Thursday, August 15, 2013

Down on the Farm: 8/15/2013

AAA  Fresno Grizzlies beat the Omaha Stormchasers 6-1:

Gary Brown(CF)- 2 for 5, SB(14).  BA= .231.
Chris Dominguez(1B)- 2 for 5, 2B.  BA= .298.
Francisco Peguero(LF)- 2 for 5.  BA= .311.
Carter Jurica(3B)- 1 for 2, 2 BB.  BA= .252.
Eric Surkamp(LHP)- 7 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 5 K's.  ERA= 2.77.

4'th consecutive game for Surkamp in which he goes 7 IP and allows 1 ER.  He has 21 K's against 5 BB's in 28 IP in that span.  Curious that Dominguez has moved to 1B the last 2 games with Jurica playing 3B.

AA  Richmond Flying Squirrels scored 6 runs in the bottom of the 8'th inning for a come-from-behind 9-6 win over the Akron Aeros:

Javier Herrera(.294), Jesus Navarro(.167) and Skyler Stromsmoe(.200)- 2 hits each.
Ryan Bradley(LHP)- 3 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K's.  ERA= 6.58.
Josh Osich(LHP)- 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K.  ERA= 6.05.

High A  Modesto Nuts topped the San Jose Giants 4-3:

Trevor Brown(2B)- 1 for 4, 2B.  BA= .250.
Ricky Oropesa(1B)- 1 for 4, HR(7).  BA= .329.
Clayton Blackburn(RHP)- 5 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 3 BB, 5 K's.  ERA= 3.61.
Chris Marlowe(RHP)- 2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K.  ERA= 4.53.

Low A  Augusta Greenjackets outlasted the Greenville Drive 3-2 in 12 innings:

Chris Stratton(RHP)- 7 IP, 8 H, 2 R, 0 BB, 3 K's.  ERA= 3.08.
Stephen Johnson(RHP)- 1.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K's.  ERA= 4.05.
Joe Kurrasch(LHP)- 2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 5 K's.  ERA= 3.18.

Best part of Stratton's line is the 0 BB's.  This has to be Kurrasch's best appearance as a pro so far.

Short Season  Salem-Keizer Volcanoes won a see-saw battle with the Hillsboro Hops 6-5:

Ryan Jones(2B)- 2 for 4, BB.  BA= .378.
Brian Ragira(RF)- 2 for 4, BB.  BA= .261.
Chris Johnson(RHP)- 5.2 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 0 BB, 4 K's.  ERA= 2.31.

Rookie AZL  Indians defeated the Giants 7-2:

Will Callaway(2B)- 4 for 5.  BA= .323.
Christian Arroyo(SS)- 0 for 1.  BA= .297.
Jonathan Jones(1B)- 1 for 3, HR(5), BB.  BA= .207.
Johneshwy Fargas(CF)- 1 for 2, 2 BB, 3 SB(8).  BA= .288.

Not sure why Arroyo came out after just 1 AB.  Impressive start to his pro career by Fargas.

DSL  Reds outhit the Giants 9-6:

Gustavo Cabrera(CF)- 1 for 5, HR(1).  BA= .225.
Kleiber Rivas(DH)- 2 for 5.  BA= .260.
Hengerber Medina(SS)- 3 for 3, 2B.  BA= .169.

Gustavo hits is first pro HR!  What happened to Hengerber?  I had him pegged as the guy most likely to succeed on last years DSL Giants team.


  1. Sean Brady was asked on twitter who won the matchup between him and his buddy Arroyo and tweeted- Arroyo did "but he took a ball off of his leg in his second AB and had to leave."

    Brady then had a twitter convo where he seemed pretty apologetic about it but Arroyo assured him it was all good and that he'd see him tomorrow.

