Sunday, May 19, 2013

Down on the Farm: 5/19/2013

AAA  Fresno Grizzlies defeated the New Orleans Zephyrs 4-2:

Francisco Peguero(LF)- 2 for 4, HR(3), SB(1). BA= .378.
Brett Pill(3B)- 2 for 4.  BA= .353.
Roger Kieschnick(RF)- 2 for 4, 3B.  BA= .313.
Juan Perez(SS)- 2 for 4.  BA= .311.
Boof Bonser(RHP)- 7 IP, 8 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 4 K's.  ERA= 4.89.
Sandy Rosario(RHP)- 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, Save(3).  ERA= 3.33.

I LOVE seeing SS after Juan Perez' name, LOVE IT!  This was statistically Bonser's best game of the season, possibly since signing with the Giants.

AA  Richmond Flying Squirrels blanked the Altoona Curve 3-0:

Jarrett Parker(RF)- 2 for 4, SB(5).  BA= .265.
Joe Panik(2B)- 2 for 3, 2B, BB, SB(4).  BA= .295.
Ryan Lollis(CF)- 2 for 4.  BA= .257.
Ehire Adrianza(SS)- 1 for 2, 2 BB.  BA= .242.
Jack Snodgrass(LHP)- 4 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K"s.  ERA= 2.27.
Fabio Castillo(RHP)- 3 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 5 K's.  ERA= 3.38.

Lollis is hitting .333/.394/.467 over his last 10 games.  Parker is hitting .333/.391/.619 in May.  Not sure why Snodgrass came out of this one early.

High A  Inland Empire 66'ers beat the San Jose Giants 3-1:

Angel Villalona(1B)- 0 for 4, 4 K's.  BA= .207.
Edwin Escobar(LHP)- 6 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 1 BB, 4 K's.  ERA= 3.53.
Jose Casilla(RHP)- 2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K's.  ERA= 1.13.

After I've raved about Angel V's bat, he goes and takes a 4 K collar.

Low A  Savannah Sand Gnats outslugged the Augusta Greenjackets 12-10:

Jesus Galindo(CF)- 3 for 6, 2B.  BA= .298.
Mitch Delfino(3B)- 3 for 5, 2B, HR(4).  BA= .261.
Chuckie Jones(RF)- 3 for 4, 2B, HR(2), BB.  BA= .202.
Andrew Cain(LF)- 2 for 4, HR(1), BB.  BA= .205.
Martin Agosta(RHP)- 3.1 IP, 4 H, 4 R, 5 BB, 5 K's.  ERA= 2.88.

Mitch Delfino is hitting .325/.364/.525 over his last 10 games. This was Chuckie Jones' best game in recent memory.  Not a good start by Agosta.


  1. Belt 0 for 4 K -.241
    Pill AAA .353
    I don't get it. Why not let the guy start for a month?

    I would also still like to see Pegs get an extended look.

    1. Well, today's game aside, Belt is going pretty good right now and likely has a higher ceiling than Pill, so I would not want to see the Giants derail that. I could live with a strict L-R platoon at 1B, but there are problems with that too.

      As for Pegs, he would have to play very well to be better than Blanco right now, so I don't see a clamor for that move either.

      The Giants problems are not due to lack of hitting. The pitching, and whether it can recover it's past glory, is what the season hinges on.

    2. One more thought: You have to take all numbers from Fresno with a grain of salt. The PCL is a crazy hitter's league and the numbers just don't translate, which makes Brownie's problems all the more worrisome.

    3. Very concerned about Brown and you are right that Blanco is going well right now. I just want to see Pegs get a real look at some point.

      I am just starting to think that this is who Belt is. A streaky but overall below average offensive player.

      A lot of the Grizzlies have over .300 averages, true. But Pill has put up 25hr 100rbi seasons at multiple levels including the fearsome EL. Maybe he has some trade value to an AL team looking for DH/1B?

    4. Pill has been a plodder. He's 28 years old. He moved up the ladder 1 step at a time until hitting AAA in 2010. He did hit .298 with 19 dingers in AA, which is surprisingly good and one of the better AA seasons for a Giants hitting prospect in recent memory. HIs numbers the prior year in the Cal League were not nearly as good and they took a dip the following year in his first AAA season. So, Pill's minor league record has been a bit spotty, and he has many, if not all of the same issues Belt has.

      At some point, an organization has to pick it's horse and be stubborn about riding it as shuttling them both in and out based on who has the hot hand does nobody good. For now, the Giants have obviously chosen Belt and given him the long leash, contrary to popular opinion. How much longer they will give him I don't know. I have a feeling Belt is about 1 extended slump away from getting to the end of his leash and Pill's success this year would make it much easier for the Giants to pull the plug on Belt should it come to that.

