STL, Series Even

Although the Giants didn't leave town with a 2-0 lead like we were all hoping for, you have to like what you saw out of the team in the second half of game one, and game two of the NLCS. First of all, we didn't do a recap post after game one, and I wanted to touch on a few things there before I get to the Scutaro injury and what happens going forward. Yes, the Giants won the NLDS, and yes, they responded beautifully in game two after a slow start in game one, but their starting pitching has me a bit worried. Before Vogelsong's valiant effort in Monday night's game, Giants starters have been averaging about five innings per start and the two guys they were counting on the most coming in, have not been crisp. Madison Bumgarner got lit up in game one, and his recent struggles go back to the end of the regular season. Also, Matt Cain wasn't bad in his two starts in the NLDS, but he had nowhere near the ace-like performances the Giants were hoping after the career year

Giants Headed to NLCS

After getting shut down in game two by Bronson Arroyo, things didn't look good for the Orange and Black heading into Cincinnati. But once again, this team showed why they're one of the best road teams in baseball, and completed the unthinkable comeback over a very good Reds team. The Giants squeaked out the win in game 3, then they finally got their offense going in game four, and kept it going through game five. First I wanted to talk a bit about game four, cause we don't even have that deciding match Thursday without the gutsy performance by the Giants bullpen. One of the keys to Wednesday's game was Barry Zito's command, and he just didn't have it, but George Kontos and Tim Lincecum each picked him up. Lincecum had a dominant, vintage like performance coming in during the fourth inning, and shutting the Reds down through the 8th. The guy who wasn't included in the NLDS rotation certainly made his case for returning for the NLCS after throwing 6 1/3 shut

Giants Have Backs to the Wall

With the first two games of the best-of-five series at home in AT&T Park, everybody was expecting a better showing than the Giants gave in games one and two. In game one, the Giants came up just short, as their line drives seemed to all find Reds' fielders and Matt Cain wasn't quite himself. However, in game two, things got downright ugly. The Reds used the formula the Giants have been using most of the regular season to get to San Francisco in the first two match-ups, getting out to an early lead and then letting terrific pitching take them the rest of the way. I had a bad feeling right off the bat when Johnny Cueto went down in game one, and the Giants failed to muster anything up against LeCure and then Mat Latos. Normally you see the Giants take advantage of the opportunities they get, but they failed to do that in the opening game and it cost them. Then came game two, when the Giants got to face perhaps the Reds most beatable arm in Bronson Arroyo, and all he proceed

Giants' NLDS Roster

Bruce Bochy hasn't made anything official regarding the Giants roster for the upcoming NLDS vs. Cincinnati besides the starters for games one and two. That said, we're going to take an educated guess on which 25 guys will fill out their active roster, as well as the expected playoff rotation, and this is who we expect to get the nod: Catchers : Buster Posey, Hector Sanchez Cain Preps for Gm. 1 Infielders : 1B Brandon Belt, 2B Marco Scutaro, SS Brandon Crawford, 3B Pablo Sandoval, IF Joaquin Arias, IF Ryan Theriot, 1B Aubrey Huff Outfielders : RF Hunter Pence, CF Angel Pagan,  LF Xavier Nady, OF Gregor Blanco Starting Rotation : 1. RHP Matt Cain 2. LHP Madison Bumgarner 3. RHP Tim Lincecum 4. RHP Ryan Vogelsong Bullpen : RHP Sergio Romo, LHP Javier Lopez, RHP Santiago Casilla, LHP Jeremy Affeldt, RHP Guillermo Mota, LHP Jose Mijares, RHP George Kontos, LHP Barry Zito The only two real question marks here, to me at least, is whether the Giants will roll with Fra

