Spring Training Preview: Giants Take on Indians

by
Greek Giant

The Giants made some more cuts to their Spring Training collection yesterday. Pitchers Kyle Crick, Chase Johnson, Ian Gardeck, Reyes Moronta, and Dan Slania, as well as infielder Miguel Gomez were optioned to minor league camp. Outfielders Wynton Bernard, Austin Slater, and Steven Duggar, catchers Aramis Garcia and Matt Winn, and infielder Ryder Jones were all reassigned. My tally indicates a total of 48 players still in the Big League camp but I could be wrong. I had a late lunch and I’m sleepy.

Interestingly enough, Alberto Suarez will start today’s game against the Indians. Suarez is almost a forgotten man in the current talk of a fifth starter but he pitched capably last season and he is one of the fringe pitchers on the roster… His value as a spot starter and long man means he has more versatility than say, Cory Gearrin, who has not had a lights out Spring so far.

Here is a list of all those optioned or re-assigned so far:

Optioned:

  • Kyle Crick
  • Ian Gardeck
  • Miguel Gomez
  • Jordan Johnson
  • Reyes Moronta
  • Dan Slania
  • Clayton Blackburn
  • Joan Gregorio
  • Chris Stratton
  • Ray Black

Re-assigned:

  • Wynton Bernard
  • Steven Duggar
  • Aramis Garcia
  • Ryder Jones
  • Austin Slater
  • Matt Winn
  • Matt Reynolds
  • Kyle Blanks
  • Sam Coonrod
  • Juniel Querecuto
  • Carlos Alvarado
  • C.J. Hinojosa
  • Andrew Suarez

Re-Assignment is the term used for those not on the 40-person roster.

The Line Up

Nunez DH
Tomlinson SS
Belt 1B
Parker LF
Hill 2B
Hwang 3B
Ruggiano RF
Brown C
Hernandez CF
Suarez P

  • RobDeer

    Breckeroni is peeved that Chef didn’t give him a baseball name.

    • Matthew

      He’s not alone

      • Nope

        • RobDeer

          The Commissioner can’t have a baseball name. Bud Giammati? Peter Vincent?

  • Matthew

    Parker go Boom

  • Sgbssfg

    I didn’t realize they were showing batting practice.

  • Cueball

    Bam! That was hammered!

  • Matthew

    Greatest team ever!!!!!

    • Peter Johnson

      Better then slappy hitters, nice to see you learn to love Power, 3 doubles , 2 Hrs.

      • RobDeer

        Peter, the fact you actually believe many of us don’t love power is baffling to me. But not as baffling, I’m sure, as I’ll find your response to this.

        • Peter Johnson

          CC is MR go the other way, Haak Away, MR Scott, DR Lefty, and many others on this blog priorities defense above Power.

          • RobDeer

            The way you systematically never let me down is awesome.

          • Sgbssfg

            Interesting though, the announcers jus said the Cleveland manager feels the same way.

          • RobDeer

            Slappy Francona?

          • channelclemente

            There are what, 5 WS rings in the clubhouse on those teams.

          • RobDeer

            Aberrations.

  • DrLefty

    BOOM! BOOM! BOOM!

  • Matthew

    This is SO much better than work!!

    • DrLefty

      I’m AT work!

      • Matthew

        (Technically speaking, so am I…)

    • channelclemente

      Do you have a minion on hand to fetch a cold one?

      • Matthew

        Louis the Rally Dog is only good at fetching cat feces…

        • channelclemente

          Nothing like a fresh tootsie roll on a warm afternoon.

          • totalfan62

            (groan…)

  • RobDeer

    Buster Olney doing a remarkable job of shedding absolutely no light on the Giants left field and #5 starter situations:

    http://www.espn.com/blog/buster-olney/insider/post/_/id/16305/most-important-jobs-still-up-for-grabs-in-spring-training

  • Matthew

    That was an ” oh, f#%k, Tomlinson is FAST” play

  • totalfan62

    Just turned on MLB Network and I’m surprised to see Giants/Indians game. That’s not what was shown on Comcast viewing guide. And we’re ahead 6-2! Cool!

  • Somebody posted “Span got caught in a run down” the other day as if there was a fault attached to it?!?
    Not so. Nevin most likely said “we’re in go on contact if on the ground” right here and so when the ball was crushed on the ground back to RHP Gee – who made a nice play – any R3 is going to be caught off the base.

    http://m.mlb.com/video/v1238224183/?game_pk=509985

    • Michael Scott

      Those who don’t like Span see what they want to see. If most anybody else was in the same situation, that player would not be criticized.. Also, Span did get Pence to 2nd. Someone implied that Span didn’t hustle to help Hunter get to 2nd. The only way to get him there was exactly what Span did- prolong the rundown.

      • Razor Shines says thank you!

      • Matthew

        Don’t lump. My biggest issue with Span is that he throws like a porpoise.

        • buyselltrade

          When the Giants signed Span, my impression was that the team had found a very good player overlooked by most but of quality.

          I still think Span is a quality player but one farther down from his peak, probably because of injuries. Span is an intelligent player.

          I would prefer a CF and leadoff hitter that can make a strong throw to home plate, a most exciting play, and have a higher OBA and threat to successfully steal bases.

          In general I would like to see the Giants identify and groom into every game jobs more young players. To this end I would like to see a young player that could split time with Span in CF until talking over the position, and Span spend some time in RF or LF (more likely). Maybe Duggar by 2018?

          If Span has a marginally better season in 2017 than 2016, I will have few complaints aside from the lack of arm strength.

        • paul in p.v.

          1. Wet-noodle
          2. 4-3.

      • DrLefty

        No one said he didn’t hustle. It’s just that Pence wouldn’t have been on base at all if Span hadn’t broken for the plate. He’d have been out at first. But yes, having been caught off third, Span did stay in the rundown long enough for Pence to get to second.

        I was watching the game. It was a baserunning error. It happens. I’m on record as saying that Span gets a clean slate from me this season. That said, he has not had a good spring so far. But we’ll see how the season goes for him.

        • I love this passion and commitment of Giants fans fighting over a Cactus League run-down! Amazing stuff! I can’t wait for October!