    5. What is it about Belt that makes fans either love him unconditionally or diss him all the time?

      Belt is not the problem offensively (if that is even a problem). He has been one of the team's best hitters the last month or so. Since April 22, he has hit .288/.381/.562/.943 with 5 HR in 73 AB (15 AB/HR), 10 BB/18 K, 274 ISO, .320 BABIP. And that's roughly what he has hit his last two weeks, from May 6th, .289/.386/.553/.939 with 2 HR in 38 AB (19 AB/HR), 6 BB/7 K, 264 ISO, .310 BABIP. He is the least of our problems on the team.

      And I like Pill, love that he has climbed back into consideration prospect-wise on the Giants, and am rooting for him. Still, what he is doing in AAA at ages 27-28 is basically what Belt was doing in AAA at ages 22-23. That is the difference between a long-term All-Star player and a good bench player. That is why Belt is going to get a lot more chances.

      Still, I can see Pill getting a chance as a starter, but not at Belt's expense, but the LF platoon. Blanco has been hitting much better this month, but Torres has not looked good at all this season. I can see the Giants moving to start Blanco sometime in June if Torres don't start hitting soon. And if Blanco can't keep it going once starting, the Giants could look to move Belt to LF, where he has done OK before (and assuming he's still hitting well), and start Pill at 1B over the LF platoon. But that's really a last resort type of move for Bochy, he hates to move starters to new positions, especially Belt, who the Giants would rather not move and just concentrate on hitting well.

      Also, I disagree about Belt, DrB, I don't think his leash is that short. Schierholtz got plenty of chances to start (or not) over 2-3 seasons and he was never as good a prospect as Belt, nor hit as well as Belt did in 2012. Belt going as cold as Nate did might push the Giants to platoon Belt with Pill, I think, but not to the point of putting him on the bench in favor of Pill this season. But I do see this season as a "Just Do It" season for Belt, his leash will be much shorter, I think, starting next season.

    6. I don't hate Belt and I am not just dissing him. The fact is that he has almost 850 major league plate appearances and has 21 home runs and under 100 rbis total. I am encouraged that he has 5 home runs since April 22nd, but that streak has brought his season total to....5. He seems to go into slumps and then breaks out of them in short bursts. These short bursts seem to be just enough to keep the Giants brass interested in keeping him around. His closest comparisons are other guys with promise who keep bouncing around...Mike Carp, Brian LaHair, etc. I would love to see Belt break out and put up that slash line all of the time. But over the last three years, that isn't who he has shown to be.

      I am also not blaming all of the offensive problems on him, I didn't say that. Everyone seems to have gone into hybernation during the last few games of the Colorado Series. This team can score runs and most importantly they are built to score runs in a variety of ways, which works best in the post season. However, the Giants offense walks a fine line of timely hitting and rhythm. How much longer can continue with a subpar offensive player in the most premium offensive position?

      I grew up in the Bay Area and will always be a die hard Giants fan. I was transplanted to Seattle a few years ago. The M's are going through something similar. They have three guys with tremendous promise: Montero, Ackley and Smoak. All are struggling and the questions are raised regularly about how much longer to stick with all of them. Smoak is older and has more MLB experiene than the other two. The M's have played Smoak more on the basis of what he might do than what he has done (and they traded Cliff Lee for him). It has hurt them offensively for the past two years and they cannot afford to have little to no offense coming from a premium position.

  2. So Parker has quietly put himself into the top 25 of the Big Bad Eastern in OPS. Susac is currently 14th (2nd for Catchers), Parker is 25 (10th in OF), Herrera is 28th (12th in OF) and Joltin'Joe Panik is 35th (3rd in SS/MI). Not best of the best, but hanging in the toughest league for sure. Marc Minicozzi is 16th (7th in 1B) also.

    Xander Bogaerts is the only MI top prospect type toiling in the Eastern right now. He's younger than Panik and holding his own. But he's not only top 100 he's top 10 and there is a case for him being #1 overall.

    So Kickham is getting buzz for a call up with his excellent last 4 starts. I can't shake the feeling that Honey Fitz might be the guy in a pinch. If the goal is to rest one of the starters for a turn, it might just come down to turns in the Fresno rotation, so Kickham/Heston/Fitzgerald and (shutter) Petit all might be getting the call.

    1. Jarrett Parker is starting to put together an interesting season and I'm very happy with where Panik is right now.

      I'm also getting excited about Kickham, but I hope they let him consolidate his success down in Fresno for awhile. Maybe a July or August callup if he keeps this up?

      I'm not sure who all is on the 40 man roster, but I would think they will bring those guys up before adding someone.

    2. If its 40-man, its the Chris Heston show all the way. They passed Petit through and Kickham/Fitz aren't on the 40 yet.

