Does Matt Cain Deserve to Be Anointed the Fifth Starter?

by
Greek Giant

There’s lots of nervous talk these days as Spring Training 2017 turns one week old. The subject of this nervous Giants fans scuttlebut surrounds one question: Who will be the 5th starter in the rotation? Specifically, do the Giants anoint Matt Cain, assuming he is 100% healthy as reported, to be their fifth starter? Or, should they hold an open competition that includes such fan favorites as Ty Blach, Tyler Beede and others?

The question about the fifth starter is really a question about loyalty vs what is best for the team. Let’s get one thing straight: Matt Cain is forever a Giants immortal. Between his three rings, his perfect game and his general awesomeness, dignity, and overall great career, you have the makings of a member of the first ballot in the Giants Pantheon of heroes.

That was then however. This is now. How does the past play into decision making today for the Giants? Cain’s recent history does not live up to his glory years. With words by Bochy and Evans being parsed and analyzed as if they were gospel from the second coming of Jesus Christ himself, fans are worried that the Giants are simply going to hand over that coveted fifth starter spot to Cain based on his huge salary and their sense of loyalty to his past greatness and excellent service.

The thinking is that Cain’s disastrous numbers facing opposing lineups for a second and third time contributed to the bullpen being taxed last season, and hence, the second half decline. This narrative is not exactly supported when you look at the Giants bullpen innings pitched last season, which was, if I recall (someone can look it up) around the middle of the pack in the National League). Whatever the case with Cain’s impact on the bullpen the bottom line is this: his numbers are not good the past three years.

While we all love the concept of loyalty, it only gets you so far. Being loyal to a fault is no way to run a baseball team. Putting wins and championships ahead of egos and past glories is how one should manage and general manage the Giants. It’s what Bill Belichick does in his own uniquely cutthroat and efficient way and it is one of the ingredients to his success.

Since, as I mentioned above, Spring Training just started I prefer to take a cautious approach to this question. It could very well be that Evans and Bochy are simply saying nice things about Matt Cain out of respect to his status. It could be that the Giants are going to run an open and fair competition for that important last starter spot in the rotation. The Giants appear to have one of the top three rotations in all of baseball. An effective fifth starter could mean the difference between, say 85 and 95 wins. If the Giants start the season with Matt Cain as the fifth starter and they give him a long leash, say 2 months, to stink it up before they make a change then this is simply bad management. The worry is that, based on past experiences, Bochy will give Cain too much leeway out of a sense of loyalty to his former ace.

It’s important to remember that fans don’t live and breathe with the decisions a manager has to make. They never have to interact with players or accept responsibility for bad decisions. It is also possible Bochy knows more about Matt Cain’s health and effectiveness than fans on the outside do. We shall see. This is a very, very big season for the Giants. Johnny Cueto may opt out next year. Hunter Pence and Buster Posey are not getting any younger. The Giants need to go all in for their decision making if they want that fourth ring this decade. Now is not the time to worry about a player’s salary or past glories.

  • HaakAway

    Breck-a-Cainer says, “Let me show you what I got.”

    • Sgbssfg

      He gets paid either way. Would like to see him earn it.

      • HaakAway

        Agreed. But even if he cannot, my theory is the salaries tend to even out. How much did Cain get for 2010 and 21 IP in the Post-season and 0 ER’s?

        • Skweezplay55

          However much it was, it was a bargain

          • DrLefty

            Bumgarner was making $3.75 mil. in 2014 when he pretty much singlehandedly delivered a championship. If anyone has “sacrificed,” it’s Bum, not Cain. If Cain’s career ends after this season and assuming the Giants buy out his 2018 option, Cain will have earned over $140 million playing baseball.

        • DrLefty

          Around $5 million when you count a World Series bonus. He was into his arbitration years at that point and making good money. He made over $7 mil in 2011 and $15 mil. in 2012.

          • HaakAway

            So averaged $9M for being an ace for three years. Underpaid.
            $80M for four years of nothing plus this final year and an Option. Overpaid.
            Eight years $136M so $17M per year … about Smarge Money?
            They had to have him to win 2010 and 2012; had to sign him for the big contract after that based on those three years.