          • Michael Scott

            If we win 20-0, there will always be people to find fault with SOMETHING. I wouldn’t make it to October if I spent a lot of time finding fault. After 60+ years of watching baseball, I have found that sometimes it’s good to just shrug off a poor game and chill out.

        • Michael Scott

          I’ve watched the replay. I disagree with you As to the hustle crap, Paul said this: ” But he really hustled so that Hunter could get to 2B.
          Uh, not really.”
          I call that accusing Span of not hustling.

          • DrLefty

            LOL. You say we don’t think Span does anything right. Well, I say you don’t think he ever does anything wrong. So I guess we’re back at the middle, and we’ll see how the season goes.

          • Michael Scott

            Well, I don’t ignore it when a player has a good game,all too often last year Span didn’t get ANY credit when he played well.

          • paul in p.v.

            He came to a full dead stop and let someone tag him out when he could’ve provoked one more throw. That guy threw to 2B and only be dint of all-out hustle did Hunterpence beat the tag. Watch it for yourself, and make up your own mind Pal.

          • DrLefty

            OK, I just watched it again. Even the Texas announcers said Span was “caught off third.” He ran about five feet and then stopped. It was Pence’s hustle that got him to second, 100%. I’m not saying Span should have exerted more effort in a spring training game, but that play was not about either Span’s good judgment OR his hustle. So I’m with you. I’ll give Span credit when it’s due, but not for that one.

          • paul in p.v.

            H.P. coulda broke an ankle on that slide it was so nasty.

          • Michael Scott

            He did EXACTLY what he should do. And I did watch the replay today, as I told Lefty. As far as getting picked off in the first place, it could be that “run on contact” was ordered.He did make a base running error there because even on “run on contact” he shouldn’t run on a comebacker Obviously, he thought that the ball would go through but he could easily score if it did. So he did a mistake there but it wasn’t the big deal that some made it out to be and the idea that he didn’t hustle is BS.

          • paul in p.v.

            So why wasn’t he running when he was tagged, Kimo-sabe?

          • Michael Scott

            I am done arguing with you on this, you are one of those who wouldn’t give him any credit no matter how he does. And WANTING him to fail. ….
            Pal.

          • paul in p.v.

            No, I was really hoping he would pan out. He’s just over-the-hill.

          • Michael Scott

            We’ll see.

      • The Oracle

        Not me. I’m impressed that he got on base.

        • Michael Scott

          Twice and stole a base, he had a good game and it was to see that Pence finally had a pretty good one.

  • channelclemente
    • crawnik

      Very clever.

    • The Rockies’ biggest achievement this decade!

  • channelclemente

    Given his control issues, crowding the plate on Crick could be a health risk.

  • Michael Scott

    Today didn’t help Albert’s chances, he has to be nearly perfect to make the staff.

  • DrLefty

    I was in class and missed Crick’s innings. Thoughts? We didn’t get to see him in AZ, as he pitched in the road game we didn’t go to.

  • Matthew

    Some dude wearing #84 in left field with no name on his uni…

  • Matthew

    I’m on Indians Info Overload

    • Cueball

      They’ve interviewed almost everyone on the coaching / training staff, and now working on the front office.

      • RobDeer

        I’m thinking we might get Pedro Serrano in the 9th.

      • Matthew

        I’m not is aware that Chris Antonetti has a freakishly large nose

    • RobDeer

      You weren’t pleased to learn that Michael Brantley is chomping at the bit?

  • Matthew

    Gillespie Glove Porn….sweet

    • Peter Johnson

      He saved Coonrod , who was getting crushed .

      • Matthew

        I’m gifting you with an entrance ticket to Glass Half Full: The Musical.

        • Peter Johnson

          What?

          • Matthew

            Rob: help me out, here…

          • RobDeer

            Can’t stop laughing.

          • Peter Johnson

            Coonrod is supposed to be one of the Giants top prospects and Indian minor leaguers are hitting ropes all over the place off of him , so yes Connor made a great play , but not impressed by Conrood .

          • RobDeer

            He wouldn’t last 30 seconds in your kitchen.

      • You mean the hitters were “winning the battle” against ‘Rod?

        • DrLefty

          No, I’d say PJ described it quite accurately.

          • Wow, there is an OLD adage in Spring Training that I am sure you are aware of. It has been true for the end of time. “Pitchers are ahead of Hitters”, thus in Coonrod’s situation – he did not get the message.

          • DrLefty

            They were hitting the ball hard, thus “getting crushed.” It’s a descriptive statement of what was happening, not a moral failure.

          • Not sure there are many moral failures in baseball outside of Mountain Landis and maybe Billy Martin.

          • 610nm

            A-rod? Pete Rose?

  • DrLefty

    I appreciate the PxP guy’s enthusiasm over the Indians’ defense, but he might want to save some energy for the season. He’s going to wear himself out before March is over.

    • RobDeer

      That’s what I’ve been trying to tell Peter.

      • Matthew

        Jon Miller likes Slappys.

        • Peter Johnson

          Brain washed !

          • Matthew

            At least it’s clean

          • channelclemente

            Gentle cycle.

        • RobDeer

          I officially dub you Slappys McGraw.

          • RobDeer

            Pronounced slap-piss, obviously.

      • POTD

      • Peter Johnson

        Spring training games are not important, in terms of results, but very important in terms of player development, and player progress and decline .

        • RobDeer

          Of course. Also important to not jump to any rash conclusions.

  • The A’s new owner or President is doing some good work – Future ball park on the water at Jack London Square – naming the Park Ricky Henderson Field and hiring some new employees for in game reporting.

    http://richliebermanreport.blogspot.com/2017/03/drop-dead-gorgeous-angela-sun-hired-as.html

    Angela Sun Hired as ‘In-Game’ Reporter for Oakland A’s on CSNBA https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/75567216755fd079ff6c8501e6469aaab22146b958ad213c7a32651e8d2dfc21.jpg

  • DrLefty

    Christian Arroyo: Not Brandon Crawford.

    • Matthew

      How about Strikethrower Kontos? Looking stellar! MYGUY

      • DrLefty

        Sheeeesh, don’t jinx him!

    • Matthew

      Nobody is

      • DrLefty

        Nope.

    • DrLefty

      That was better, though.

