Thursday, May 21, 2015

Down on the Farm: 5/21/2015

AAA  Memphis Redbirds defeated the Sacramento River Cats 4-2:

Darren Ford(CF)- 2 for 4, HR(4).  BA= .291.
Ehire Adrianza(SS)- 2 for 4, 2B.  BA= .338.
Robert Coello(RHP)- 5.2 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 3 K's.  ERA= 3.44.
Steven Okert(LHP)- 1.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K's.  ERA= 2.89.
Hunter Strickland(RHP)- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K's.  ERA= 1.66.

It's not looking like there will be a need in the Giants bullpen anytime soon, but Okert and Strickland seem ready to help whenever needed.  Stay hot, Ehire Adrianza!

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AA  Richmond Flying Squirrels were idle.

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High A  San Jose Giants topped the Modesto Nuts 3-2 in 10 innings:

Jesus Galindo(CF)- 1 for 5, HR(2).  BA= .272.
Dylan Davis(RF)- 1 for 3, HR(2), BB.  BA= .217.
Martin Agosta(RHP)- 5 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 0 BB, 3 K's.  ERA= 4.35.
Jake Smith(RHP)- 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K's.  ERA= 1.88.
Ray Black(RHP)- 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K's. ERA= 0.00.

Black got credit for the W.

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Low A  Augusta Greenjackets blanked the Asheville Tourists 6-0:

Johneshwy Fargas(CF)- 1 for 4, SB(16).  BA= .325.
Seth Harrison(DH)- 1 for 2, 2 BB, SB(6).  BA= .253.
Sam Coonrod(RHP)- 6 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 4 K's.  ERA= 3.75.

Fargas returns from the DL.

Game Wrap 5/21/2015: Giants 4 Dodgers 0

Not only did Madison Bumgarner out pitch Clayton Kershaw for the 3'rd time this season, but he also took him deep for a HR that gave the Giants the first run of the game.  In the process, the Giants completed sweep of the Hated Ones, and how sweet it is!  Key Lines:

Norichika Aoki- 2 for 3, BB.  BA= .297.  Aoki got on base 3 times but did not figure in the scoring.  I still think the Giants best lineup is a 1,2,3 of Aoki, Panik, Pagan, but that's just me.  I do think Aoki needed a rest a few games ago, but seems like he's rejuvenated now.

Angel Pagan- 2 for 4, 2B.  BA= .325.  Another fine game for Pagan.  I noticed that Fangraphs still has him listed as a negative defender, but that catch he made in last night's game was about as good as it gets.  He made it look fairly easy too!

Hunter Pence- 2 for 4.  BA= .300.  Pence has added a new dimension to this offense.  When the Giants can put 3 on-base guys in the top 3 slots and push the Posey/Pence/Belt triumvirate all down a slot then back them up with Brandon Crawford.  Well, that is a serious lineup!  Maybe one of the top 10 in all of baseball!

Madison Bumgarner- 1 for 4, HR(1).  BA= .105.  Bummy likes to air it out on the first pitch and Kershaw hung a fastball out over the plate.  Gone!!  Man, that had to hurt on Kershaw's end!  First HR by an opposing pitcher off of Kershaw in is career so far.

Madison Bumgarner- 6.1 IP, 7 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 6 K's.  ERA= 2.84.  Between the last postseason and these 3 H2H's with Kershaw, I think you have to say Bumgarner is the best right now.  If you had one game you had to win right now, and you can choose any pitcher in MLB to start, think you have to pick Bummy.  Oh, and these matchups between Bummy and Kershaw?  I was around for Marichal vs Koufax and this is every bit as good, maybe better!

This was the first time the Giants have swept the Dodgers in back-to-back home series since 1961.  The Giants also have the best record in MLB since April 21.

The Win cut the Dodgers lead over the Giants in the NL West to just 1.5 games.  The Giants remain 0.5 games behind in the race for the second Wild Card slot as the Cubs and Mets both won today.

