What Should We Make of the Slade Heathcott Acquisition?

by
Greek Giant

I like this move. If for no other reason, the acquisition of Slade Heathcott tantalizes my imagination because of his relatively young age (26) and his raw athletic potential. He’s got some power. He’s got speed and he’s got an above average arm. He just might be that low-cost diamond in the rough outfielder who finds a roster spot on the big team and contributes. Heathcott is something of an enigma. The former Yankees first round pick has had a mostly down, albeit very abbreviated Major League career. His career average at .400 after 59 plate appearances doesn’t tell you much.

He is rated highly by many scouts but because of a history of injuries and a past struggle with alcohol abuse. The Giants are searching high and low for outfield depth and skill. It is obvious to anyone who watched the outfield rifle in soft noodles and 1000 bounce tosses last season that something has to be done to upgrade left field and center field defense, particularly later in ballgames.

Slade Heathcott was acquired as a kind of last-chance gasp at a low cost upgrade by Bobby Evans. Since Heathcott bats and throws from the left side, it is likely that Gorkys Hernandez has the inside track on the 4th outfield position. Hernandez filled in admirably in spot starts last year when Denard Span needed some rest and missed games with minor ailments.

Still, I like the move because there is something potentially in Heathcott’s career that seems un-tapped, with plenty of ammo still in the chamber.

Jarret Parker seems to be the Giants player who can’t get any love or respect. This latest acquisition is a not-s0-subtle message that says: “Take nothing for granted” to the likes of Parker and perhaps even Williamson. It remains to be seen how the left field position will play out and whether or not the Giants may decide to trade chips like Christian Arroyo and Tyler Beede for a high level outfielder or outfield prospect.

  • totalfan62

    Breckeroni says…who are all these guys!?

    • channelclemente

      Boy band members?

    • Sgbssfg

      Sounds like the name of a hero in a cheesy romance novel.

      • Lunch_Box

        At least his mom didn’t name him Apple or Pilot Helicopter. His first name is Zachary. Haven’t heard this much disgust for a first name. Even Buster didn’t get any when he came up.

      • just peachy.

        Or a porn star’s stage name.

    • Matthew

      if this guy makes the team at some point this year, and the Giants win their 4th title of the decade, i suggest we crown him “Bling Slade”

  • DrLefty

    I read that Heathcott is signed to a minor league deal only and won’t even be in major league camp. So this is a depth move, and he’ll probably go to Sacramento. Gorkys, Ruggiano, Wynton Bernard, and Morse are the real competition.

    The other thing we have to remember is the 40-man roster. Kelby’s on it. The other wannabes are not. Mac, Parker, and Gorkys are on it. The other guys above are not. The Giants already have 41 guys on their 40-man (not sure how that’s allowable, but…). They’d have to cut a prospect to get Rollins, Morse, Ruggiano, Hwang, Hill, etc. onto the 40-man.

    • RobDeer

      I love when you calm yourself down. :o)

      • Matthew

        Dr. Boogie!

    • 610nm

      That came up this afternoon, so this isn’t my answer. But I did google a bit to check the name. Ian Gardeck is on the 41-man, but had Tommy John surgery last spring, and is unlikely to pitch until May or June. So he’s probably on a long term DL of some kind, and therefore doesn’t count to the limit of 40.

    • paul in p.v.

      Who is Wynton Bernard?

  • channelclemente

    I read this and immediately I thought of the endless arguments here on facts, pseudo facts, and confirmation bias.

    http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/02/27/why-facts-dont-change-our-minds

  • Lunch_Box

    Good luck to this kid. Sounds like a rough life for him to start (father sent to jail for forgery, alcoholism), but hopefully he has it turned around.

  • totalfan62

    Nice long weekend, had some down time, teed up some of our greatest playoff wins through our dynasty. I chose pre-WS clinch games.

    First, 2010 NLCS Game 6 vs. Phillies, from Uribe’s HR through Wilson’s called strike three to Ryan Howard. Second, 2012 NLDS game 5 vs. Reds, from Buster’s monster grand slam to the epic 12-pitch battle Romo vs. Bruce, finishing with Rolen’s K and major celebration (since I’m out of market, I got the national feed only, which cut off Pence’s speech in the champagne-soaked clubhouse). To finish, had to watch 2014 NLCS Game 5 vs. Cardinals (for about the tenth time), from Morse’s PH HR to Ishi’s blast. That top of the 9th was intense–Crawford with the outstanding D.

