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Showing posts from March, 2012

Giants Offense Quieting Down With Spring

As Spring Training winds down and we enter the last week of Cactus League play, it's almost as if the Giants bats have already migrated north, and have been near non-existent of late. Perhaps their most ugly outing of the Spring came this week when the 49-year old Jamie Moyer no hit them through 4 innings. That exposed an area that the Giants are still working to improve, and again, a big reason why I wanted Cody Ross re-signed. The Giants just don't have a lot of natural righties in their lineup, outside of Buster Posey. Sanchez will start the year on the shelve and it's really anybodies guess as to when he may debut, and until then, the Giants are short one of their better right-handed bats. Left-handed starters have been giving this team trouble all spring, but they've managed OK vs. righties, when all their switch hitters (Melky, Panda, Pagan) hit from their more natural side. It's also a reason why I'd like to see Brett Pill's right-handed stick make th

2012 Playoff/Award Predictions

As we always do upon completing our divisional previews here at the Giants Blog, we like to take our guesses as to who wins the league's major awards, including MVP, Cy Young, Batting Champion, HR Champ, Comeback player of the year and Manager of the Year. Then taking our best guess as of late March as to how things will shake out in the playoffs come October. AL Awards MVP: Miguel Cabrera, 1B, Detroit Tigers: With the ultimate protector behind him know in Prince Fielder, he'll be seeing a lot more lefties late in ballgames, and much better pitches to hit than when he was being protected by Magglio Ordonez. Probably goes for .340/45/140/1.500 OPS. Runners Up: Albert Pujols, LAA; Josh Hamilton, Tex; Robinson Cano, NYY. Cy Young: C.C. Sabathia, NY Yankees: The big lefty is in his third season in the Bronx, and they say the third is the charm. I foresee huge things not only for Sabathia, but the rest of the Yankees, as long as they keep their left-sided of their infield healthy

2012 MLB Previews: NL West Extended Edition

Well, since it's the Giants home division, I thought I'd stretch each preview out just a bit, including adding the team's set-up man and closer, and giving a little more in-depth scouting report on each club. After all, these are the teams the Giants will be facing for the majority of their games. NL West Prediction 1st Place, San Francisco Giants Lineup: CF Angel Pagan LF Melky Cabrera 3B Pablo Sandoval C Buster Posey 1B Huff/Belt RF Schierholtz/Huff 2B Freddy Sanchez* SS Brandon Crawford * Sanchez may miss up to a month, Burris/Theriot replacing Rotation/Bullpen RHP Tim Lincecum RHP Matt Cain LHP Madison Bumgarner RHP Ryan Vogelsong LHP Barry Zito SU: Sergio Romo CL: Brian Wilson If the Giants could just get Freddy Sanchez healthy and on the field, their offense wouldn't be in too bad of shape. However, Pagan has struggled, and may be moved to the bench with Huff to left and Belt, finally, to first. That would place Cabrera in the leadoff spot, but this is the way the

2012 MLB Previews: NL Central

The NL Central lost two of it's bigger stars this offseason, but it really shouldn't change the balance of power in that division too much. It's a division on the rise, but likely won't end up with a Wild Card team. NL Central Prediction 1st Place, St. Louis Cardinals Lineup SS Rafael Furcal RF Carlos Beltran LF Matt Holliday 1B Lance Berkman 3B David Freese CF Jon Jay C Yadier Molina 2B Tyler Green Rotation/Closer RHP Adam Wainright RHP Chris Carpentar* LHP Jamie Garcia RHP Kyle Lohse RHP Jake Westbrook CL: Jason Motte *Carpentar out indefinitely to start season (at least 4-8 weeks) The Cardinals, despite losing Albert Pujols, which is a huge loss, but softened a bit by the addition of Beltran and the likely improvements of youngsters like Jay, Freeze and Allen Craig, who was a postseason hero for them last year. Their pitching staff is a little iffy with Carpentar slated to start the year on the DL, and I could definitely see them make a move for Roy Oswalt if they th

GBB Interview with "C70 At The Bat"

I was recently approached by a popular Cardinals site, , aka "C70 At The Bat" and a group of us Giants Bloggers answered a few questions for the upcoming season. I thought I'd share that with you guys here and you can click on the link above to view the rest of the article and all the answers from different Giants Bloggers. This was done about a week ago but was edited and just added to their site today! 1) What was your opinion of the team’s offseason? Trevor Cole: I was hoping they'd be more aggressive towards re-signing Carlos Beltran. After giving up their top prospect for him, they got just 6 weeks of actual playing time out of Beltran, as he missed some time immediately after the deal with a wrist problem. He did finish the year strongly though and I thought the deal he signed with St. Louis should have been matched by San Francisco but Sabean seemed to dismiss the idea of bringing he and Cody Ross back, all the way back in October, des