    • Peter Johnson

      Yeah, not fast either, his bat is his #1 tool, so after hitting .274, with.316 OB%, and 3 HRs, in AA, not close to MLB ready, the hype this kid gets is crazy, Larry Krueger pumping him up on the radio almost every day .

      • The Oracle

        Panik hit .257/.333/.347/.680 in Richmond in 2013, and by 2015 was hitting over .300 for the Giants, so Richmond stats aren’t exactly the final word on who someone is as a hitter.

  • Matthew

    Steph made ALL of his shots in that Degree ad….

    • Cueball

      They filmed the commercial earlier last year.

    • Peter Johnson

      It was really Seth as Steph’s body double .

      • Matthew

        Nah, Seth has Kevin Dillon Brother Face Syndrome

        • Peter Johnson

          Seth has been on fire lately, shooting close to 50 % from 3 the last 2or 3 months .

          • Close

          • Peter Johnson

            For the Season he is 3rd in the NBA in 3 point FG%, story in the Merc , Dell teased Steph about it .

      • Yikes Seth was held to 1234(5) points last night but was also doing better than Bro Steph with 48% vs. 46%.

  • DrLefty

    I’m glad Steph likes his deodorant, but actually watching him apply it to his pits is a bit too much for me. I feel like I wandered into his master bath like a stalker or something.

    • Matthew

      We tend to over analyze details, Doc….

    • Very fragrant tho. Ya’ll use the roll on?

      • DrLefty

        Yeah, I’m not going there with y’all.

  • Matthew

    Who is Black Zito at bat?

    • DrLefty

      Juan Ciriaco, an organizational player. Think of him as the infielder equivalent of Ryan Lollis.

      • Matthew

        I KNEW you would come through. Thanks

  • Matthew

    Every time I see Francona, I think of Paul Schaefer

    • RobDeer

      Slappy Schaefer?

  • Logan Forsythe will carry on the tradition of the Hairston Brothers, Mark Ellis and Jamey Carroll and be a thorn in the Giants side every time we plan dem Bums.

    Is it really true that the new POTUS’s edicts about immigration is predicted to cut into Chavez Ravine attendance?

  • Matthew

    What’s with Hector Federowicz?

  • Matthew

    I FACKING LOVE BASEBALL

  • DrLefty

    Attababe, DLaw.

  • channelclemente

    When in doubt, call the Law.

    • Michael Scott

      Good to see that he’s off the greenies 😉

      • He was pretty hopped up in the dugout last Cubs series last season. Pence looked like a Buddhist monk compared to DLaw.

      • channelclemente

        He has a new putter.

  • Manny’s Rules of Engagement with the Kochi Fighting Dogs

    * Unlimited access to Sushi

    http://www.bostonmagazine.com/news/blog/2017/01/09/manny-ramirez-comeback-japan/

    • channelclemente

      He just did great owl pics. Always got the eyes.

  • Surf Maui
    • channelclemente

      That’s what writers hearing Giant footsteps in the dark sounds like.

  • Surf Maui

    So much for keeping up to date. Indians announcer: “Cain pitching well this spring.”

  • channelclemente
    • steve k

      the kid could flat out shred. sorely missed. RIP..

      • channelclemente

        I was watching clips from Roadhouse on Utube, and this popped up. He was something else. I was surprised to read in an article the other day that Roadhouse is considered a modern American masterpiece. Maybe he was the reason.

  • Michael Scott

    When conservatives and liberals hate the same thing, you have trouble on your hands.

    • channelclemente

      Dirt rings on shirt collars, or spiffys.

  • crawnik

    The LF Watch:
    Parker 10-for-30 w/3 HRs, 1 2B, 6 K’s and 1 SB.
    Williamson 10-for-30 w/2 HRs, 1 2B, 6 K’s and 1 SB.

    • paul in p.v.

      damn

    • channelclemente

      Brothers almost. Did you by any chance see any L/R splits. That may be the key for Parker.

      • crawnik

        Can’t say I did CC.

      • John Myhill

        Neither of them can hit lefties

    • Matthew

      Keep them both…

    • Michael Scott

      They SHOULD both make the squad but Mac will probably go down. That might bury him forever if Parker plays well and Pence is back to form. He’d be better off if they just release him.

      • John Myhill

        In any case pence will get injured so they’ll both be starting

    • buyselltrade

      I like them both over Gorky. Keep them both and divvy out the playing time for four outfielders plus Nunez and KT. Let Nunez and TK get some time at CF. They have speed and good arms.

      Let Parker be backup at CF until Duggar is ready for ML playing time or a CF from outside the organization is obtained.

      • Lunch_Box

        I like them over Hernandez too, but I think because he plays solid defense and has more innings in the OF than most, he has a spot on the OD roster.

      • DrLefty

        They can send Gorkys to AAA for emergencies. I feel pretty confident no one’s grabbing him off waivers. And yeah, I think Duggar may be next up, and it may not take all that long. (See Duffy, Matt.)

        • buyselltrade

          I like Gorky and want his to succeed but Gorky is an AAA-level player, suited for emergencies or fill until, another better player emerges.

          We agree about Duggars (or ?) and Gorky.

          The Giants have been frustrating in holding on to old/hurt has-beens or never really was players and not giving just might be young players the chance to play. I respect and follow Giants past their prime or time as Giants but don’t like the situation where the older players degrade the team or block youth opportunity or development.

          • Bapah

            Gorkys

          • buyselltrade

            oops

            I am going to edit to to too too.

            TY.

            also him for his. bad fingers.

          • DrLefty

            Well, Duggar only has half a year in AA, so I’m not surprised they’re not pushing him harder. But I know he’s highly regarded both inside and outside the organization. I assume he goes to AAA this year, and if things go well, it might not be long for him–like Panik in 2014. Duggar hit .320 during his time in Richmond. That will get attention.

          • totalfan62

            Duggar reminds me of that kid who plays OF for Cleveland, Tyler Naquin. They gave him a chance to play at the MLB level, work through his learning curve, and he became a solid contributor to their success. But no, instead we dumpster-dive for Morse, Gorkys, et. al. Frustrating to say the least.

      • John Myhill

        Parker can’t play cf. He’s bad enough in lf and rf

        • Peter Johnson

          Homework, Parker was mostly a CF in his Minor league Career, and started 3 games at CF for the Giants with no issues, your bias is obvious .