    Looks like it's not too serious- JA

    1. Good to hear - thanks for the info JA!

  2. My thinking on Dominquez and Jurica is that the front office are thinking smartly about next year back ups. Arias can cover 3b-2b. We have other guys (Abreau) but they're not really adding much. Arias may choose not to say with the big club. So, Jurica playing 3b (in addition to OF and SS, I think) and Dominquez (who can play OF and 3B) pick up utility advantage by covering a new corner. Don't know if Jurica can also play 2b, but if he can play Arias' spot AND OF, he has a good shot of making the team. I think Dominguez and Pill battle it out, and the former's ability to play 3b may be decisive. Good moves, as it gives flexibility for next year. Also moves some guys on and makes them more marketable.


    1. Arias (and Blanco) are Arb 2, meaning if the Giants tender them a contract, they will be in the French Vanilla. Even with a double up on salary he'd still be a 2MM utility guy, which is pretty acceptable. Blanco will most likely get to 3-4MM next year. Other arb cases: Mijares is Arb 3 (final year) and he'll get to 3-4MM easy, which means that he's almost as expensive as Javy Lopez. The Giants might have to make a tough choice on that one.

      You touched on something important though - 3B coverage. With Pablo being a total wild card, the Giants need multiple options to cover. Dominguez would have the leg up on Pill, but most likely we're looking at a AAAA situation. Still, he has come back from the dead, which is fun to see. I imagine his pitch recognition issues are similar to Pill, trouble with the curve.

      Only other Gigante with an arb case: George Kontos, Arb 1. And Mr. Belt might qualify as super-2. I imagine there will be a lockup of the Brandons this offseason, they have 4 years to go until they hit FA.

    2. I agree that there probably will be nice 4 year (plus option) deals with the Brandons, though perhaps Belt's reps might want one year to show off the new and improved Belt in a play to get more money.

      Being able to play 3B won't mean anything if Dominguez can't hit MLB pitching, which Pill has demonstrated some ability of doing.

      Speaking of the bench, I recall someone noting Peguero is out of options and thus probably is one reserve on the bench. Who else gets bench seats?

      Obviously, barring injury, Hector Sanchez (1) is the backup catcher. Arias is one backup MI. Peguero probably gets a backup job, or maybe even platoons with Blanco in LF, in which case, they could maybe use Pill as backup LF/1B. If there is a new starting LF, then Blanco and Peguero are the backup OF, with Pill out of a spot. Last spot goes to MI, Abreu or Noonan, maybe Jurica in the mix too. Does that look about right? And are there other guys running out of options who might be in the mix? Also, Giants liked having 2nd backup catcher so that they can use Hanchez PH, so maybe they sign vet former C (thinking Inge for example) who can play other positions too?

      Baseball really needs to move to a 26-man roster.

    3. If Pence goes, Giants will probably sign an experienced corner outfielder. Then Blanco/Peguero will be more valuable since they can play the RF at ATT. It will be easier to find a LF and a RF (Blanco already did play well and Peguero looked like a good defensive player when he was in the majors). If Pence stays or we sign a good RF, then I can see a wide open competition for LF that includes many AAA bats.

  3. We were discussing what might happen to Dominguez should Duvall get promoted to AAA, and it was brought up that maybe he'll play 1B in 2014 if Duvall is promoted, both to give him a spot to start in the minors, as well as prep him for versatility in the majors as a utility player. Jurica, I assume, is being prepared to be a utility guy as well.

    Stratton, oy, nice outing but he needs to be striking out a lot more guys if he hopes to make the majors. His struggles look even worse because Agosta, our next draft pick, has been doing extremely well in the same rotation, 11.5 K/9, 3.1 K/BB. Or even the next draft pick, Marcus Stroman is already in AA and striking out more while walking less than Stratton is in A-ball. Stratton's looking like a huge mistake at this point.

    Fargas is doing nicely, he started out hot, struggled for a stretch, and now is heating up again. I know, SSS, but still nice that he's hitting well, particularly since he's young for the league as well.

    Wow, Brown has been all over the place. After hitting white hot after making changes, he turned cold again, but now has a nice three game stretch that he hopefully can continue for the rest of the season, be something nice to build off of for 2014. But he was frozen cold for 20 games, .130/.173/.169/.342 in 77 AB, 20 games, and he struck out 20 time! Very poor 74% contact rate. And even in the last 3 games, 4 K's in 15 AB is still pretty bad. He's probably still struggling with the changes he made to his mechanics, hopefully he practices over the off-season and have that be muscle memory by the time spring training rolls around, maybe they will recommend he plays winter ball to get some quality AB's in, like they asked Bowker to a while back.