The Giants now travel to Colorado to take on the Rockies in a  4 game Memorial Day weekend series with Ryan Vogelsong facing Kyle Kendrick in game 1 tomorrow evening.

Down on the Farm: 9/20/2015

AAA  Sacramento River Cats were idle.

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AA  Erie Seawolves defeated the Richmond Flying Squirrels 5-2:

Joe Biagini(RHP)- 6 IP,  8 H, 5 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 4 K's, GO/AO= 10/3.

As you can see from the secondaries, Biagini pitched well.  The Squirrels defenders made 4 errors in the game.  BTW, there is a nice story on Biagini linked on Covechatter's Blogroll.  It talks about the Giants scout who signed him and how that scout came to believe in him.  In short, it was pretty much based on one observation in which Biagini did not have good results, but the scout noticed that he threw hard, despite no radar gun being available that day.

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High A  San Jose Giants edged out the Modesto Nuts 3-2:

Jesus Galindo(CF)- 1 for 3, Sac, SB(8).  BA= .274.
Ty Ross(Catcher)- 2 for 4, 2 2B.  BA= .202.
DJ Snelton(LHP)- 6.1 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 4 K's.  ERA= 4.59.
Ian Gardeck(RHP)- 1.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K.  ERA= 3.21.

Best start of the season for Snelton who I think is another sleeper in the system.  First start over 5 IP.  First start with 0 BB's.

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Low A  Savannah Sand Gnats blanked the Augusta Greenjackets 2-0:

Jonah Arenado(3B)- 2 for 4, 2B.  BA= .278.
Mark Reyes(LHP)- 6 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 5 K's, GO/AO= 10/2.  ERA= 1.71.
Reyes Maronta(RHP)- 2 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 3 K's.  ERA= 2.50.

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Yoan Moncada Watch:  3 for 4 as DH hitting RH.  He has reportedly looked much better from the right side of the plate in a very small sample size so far.  BA= .333.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Game Wrap 5/20/2015: Giants 4 Dodgers 0

Tim Lincecum rolled back the years and for one more game, at least, was Big Time Timmy Jim, holding the Dodgers scoreless for 7 innings.  It was the Dodgers pitching that cracked first as the Giants broke open a scoreless game in the 6'th and 7'th innings.  Key Lines:

Joe Panik- 1 for 4.  BA= .287.  It doesn't look like much, but Panik's 2-out single with Casey McGehee on 3B tacked on an insurance run in the 7'th, then Buster Posey put the game away with a 2 run blast to CF.

Buster Posey- 3 for 4, HR(7).  BA= .308.  Buster singled in the bottom of the 6'th, advanced to 3B with 2 outs and scored the first run of the game on Brandon Crawford's 2 out single.  He then put the game in ice with a 2 run blast to cap the 3 run 7'th inning rally with a blast to CF of Yimi Garcia.

Brandon Crawford- 3 for 4.  BA= .298.  The Giants stacked their lineup with RH batters against the LHP Anderson, but their two LH batters, Crawford and Panik got 4 of their 7 hits.

Tim Lincecum- 7 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 4 K's.  ERA= 2.08.  This was Timmy's second Win against the Dodgers this season against 1 Loss.  This was also the 4'th game in which he has not allowed a run.  In this one, he had to match zeros with Anderson for 6 innings before the Giants finally broke through.  Just a big time performance by Big Time Timmy Jim!

Javier Lopez- 0.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K.  BA= 1.74.  Here's why you need lefty specialists in the bullpen and why they are undervalued.  Lopez came in with 2 outs in the 8'th inning with his team leading by 4 runs, but there were runners on 2'nd and 3'rd and the best hitter in baseball so far this season at the plate, who just happens to bat LH.  You have to get that out to keep the Dodgers from getting back in the ballgame!  Job done!  It was just one out in a non-save situation, but it was probably the single biggest out of the game made possible by a guy who is Kryptonite against lefty hitters.

Jeremy Affeldt- 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K.  ERA= 3.00.  Non-Save situation, but the Dodgers lineup is dangerous and you don't want to risk a messy inning that can snowball on you.  Affeldt did not let that happen.