          • John Myhill

            Homework: Go back and watch the 3 games he started for the Giants in CF, like I did. It was ugly.

            And being a minor-league centerfielder doesn’t mean you can be an adequate major league center fielder. It just means that the team doesn’t have anyone else to play centerfield.

  • Lunch_Box

    So Kruk says that Morse’s power should put him in the running for a spot on the Opening Day Roster. While I’m grateful for what Morse did in ’14, I’d rather the team put someone who can play both sides of the ball well and Parker would fit those requirements off the bench. Why waste a spot for a player who only just comes in to hit a la Jim Thome? I’d rather someone who can also play solid defense in the late innings.

    • GSDUbs

      I, for one, would be very happy if he hit anywhere close to a la Jim Thome.

    • buyselltrade

      Parker or Williamson have the power of Morse plus play the field and run better than Morse.

      I like Morse but it is time to move on.

      • Michael Scott

        Well, we know that Bochy still likes Mike.The question is why? Does Morse have pictures? Does anybody know if a baseball manager can be impeached?

    • DrLefty

      It seems pretty obvious that Parker and Williamson are better all-around options. I’m not following why they seem so opposed to having both of them on the roster.

      • pacman68

        They were opposed the whole second half of last year. Something stinks.

        • DrLefty

          Well, they still had veteran incumbents–Pagan and Blanco–making substantial money. But there are no obstacles now.

        • Michael Scott

          We need a bipartisan investigation of this. Was Bochy paid to give Rollins a chance? How much of his income comes from payoffs from non-roster invitees?? Is he vulnerable to blackmail? Follow the money…

          • DrLefty

            I blame Russia. And Obama.

    • He’d be great if we used the DH. But we don’t.

      • 2holehitting

        He is targeted to be their Jason Giambi grizzled old vet to come off the bench and run into 1 or 2. How many pinch hit home runs did the giants have last year?

    • paul in p.v.

      Kruk be smokin’ pakalolo again.

      • Lunch_Box

        He is a hypocrite when it comes to “his” Giants. He criticized Trout and Harper for not participating in the WBC. Then what about MadBum, Pence, and Belt?

  • earlytimes

    Re Cain: “It’s really not about the money at this point,” Evans said.

    http://www.mercurynews.com/2017/03/14/bobby-evans-explains-matt-cains-uncertain-status-with-giants/

    • DrLefty

      Wow. Sounds like there’s some brutally honest appraisal going on. Feel bad for Cain, but Evans is saying the right things.

      • Matthew

        I continue to question Evans’ influence in such matters

        • DrLefty

          I texted the link to Mr. L (in LA today for work) and he said “They see what we saw.” Seriously, there’s nothing like being 12 rows from home plate at Scottsdale Stadium to make you really dial in. Bochy and Righetti were at the dugout rail in front of us, very intent.

          I get them hoping for the best coming into spring training, and there’s still several weeks to go. But…an ERA pushing 10. And the Cincinnati lineup on Saturday was mostly minor leaguers for a road game…well, except for You-Know-Duvall-Who. Anyway, it’s hard to keep being in denial. It’s not just command or focus anymore. It’s also stuff, or lack thereof.

          • Matthew

            So, now…if this holds course…what do they do? ” I don’t see him hanging them up…”

            This is a tough decision for them…he’s not close to a top 12 pitcher. Not a starter. Not the best long man…not a reliever…not headed to Sacto….

          • DrLefty

            Reading between the lines of Evans’s comments…it didn’t sound like giving him a courtesy spot, either in the rotation or in the bullpen, was an option for him–he wants the best 25-man roster. He did vaguely mention going to “the minor leagues” to work on transitioning to a relief role.

            Bear in mind that he watched his team implode last year in part because of a poorly constructed bullpen…and that, in part, was because a weak back end of the rotation in the first half helped burn the bullpen out. And Matt Cain wasn’t even on the postseason roster–not even a “respect” nod like Lincecum got in 2014.

          • pacman68

            That bullpen collapse against the cubs will haunt my days forever. It’s not like 2002 WS. We knew our bullpen was a dumpster fire and everyone on this blog could see it coming. The fact that the Giants did nothing was just sickening.

          • DrLefty

            The most bewildering thing about it was Bochy, who’s been a bullpen wizard his whole managerial career–even back in his Padres days–just couldn’t figure it out the whole year. There were reports of numerous meetings and the relievers expressing discomfort with not knowing their roles and being jerked in and out of games. We knew even before the All-Star break when the Giants were in first place that the bullpen was the weak spot. But Bochy never adjusted, never changed his approach. He finally pulled Casilla out of the closer spot, months after he should have, but even then he didn’t want to.

          • pacman68

            I go back and watch the game. You can see it coming. Just so bizarre.

          • DrLefty

            I haven’t gone back and watched it once. You’re tougher than I am!

          • John Myhill

            The only thing i’ve watched is contreras’ at bat, to see how hard a play it would have been for smith.

          • Matthew

            How can you possibly watch the game again when it’s clearly a Multiple TV’s In The Pool affair?

          • RobDeer

            Water wings.

          • paul in p.v.

            Lord I couldn’t. It was like 2002 all over again, when Ortiz got pulled too early.

          • John Myhill

            Yup. As soon as i realized he was pulling moore, i thought uh-oh, bryant-rizzo-zobrist, i bet bochy hasn’t noticed that rizzo stopped swinging at lopez-type low-and-away pitches after game 3 and he probably forgot that law and romo pitched 2 innings yesterday. It was awful.

          • RobDeer

            I think the biggest problem was that nobody ever stepped up and claimed a role. No reliever cemented their position even as the 8th inning guy so I don’t think Bochy was comfortable thrusting them into the closer spot when they didn’t assert themselves in a set up role. Injuries certainly didn’t help. I think Law’s was the one that really hurt. Then he stuck with Casilla simply due to the fact he’d been down that road with him for several years running. No, I’m certainly not defending that decision, I wanted to rip my friggin hair out towards the end. Allowing him to face Lamb yet again in that late season game was absolutely stunning. I guess it just irks me when relievers say they don’t know their role when the entire pen is struggling. That’s the reason you don’t know your role, because you haven’t pitched well enough to allow your manager to establish them.