    We are so fortunate. After all those years of so close but yet so far…cherish the memories.

  • channelclemente
    • steve k

      great version..patsy would be proud..

  • Sgbssfg

    The Giants are auctioning jerseys from the playoff series vs the Cubs. Not sure I want to commemorate that.

    • 610nm

      Well, you can see why the Giants might want to unload those danged things!

    • 2holehitting

      nothing like the Giants trying to make money on a looser of a series…..

      • RobDeer

        Your command of the English language gets looser and looser.

        • Matthew

          Dude needs to pay attention to PJ

    • cynic

      I would get Moore’s jersey. What a game.

  • 610nm
  • Keep’n It Real

    Henry Schulman ‏@hankschulman 4m4 minutes ago
    Aaaaaand, Bum just dropped his first bad word of spring after mislocating a pitch. #sfgiants

  • Thrill22

    I dropped by practice today and was surprised that they had Nunez at SS with Crawford during some infield drills. These were the only 2 at SS. Gillaspie and Hill were at 3B. Panik, Kelby, Rollins and the last part of the drills Hill were at 2B. Anyone know why Nunez was at SS and not 3B? If anything I would’ve thought that Kelby would be the backup at SS.

    • Most likely to see if Nunez “still had” an inkling for SS – during those 22 inning games vs the Mets yet to come – after 17 pitching changes AND with Brandon Belt on the Hill.

      • Thrill22

        LOL.

      • Sgbssfg

        Finally. Will Belt get his chance this year?

    • Bapah

      He was there Friday too, working on drills.

    • Bapah

      I think they’re trying to look at KT next to JRoll to get a “side-by-side” comparison and to see who looks better and Rollins is not going to play SS on this team once the season starts.

      • Thrill22

        Makes sense. Thanks Bapah.

      • Efrain

        It’s the first week of ST and the World Classic hasn’t even started. Add to that some slow starting veterans and non of what you guys are discussing / arguing about matters squat towards the big pictures.

        • Bapah

          Really? Who’s arguing? That’s an odd characterization of the discussion. The only argumentative comment seems to be yours.

    • DrLefty

      With Craw leaving for the WBC soon, it makes sense to get Nunez some reps at SS when they can. Assuming Gillaspie makes the team, he can’t play SS, so I could see a scenario where Craw gets a day off and Nunez plays SS with Conor playing 3B. Versatility is good.

      And yes, Kelby should be getting reps there, too. He can play SS just fine. (With “fine” acknowledging that no one is the same as Craw, of course.)

      • Bapah

        Good call on KT. I was going to state the same. I think KT is just over there to compare to JR.

      • channelclemente

        Tomlinson is a dead average SS.

        • Thrill22

          For a few games dead average might be all they need.

        • DrLefty

          Which is fine for a backup infielder, right?

          • channelclemente

            Absolutely.

      • Thrill22

        Good points. I agree Kelby should be getting some reps at SS also.

      • Fine as in OK – but his mega reps have been secondbase foot work which is 5000000% different than SS.

        • DrLefty

          He’s played a lot of SS in the minors and was drafted as a SS. I saw him start at SS a couple times in Sac–he looked fine. Smooth, good arm. He was good at 3B, too. If anything, I think he looks more comfortable on the left side than he does at 2B.

          • giantc

            Kelby definitely looks more comfortable on the left side — he is a little awkward when he turns the double play. That being said he is a good athlete and I have found to be adequate defensively at all three positions.

  • Next will be Jimmy Buss (“He Gone”)
    Lakers name Magic Johnson president of basketball operations, fire GM Mitch Kupchak
    http://www.msn.com/en-us/sports/nba/lakers-name-magic-johnson-president-of-basketball-operations-fire-gm-mitch-kupchak/ar-AAnbcrF?li=BBnb7Kz

  • Bapah

    AAAS News: (American Association for the Advancement of Science)

    John Holdren, chief science advisor to former President Barack Obama and former director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, said that President Trump’s interest in expensive projects, combined with his promises to lower taxes would likely require slashing research funding in order to balance the books.

    “When discretionary spending is threatened, R&D tends to be the first to go,” Holdren said. “Many members of Congress don’t understand that basic research is the seed from which future advances will come” and, as a result, “basic research at the NSF [National Science Foundation] has been under fire for a long time.”

