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Showing posts from March, 2015

Matt Duffy: Overlooked (best) option for LF

Everybody and their mother are aware of the Giants lack of offense heading into the 2015 season, even more magnified now that they'll be without Hunter Pence for at least the first few weeks of April, if not all of it. Now, the general consensus is Gregor Blanco will slide into left maybe platooning with Juan Perez a bit until Pence returns and moves Nori Aoki back to left. However, with the spring the kid has had, the way he seemed to come up big at times in clutch situations last fall, I'm wondering why the Giants haven't been more active at using Matt Duffy out in left field some more. He's a right-handed bat with power potential and a guy who's been raking all spring long (.383/2/12 with 1.101 OPS) and the Giants' light hitting order can use all the pop they can handle. As far as whether he'd be able to handle it, the 24 year-old infielder has played most his career on the left side of the diamond at shortstop, and has done outfield drills in spring. H

2015 MLB Previews: NL East

Ah, finally out of the AL and into the teams the Giants will actually be facing with regularity this season, starting in the East The NL East is one of the easier divisions in the league (although you may find some argument for who finishes second) and much more predicable than pretty much all of the AL divisions were. The consensus favorite is obviously Washington, but after that, things could go a few different ways. This is how we see things shaking out: NL East 1st Place, Washington Nationals Will Bryce finally break-out? Lineup: CF Denard Span 3B Anthony Rendon RF Bryce Harper LF Jayson Werth 1B Ryan Zimmerman SS Ian Desmond SS Yunel Escobar C Wilson Ramos Rotation: RHP Max Scherzer RHP Stephen Strasburgh RHP Jordan Zimerrmann LHP Gio Gonzalez RHP Doug Fister SU: RH Casey Janssen CL: RH Drew Storen Key Reserves : OF Nate McLouth, IF Danny Espinosa This team is the one that many have representing the NL, and taking the Worl

2015 MLB Previews: AL West

Onto the AL West, where quite a few teams will sport some different looks from a year ago, especially the Oakland A's. The Mariners are getting better and the Angels will always be competitive with Arty Moreno running the show. The Rangers lost ace Yu Darvish and stud 2nd basemen Jurickson Profar for the year but have so much offense their still gonna hang around in this thing too. It should make for another tight race in the West in 2015, as has been the case generally over the last few years in this division. AL West 1st Place, Seattle Mariners Lineup: CF Austin Jackson RF Seth Smith 2B Robinson Cano DH Nelson Cruz 3B Kyle Seager 1B Logan Morrison C Mike Zunino LF Dustin Ackley SS Brad Miller Rotation: RH Felix Hernandez RH Hisashi Iwakuma LH James Paxton RH Taijuan Walker LH J.A. Happ SU: Danny Farquar CL: Fernando Rodney Key Reserves: UT Rickie Weeks, IF Willie Bloomquist, OF Justin Ruggiano The Mariners are the popular pic

2015 MLB Previews: AL Central

The AL Central is a much improved division and all five teams have at least a glimmer of hope entering the season. Plus after seeing what the Royals did last year, they all have to feel like they're capable of pulling the same thing off. I think the Tigers, based on sheer star power, depth, and pitching have to be the front-runners, but after that, it's up for grabs. It's not likely, but it's possible both wild card teams could come out of the Central. AL CENTRAL 1st Place, Detroit Tigers Lineup: 2B Ian Kinsler CF Anthony Gose/Rajai Davis 1B Miguel Cabrera DH Victor Martinez RF J.D. Martinez LF Yeonis Cespedes 3B Nick Castellanos C Alex Avila SS Jose Inglesias Rotation: LHP David Price RHP Justin Verlander RHP Anibal Sanchez RHP Alfredo Simon RHP Shane Green SU: Joakim Soria CL: Joe Nathan Key Reserves: OF Rajai Davis, IF Andrew Romine Although they lost ace Max Scherzer, their new one should be able to fill his shoes admirably in his f