          • totalfan62

            Will Smith. We trade a first-round pick and a decent back-up catcher for this reliever, who has good credentials. First few appearances he’s a bit shaky, so Bochy pigeonholes him into the LOOGY role when everyone could see he was Affeldt 2.0. Maddening.

          • John Myhill

            I wouldn’t exactly describe Smith as Affeldt 2. He’s like Affeldt in the sense that he has no platoon split. He’s different in the sense that he isn’t naturally a GUOOTMY (Get Us Out Of This Mess), he doesn’t produce double plays, it’s better to bring him in at the start of an inning rather than with people on base. And in the particular situation the Giants were in last year, with Casilla, Romo, and Strickland all having really serious problems against lefties, it made a certain amount of sense to use Smith against lefties not so much to get him INTO the game as to get Casilla, Romo, or Strickland OUT of the game.

          • DrLefty

            I’d say it’s a chicken-egg problem: Bochy didn’t let them work out roles, so they were always looking over their shoulders expecting to get pulled every time they made a mistake.

            Bochy had time to let them try/fail or succeed and build confidence. But he kept yanking them all year long, up until the literal bitter end.

            Watching Law last night reminded me of this. With a one-run lead, in a save situation, he walked a guy. But Bochy let him finish, and he struck out the last two batters. In that final playoff game, Law–who’d been flawless up until then–pitched Bryant tough and gave up a seeing-eye single that Crawford missed by inches. And Bochy pulled him for Lopez and Romo, and the rest is infamous history.

          • John Myhill

            Bochy is a wizard in terms of everyday players. At bullpen management he’s been good when he’s had very good relief pitchers with clear roles. He showed last year that he just isn’t good at improvising.

          • John Myhill

            Until september, casilla didn’t have a sufficiently extended period of incompetence, and no other reliever had a sufficiently extended period of being very good and healthy, to justify replacing casilla with anyone else in particular as closer.

          • totalfan62

            The first two weeks after the All-Star break, I remember Casilla pitching very poorly. The balk-off in SD, leading to getting swept by the lowly Padres–hard to forget.

          • John Myhill

            Yes, but the problem then was that all the relievers were doing badly (Romo was even injured).

          • DrLefty

            That balk-off loss in July was enough incompetence for me. He’d already given up two HRs to Jake Lamb by then, too, and threw an extended public tantrum when Bochy pulled him the third time (that was back in May).

          • John Myhill

            I agree that the balk-off was disastrous but there just wasn’t anyone else to close at the time. Romo was just back from 2 and a half months on the dl (and he had some disastrous outings of his own, against the Reds and the Phillies). Strickland was pitching terribly (5 hits (1 HR) and 4 walks in his last 4 innings (5 appearances). Gearrin was on the DL. They hadn’t gotten Smith yet. Law was a possibility but do you really put a rookie in as your closer (plus he had also gotten rocked in the Oakland series)? Kontos had been good until the Oakland series, and he’d gotten hit by the Rockies also. The difference in September was that both Smith and Gearrin were pitching very well.

          • John Myhill

            The problem in mid-July was that there was no one to replace Casilla as closer. Romo was just off the DL. Strickland was pitching terribly. Gearrin was on the DL. Law was a rookie. At the time I thought that the best idea was to go with a lot of lefty-righty switching even in the 9th inning, but the problem with that was that they didn’t have anti-lefty specialists, because both Lopez and Osich were pitching badly. In order to carry out this plan, then, they needed to go after a real LOOGY (Brad Hand was a possibility I thought seemed reasonable), but bizarrely they got Smith but then followed a strategy of extreme lefty-righty switching anyway, the ultimate culmination of which was the 9th inning of game 4 of the NLDS. In September, the situation was different, because Smith and Gearrin were both pitching very well and could have been used as closers or at least in high-leverage situations, but instead Bochy focused on Strickland (who just wasn’t pitching well), Romo (who hadn’t really recovered), and a huge amount of lefty-righty switching (even though they didn’t have a LOOGY).

          • totalfan62

            And furthermore–to your oft mentioned point–it sends a terrible message to the rising younger players. I mean, what else does Ty Blach have to do in order to win a legit shot at the #5 starter slot? Tyler Beede, a fast rising first round pick…he’d be on the 25-man and possibly in the rotation for other contending teams. Bochy’s fatal flaw killed us last year. Let’s not have another year of that nonsense.

        • Baldheadslikk1

          i dont see any championship runs with Evans at the helm!!

      • crawnik

        Apparently, Evans has seen the light.

        • DrLefty

          I hope so.

    • Kramerica

      Very well stated by Evans. Honest assessment while maintaining a respectful tone. It needs to be said. Cain has done nothing to deserve the #5 spot other than being a critical component to past championship runs.

      • DrLefty

        And really past–as in five years ago. He was not a critical component in 2014.

        • Kramerica

          I know. I just didn’t want to pile on. It’s tough to really like a player that much who is simultaneously so bad and should not be on the 25 man roster.

    • 2holehitting

      Any gun reports on how fast his fastball is? Cain always had thrown the high hardone. It sounds as if that is the pitch getting hit from Evans comments.

    • Surf Maui

      Unfortunately it appears at this point that Cain is a sunken cost and the team just has to write off the money. I will always appreciate what Matt Cain did for us, but he has now become Tim Lincecum, and unless his Spring Training turns around dramatically, can not justify a roster spot.

      • Peter Johnson

        Timmy was 19-13 his last 2 years with the Giants, very inconsistent, but 15 of his last 40 starts were starts he gave up 2 runs or less, Cain not close to that good in 4 years or more .

  • DrLefty

    The Warriors right now remind me of the 2016 post-All Star Giants. Ugh.

    • 12xu

      Down 15 to the 24-42 76ers with 2 mins. left in the 3rd. At least we can say there’s still time left in this game.

      • Well said! Heck of a game.

        • 12xu

          The Warriors eked that one out! It’s like when the Giants fall behind 6-0 in the 1st or 2nd inning, you gotta say that at least there’s a lot of time for them to come back. Stay positive!

    • Matthew

      I was thinking more of the busted Buster year…they look resigned to the fact that losing Durant killed them.