            But do not have to use him anymore.

    • POST OF THE DAY

      • HaakAway

        Tomorrow we get Scene One of that vs. the Cubs.
        Trial by Fire is Baseball right?

  • Matthew

    Greek, I disagree that it is “loyalty vs what’s best for the team”. It’s only about what’s best for the team, and loyalty is in the mix, as are many, many other issues. Yes, the Giants are loyal to Cain and all who have proven their worth. Cain is getting this chance because he earned that through HIS loyalty AND performances in the past. He’s 32. If he surprises and regains health, and is the best option, he gets the 5th.

    I won’t repost my novella from the last thread. I’m concerned Cain isn’t good enough for the 5 slot. But I’m fine with him getting the chance. The “workplace environment” is made better by the chance they afford Cain. Fans can be more impatient. Managers and GM’s have more to consider.

    • I read your long post in the earlier article and I enjoyed it very much. I agree that Bochy gets more out of his players than most, if not all, other managers. That said, Matt Cain, as Clutch responded, has already been generously rewarded with his huge salary and other gestures. Loyalty may not be the issue here.

      • Matthew

        I’m looking at it from Matt’s perspective: dude wants to play baseball. I trust that it is going to be nothing but a baseball decision for Bruce in the end.

        • I don’t trust that. I hope you are right however. My wish is for Matt Cain to be good again!!

  • 610nm

    MyHorse™. I really like Matt, and hope he has a super season. I’ve got no crystal ball, but prefer a positive end to his time with the Giants, not the other way around. I really enjoyed Matthew’s spirited defense on the previous post, but do understand how others think, too.

  • TWG’s GG opines: Does Matt Cain Deserve to Be Anointed the Fifth Starter?

    Not anointed, no.

  • HaakAway

    My25ManGuys™ 2017

    Pick who will be on the 25-Man roster at season’s open.
    … 18 of us are in, including DL predictions for Pence, Cueto and Smith and Cain is only missing from two lists: Lefty and Chef Mike

    Here are the obvious “Core 18”:

    Starters: Posey, Belt, Panik, Crawford, Nunez, Pence, Span
    Bench: Hundley, Conor

    Starting Pitchers: Bum, Cueto, Moore, Samardzija
    Bullpen: Melancon, Kontos, Smith, Law, Strickland

    Post the seven others you think will make it here in response to any HaakAway post.
To save time do not list all 25 unless you think one of these 18 will not make the 25-Man.

    ”25/25 Deadline”
    By request here from some: You get two shots…
    February 25 is the deadline for your first picks … Spring Training is wide open then.
    March 25 is the deadline for your final picks … Spring Training is about to end then.

    *Questions? Write me at: My SF Giant Guy at g Mel d Ott com

  • The Oracle

    While Bochy no doubt knows more about Cain’s health than fans, Cain’s effectiveness isn’t a matter of insider. knowledge. His performances have all been public

    • That must mean that sitting here in Ottawa, ON K1K 0T2, – that I know as much about the Floods in San Jose because it has been made public vs. those who are actually in the nitty-gritty – working on the ground level?

      • The Oracle

        So you’re saying that busting the Candlestick clubhouse a couple of decades ago means that you’re “in the nitty-gritty, working on the ground level?” No, that can’t be what you mean.

        • channelclemente

          You need to give some thought to the difference between delta x, and delta t.

        • What I mean is what you’ve ignored. People who do their respective jobs better and thus can comment better – when they been submersed into the game at any and all levels for 30 + years – than somebody who has not.

          • The Oracle

            Was your “job” ever in baseball, other than making a little extra money? I’m sure you contributed a lot of time for the benefit of kids, which is admirable, but you have no big league or even professional experience. Nevertheless, you try to pass yourself off as a big league expert, while attempting to diminish the opinions of fellow fans in the process. From your comments, you are also lacking a bit in the knowledge of human nature and leadership, particularly when you try to argue that Bochy doesn’t hear the ultimate responsibility for the decisions he makes, regardless of what advice you suppose he was given.