  4. With Vogie's struggles and Timmy's upcoming FA, it's possible both will be gone (along with Zito)....For that reason alone, the Giants should give their most ready SP prospect at least 5-6 starts the rest of the way..And SURKAMP looks as ready as he'll ever be to take on the challenge...That's more important than seeing more innings from the big guys (give them a rest)..Maybe go to a 6-man rotation...???

    Regarding Stratton,his performance has arguably placed him 3rd or 4th in line in Augusta alone, behind FLores, Agosta and maybe Gregorio..

    Good to see GALINDO back in the lineup

    Wouldn't mind seeing Ryan Jones and his .375/450OBP moved up to Augusta for a stint..Seems to old and accomplished for the NWL


    1. That's just one game of struggle for Vogelsong. And $6.5M is not that much for a middling pitcher, which I think is the min for where he'll be.

      As much as I want to see a 6-man rotation, that appears to be too out there for the Giants, but I've seen talk about perhaps skipping starts, so they might skip a starter here and there, to give the young guys a start (Surkamp and Kickham) but only once we are in September and rosters expand. I can see Cain getting a skip, probably Gaudin (hasn't started in a while; and if he shows fatigue, like Vogie did in August 2011, then he'll be shut down and the young guys get a shot), maybe Vogie once he's throwing like he did before, perhaps Lincecum, though he would be furious since he's going FA, and probably not Bumgarner, except for many the last start of the season, at which point, we should have been officially done for a long while and just to give him some rest, as he did get gassed last season, so maybe sooner.

    2. Vogey also struggled mightly before his injury..I like Vogey and hope it just may be everything catching up for this year and he retunrs to form next year, but that can't be assumed...Then you also have Lince and Gaudin to think about..Gaudin sure has earned it this year...I think it would be amazingly shortsighted of the Giants not to give a good run of starts to Surkamp to gauge if he could be a factor next year..By hook or by crook, they need to get him those starts.JMO..We'll see.


    3. Cain is trying to continue his 200 IP streak. I don't know if he cares about it, but he has a 6-year streak.

    4. I see your point, SteveVA, I had forgotten about that. I guess I'm just blinded by his good work in 2011 and 2012. You're right, it can't be assumed that he'll be back.

      That said, I think that the Giants should be OK in 2014 with a starting set of Cain, Bumgarner, Gaudin in the starting rotation. That is actually a nice start to any rotation, assuming Cain's issues are not long term and Gaudin is as he seems.

      Looking at Cain's starts, his ERA would probably be under 4 right now if you take away just one of his really bad starts, and he has actually had a large number of them, for him. He appears to be having bbad luck with the homers this season, particularly early on, but he has been pretty normal since April.

      Gaudin has actually been a dominant pitcher in recent years, but as a reliever, not given a chance to show off his stuff much as a starter: 7.6 K/9 is very good, 2.0 K/BB is acceptable to good for a back end starter. His main issue has been his tendency for wildness, it hurt him a lot as a starter in 2007 and 2009, but he was good in 2008 as well as now. The long ball has also hurt him, but he has double the mojo now that he's in AT&T and under Rags care and influence.

      That leaves a battle for the final two spots. Vogie's option is too cheap relative to what he has done before not to be picked up. Hopefully we sign Lincecum and that's another spot covered. Meanwhile, we have Moscoso, Kickham, and Surkamp (and maybe Petit) as first line backups starting in spring to cover Vogie or Lincecum holes in production (whether because they are missing or not producing). That's not too bad, IMO. Plus Escobar continues to impress and I view him as a potential mid-2014 call-up once alternatives are exhausted.