      We all worried about the all-in on KD ( very worth it…IMO) leaving too many roster holes. Zaza is terrible, iguodala and Shaun are older. There’s NO depth. The Splash Brothers are pretty worn down and very inconsistent….this is brutally ugly

  • DrLefty

    And then Draymond does THAT. Absolutely willed his team back into the game.

    And 29 for Steph on his 29th birthday. Very mathematical on Pi Day.

    And OMG, Matt Barnes. Almost ralphed it up there.

    • PerSpeier35

      I wouldn’t pretend to know more than the Coach but I’m having trouble understanding how a washed up Barnes, cut from a crummy team, rates to play at crunch time for a team contending for a title. He made a nice three for sure but I’d rather see Livingston or West out there till Durant returns.

    • 2holehitting

      It is amazing how bad the Warriors team is without Durant. Last year they were much better without a core starter like Klay or Steph during the season

  • Michael Scott

    Some folks seem to think that Kelby might be sent down and one of the retreads will get his spot. I disagree- if he can just get his batting average up to .500, I think that he will have a fairly good chance to stick.

    • John Myhill

      He’s still hitting less than rollins and beckham combined. It’s going to be tough.

      • paul in p.v.

        Good point.

  • RobDeer

    Giants on MLB Network again tomorrow at 1. Matthew, your illness could fester into another sick day.

    • totalfan62

      Saw that and set the DVR. Since it’s a Giants home game, we should get Kruk and Kuip or some of the other merry men who call our games. I must say that the constant cutaways from the pitch-by-pitch action to allow announcers to carry on their inane conversations with players is distracting, to say the least.

      • Sgbssfg

        Listening to the Cleveland announcers made me appreciate ours.

        • Matthew

          You didn’t like Wink Martindale?

        • paul in p.v.

          They knew their stuff, but gawd they wouldn’t shut up. And the dugout patter was pukey.

      • Bapah

        All I saw was a LAA TV coverage and MLB.com (Doug) audio for Giants

    • Matthew

      Yikes. Can’t do it today…I have 3 hours worth of beatings coming from clients this afternoon

  • John Myhill

    It’s getting increasingly tough to justify starting the season with either gillaspie or hwang in the minors. Their combined average is like .800. I say platoon them and put nunez in a trade for a leftfielder.

    • totalfan62

      This is Nunez’s contract year, and I think he should play 3B everyday and hit near the top of the lineup, so that we can take advantage of his speed. Gillaspie is a lock, but Hwang should start the season at Sacto, play every day, keep raking, and be ready for a call-up. I’d also like to see Nunez get some ST time in the OF, just in case we need that depth.

      • John Myhill

        I think the Giants will probably do as you are suggesting but I don’t think that’s the best idea. Nunez is not a significantly better offensive player than Gillaspie, Gillaspie was clearly better defensively last year, and Nunez has a reverse platoon split. He would be better used as trade bait with Hwang used against lefties. But I don’t think they’ll do this.

      • paul in p.v.

        Lefty thinks Hwang will get snapped up if he’s cut, he’s performing so well. This bodes ill for Mac going north.

        • DrLefty

          Yep. It’s Mac who gets left out in that math problem. Hwang’s not battling Kelby, as they’d need KT to back up 2B/SS.

          • paul in p.v.

            In reality, a pretty good problem to have: too many power-hitters to fit in the lineup.

  • John Myhill

    Mike Podhorzer came out with his final xBABIP stats for 2016 (using his latest improved formula) and they confirm what I’ve been saying, that the Giants were very unluckly last year in terms of having lower batting averages than they should have given how they his the ball. Giants who were lucky, with averages 20 or more points higher than they should have been, were only Pence and Belt. Giants who were unlucky, with averages 20 or more points lower than they should have been, were (from most to least unlucky) Panik, Williamson, Posey, Gillaspie, Duffy, Span, and Pagan.

    • Surf Maui

      In addition Panik was hampered by the concussion. A recent Chronicle article discusses how much it impacted him. I expect a return to 2015 form for Panik.

      • paul in p.v.

        See above, Surf.

    • Foothills rye aka Lolium m.

      You know, one of these days I’m going to have to read all about xBABIP. I assume elements such as hard contract rate and line drive % factor heavily.

      • paul in p.v.

        See above, Foots.

      • John Myhill

        Not just that. Also number of infield flies, speed (associated with number of infield hits) and how well the batter sprays the ball (so that it’s easier or harder to set up the fielders against him).

    • paul in p.v.

      Brisbee’s article on Panik gets into that issue a bit:

      http://www.mccoveychronicles.com/2017/3/14/14926828/joe-panik-sf-giants-2017-projections

      Altho Joe P. was very unlucky on BABIP last year, it’s because his contact was ‘soft’ – so fielders caught up with his hits. Or something…

      • John Myhill

        Podhorzer’s formula takes how hard the batter hits the ball into consideration. It’s very statistically sophisticated and he often tweaks it to make it better.

  • Surf Maui

    An obscure reference in one of the spring training news stories indicates to me that Michael Morse will not make the team. In a story I think on Monday it was noted that although Morse has been hitting well recently–including a Bondsian home run that cleared the 30 foot tall “batter’s eye” 430 feet away–that he had not yet played the outfield in a spring training game. I don’t know if that’s true, but if so, I find it difficult to believe that they would keep him without knowing how much his already limited defensive skills have eroded by the layoff.
    If he could still play the outfield, his power threat bat off the bench–even at a low batting average might be worth having, but he needs to be able to be at least be able to play a few innings in the field.

    • DrLefty

      We were in the park for that Morse HR (he hit two that day), but I agree he’s a long shot.

      Hwang is turning into a dilemma–a nice one, but it will be interesting to see how it plays out. He’s too good, too fast. I’m sure they figured he’d need time to adjust, and he’d suggested willingness to go to AAA if need be. But the fact is that his contract says he can opt out if he doesn’t make the team, and he’s intriguing enough that I feel sure someone else could snap him up. It may be “use him or lose him.”

      Scenarios for the bench, assuming they carry five bench players: Four seem pretty set: Hundley, Gillaspie, Tomlinson, G. Hernandez. For the fifth, though, I could see a) Hwang b) Mac or c) Hill. You could make an argument for all of those configurations. If you keep Hwang or Hill as an extra infielder, you have Gorkys as the all-purpose backup OF (and Parker can play CF in a pinch), with Kelby, Nunez, and Belt as depth.

