Saturday, March 9, 2013

News and Notes: Spring Training Doldrums

Every spring it seems like you hit a stretch where the excitement and promise of a new season starts to wear off, but the real games are still a long way off in the future.  Time starts to slow down.  Players appear to go through the motions.  Off days and rainouts seem like an eternity.  Is it just me, or between off days, rainouts and the WBC, has spring training slowed to a snail's pace?

The Giants announced their first cut down from the major league camp late this week.  Andrew Susac, Joe Panik, Josh Osich, Fabio Castillo, Edward Concepcion, Justin Fitzgerald and Jose Valdez were reassigned to minor league camp and Angel Villalona was optioned to High A San Jose.

Andres Torres(oblique strain), Hector Sanchez(right calf strain) and Javier Lopez(bruised left hand) are on the mend and nearly ready to start playing again.

Tim Lincecum has missed a couple of starts due to a blister issue in his finger.  He pitched a simulated game  early today and reported that he is ready to pitch in real games.  Lincecum has had recurrent blister issues which have clearly prevented him from using his slider, which is a pretty good pitch, so there is concern going forward on that issue.

There are just 3 roster spots open for competition this spring, 5'th OF, reserve IF and 7'th bullpen arm.  At this point Chad Gaudin appears to have a comfortable lead for the last bullpen spot after pitching 3 scoreless innings in an emergency start replacing Tim Lincecum.  The ability to do that as well as go multiple innings if a starter gets knocked out early is an asset the Giants have lacked the last two years, especially after Mota go suspended.

Cole Gillespie continues to be the favorite to win the #5 OF slot as he has a RH bat and can play all 3 OF positions(actually, I'm not sure why the Giants think they need another guy who can play CF with Blanco and Torres virtual shoe-ins to make the team).  Francisco Peguero is having a tremendous spring, but probably has to win the starting LF job outright to make the team as the Giants will want him playing every day, while they have no reason to feel that imperative about Gillespie.

The IF job is more muddled.  Kensuke Tanaka appears to be the frontrunner, but has had significant struggles on the defensive side of the ball, especially at SS.  Beat reporters seem to think Tanaka has to be able to play SS to win a roster spot.  Brock Bond is having a good spring and Bochy, contrary to popular stereotype, really likes the OBP's in his minor league stat lines.  The problem with Bond is he doesn't really play SS and if Tanaka has to play SS to make the team, then why wouldn't Bond?  Wilson Valdez may end up winning the job just by default.

Sergio Romo caused some consternation in the Giants camp when he threw 27 pitches in a WBC loss to Italy.  He reportedly felt fine afterward and pitched a 1,2, 3 ninth inning in a shocking 5-2 win over Team USA last night.


  1. Nice post. Doldrums indeed. Sold out crowd today and everybody stayed til the end. Noonan looked very good at third, made some nice plays and showed good arm strength in addition to tripling in the first run. Ricky O worked the count and kept the game alive. Ricky and Duvall warmed up together, you can tell they are getting ready to go brave the Eastern together.

    Procter did not look good. Petit was a disaster. Looking like Chad G has the inside track. Cole Gillespie was aggressive but didn't come up with anything. Brett Pill has a window to wedge in here.

    Bond looks good as well. I think our farmhands are playing better then the reclamation projects currently.

    1. I mean, the whole point of going to spring training games is to see the players, so no point in leaving just because the game is a disaster, right? Are you going to get in another game tomorrow or do you have to head back home?

    2. Back home. Just heckled Agent Ned and shaked hands with Sabean.

  2. Its early in Spring Traning so roster spots are far from decided. Fresno might have a few good players that I'm really interested in pending future roster cuts. Francisco Pegeuro-What kind of numbers can he put up now that he's recovered from his knee surgeries? Maybe he forces his way onto the 25 man roster? Gary Brown - his stats in Fresno might tell alot as to whether he's a future starting CF or spare outfielder. Roger Kieshnick - Baggs mentioned in his chat that Kieshnick might have more offensive potential then Nate.. The key is staying healthy. Heath Hembree - I'd rather see him closing games at Fresno vs being the 6th or 7th arm in the bullpen. Chris Heston, Mike Kickham - can they help the pitching staff in case of injuries? Brock Bond- I hope this guy makes it as a utility player, cool story.. Thats why I'll check back to this site to follow their progress!