          • Did you hold this one as your (Regis) Life line Ace card. Of course there were times where the government employees went out on a wild cat strike and we knew we were not gonna be paid and so I was coaching for salary above our “per diem”. Nice of you to use the “admirable” word but I never coached for that factor. I got into coaching because at an early age I had an itch to teach the game during the week and coach on game days. I have never passed myself off as an expert. That’s the way you take it. Fellow fans have great opinions but people who have actually experienced different things in different innings, in different temperatures, on the road, with 75 game schedules have a reservoir of on the field knowledge that (possibly) others do not. Bochy does finally make THE move but they have gathered themselves verbally and through hand signals and more than ONE guy develops the final response.

        • LOL @ busting the Candlestick clubhouse

    • Slippery Sam says
      “Not my flood…”
      “Not my political violence…”
      “I didn’t do it, nobody saw me, you can’t prove anything”

      How did SJ end up with a clown who refuses to be held accountable for anything?

      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/9cfc94b2e34150fd608513417082193fce59fe7c4e20edc20480bfd36ba188f1.jpg

  • cabbie

    I’m waiting patiently for the beat writers roll out for Cain their annual story called “offseason changes/diet/mechanic change mean player X is more prepared/ready/in shape/motivated than ever before”! One year Lincecum was going to be the new Greg Maddux. Pablo stories are certainly the champion in this category. Wonder what yoga routine Cain has picked up which no doubt foretells success in 2017.

    • DrLefty

      Don’t forget Zito. It was like Groundhog Day with him: spring wasn’t here until we’d heard about this year’s “new” approach to pitching.

      • 610nm

        Barry Z. thought too much! That brings back memories of past spring training, for sure.

      • One Spring Training he completely on his own redid his windup ….

        Rags was in “intensive care”

  • paul in p.v.

    Brisbee on the “Barney Nugent” Award:

    http://www.mccoveychronicles.com/2017/2/23/14707710/mlb-sf-giants-barney-nugent-award-who-will-join-the-ranks-of-pedro-feliz

    Why did they change the name from the “Harry S. Jordan” Award? Who the heck is Barney Nugent??

  • dgg

    Q: Does Matt Cain deserve to be anointed 5th starter?

    A: No. Because of his history, Cain deserves only to be in the mix for the 5th starter in an open competition. He should be given the chance to win or lose the 5th spot based on how he performs now.

    • 2holehitting

      Cain will be the 5th starter if healthy. The Bill Neukomb/Rowand fiasco cost Neukomb his Managing general partner position. That is the only reason Sabean is still in the Giant front office. Otherwise, I am certain that Sabean would have been canned if not for the cover he got from Neukomb.

  • DrLefty

    I was thinking about Jake Peavy and remembering this nightmarish game against the A’s in late June. First Mac Williamson couldn’t hold onto a ball at the fence, and it went over for a two-run homer.

    Then Angel did THIS: http://m.mlb.com/video/v874411583/?game_pk=448043

    And THIS: http://m.mlb.com/video/v874413983/?game_pk=448043 (That was when Jake lost his mind.)

    I think that was when I was really, truly over Angel Pagan, no matter how much I liked his ass…ets.

    • Matthew

      When you stop and realize all of the chaos Jake was going through all of last season, and the incredible natural intensity he possesses, I’m amazed he didn’t go MMA on unsuspecting Angel on the way to the dugout….I know, I know. Jake’s simply too nice of a guy.

      • DrLefty

        Jake was only a Giant for a little over two years, but the memories and stories are incredible.

        …First road trip after Jake’s traded to the Giants: Buster Posey opens his hotel room door to a knock. Jake’s there: “We’re gonna need more from you, Buster. You need to step it up.” (I’m thinking Buster doesn’t get that very often.)

        …Jake to young players in the clubhouse: “Put down your phones. Willie Mays is speaking.”

        …Jake getting his “boot guy” to make custom boots for the entire team. (And he has a “boot guy.”)

        …Jake standing next to Ty Blach at the dugout rail after Blach outpitched Kershaw (and got two knocks off him): “This is what you’ve worked for your whole life. Savor this moment.” (Consider: Jake had an awful season both personally and professionally and wasn’t even pitching at all, but he still finds it in himself to pour some love into a rookie’s ear.)