      It looks like its going to be a dogfight this year (as the NL West is most the time). It might be a good year to skip starts in August September if the opportunity presents itself. Despite a miserable week the Giants are 1 game out. Big games coming up though.

    3. The Giants aren't going to win the NL West with this homestand, but they sureasheck could lose it. Big, big homestand!

    4. Good to hear about all the hitting prospects doing well in AA, we never hear that ever, especially once the Giants moved to the Eastern League AA. Parker is the latest surprise position prospect, jumping over Jurica, who has slumped lately. Parker joins Susac, who has done well all season.

      Panik is still doing what he does, don't strike out much, while walking a lot, his OBP is great! Unfortunately, not much power, evoking a Burriss type hitter except that he knows how to take walks. But the EL suppresses power for all but the best power hitters so it is not the end of the world for him that he has little power there, and great for Susac as he has a .232 ISO right now in the EL. But, wow, Susac has 35 K's in 112 AB, that's a strikeout every third AB, not good contact at all, he's going to need to get that up in order to be considered a good hitting prospect.

      I don't see how the Giants can lose the NL West in this homestand, there is plenty of season left. Still, it would behoove them to put up a good show to make up for that poor road trip.

      I had suggested 6 man rotations for the Giants in the past, maybe this year they will implement it in August/September, to save their starting rotation's arms for the playoffs, should they be in striking distance, or just save their arms, if not.

      If Kickham continues to do well, I don't see how the Giants could skip over him and use Heston. If there is a need in the rotation, they probably need the guy for a while, not just a spot start.

      Still, not sure who would get dropped off the 40 man at this point, unless Torres continues to struggle. They could put Surkamp or Abreu on the 60-day DL to clear a spot though (or even drop Abreu, though they still need an OK MI utility guy with Noonan's struggles lately). Other than that, really, only Adrianza looks potentially possible for a drop off the 40-man, it is kind of full right now with no one obvious for a drop.

      Speaking of struggles, anyone think that Noonan might get placed back in AAA and Juan Perez might get the call? Noonan has not hit for much since his early success, and is hitting even lower than Torres right now, which is quite a comedown from his great start. With the Giants looking at Perez at all the infield positions, have to think they are thinking of making a move by the end of the month, if not sooner. Sometimes prospects just needs a break to find their hitting stroke again.

    5. Noonan provides a lefty bat, that might be the difference. 43 PAs, hard to say. He's K'd 10 times, but its one of the hardest things to do in the majors, come off the bench cold and face MLB pitching. Its possible, Perez is close to ready, but I think Noonan is doing just fine in the limited role.

      Susac started with a lot of K's, which is skewing his stats to some degree. He might be going back to that well, 11 K's in his last 28 ABs. I think his BABIP and K% are definitely worth watching. His BA dipped down low before a hot streak took it back up above .300. We maybe going back to that valley.

    6. Considering that once this homestand is over, the Giants face a June schedule with just 9 home games, yeah, they could lose the season with a bad homestand.

  3. DrB, from yesterday (I felt this way 2 years ago):

    You can't trade for an entire rotation at the deadline. Unless they can narrow it down to 1 or 2 starters to replace, it might be better to just grin and bear it, realize just how crazy hard it is to repeat a championship run, and work on rebuilding the rotation in the offseason.

    I felt we needed Posey, Panda and at least another bat in 2011. (We had Panda, Posey, Huff - he was good that year - AND Burrell in 2010; and in 2012, we Posey, Panda and Pence). In 2011, with only Panda, adding Beltran was not going to be enough when it was crazy hard to repeat.

    It turned out that the reasoning was not quite on the mark, as players later said they thought they could have done it with the addition, mumbling something about chemistry, making it a strategic (no need for the move according to the players and me) and tactical (wrong player, according to the players) error.

    On the latter, it is interesting to note that, in 2011, getting Pence would have required 2 (or was it 3) top prospects, as in, Wheeler and Joseph, for a few months of 2011 and ALL of 2012, had it happened. In its stead, we had Beltran for that same few months of 2011 but less than 3/4 of 2012 for Wheeler and Joseph. Of course, Joseph's value went up during those 12 months, but probably not large enough that a good negotiator couldn't have sold his projected value (but this is a conjecture).

  4. Maybe I shouldn't make this comment on Martin Agosta based on 1 start he made against Hawaii in College, that he struggled with his control, but I think the key for him to be a successful pro pitcher is improving his command..He certainly throws hard enough (low 90's) to be a top prospect. Note: checked his game log and 2 of his worst starts came against Savannah 7IP 7ER 8BB!


    1. Maybe someone can develop a 3 D rating system quantifying Velocity(easy enough) X Effort(hard) X Command(somewhere in between).

      I'm guessing that in general, smaller guys require more effort to generate velocity and greater effort is inversely related to command.