Documenting the Rich History of One of the Senior Circuits Most Storied Franchises
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The Giants gave their infield a little more depth when they signed Ryan Theriot to a one year deal worth around $1.25 million. Theriot played both shortstop and second base the past couple of years and he’s also spent a small amount of time in the outfield. He’s never hit for a lot of power, but he’s a nice guy to have if you need a hole plugged because you brought in a pinch hitter or want to do a double switch.
He does have a solid batting eye and he’ll draw a walk without many strikeouts. He’s only okay in the field but that’s understandable considering he’s never in spot for very long. He used to also be good for 15-20 steals but his success percentage is very good and he only stole four last year.
The Giants locked up former Marlins reliever Clay Hensley to a one year deal worth around $750,000 (with some incentives). After a breakout 2010 season, Hensley took a step back and had a rough season in 2011. This was due in part to them trying to push him back into the rotation after a few years out of the pen. Just about all of his rate stats went down and the Giants will most likely use him out of the pen in 2012.
The Giants bullpen is shaping up to be a decent one. Of course Giants fans should also remember Hensley because he was the guy who gave up Barry Bonds’ 755th home run.
The Giants signed catcher Eli Whiteside to a one year deal a week after they looked like they didn’t him a contract last week. Apparently they did offer him a deal though and he eventually accepted it. With Posey hopefully coming back, Whiteside will be competing with Chris Stewart for the back up catcher job.
Whiteside had the lowest batting average of any hitter in the National League in the second half with a .163 average. He finished the season hitting .197. The Giants also have Hector Sanchez waiting in the wings but someone like Whiteside should fill in nicely until Sanchez is ready to come back.
The Giants resigned Guillermo Mota to one year, $1 million deal. Mota is getting up their in age (38) but he had a decent enough season where he threw 80 1/3 innings with an ERA of 3.81. He also had a nice 77/30 strikeout to walk ratio but he’s still prone to the fly ball.
The Giants also met their contract tendering deadline by signing Tim Lincecum, Ryan Vogelsong, Sergio Romo and Santiago Casilla. I like the Mota move because you can’t go wrong with those one year deals and you don’t need to spend a ton of money on your bullpen to get some solid production.
Here are the top ten Giants prospects as determined by Baseball America.
1) Gary Brown OF
2) Tommy Joseph 1b/C
3) Heath Hembree RHP
4) Joe Panik SS
5) Francisco Peguero OF
6) Andrew Susac C
7) Eric Surkamp
8) Kyle Crick RHP
9) Ehire Adrianza SS
10) Hector Sanchez C
Cody Ross and Pat Burrell won’t have a choice in testing the free agent market because the Giants declined to offer either of them arbitration. The down side for the Giants is that now the team won’t get compensation, but on a good note, they won’t be stuck with either player at a potentially inflated value. This was pretty much expected and it now frees up some money to go up and shore up an offense that was one of the worst in baseball.
The Giants have a few other people testing the waters as well. Carlos Beltran, Orlando Cabrera, Guillermo Mota and Mark De Rosa are all also free agents. There’s also twelve younger players eligible for arbitration so the front office is going to be busy this offseason.
The Giants made their first big deal of the season by trading one time pitching prospect Jonathan Sanchez to the Royals for the speedy outfielder Melky Cabrera. Cabrera is coming off a career year in which he hit .305 and scored 102 runs. The nice thing about Cabrera is that he can play all three outfield spots so the Giants can make their moves and adjust if need be to fill in all of their holes.
One knock on Cabrera was that his one stint in the National League didn’t go well. He spent 2010 with the Braves and he was eventually released. That left the door open for him to go to Kansas City where he had the best year of his career.
Sanchez had the no-hitter and then the big post season win but other then that, he’s been hit or miss. Plus we have plenty of arms so I like the move.