        #TeamJake4Ever

        • Apparently the item (ahem) that Flan avoided (divorce) had Flan stayed with both Baseball and Music – caught up to Jake when his wife served him with divorce papers. 4 boys from ages 2½ to 15 – IMO – calls for “trying to somehow work it out”. Since Mrs. Peavy is not for working it out, apparently Jake did the deed egregiously enough where the answer is no way. (from his wife)
          http://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/18742429/for-jake-peavy-baseball-take-back-seat

          WHY does baseball and other sports have no ability to curtail some of the Sports Groupies who help lead the men astray? (kidding)

          • DrLefty

            Same reason why the Giants couldn’t stop Pablo Sandoval from eating too much. They’re grown men. Responsible for their own actions and choices.

          • Sad really that both genders don’t expect more from each other. This must revert back to Adam and Eve.

          • Lunch_Box

            Or the same genders like Adam and Steve.

    • DrLefty

      People on Twitter keep asking Baggs and Alex about Pagan: “He still doesn’t have a job, shouldn’t the Giants…?” Instant reply: NO. Alex: “He’s Pa-GONE.”

    • DrLefty

      As always, Johnny Cueto wins the Internet.

      We went on that Maui ziplining trip (that Trevor Brown posted) a couple of years ago.

      • That’s hard to do fully dressed in a pool when 4 teammates tied the knot!

  • DrLefty

    This is from Schulman’s piece today. Unlike Baggs and Alex, he doesn’t seem to think 5th starter is a done deal, and Bochy’s comments don’t suggest it either:

    The rotation competition is unusual because it pits a $21 million player, Matt Cain, against two pitching prospects. It was supposed to be Cain vs. Ty Blach, but 2014 first-round draft pick Tyler Beede is generating a lot of talk in camp. That Bochy and pitching coach Dave Righetti have slotted him to pitch Sunday suggests he is in the mix.

    “All of them have quality stuff,” Bochy said. “They’re all major-league pitchers. The fact is that Blach has experience now and Beede made some noise at Double-A last year. He’s getting a lot of attention, which he should.”

    With two prospects at his heels, Cain, bidding once more to be a comeback story, will need to demonstrate results more than most experienced pitchers ordinarily would in these games.

    “It’s important he throw the ball well, with command and stuff,” Bochy said. “That’s part of the game. We’ve got young guys coming up doing all they can to make the club.”

    • DrLefty

      The Giants may have two rotation spots open next year if Cueto opts out. Having Blach and/or Beede ready to go makes sense for the future. It would be a little scary to have two rookies in the rotation this time next year.

      • Is Cueto’s delay (dad) in any way suggestive to him leaving….Just wondering.

        • Bapah

          Maybe if he would prefer being a little closer to dad, say, FLA.

    • Lunch_Box

      Unless Beede really shuts down hitters in ST, I see him starting in AAA to begin the 2017 season.

      I gotta a lot of respect for Schulman over Pavlovic. While CSN is the “insider” for Bay Area sports news, I think with Hank’s years with the ball club gives him an edge on the most likely scenarios when ST breaks.

      • DrLefty

        Here’s a scenario. Cain opens the season on the DL. Blach is in the bullpen. Beede’s the fifth starter. It would be wild, but it’s not impossible.

        • Lunch_Box

          I can only see Beede on the 25 man roster, again, if he really wows and not because Cain is on the DL. With Smith possibly on it to start the season, Beede would be with the big club. Beede’s Richmond numbers don’t really wow me, but can he pitch better in ST to justify winning a spot on the roster to begin the season? Who knows? If he goes to Sacramento, hope he proves me wrong if and when he gets called up.

          • DrLefty

            Beede won the ERA title in the Eastern League last year. Ignore his W-L record–Richmond was a pretty bad team last year. He also pitched nearly 150 innings, which is very good for AA. About the only number that wasn’t impressive was the strikeouts to innings, but on the other hand, his command was better, he wasn’t walking people like the year before, and he was pitching deep into games, which in my opinion is better than a cajillion strikeouts.

            But in his case, I don’t think stats tell the whole story. I subscribe to MiLB.TV, and I watched Beede’s starts every time I got the chance. He’s got four pitches that he commands, he’s very poised, and he just mows down lineups. And he hit 98 MPH three times in the ninth inning of his second-to-last start. That got everyone’s attention quickly.