      • 610nm

        Hwang could benefit from playing 4 to 6 weeks for the River Cats, every day. Interesting stuff about his contract situation. I don’t want to lose him! If I was the GM, I’d probably be on the phone trying to trade Conor for an outfielder.
        Do you know Marrero’s contract status? He probably asked for an opt-out, too.

        These are good problems for the organization, even if tough individually. Seems like the strongest bench in years.

        • DrLefty

          I believe Marrero can be optioned.

      • paul in p.v.

        I take it you mean “fast” in a literal sense. He beat out a bunt yesterday.

  • Foothills rye aka Lolium m.

    Much love for the irrational number π yesterday.

    But where’s the love for Φ ? Where will you be on January 6th, 2018? Celebrating and embracing the harmonious accord of mathematics and aesthetics for Phi (1.618033988…) Day?

    If the Fibonacci sequence (0,1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, 144, . . .) doesn’t stir your fondness for phi, perhaps this unique property will:

    “If you square Phi, you get a number exactly 1 greater than itself: 2.618…, or
    Φ² = Φ + 1.

    If you divide Phi into 1 to get its reciprocal, you get a number exactly 1 less than itself: 0.618…, or
    1 / Φ = Φ – 1.”

    There are more proofs, properties, and relationships on this page; also the top comment is cool. Start making your plans for 1/6/18:

    https://www.goldennumber.net/what-is-phi/

    • paul in p.v.

      I used to be able to follow this. What happened?

  • Foothills rye aka Lolium m.

    Apparently, a final Top 100 prospect list was issued by Fangraphs and much love was given to the two darlings of the Giants system as well as a tip of the cap to a recent draftee.

    Christian Arroyo comes in at 69, with a remarkable future projection on his hitting tool of 70. That would correlate to a perennial .300 hitter. He’s got impressive bat control, we’ll see soon enough.

    Beede comes in at 86 – the biggest bugaboo is “fringey command”. Also, we’ll find out soon enough.

    And Bryan Reynolds checks in with the just missed the cut crew for outfield prospects. Could be a fast mover.

    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/2017-top-100-prospects/

    Back to Arroyo and Beede. Arroyo’s overall line isn’t awe inspiring on the surface, but when factoring in his home/road splits, you get a different perspective (the home yard is a notorious pitching haven):

    home: .224/.278/.294
    road: .315/.348/.438

    That’s quite a disparity. But what about Tyler Beede’s home/road splits? Is the converse true? Yes:

    home: 83 IP, 1.63 ERA, 0.96 WHIP, 67 K, 27 BB, 2 HR, .180 avg

    away: 64.1 IP, 4.34 ERA, 1.69 WHIP, 68 K, 26 BB, 7 HR, .325 avg

    Something to keep in mind as Beede heads to the PCL and it’s bounty of hitter friendly yards.

    ps – the WBC has been pretty cool. Picking up steam with these star filled clashes. It’s all fun and games until some star gets injured I suppose…

    • totalfan62

      Nice post, bro. Miss reading you. Arroyo and Beede are first round picks, and they’re close to being ready. Force your way on to the 25-man, young fellows.

      • Foothills rye aka Lolium m.

        Love to you too. Thank you. I apologize for past behavior, indiscretions, and overtly political content. I hope all is as well as can be in your world.

        • Matthew

          So, can you and I make up, too?

          • 610nm

            No kissing!

          • Matthew

            We don’t tell secrets

        • Michael Scott

          Maybe you can help – what makes anyone think that Arroyo is close to ready? He did virtually nothing at Richmond and he still doesn’t have a position. If does show that he might be able to hit up here, his best “position” might be DH in the AL.

    • Bapah

      That stays consistent with their ranking of Giants prospects from 2-3 months ago. Sounds like nothing done in ST was even considered.

      • Foothills rye aka Lolium m.

        as it shouldn’t be. AFL should never be too much of a helium generator either.

    • DrLefty

      Salvy Perez already was injured–by his own teammate! Thankfully, it doesn’t sound too serious, but it knocked him out of the WBC.

    • paul in p.v.

      Why does “hitting tool” sound so sketchy?

  • steve k
    • 610nm

      That is a really nice version of a great Irish tune.
      And I miss Prime Time Donna.

    • paul in p.v.

      Here’s an ethereal version of Molly Malone, which (acc/to the liner notes) was originally not a drinking song. Off Sean Nos Nua, my favorite Sinead album: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0BxWg9mvY3c

      • 610nm

        That one’s very nice too.

  • earlytimes

    Hwang is certainly intriguing. But he’s another where position is an issue. Wish he could play CF or backup at SS.

    • Michael Scott

      Groan.

      • earlytimes

        Sorry pre caffeine

    • John Myhill

      Raising the obvious question of why the giants brought him across 8 time zones to play for them.

      • paul in p.v.

        To keep him from the Diggers?

  • earlytimes

    Parker has some of the well worn responses down

    “The game is tough enough as it is. I’m trying to keep it simple, trying to enjoy it, trying to get better, trying to help the team in any way. Whatever happens is out of my control.”

    • Surf Maui

      Definitely big league response material. Play one game at a time too.

      • Sgbssfg

        The good Lord willing, … .

        • channelclemente

          One AB at a time.

      • DrLefty

        /drink

        • Matthew

          The NotAHanger Game?

          • DrLefty

            Zackly.

    • Michael Scott

      He leads Mac- Mac is only playing at 105%

      • HaakAway

        And I think Mac is unwisely taking two days at time.

        • John Myhill

          Or at least a day and a half.

  • crawnik

    Lineup is out. Look who is hitting 8th.

    3/15 #SFGiants lineup vs LAA:
    Span CF
    Nunez 3B
    Pence RF
    Williamson LF
    Belt 1B
    Hundley C
    Panik 2B
    Bumgarner P
    Rollins SS

    • John Myhill

      More important, look who’s hitting 9th

      • channelclemente

        Hitting??

        • paul in p.v.

          .136 is an average.

          • Matthew

            no problem..he’s cutting weight to make the 132 classification.