2015 MLB Previews: AL East

We're a couple of weeks away from opening day, and I figured we'd go ahead and get started on our divisional previews/predictions for 2015. As always, we'll start in the AL East and work our way to the NL West. Note: We will still be posting regular Giants posts as well in between divisional previews. AL EAST 1st Place, Boston Red Sox Projected Lineup: 1. 2B Dustin Pedroia 2. CF Mookie Betts 3. LF Hanley Ramirez 4. DH David Ortiz 5. 3B Pablo Sandoval 6. 1B Mike Napoli 7. SS Xander Bogarts 8. RF Shane Victorino/Allen Craig 9 C Christian Vazquez Rotation: RHP Clay Bucholtz RHP Rick Porcello LHP Wade Miley RHP Justin Masterson RHP Joe Kelly SU: RH Junichi Tazawa CL: RH Koji Uehara Key Reserves:  Allen Craig 1B/OF, Danial Nava OF, Mookie Betts/Rusney Castillo OF The BoSox just have so much depth this year, and after going out and adding HanRam and The Panda to an already steady offense makes them now one of the best, if not deepest units in t

Giants Spring Notes: Halfway Point

We've about hit the halfway point of the Cactus League schedule and with about 3 weeks until Opening day in Arizona, the Giants main concern at this point is pretty much getting and keeping everyone healthy. With so many different things going on with the club, we figured we'd do sort of a "Giants Notes" post were we touch a little on everything going on with the club. Starters rounding into shape:  As far as the starting rotation is concerned , over the next couple of weeks in the desert Bochy would like to get Matt Cain and Tim Hudson stretched out a little bit more. Both have looked strong in their outings so far, but neither has thrown more than two innings yet, and for Cain especially who hasn't pitched a game since July, it's gonna be key these guys get up to 5-6 innings while still in Arizona. In the bullpen, it looks like things are finally starting to shape up as Javier Lopez and Sergio Romo have both thrown and thrown well, but those guys will ne

Cain strong in debut, offense still struggling

Matt Cain made his first appearance since early July on Monday, and did so in perfect fashion. The Giants' projected number two starter shut down the Dodgers' starters over a couple of frames. The 30 year-old right-hander is extremely crucial to this rotation's success and with the loss the Giants suffered offensively over the winter (and now starting the year without Hunter Pence), that rotation is going to be as key as ever. Cainer's outing Monday was certainly a huge positive though, as the right-hander ended up throwing two perfect innings before surrendering to expected long-reliever Ryan Vogelsong. In fact, it was the best start the Giants have received early on here in the Cactus League with ace Madison Bumgarner has been roughed up a bit in his two early outings. Nobody's going to be worrying too much, or getting too excited in early/mid-March one way or another but it was one of the biggest positives of the Giants' spring thus far, and refreshing comi

Hunter goes down

Well folks, the "odd-numbered year curse" is already rearing it's ugly head and we're hardly into March. Hunter Pence, one of the catalysts and perhaps the most powerful bat in the Giants' lineup will be sidelined 6-8 weeks after breaking his wrist Thursday. Pence took a Corey Black (a young Cubs right-hander who's now deeply entrenched in Giants fan's hatred) heater off his left wrist in Thursday's game, a game in which Bruce Bochy DH'd the right fielder just to get him some at-bats, and left immediately. X-rays reveled a non-displaced fracture in the wrist, which could have been worse. Had it been displaced, it could have been a few months before seeing Pence on the field again and may have required surgery to have screws inserted into the bone. Nonetheless, the Giants' power-starved lineup will be plan to be without their 2014 home run leader and top run-scorer through the first month of the regular season, at least. Best case scenario is

Ahh... Baseball Returns!

It may just be me, but it seems like it's been forever since Pablo Sandoval caught that foul pop-up off the bat of Salvador Perez and the Giants won the World Series. Well the wait for baseball (albeit of the exhibition variety) is over with the Giants opening up Cactus League play on Tuesday. Now, the fact that baseball's back and everybody escaped Tuesday's game in one piece is about the best you can say in terms of the Giants' day. Both Giants' starters who made appearances gave up runs with Madison Bumgarner especially having a difficult day. The one that was so hard for Kansas City and the rest of baseball to figure out in October, got rouged up in his 1 2/3 innings of work. He allowed the A's to get to him for 4 runs (all earned) on 5 hits, including an impressive 2-run blast off the bat off the best player on the field Tuesday, Marcus Semien. On a positive note, Bum did strikeout a pair and didn't walk a batter in just under two innings of work, but