            It’s kind of like Blach, whom I watched a lot over the last two years in Sacramento. The numbers don’t wow you (though Beede’s are more “wow” than Blach’s), but when you watch him, you see a guy who’s in control of a game and does the little things (Blach hits well–reportedly, so does Beede–and fields his position extremely well).

          • channelclemente

            He needs defense behind him, he has it with the Giants. He’s got that magic ‘quality of contact’ touch.

        • Efrain

          I’d love to see this scenario.

          The team has to get Beede invloved this season, one way or another.

        • John Myhill

          I think Cain on the DL is possible. I don’t see any point in having Blach in the bullpen, he should be either starting or in the minors.

          • DrLefty

            If Smith is delayed in getting back on the mound, Blach could play that role for awhile.

  • Lunch_Box

    Yes Cainer deserves it because of the remaining money left that the Giants are paying him. Do I see Ty Blach winning the 5th role over him? Indubitably! TB is MyGuy.

  • Keep’n It Real

    **Off-Topic**
    Mavs waive Deron Williams, who wants to go to Cavs, sources say

    • Doesn’t Utah want him (gulp) back?

      • Keep’n It Real

        It’s been reported in a few places he has his sights on the Cavs.

      • Efrain

        why would Utah want him back? Only because he played there? That’s a lazy assumption.

        The Jazz are on a youth kick, no need to bring in a guy who plays older than he is.

        • You assume laziness. Came from a Utah source – just – for the rest of this year.

  • Bleacher Bob

    I want to see Matt Cain anointed. The Giants won a championship with Todd Wellemeyer in that spot. I want to see a real anointing with gallons of local Corning olive oil in that vat from the Lucy grape scene.

    • DrLefty

      Yes, I remember how Todd Wellemeyer, the fifth starter, pitched eight innings of shutout ball in Game 4 of the 2010 World Series.

      You’re stretching a point, and remember: (a) Wellemeyer was pretty awful and (b) the Giants were languishing in fourth place until July–after Bumgarner came up from AAA in late June and Wellemeyer went away.

  • Keep’n It Real

    Bobby Marks@BobbyMarks42 11m11 minutes ago
    A loophole in the CBA could allow Golden State to sign Andrew Bogut (if he desires to return).

    Bobby Markst‏@BobbyMarks42 4m4 minutes ago
    The NBA could interpret that both Golden State and Dallas could not sign Bogut however but as the rule states, the last team is Dallas.

    • DrLefty

      Hmmmm…would they want him back if they could get him? The Zaza/JaVale combo is pretty effective.

      • Keep’n It Real

        I’m not 100% sure if they wouldn’t be better swapping out Bogut (defense) for Zaza, but I don’t work for the Warriors 🙂

        • GSDUbs

          Bogut? Yeah, if he could only get on the floor.

      • 2holehitting

        I like the way the offense moves with JaVale. Bogut was a nice inside protector and a good pick but no roll.

  • 2holehitting

    But you are presuming that Cain will stink it up. What if a year later he is the Matt Cain of old of the low to mid 3 ERA going 6 + innings? It would not be his fault starting 0-5 with a 3 era if the Giants offense is a stenchfull as last years second half. You know his name is a verb.

  • channelclemente
  • channelclemente
    • Anti-Lasorda

      A little late for that. All the King’s horses….

  • 610nm

    My newspaper keeps funneling Cubs propaganda at me. Here is a profile of their relief pitcher Carl Edwards: http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/columnists/ct-haugh-carl-edwards-cubs-spt-0222-20170221-column.html

    • Curt Flood

      Thanks for link. That’s one of Scout’s guys 😉

  • crawnik

    Wow. Dubs just dropped 50 on the Clips in the 3rd quarter alone.

    • 12xu

      Yes! 20 pts. for Curry in the quarter, 15 for Durant. First 50-pt. quarter for the Warriors since ’89…. ahh, the Run TMC era.

      • crawnik

        The media asked Durant after the game if he had ever been part of a 50 point quarter. Durant replied with “Yeah, the All-Star Game.”