The Win cut the Dodgers lead over the second place Giants in the NL West to 2.5 games.  The Padres lost to the Cubs 3-2 to remain 5 games behind the Dodgers in 3'rd place.  The D'Backs beat the Marlins 6-1 to pull up to 6 games off the pace while the Rockies lost to the Phillies 4-2 to remain 9 games back in last place.

Madison Bumgarner faces Clayton Kershaw in a battle of aces for the 3'rd time this season.  The Giants won both prior confrontations with Bumgarner getting the W in one.  Another Win for the Giants would complete the second sweep of the Dodgers this season and cut their lead to just 1.5 games.

Down on the Farm: 5/19/2015

AAA  Albuquerque Isotopes outslugged the Sacramento River Cats 10-7:

Darren Ford(CF)- 3 for 5, HR(3).  BA= .283.
Adam Duvall(3B)- 2 for 4, HR(11), BB.  BA= .321.
Jarrett Parker(LF)- 2 for 3, 3B, BB.  BA= .258.
Clayton Blackburn(RHP)- 5.1 IP, 10 H, 9 R, 8 ER, 0 BB, 2 K's, GO/AO= 9/1.  ERA= 5.51.

Albuquerque is a tough place to pitch for anybody.  It's worse for pitchers with Blackburn's stuff.  Sinkers don't sink and curves don't curve!

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AA Richmond Flying Squirrels outscored the Erie Seawolves 8-5:

Kelby Tomlinson(2B)- 2 for 4, BB.  BA= .319.
Rando Moreno(SS)- 3 for 5, 2B.  BA= .294.
Mac Williamson(DH)- 2 for 3, HR(4), 2 BB.  BA= .317.
Devin Harris(RF)- 2 for 4, 2B.  BA= .288.
Ricky Oropesa(1B)- 3 for 5, 2B.  BA= .261.
Kyle Crick(RHP)- 1.2 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 4 BB, 3 K's.  ERA= 2.28.
Joan Gregorio(RHP)- 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K.  ERA= 3.48.
Josh Osich(LHP)- 1.1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, Save(6).  ERA= 2.08.

Rando Moreno's emergence as a starting SS at the AA level may end up being one of the bigger stories of the minor league season for Giants affiliates.  Big Mac is just crushing it in the EL, a huge story in itself.  If he keeps this up, I don't see how he does not become at top 50 prospect, at least.  Ricky Oropesa stays hot.  He is hitting .314 over his last 10 game and .358 for the month of May.  No altitude excuses for Cricky.  Just a very bad outing.  Osich has been consistently good.  He and Steven Okert give the Giants two promising hard throwing left reliever prospects who can get RH batters out.

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High A  San Jose Giants blanked the Modesto Nuts 2-0:

Hunter Cole(LF)- 3 for 3, BB.  BA= .351.
Ryder Jones(3B)- 1 for 4, 2B.  BA= .287.
Keury Mella(RHP)- 6.2 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 K's, GO/AO= 7/1.  ERA= 3.06.
Ray Black(RHP)- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K.  ERA= 0.00.
Dan Slania(RHP)- 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K's, Save(7).  ERA= 2.12.

Mella has the best start of all the Giants top SP prospects in the current round of starts and it's not close.

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Low A  Savannah Sand Gnats stung the Augusta Greenjackets again 4-0:

Matt Gage(LHP)- 3.2 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K's.  ERA= 3.41.

No apparent reason for Gage to come out of the game early or in mid-inning.  Always wonder about injuries in those situations.

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Yoan Moncada Watch:  1 for 5.  BA= .125.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Game Wrap 5/19/2015: Giants 2 Dodgers 0

The Giants offense managed to scratch out 2 runs while Tim Hudson and the bullpen throttled the vaunted Dodgers lineup to grab Game 1 of this potentially pivotal 3 game series.  Key Lines:

Joe Panik- 2 for 3, 2B, BB.  BA= .288.  Panik doubled with 1 out in the first inning, but was left stranded.  He then got the first of a string of three 2-out singles in the 3'rd to score the Giants first run of the night, the only run they would need.