Despite being in the playoff mix most of the season in 2011, the Giants offense was horrible. They were dead last in runs scored in 2011 and the team’s RBI leader had just 70 RBIs. Pablo Sandoval was the lone standout with a nice season at the plate. He led the team in just about everything including runs with just 55. He probably deserves some MVP votes but I doubt if he gets too much. Still, a .909 OPS isn’t anything to scoff at.
Losing Buster Posey just before Memorial Day hurt badly but you wonder how much of a different just one guy could have had. The team’s OPS was just .671 and their OBP was dead last with .303. Nobody had more then 50 walks. And when Andres Torres is listed as a starter with 112 games, you know you’re in trouble.
Second base, short stop and outfield are spots where the Giants will probably looking to fill some holes. You’d hope Brian Sabean will be busy this off season and with this pitching staff, you’d hope they make some moves to be more competitive. I’ll be getting my Giants tickets well in advance because I expect them to be right there come playoff time in 2012.
SAN FRANCISCO — Colorado salvaged some of their season in the final regular season game against the San Francisco Giants. They avoided getting swept for the third time in their last four series as they defeated the Giants 6-3 Wednesday afternoon.
The game had little meaning as the defending champs had been eliminated from the division and wild card last week. But Colorado needed this win to have something positive to head into the off-season than dropping 11 of their last 14.
Colorado jumped out early and never looked back in the regular season’s finale.
Eric Young hit the first pitch of the game to right field for a lead-off triple. Dexter Fowler then singled to drive in the first run of the day for Colorado. Later in the inning, Kevin Kouzmanoff doubled to advance Fowler to third, allowing Seth Smith to groundout to second base, scoring Fowler for a 2-0 lead.
The Rockies doubled their lead in the fifth as both Kouzmanoff and Jordan Pacheco hit RBI-singles, giving Colorado a 4-0 lead over the former World Series champions.
However, in the bottom of sixth, San Francisco crawled to within a run of the Rockies as they piled up three runs in the inning. Justin Christian led-off with a double and Jeff Keppinger brought him home on his RBI-single. Brett Pill hit a two-out double to put runners in scoring position for Mark DeRosa and he delivered a two-RBI single to center as the Giants now only trailed 4-3.
In the seventh though, Kouzmanoff and Pacheco drove in two more runs as the Rockies doubled up the Giants 6-3 in the final regular season game of 2011.
The Rockies will have to reevaluate a lot of things after this season. Their rotation will look very different without Ubaldo Jimenez in uniform in mid-February. Another concern is Todd Helton. He is getting old, 38, and maybe not be able to be an everyday position player. His best option now would be to join the American League as a designated hitter.
In addition, the Rockies need better production out of Troy Tulowitzki, Ty Wigginton, and Carlos Gonzalez for an entire season.
PHOENIX — This is not an easy or enjoyable post to write. However, as a professional, it needs to be written and shared for all to read who actually do keep up.
Last night, the 23rd of September, the Arizona Diamondbacks used three runs over the course of the seventh and eighth innings to defeat the San Francisco Giants, eliminating the defending World Series champs from playoff contention en-route to their fifth NL West Championship in their 14-year history.
The Giants were limited, as they have been all season, to a low run total; one run in Friday’s loss. At the moment, the Giants and D-backs are in the middle of game two in this three game set and San Francisco yet again has managed just a pair of runs while the D-backs have put up six spot in first following with a five run sixth-inning for an 11-2 lead.
As it looks right now, San Francisco’s season is over. Atlanta just needed a win or Giants loss to eliminate San Francisco from the Wild Card race and it appears that will happen. Atlanta now just has to get rid of those pesky Cardinals.
Arizona though is showing its determination to get that first-round home field advantage with a possible matchup with the Braves. Otherwise, they will have to open up the best of five with the Philadelphia Phillies.
It has been fun and enjoyable to blog since February on the World Series champs and to write about this battle between the Giants and D-backs after the All-Star break. I will have one more post on the Giants, that being their last game of the 2011 season. We all know what the owners have to do in the offseason if they want to compete for a championship again next year. I won’t say it because I have said it all season long. Until next time Giants fans.
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