        • DrLefty

          Another KD quote: “I liked how Draymond kept his compos– Nah, he didn’t keep his composure.”

        • 12xu

          Tim Roye and Jim Barnett talked about the 50-pt. quarter on the radio after the game. They said that even in Sunday’s all-star game, the West team didn’t score 50 in a quarter, and that’s without either team playing any defense! The East did score 53 in the 1st though. Still, the Warriors last night scored 50 while we can assume the Clippers did play some defense.

    • DrLefty

      Steph ain’t havin’ it.

      • crawnik

        Steph gonna be Steph!

        • 12xu

          A reporter after the game said that in that 3rd quarter Steph had 17 points in a 3:38 stretch.

        • Lunch_Box

          Eh…I hate those sayings that will be on a t-shirt that the NBA or team’s marketing dept. will want me to buy.

    • PerSpeier35

      I’m on a biz trip (Vegas Baby!) and missed the game but saw the box score this morning and noticed they dropped in 50 in the third. Incredible. And eleven-zip on blocked shots, how is that possible? The Clippers have Griffin, the Warriors have Zasa and his two inch vertical, 11-0 cannot have occurred.

  • totalfan62

    Good morning TWG Nation! It’s a beautiful (early) spring day here in the ATL. Sunny day, high temp today will be 75 degrees. Trees are in bloom, the birds are singing, feeding and nesting, and best of all–today is our first exhibition game of the spring! Baseball is simply the best. Enjoy your weekend, y’all!

    • crawnik

      Good morning tf62! “Happy Cactus League exhibition games start today” day. It may not be 75 here in NorCal, but nonetheless, it will be sunny. Baseball back on the radio, and for the moment, all is right with the world.

  • DrLefty

    Baseball today!

    I have to go a stupid meeting at lunchtime when I should be listening to KNBR. SMH

    • crawnik

      I might have to follow the game on my phone too.

      • DrLefty

        Thank God people bring laptops to meetings at the university. I’d never last if I actually had to pay attention the whole time.

    • Matthew

      Delegate!

      • DrLefty

        🙁 Wish I could–missed the last one with the flu…will miss the next one, going to Scottsdale. Have to show my face SOMETIMES.

    • BALDHEADSLIKK

      This game is very important Dr its for all the marbles how can you miss it?

      • Lunch_Box

        If the playoffs started today….

      • Mr. Sarcastic

        I can’t wait to scream about Bochy’s endless pitching changes when he pulls Bumgarner after the first inning!

        • BALDHEADSLIKK

          Lol

  • Bapah

    Is KNBR the only alternative for listening to game? Anything online?

  • BALDHEADSLIKK

    4 times a year my supervisor pops up out of nowhere unannounced and rides with me for the day just to grade me blah blah blah this happens to all drivers and if hes there today when i get in to work im gonna go off !!! I wanna hear the game at noon!!

    • 12xu

      Tell him you have to listen to the game while you work per your doctor for stress relief.

    • Lunch_Box

      Good luck, BHS. I always hate evaluations, especially if my spvr is looking over my shoulder.

      For me, I could care less about ST games cause of course they don’t matter. I’m in the generation of impatience so I just want the real season to start now! Wake me up on April 4th.

  • Watchingsince62

    Just bought tickets for Yankees-Tigers on Saturday 3/4 as part of a brief vacation to my hometown of Lakeland, Fl. Anxious to see what $40 million in improvements looks like. Big renovation on the Marchant Stadium and the overall complex. Saw many a Tiger game and lots of minor league games there over the years. Saw Lou Whitaker turn double plays as a Lakeland Tiger.

    Never a fan of the Tigers or the American League. Giants have always been my only MLB allegiance. I always get the question “how did you become a Giants fan growing up in Florida before the internet?” Can’t fully explain other than I think it had something to do with Mays, Marichal and McCovey.

    Still hoping to get to Arizona in the next year or two to see the Giants and the Grand Canyon. Would like to see/compare the Cactus League to the Grapefruit circuit.