Buster Posey- 1 for 3, BB.  BA= .295.  A relatively quiet night for Buster, but he got the key hit to drive in the go-ahead run with 2 outs in the 3'rd inning.

Tim Hudson- 6.1 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 2 K, GO/AO= 10/4.  ERA= 4.01.  Huddy is a competitor and he held the Dodgers at bay into the 7'th inning.

Sergio Romo- 1.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K.  ERA= 3.55.  No K's but Romo came in to get the last out of the 7'th after Lopez walked two batters to load the bases, then got through the 8'th with the 1-0 lead intact.

Santiago Casilla- 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K, Save(10).  ERA= 1.65.  Casilla gave me some anxiety as he appeared to lose control of the strike zone in the top of the 9'th after a single by Juan Uribe on what looked like a good pitch, then a walk to Joc Pederson.  Fortunately, he was working with an insurance run the Giants got in the bottom of the 8'th when Brandon Belt scored on a wild pitch.  Casilla calmly got Jimmy Rollins to ground out.  Ballgame!

The Win by the second place Giants cuts the Dodgers lead in the NL West to 3.5 games.  They are also 0.5 games behind in the race for the second Wild Card playoff spot.  All 3 of the other NL West teams won leaving the Padres, D'Backs and Rockies 5, 7 and 9 games behind the Dodgers respectively.

Tim Lincecum tries to keep the chances for a series sweep alive tomorrow night facing LHP Brett Anderson.

On April 19, the Giants record stood at 4-10 after they had lost 9 of 10 games.  They then swept the Dodgers in AT&T Park and went on to post a record of 17-8 since that low point in their season so far.

Scouting the 2015 Draft: BA's Mock Draft 2.0

BA has a new mock draft up along with what appears to be some intelligence regarding specific interests from teams.  They have the Giants taking HS OF Nick Plummer at #18.  Their comment includes "….they(Giants)…..have conviction in his left-handed bat."  I wrote up a short profile on Plummer on 12/8/2014 and said he is "….probably the top 5-tool player in the 2015 draft."  Kiley McDaniel's comment is "….quick twitch athlete with plus bat speed, above average raw power and lots of hard contact."

The Giants are also rumored to be in on another HS athlete, Cornelius Randolph so they may be serious about finally going after 5 tool ceiling here.  The Giants are in pretty good shape at the MLB level and have depth in both hitting and pitching in the organization, so are in a nice position to take a bit of a risk on ceiling here. BA has both Randolph and college 2B/OF Ian Happ going after #18, so if they are looking for a hitter here, they should have their pick of several good ones.

Andrew Benentendi seems to have passed Ian Happ in most draft boards, but I looked up Happ's numbers from this season and he has hit in the .330 range with 14 HR's, so it's not like Happ has had a down season or anything.  I would still be pleased if the Giants drafted him at #18.

BA has HS RHP Mike Nikorak being taken just ahead of the Giants at #17.  He and Justin Hooper are the two pitchers in the draft I would be happy with at #18.  Hooper's stock seems to have slipped into the supplemental first round for some reason.  He may be on the rise again after dominating a H2H matchup against another highly ranked HS pitcher, Joe Demers.

BA has the Giants taking HS RHP Ashe Russell at #31.  I've seen Russell ranked as high as top 15 on some draft boards, so this would seem like a steal.  They have HS RHP Beau Burrows going next at #32 with Hooper going to the Dodgers at #35.  I'll be honest here, I think Hooper is the kid with the highest ceiling here and it's not real close.  If all 3 of these HS pitching prospects are available to the Giants at #31, I would be rooting hard for Hooper.  Between Burrows and Russell, I think Burrows would be the fastest riser but Russell may have a slightly higher ceiling due to a size difference.

If it does play out according to BA's scenario and the Giants ended up with Nick Plummer and Ashe Russell as their first two picks, I would be happy as a clam, but would cringe when the Dodgers took Justin Hooper.