    Another concern was that a federal government perceived to be hostile to scientists would struggle to recruit the best and brightest researchers for influential government posts. Panelist Jane Lubchenco, a researcher at Oregon State University and a former National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) official, warned that a government brain drain could jeopardize everything from the accuracy of weather forecasts to the pace of medical advancements. “I fear that neither policymakers nor citizens will have access to the best available science, because federal scientists will be afraid or unable to do their best work and share it,” Lubchenco said.

    N.B. I used to work in DC for several different Gov’t science and technology organizations. No administration (Republican or Democratic) has ever raised this much concern over science policy. Most good science is not a debatable issue.

    • Toussaint L’Ouverture

      Many members of Congress don’t understand.

      • Parlez-vous français?

      • Bapah

        One more reason to elect smart people to office and not political hacks.

        • Toussaint L’Ouverture

          Hacks are more charismatic, and charismatic counts.

          • Bapah

            Not much charisma in central CA these days.

  • crawnik

    I just read this. They’re missing one.

    Number 31 would be “Giants blow save”. SMH.

    FTW: 30 three-word sports stories that are guaranteed to break your heart. https://t.co/itvi42fbSG

  • Alvise Contarini

    Message to François-Dominique:”You’d better change that Toussaint into Dessalines because the latter didn’t die being held captive”. Over.

  • I think CC posted this awhile back https://sports.yahoo.com/news/how-baseball-players-are-trying-stem-cells-to-avoid-tommy-john-162916970.html

    Also Matt Wieters will help D. Baker a ton in DC. 2 for 21M

    • Bapah

      Found it.

      • Matthew

        Me, too!

        • Bapah

          I quit after my 1st attempt, convinced there was nothing there.

        • In the I row – I_26

          BINGO

          • Mr. Sarcastic

            Actually he’s in G21

          • Four corner Bingo or Blackout?

        • Bapah

          I was channeling Malcolm.

  • Bapah

    I found this on Linked-in.
    The best baseball takes 2 hours!
    Found a box score: Tim Lincecum goes 9 innings, gives up 7 hits, no runs, 1 walk, strikes out 8, and drives in a run in a 3-0 win over Oakland. Game time 2 hours 2 minutes. Angel Campos behind the dish.

  • crawnik

    Set your DVR’s: Giants will be highlighted as part of MLB Network’s 30 Clubs in 30 Days on Friday, February 24th at 3 p.m. Pacific time.

  • Umpire Phil Cuzzi Fulfills Promise to Late Friend Luongo

    http://www.closecallsports.com/2017/02/phil-cuzzi-fulfills-promise-to-late.html

  • Lefty’s not leaving for ARZ until March. Imagine what she and her friends could do with this:

    https://www.facebook.com/eleanor.monzon/posts/10210483607879732

  • “Make The Giants Great Again”

  • The Oracle

    According to the University of Washington-Tacoma, proper grammar is racist. I guess that speaks for itself.

    https://www.tacoma.uw.edu/university-writing-program/writing-center

    • DrLefty

      I’m personally acquainted with the director of that writing program and in fact was up there to speak a couple of years ago–despite the fact that I teach grammar and have written books about error correction for second language learners and a textbook for student writers about grammar and language (and that’s what they invited me to give a workshop and a lecture about).

      The director has made a name for himself with promoting “anti-racist pedagogies” in writing instruction (he’s a person of color himself). I agree it sounds a bit too PC, but from a linguistic standpoint, it’s pretty accurate, in the sense that language changes constantly and that standards of correctness vary across contexts and genres. He’s a delightful, warm guy and he absolutely means well.

      As a scholar, I’m a bit at odds with those whose philosophies lead to an “anything goes, you do you” approach, which I’d say this statement you linked implies. Standards of “correctness” matter a good deal in many academic and professional settings, and you do students a disservice if you don’t teach them both rules and strategies for monitoring correctness and appropriate style in their own writing. There is a difference, however, between teaching students so that they know what’s what and punishing students for what they don’t already know, either because of their linguistic background and/or their prior education.

      • The Oracle

        I’m sure he does mean well, but I don’t think lowering standards, particularly in something as important as written expression, will help anyone succeed. In fact, it would more likely have the opposite effect. If an employer has the choice of two candidates, one of whom conforms to the “racist” rules of proper grammar, while the other does not, who’s getting the job? I think it can be easy for some in academia to lose sight of the fact that the real world is a very different place than a college campus. This kind of thinking ultimately hurts those it seeks to help.