    • DrLefty

      Have fun! We’ve been going to AZ for some years now–this will be our eighth year in a row. One difference is that the Cactus League teams are all relatively close to each other–not like the two-hour drives around Florida. If you go to AZ and stay someplace central, you can see a lot of teams and ballparks without too much driving.

      P.S. Be sure to check out Sedona on the way to the Grand Canyon!

    • dgg

      “Can’t fully explain other than I think it had something to do with Mays, Marichal and McCovey.”

      Good answer.

  • buyselltrade

    Nunez gets so little respect. Last year he was an American League All Star, stole many bases, and had some power. He is in his prime and, while his history is as a backup, he played behind Jeter. That said, it may well be a plus if he gets beat out at 3rd and is used as a super utility player. With his speed, Nunez may well be superior to Span at lead off.

    I was a Matt Duffy fan but that trade for Moore is probably going to play out as wise.

    SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS

    Problem projection: Third base WOBA (27th)

    The Giants enter the season with last year’s post-Matt Duffy combo of Eduardo Nunez and Conor Gillaspie back to man the hot corner. Not only is their offensive projection poor, but their DRS projection is below average as well. Nunez is slated to be the primary guy and though he turns 30 in June, he’s a guy whose 16 homers last season nearly doubled his career total.

    The fix: How about plugging in a guy who hit .330 last season with 26 homers and 24 steals … in Korea? We don’t know what Jae-gyun Hwang, 29, can do yet, but we’ll be watching because there is a prime opportunity for him in San Francisco.

    http://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/18752015/holes-need-fixing-all-30-mlb-teams

    • DrLefty

      Nunez had a career year, hitting in the high .280s, 16 HRs, 40 SBs. My eye test says he played a pretty slick 3B after being traded to the Giants, too. He was used as a utility guy before, and if he gets to stick to one position, he seems to have the tools to succeed. Plus Wotus has been pretty genius at bringing infielders along–even Stone Hands Gillaspie looked passable there by the end of the year.

      This time last year people were dismissing Duffy, who’d had a 5-win season the year before. I guess if you don’t have Kris Bryant or Nolan Arenado, you don’t have a third baseman.

    • Efrain

      3B most likely will be held by a few people, including Nunez with Gillaspie and Hwang getting a good share of games. I like Nunez and I think that he could handle the hot corner for the year if need be, but you have to remember this is a guy who before he made the AS game last year he was all but discarded by the Yankees because they felt he could not handle being a consistent starter. Plus add to the fact that while yes he had a good season last year on the Twins, it was the Twins and somebody had to make the AS game for them.

      I think in the Giants long term plans Arroyo is the starter by 2019 anyways. The others are just keeping 3B warm till then.

      • buyselltrade

        I like the idea of Arroyo too but was disappointed by his season at AA last season, at least in regards to power.

        I would have been happy if Arroyo left Spring Training last year with the Giants.

        I wish the Giants would push their young players forward and upward or at least give them more chances and experience. Seems that more age out of being prospects than get a full chance.

        • Efrain

          I think he’ll get an opportunity this year.
          You should temper your expectations for Arroyo on the power end. If he plays good D and is a consistent 280-300 hitter it’s a win win.
          Putting pressure on the yiung man to be a power hitter just opens the door for criticism.

    • 610nm

      I’m very interested to see what Nunez can accomplish. Giants picked up an intriging player, for not so much cost, in my view. As you say an All Star, which means something even for the Token Twinkie aspect, and in his last arbitration year. They can let him go if Hwang and Arroyo have good years, or decide to keep him.

  • Bapah

    Massive this and massive that… This guy is truly a piece of work. I may have to un-follow just to keep food down.

    • 610nm

      Is this more Pablo-bashing? Or are we on to dark matter and black holes???

      • Bapah

        Just tweets for which I won’t provide attribution. If you’ve been paying attn. the vocab. usage will trigger enlightenment.

        • 610nm

          I see: “don’t ask, don’t tell” principle.

          • 610nm

            Unless you have unexpectedly taken up cricket, where “massive” is a common and extremely complimentary adjective. For example, that was a massive six, or what a massive wicket.

        • Curt Flood

          Tremendous.

      • Lunch_Box

        Thank you.

    • Matthew

      Who guy?

    • dgg

      Wait. You’re actually following him?