      Moscoso is a bit of a head scratcher. He actually had a very good, if very lucky, season in 2011 as a starter, one would have thought that he would have gotten more of a chance with pitching poor Rockies, but apparently they really only wanted Josh Outman in that trade. He was like Rosario this offseason, was with four different teams, until the Giants picked him up from Chicago. Looks like he upped his velocity to get more K's with Colorado, but got wilder in the process. Judging by how poorly he's been doing with the Giants, my guess would be that he's implementing some adjustments that the Giants have recommended, and that has led to a lot of wildness and lack of control, leading to way too many walks and homers.

      While Chaudin looks like a pitcher who has exhibited some good skills but never got the opportunities to show them, Moscoso looks more like a project. He clearly has the skills to dominate, looking at his MLB and AAA stats the past two seasons, he also needs to tame the wildness that led to either too many hits or too many walks. But with a career 1.9 K/BB, he shows enough skills to be effective in the majors if he can tame those elements. The Giants appear to be working with him in real-time in live games to see what they can mold him into for next season.

      I viewed his acquisition to be a sign of three things. First, that obviously he's the new long-man out of the bullpen. Second, a sign of confidence that Gaudin has earned a spot in the rotation for next year and they are auditioning for the next long-man. Three, that Zito was pretty much written out of the Giants 2014 rotation plans.

    5. And I think the prospects are good risk mitigators.

      Surkamp I've liked a lot because he's been able to keep up his dominance of batters as he rose up the minors, that shows that he's fooling batters at every level well. That dominance he showed in AA was impressive to me, impressively improving on what he did in SJ in 2010. He's still in recovery mode as far as I'm concerned, so his numbers are not as important to me as his being effective overall and showing some control, though I hope to see increased dominance next season from him.

      Kickham I've been very impressed with his outings in the majors. Obviously, nothing exactly to write home with, but he's not what I call a top MLB prospect, so I expect flaws and look for the facets with which he shines best. I've focused more on the start of his outings (usually shutdown 1-2-3 with lots of strikeouts) than when things unravelled, because he's been extended his dominance of the other team with each appearance, and his last "start" which was a long relief appearance, he dominated in what would have been a DOM start had he actually started: 5.1 IP, 5 hits, 3 walks, 6 strikeouts. I think he rose above Surkamp for now in the depth chart.

      So the rotation, while to your point is in flux, is OK for next season. We have the returning three of Cain, Bumgarner, Gaudin as a good top 3. In the mix for the next two spots are Vogie, Moscoso, Kickham, Surkamp, and if we sign Lincecum, we only need one of them to do well enough to be our #5 starter. If you look across the majors, #5 starters are really non-existent, few go the whole season, most teams rotate among 3-5 starters that last spot as they search for consistent and OK performances out of the 5th starters. That also extents to the 4th starter for many teams as well.

      Lincecum would be a great anchor as a 4th starter, but even if we lose him, Vogie should be good there, and even if he should falter, Moscosco has done well enough in the past to be a passable 4th starter for us. Then I think any of the remaining alternatives are fine for the 5th starter, as we give extended auditions to prospects until somebody sticks in the 5th spot, or if we are fortunate, Timmy and Vogie are locking down the last two spots.

      And if the last spot is still in flux by mid-season, I would not be surprised by an Escobar call-up, he has done amazingly well in AA, basically duplicating his SJ results translated to AA, a mix of dominance and control that plays well in the majors. DrB and Shankbone called it on this prospect, he has been very impressive this season, I probably wouldn't have paid as much attention to him if not for them. My props. And who knows, maybe he forces his way into the MLB staff in spring training.

    6. Cain appears to be on the bubble for making 200 IP.

      Cain is currently slated for 9 more starts for a total of 33, which he normally throws in a season. He has 146.0 IP so far in 24 start for 6.1 IP/start. If he continues that for the remaining 9, that's 54.2 IP for 200.2 IP. Taking out one start would mean he would need to average 6.75 IP/game in the remaining 8. That is basically what he has averaged over the past 4 sesaons, so that's doable in that sense, but this season he's been struggling to stay dominant the way he had been in recent seasons, giving up more walks and homers than usual.