      • paul in p.v.

        That’s my ‘down’-arrow. Nothing personal.

      • Michael Scott

        What is important about that?

        • John Myhill

          Open recognition that rollins isn’t hitting

        • Bapah

          It’s that “second leadoff” spot. It’s a compliment.

    • Matthew

      They are gonna walk him to get to JRoll

    • DrLefty

      ‘Sup with Belt hitting behind Mac? Lefty starter for the Halos?

      • paul in p.v.

        Uh, 5th Dr.

    • winebaroness27

      Why oh why do we have to see Rollins….???
      What for??
      He’s 38.. it’s over !!
      This is a young mans game now that there is no juice
      So irritating about the Giants…
      Give the young prospects the chance to play..
      UGH!!

      • winebaroness27

        The Span thing……jeez
        How about we try
        Nunez
        Panik
        hitting lead off and #2
        and span hitting 9th??

        • paul in p.v.

          C’mon, WB27 – this is 2017! Go, 4-3!!

          • winebaroness27

            I just like panik hitting 2nd

          • paul in p.v.

            Me too!

        • Michael Scott

          Nunez should be in a RBI slot.And his speed plays well wherever he hits.

      • Michael Scott

        ” Why oh why do we have to see Rollins….???”
        Don’t look.

        • winebaroness27

          thanks for the great suggestion

      • DrLefty

        Well, Crawford’s gone, so there’s that. But yeah, Kelby or Arroyo could have gotten those reps. They did both play yesterday, though, and I know Bochy likes to pace all of them, especially with a longer Cactus League schedule.

      • Michael Scott

        By and large the regulars play every other day, Arroyo doesn’t get much playing time in the middle infield spots because he is not up to it. KT gets plenty of playing time, Rollins is not taking at bats from anybody. As to the middle infield “young prospects”, we don’t have anybody who fits that description . Well, MAYBE Calixte but he has not lacked playing time.

  • Efrain

    Watching what Cespedes is doing this Spring makes me wish the Giants had backed up a Brinks truck for him. That move alone would have moved them closer to the Dodgers as far as team talent and balance, while providing the big bat this team has not had in a long while.

    Plus we wouldn’t have to deal with these mundane posts about “Parker or Mac” and if Ruggiano or Marerrero big bats off the bench.

    • DrLefty

      I wonder if he would have come here for any price. He seems to love NY and wanted to stay on the East Coast. He knows what it’s like to play out here, from his time with the A’s.

      But I agree–it would have been great to get him. I’ve always liked him.

  • totalfan62

    I’m reading Bruce Springsteen’s autobiography. It’s a great read if you’re a Boss fan, even at 500 pages. He walks through his entire life, punctuated by his growth in rock ‘n roll and subsequent success. Periods of years are marked by albums, which
    led me to cue up early albums “Greetings From Asbury Park”, “The Wild, the Innocent and the E Street Shuffle”, and “Darkness on the Edge of Town”. I must say that “Darkness” leapt into my Top 100 list. Lots of great songs. Here’s one.

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=27OQ9NRMGxE

    • Bapah

      I’ll bet the book doesn’t contain some of the real stories surrounding his rise to fame. I had a good friend at Capitol that told me the story as it was happening and it was all based on a bet between Execs and A&R guys there.

      • totalfan62

        It’s been an enjoyable read. Candid and sometimes brutally honest. Glad that I was led to put on some good, classic rock ‘n roll. Enjoyed all of it.

        • Bapah

          Much of it was likely fiction. His rise to prominence, as I said, was rooted in a bet that a star could be manufactured (by execs) from a list of random musicians.

          • This might be the most insane and silly thing I have read today! Springsteen’s career and talent speak for themselves. Nobody creates a star that shines for over 40 years!

          • Bapah

            As I said, I heard it as it began. And, yes, it happened a long time ago.

          • steve k

            if what you say is true, and i believe you, then whoever bet on the boss got very lucky, because he’d have been a mega star either way. you don’t make music like this without a whole lot of talent..
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nWJLhFpK2zk

          • Bapah

            They bought everything from music lessons, back up musicians and barber to manager and engineers. The exec(s) had to choose from a list of guys that were chosen from a small handful of Capitol’s A&R guys. It wasn’t an “overnight” success story; it took a lot of hard work, especially by Bruce and the company guys. I forget the amount of the bet, but I do remember the story and many of the things that were done to win the bet. There were many that thought that a star couldn’t be manufactured and had to be born. Hence, the nature of the bet.

          • The Oracle

            This sounds similar to CU telling us he’s a Giants insider because he toured the clubhouse a couple of times.

          • paul in p.v.

            Totally.

          • totalfan62

            I was about to say the same thing in different words. If you read the book you would know that premise was false, Bapah.

          • paul in p.v.

            Aren’t all of our lives fairly fictional?

    • Lunch_Box

      Mention of the Boss? Is this Murph or Mac? Lol

    • DrLefty

      Hubs got it for Christmas and has been working through it. He really likes it, too.

      • It’s a great read, even if one is not a Springsteen fan, which I am. He is humble, funny, intelligent and very reflective and honest.

    • steve k

      i love the boss too, TF. my favorite album is greetings, mainly because of this..
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s9aklSlMthc

      • paul in p.v.

        “Tom Joad.”

      • totalfan62

        Lots of great songs on this one, too. We all seem to like Saint in the City and Blinded By The Light, but my fave has always been Growin’ Up.

  • Michael Scott

    Boiled Corned Beef and Cabbage. One word- “YUCK”. Go ahead and boil or rather, poach, the corned beef but when it’s tender make a brown sugar and mustard glaze and bake for about 30 minutes. Serve with cole slaw. Or as my Grandma called it- Cold Slaw.
    Maybe better yet- skip all the cooking and have the designated driver go to a good deli and pick up some Reubens.

    • Bapah

      Plus, corn your own brisket. Should only take a week, mas o menos.

    • paul in p.v.

      No kidding Pal. YUCK.

      – P. Carrigan Jr.

  • William Henri

    Nunez is not with the Yankees due his atrocious shortstop and second base play. They gave him every chance as they needed a Jeter successor but he performed poorly especially in big moments. No outfield possibility. Keep him at third and hope for the best.