        • DrLefty

          Agreed, mostly, with the caveat that “standards” is a moving target, considering the variable and ever-changing nature of language. But there are principles of sentence construction, mechanics, and usage that are pretty consistent and can be taught and learned. I try to make sure students know that and then understand how/when language can vary. But you have to start with something before you can vary from it.

        • Anti-Lasorda

          Wachoo sayin’?

        • PerSpeier35

          Well, on the bright side, we learned a new word: pedagogy.

    • channelclemente

      How do you feel about it?

      • The Oracle

        See below.

        • channelclemente

          Whether you agree or not, I’d assume that the premise for his position would be the more interesting discussion. Does language carry the cultural context of a racist past? If that’s the case, should it be a matter of simply admitting that and moving on, or actively seeking to rectify that content.

          • The Oracle

            I view it more simply. It’s dumb.

  • channelclemente

    MLB is apparently pushing forward with a host of rules changes including SZ raise and time clocks.

    http://bigstory.ap.org/article/ca79f12d36fa463e96b1a64a20630d05/mlb-may-make-unilateral-rule-changes-2018

  • DrLefty

    Sounds like encouraging reports on Ray Black. It would be fun if he were in Sacramento this summer.

    https://twitter.com/rivercats/status/834154991921139712

  • totalfan62

    For today’s Giants playoff fix I went into the way back machine and cued up 2002 NLDS Game 5 vs. Atlanta. Giants win 3-1, as Robb Nen wiggles out of a ninth inning jam (first and third, no outs) by striking out Gary Sheffield and getting Chipper Jones to hit into the game ending double play. Sheffield 1-15 in the series. Nen was such a warrior. He knew he was at the end of his career but poured it all out in the effort to win our first WS championship.

    • SurfCity

      That’s a helluva 9th inning escaping from first & third no outs

      • totalfan62

        Strikes out Sheffield with that wicked slider for first out. Dusty tells Snow to hold the runner and cover the line. Second pitch, Chipper Jones hits it right to Snow. Step on the bag, throw to Aurelia, tag–celebrate!

    • crawnik

      Brooks Conrad for MVGH (Most Valuable Giants Helper).

      • totalfan62

        That was 2010, but yeah–that’s a great game to watch anytime you’re jonesing for classic Giants postseason baseball.

        • steve k

          you’re a class act, bud

  • 610nm
    • channelclemente

      And well we should be. They got out of the NLDS by the skin of their teeth.

      • GSDUbs

        …but really we’re not.

        • Matthew

          I’ve been talking baseball all week with Cubs fans. They remain on top of the world…but there seems to be an inherent fatalistic strand in their DNA that hasn’t been killed off yet…

          The team they are all telling me scares them?

          The Giants.

          I think we lose sight of how we are viewed outside our bubble.

          • John Myhill

            It isn’t just that. The Dodgers and the Nationals always do badly in the playoffs, always. The Cardinals looked very mediocre last year. And the Mets are just too banged up and broke.

  • Anti-Lasorda

    Morse vs Ruggiano
    Parker vs Mac
    Rollins vs Gillaspie
    Hill vs Beckam

    Lots of stuff to watch for. Hill signing tells me they are worried abour Panik’s noggin more than they are letting on.

    • SurfCity

      Meulens vs Bonds? 😉

  • crawnik

    Not sure if anyone read this, but MiLB.com has come out with its farm system rankings for 2017. First up: rankings 30-21.

    ICYMI: Our 2017 farm system rankings begin with a look a position players. https://t.co/zjCLHo6DOl https://t.co/N94yzRTdpp

  • Matthew

    Retirements among umps:
    Balkin’ Bob, Welke, Hirshbeck, and my favorite, Jim Joyce.

    • Andres The Forever Giant

      And we’re still stuck with Cowboy Joe, Angel Hernandez and Phil Cuzzi, ugh! 🙁

      • totalfan62

        At least we’re done with the Balkin’ Bob nonsense. I agree re Joyce: one of the best ever, and unforgettable given the Galaragga not-perfect game event. Class act through and through.

    • Anti-Lasorda

      Damn no West…..

      • crawnik

        Could we see Bum/West stare down number 2 this year?

  • Alvise Contarini
  • steve k

    kruk was on buster olney’s podcast yesterday..at about the 34 minute mark..sorry if someone posted this already
    http://www.espn.com/espnradio/play?id=18732612