2012 NL East Preview: Plus Giants Going Young?

On we move to the NL East, which, with the Phillies injuries, the Marlins and Nationals potential improvement and the Braves pitching make up one of the more intriguing and deepest divisions in all of baseball. NL East Preview First Place, Miami Marlins Lineup: SS Jose Reyes CF Emilio Bonafacio 3B Hanley Ramirez RF Giancarlo Stanton LF Logan Morrison 1B Gaby Sanchez 2B Omar Infante C Joe Buck Rotation/Closer RHP Josh Johnson LHP Mark Buehrle RHP Annibal Sanchez RHP Ricky Nolasco RHP Carlos Zambrano CL: Heath Bell I'm not drinking the Marlin's kool-aid as much as I just don't see Philly being healthy enough, with their team age getting up there and two best hitters starting the year on the DL and missing a substantial chunk of time. That leaves this division wide open early for the Marlins, Braves and Nats and I think Miami will ride the wave of their new-look team, uniforms and new stadium to success. I mean, the lineup has 3 legit MVP-candidates in Stanton, Ramirez and Rey

2012 Preview: AL West; Giants Notes

On we move to the AL West, where the top two teams, LA and Texas, are legit contenders and expected to make the playoffs. Then there's a large, gaping gap between them and the following two squads in Oakland and Seattle, who again will bottom feed in the division and American League. AL West Preview First Place, Los Angeles Angels Lineup: SS Erick Aybar 2B Howie Kendrick 1B Albert Pujols DH Kendrys Morales RF Torii Hunter LF Vernon Wells C Chris Iannetta 3B Alberto Callaspo CF Peter Bourjos Rotation/Closer RHP Jered Weaver LHP C.J. Wilson RHP Dan Haren RHP Ervin Santana RHP Jerome Williams CL: Jordan Walden The Angels made the biggest splash of the offseason by not only inking the market's top hitter in Albert Pujols, but also the markets top LHP in C.J. Wilson, a left-hander this rotation badly needed. This team is so strong that they have guys like Mark Trumbo (runner up for ROY in 2011) and Macier Izturis slated to ride the pine to start the year. They should each see plenty

2012 MLB Preview: AL Central

On to what I believe to be the worst division in baseball heading into the year, and also happens to be one of the hardest to pick. Literally, every team in that division is alive, even the Twins have a shot if the stars align and Mauer, Morneau and Liriano all perform and avoid DL-time. Anyway, here's how we see the AL Central shaking out this year: AL Central Preview First Place, Detroit Tigers Lineup: CF Austin Jackson RF Brandon Boesch 3B Miguel Cabrera 1B Prince Fielder LF Delmon Young C Alex Avilla SS Johnny Peralta DH Don Kelly 2B Ryan Rayburn Rotation/Closer RHP Justin Verlander RHP Max Scherzer RHP Doug Fister RHP Rick Porcello LHP Andrew Oliver (R) CL: Jose Valverde In perhaps the weakest division in baseball, the Tigers, with two MVP candidates in the lineup and the reigning AL Cy Young award winner atop their rotation look very strong. The Fielder addition was one that should put them over the top in this paper-thin division and look for Fielder and Cabrera to provide

2012 MLB Previews: AL East, Plus Cain Notes

It's about that time of year, getting towards the end of Spring, when we like to make our predictions and preview the league for the upcoming baseball season, starting in the AL East and ending at home in the NL West, saving the best for last. Don't worry though, we'll still save some room in the division preview posts for Giants news, including today's topic on Matt Cain's contract situation. AL EAST PREVIEW 1st Place, New York Yankees Lineup: SS Derek Jeter CF Curtis Granderson 2B Robinson Cano 3B Alex Rodriguez 1B Mark Teixeira RF Nick Swisher C Russell Martin DH Andruw Jones LF Brett Gardner Rotation/Closer: LHP C.C. Sabathia RHP Michael Pineda RHP Hiroki Kuroda RHP Ivan Nova LHP Andy Pettite CL: Mariano Rivera The Yankees again sport one of the premiere offenses in baseball, and should be even better this year with a healthy and motivated ARod. They also deepened their bench by adding Raul Ibanez. However, the biggest move for the Yanks this offseason, their st

Giants Spring Notes: Sanchez Still on Mend

Giants fans who were worried about Freddy Sanchez's health coming into the season are still holding their breath a bit, as Bruce Bochy admitted this week that Freddy still isn't quite where he needs to be health wise. The Giants manager alluded to Sanchez's hesitancy throwing the ball from second as the one straw holding the former NL batting champ back. So as we enter the second half of the Cactus League schedule, the Giants still haven't been able to put together their expected opening day lineup, all together in the field at once. If you recall, I was worried about this very thing becoming an issue back in January, after it was announced that Sanchez "expects to be ready for the opener". I was thinking that after missing all that time, he'd be 100% by February, but here we are going into late March and he's still having problems. It's one of the reasons I was so pleased with the Ryan Theriot signing, but really wanted the Giants to go after Jer