Buster the Batting Champ

Wednesday marks the last day of the regular season all across baseball, and it's a big day for the Giants in particular. Not only did San Francisco find out their NLDS opponent Wednesday, but they also have a player of their own trying to lock down a pretty big accomplishment. Unless there's a miracle for Andrew McCutchen in this final day of the season, it looks like a Giant will be walking away with the NL Batting Crown this year after all. Melky Cabrera was in optimal position to run away with the award before he went down with his infamous suspension, but thanks to Buster Posey's epic second half, the award will be coming home with a Giant. Buster is in the lineup for Wednesday's game, though he'll likely only see a couple at-bats before Bochy removes the starters and he has a comfortable 10-point lead over the Pirates' star outfielder, so although it won't be official until after play Wednesday, it's a lock. What also could be a lock is Buster'

Lincecum Mediocre in Final Tune-Up

Although these last 6 games haven't meant a whole lot since the team clinched last weekend, one of the issues the Giants are still figuring out is what exactly will be their playoff rotation. The guy who's been penciled in to start game two of the NLDS may not have the stronghold on that spot after his last two outings. The great success that Tim Lincecum was having throughout most of the second half of the season has sort of disappeared over his last two starts, as he was rocked by Arizona in San Francisco in the final home series of the regular season, then got lit up by the Padres at Petco Park on Sunday. Timmy actually didn't throw too badly in his latest start, but he did make a few mistakes that Padres' hitters did not miss. Lincecum allowed just 7 base-runners in 6 innings of work, but he gave up three long-balls. It wasn't as bad as his last outing in San Francisco, but it likely wasn't exactly how 'The Freak' wanted to go into the postseason.

Cain Gets Giants Refocused

The Giants fell into a mini two-game losing streak after defeating the Padres and clinching their spot atop the NL West Saturday, but Matt Cain got the group refocused Wednesday night. After kind of a let down start by Tim Lincecum in Tuesday nights game, Cainer put the Giants back in winning mode with 7 strong innings of 4 hit ball and 6 strikeouts vs. the D-Backs. Cain and Lincecum are expected to start games one and two of the NLDS and this was likely each guys last start of the regular season and it was the polar opposite for each right-hander. Lincecum went just 4 innings, walking 4 batters and giving up 7 runs. The best part of that game for Timmy was it's the last he'll see Paul Goldschmidt in 2012! As bad as Lincecum was Tuesday though, Cainer made pretty much everyone forget about it Wednesday with his 16th win of the season. The man expected to take the ball in game one showed exactly why Wednesday night and he had the Giants again looking like the NL West's eli

Giants Work Not Done Yet

The Giants completed phase one of their goal Saturday night at AT&T Park, but it's hardly time to start celebrating just yet. San Francisco clinched the NL West with their win over San Diego Saturday, and have reserved their spot in the postseason with 10 days still left in the season. Their wins over the last few weeks have been almost identical as they've been getting their vintage starting efforts, and have the offense locked into a pretty good groove. After the outing Ryan Vogelsong had Friday, his first solid outing in 6 weeks, you kind of got the feeling the Giants were going to seal it up this weekend. Madison Bumgarner followed up Vogey's gem with a solid, yet unspectacular outing, but did more than enough on the mound and at the plate to help lead the Giants. Once again, Angel Pagan and Marco Scutaro set the table beautifully at the top of the lineup, and Hunter Pence and Brandon Belt had the hot bats in the middle of the order. Speaking of Belt and Pence, th

Giants Taking Advantage of Schedule

We all knew that down the stretch the Giants had a much easier schedule than the Dodgers, but they had to take advantage of it. They've done that and more as their magic number in the West has shrunk to 5 heading into play Thursday. A friendly schedule down the stretch doesn't always translate into easy victories, but Bruce Bochy has kept his team sharp. San Francisco's played magnificent baseball the last few weeks, as they've lost just one series in September, and really should have the division locked up by the end of the weekend if things keep going they way they have been. With a 9 game lead and just 13 games left on the schedule, it would take a historic meltdown for the Giants to lose this division, and that just isn't going to happen. They absolutely shut down the potent Colorado offense the last couple of nights at AT&T Park, and have the shot at a 4-game sweep Thursday afternoon. Just as I suspected, the starting pitching has again hit it's strid