      • Bapah

        I want to be the first to know and avoid the rush to the hideout. It also provides some comic relief.

  • Sue

    Every time Matt Cain took the mound last year I was tempted to turn off the TV to avoid the angst and the disappointment of another game down the tubes. I realize Matty was a baseball God a few years back but times have changed and Bochy’s attachment to him is going to cost us yet again this year. I wish he would either retire or skedaddle on out to the bullpen.

    • Mr. Sarcastic

      I recall several starts last year where he would cruise through three or four innings looking awesome, and then he’d give up 8 runs the next time through the lineup. Maddening.

  • paul in p.v.

    I got an email from Alvise saying that he has quit TWG.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/7df5f1028990918c588b9a6a56ed0be0f9cab0ad3d78e0d4fb454ce4336fc77c.jpg

    Myrtle’s unhappy too.

    • Lunch_Box

      Too bad about Alvise. I appreciated when he talked baseball, but since the Trump Administration was sworn in, he kept on going on political rants in every comment he wrote. For me, TWG is a way to escape the insanity of government politics and enjoy baseball (whether we jumped on the bandwagon in 1958 or in Game 5 of the 2010 World Series).

      • Mr. Sarcastic

        When did he ever talk baseball?

        • Lunch_Box

          During the Obama Administration.

          • Mr. Sarcastic

            LOL

          • Matthew

            The Ironic Post of the Season was when he said, shortly after the election, in a show of unity to his friends: “Not my president”.

            Well, duh.

          • paul in p.v.

            Seems like a long time ago doesn’t it.

            35 days.

        • Bapah

          He did.

          • Mr. Sarcastic

            Thanks for editing that 🙂

          • Bapah

            I like the guy and hope he comes back when games start.

    • Mr. Sarcastic

      Extra Baggs and TWG’s participants never quit. They lurk in the background reading every comment, and are eventually reincarnated with new handles, avatars, and nationalities.

      • Bapah

        Except for Foothills Ryan. There have been apparitions, but nothing substantial or, for that matter, interesting. Some day he’ll return, but to be honest, I don’t think anyone here is lobbying too hard for that eventuality.

        • dgg

          I’d like Ryan to return.

          • SurfCity

            Did he quit too?

    • DrLefty

      Me too.

      • totalfan62

        Someone please reach out to Alvise and let him know that far more of us here enjoy his posts than don’t. Please come back, Alvise.

        • paul in p.v.

          Will do tf.

        • Bapah

          Already have.

    • totalfan62

      Myrtle’s “WTF??” look…I love it!

    • SurfCity

      Quit why?

      • paul in p.v.

        He didn’t say. I saw that he had a couple of ongoing beefs with a couple bloggers. Political stuff and they got very personal.

        • SurfCity

          OK I see, thanks.
          I haven’t been here for awhile. Are occasional political comments still allowed now — the same as it has been going?

          • paul in p.v.

            Greek doesn’t like them. But the news seems to continue to shake us out of our baseball bubble.

          • SurfCity

            Yeah. To me, the most important thing is not to have arguing. So if I’m political, I won’t address what I say at some poster that disagrees with me. I think that’s how the fights start.

  • crawnik

    Today’s lineup:

    A LINEUP: Crawford SS, Panik 2B, Belt 1B, Pence RF, Morse DH, Parker LF, Gillaspie 3B, Hundley C, Hernandez CF. Bumgarner SP.

    • dgg

      Should we read anything in Morse as DH?

      • 610nm

        Sometimes the tea leaves are just leftovers from when you last brewed a cuppa.

        • dgg

          I think it was Chef Mike who said (recently): Just keep Morse off the field. I know Mike was joking, but there’s something to that.

          From a historical perspective, I like Morse and Cain, but I’m not in a yesteryear mood when it comes to Giants baseball in 2017.

      • Mr. Sarcastic

        Yes. That he belongs in the American League at this point… LOL

      • No

  • paul in p.v.
    • Sgbssfg

      Interesting how the World Champion all All Star Chicago Cubs didn’t contribute any players. Yet another reason to dislike them.

      • paul in p.v.

        Don’t encourage me, Sgbssfg.