      So removing one start would probably put that 200 IP streak into some jeopardy. Part of the reason for his lack of IP right now was his extremely short start when he was pulled in the first inning after, what, 0.2 IP, plus the start before was just 2.1 IP. Out of 24 starts this season, he has reached 6.2 IP or more in only 12 of them. Looking at his monthly averages, he averaged roughly enough in May and June, but not in April, when it looked like he was rounding into baseball shape or something nor in July when he had those two very shortened starts. His last four starts averaged 7.25 IP/start though.

      So while Cain looks capable of reaching 200 IP if a start were skipped, as we can see, he hasn't actually been consistently that long in starts this season, with only half his starts at 6.2+ IP. Still, outside of those two bad starts, he has averaged 6.5 IP/start, close to the average he needs (just 2 extra IP to reach 6.75 over 8 starts) to reach 200 with only 8 starts. So he seems like he'll be right on the line to making 200 IP in 8 starts, but one bad start - and he's been having at least one per month since his Perfecto - would put that in jeopardy without some longer outings.

      I don't know how deeply it matters to him, but I do recall him saying that he's proud of pitching 200+ innings in previous years. He seems to view it as a badge of honor being a horse starter capable of 200+ IP, so the implication is that he enjoys the accomplishment of reaching 200 IP, but I can't say if continuing that streak is important.

      My guess is that he's not aware of the streak itself, since he always seem so self-effacing and humble, that it would take a reporter to note it to him. But once brought up, I think he would say the streak is nice, and he's proud of it, but for him it is just important to reach 200 IP to show his durability and effectiveness (as you have to be good too, to get the chance to compile all those innings), the streak is just a stat thing.

      Now that I've been ruminating on this, I think that the Giants won't be skipping a starter nor going with a 6 man rotation, but what they might do is because there are periods of long stretches without a day off, the Giants will insert a spot starter (essentially a 6 man rotation for one turn of the rotation, though) on the day where there would be a day off, in order to keep the starters on a 6 day rotation.

      For example, since Cain pitched on August 11th, his next start is August 17, for six days of rest. But Bumgarner pitched on August 13th and he gets the 18th start, which is only five days. Instead, Giants insert Moscoso (or call up someone for a quick one day start and return) for the 18th, pushing Bumgarner to the 19th for six days between starts, and so forth for the rest of the rotation. There could be two starts in this stretch of games because the next day off is not until August 29th, then another two as the next rest after that is on Sept 16th, then 23rd is last off day. Rotation won't fit perfectly so the Giants could alternate 6 then 5 then 6 etc.

    7. Another unknown (at least to me) is this equation is Gaudin's legal problems. I hope he does not have a tendency to get into trouble.

  5. I am hoping Osich was just getting used to AA hitters when he was frist promoted. I believe he has what it takes to help us next year, if not at the beginning, maybe sometime during the season, as a reliever. The fantasy is he regains his strength to start again.

    1. I really like Osich too. After his initial problems in AA, he has had a nice 3.52 ERA in 11 appearance, 15.1 IP, 13 hits, 5 walks (2.9 BB/9) and 12 K's (7.0 K/9) and 2.4 K/BB. Not the best but not bad either, and I think he should be ready by mid-season.

      He wants to be a reliever, so I would just keep him there for now, both because he wants that and because he has been so injury prone, he just needs to get through a season uninjured. That's his fastest path to the majors, then Bochy and Rags can work with him, they could always make him a starter later if necessary, like they did with Dirty, or just keep him in the bullpen otherwise, like they did with Wilson. I think it's a win for us either way.

  6. FYI: Kolten Wong just promoted to MLB for Cards.

    His stats look exactly like what we have been hoping to get from Brown, sigh...

    Also, Manuel fired by Phillies:

    Wow, Ryne Sandburg is their new manager! Shocking given his stature in Chicago, much like Mattingly in LA.

    And since some have been speculating on Ellsbury:

    SF is mentioned and like most clueless general writers, view SF by their record only as a rebuilding club. More like reloading club since it's the same core group for the most part from 2012 to 2014.