Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Spring Training Game Wrap 3/18/2014: Indians 12 Giants 11

The Giants came up short in a desert slugfest.  Key Lines:

Gregor Blanco- 2 for 4, BB.  BA= .222.  Blanco was setting the table last night.

Tyler Colvin- 1 for 5, HR(1).  BA= .158.  Colvin has not done much this spring, although if he hits a couple more dingers between now and Opening Day, the Giants might prefer his LH power off the bench to Juan Perez' overall play.

Brandon Belt- 3 for 4, BB, SB.  BA= .333.  Belt seems recovered from his virus.  It's great to see him pepper the field with base hits but where is the power?

Hunter Pence- 2 for 4, 2 2B.  BA= .325.  Judging from his spring performance, Pence is ready to repeat his fantastic season from last year.

Hector Sanchez- 3 for 4, 2B, HR.  BA= .286.  Terrific game for The Hector.

Juan Perez- 1 for 4, 2B, HBP.  BA= .318.  Perez answers Colvin in the same game with a double.

Brandon Crawford- 2 for 4.  BA= .222.  About time for Crawford to get untracked.

Brandon Hicks- 1 for 1, HR(2), 2 BB, HBP.  BA= .419.  The 4 times on base might be the most impressive part of his night.  Gotta think he's a serious player for a reserve IF spot on the roster and could well be the opening day starter at 2B unless Scutaro can step it up in the next 10 days.

Ryan Vogelsong- 2.2 IP, 11 H, 9 R, 8 ER, 0 BB, 3 K's.  ERA= 9.00.  Vogie said he felt good and had good stuff.  Admitted to a few mental mistakes.  This line looks a lot like some of what we saw last year where is peripherals weren't too bad, but the BABIP was through the roof.  After awhile, you tend to stop believing it's due to luck.  On the other hand, we've seen a lot of high scores coming out of the desert in the last week.  That air must be sucking every molecule of water out of those balls which makes them light.


  1. I have a bad vibe about Ryan. Starting to sound like Zito in some of his excuses. At some point ,your stuff just doesn't play anymore and I think we may be there with Ryan. Very short leash when the season start I would hope.

    1. The regular season will start soon and we will find out what this year's starting rotation is made of...whether we will, in time, forget the recent outings of Cain, Lincecum and Vogelsong or if they predicted anything.

    2. Yeah, a lot of Giants fans have to look the other side and management as well in regards to pitching.

      The Giants are basically carrying 3 guys who had ERAs over 4.00 and 2 of them over 5.00 last year.

      Vogelsong might be the only one whos on a short leash as I would imagine that with Lincecum it will be the same old excuses (trust me hes never going to be a 3.00 era pitcher). I still have some hope in Cain. Volgesong is dead to me (pitching sense)

  2. Gotta think its Hicks as the pair to Arias, especially when Hicks' natural position is 2b (can he also play other IF positions?).
    I'm thinking JP's position to lose. I get Colvin's potential power but the 5 OF is as much about late game substitutions as it is about off the bench. Plus, his defensive play gives him a leg up to give any of the OFs a day off. Just think overall play will be the key spot.
    Torn on RP. Romo, Affeldt, Casilla, Lopez is a nice 4-some. I think Hembree is back and he makes it; his ability to be a closer may come in handy if the staff falters. Lots of guys for the last two, but I think Runzler and Huff may be the top two for the last spot. If they think Runzler can go long, I'm thinking it is his to lose since I do think they want another lefty and Petit hasn't given them any real reason (this spring) to not do that.


  3. Maybe with Hicks we are seeing someone finally "get it". He's 28, those fabled prime years. Maybe we Sabes has caught some AAAA lightning. Or is his success coming versus the AAAA part of the opposing team?

  4. I just made a power outage comment on Belt elsewhere. We may want to pump the breaks on 20-25 HR projections. Or maybe he'll find the sweet stroke. But if he's getting on base and is knocking doubles around the yard from the 2 hole, who cares?

    I was really impressed with Hicks K rates in the minors. Maybe unimpressed is the right term. Make more contact, chief, like you did back in 2010.

    Vogey's last outing was strong enough to get him one of those Monopoly game cards. 88-91 should be enough. He should fare much better with the damp air and deep fences of AT&T.

  5. Hicks has a good defensive rep. If he can make enough contact, he's a pretty interesting scrapper type to root for.

    Edwin Escobar, stay loose! Vogey gets April to prove out in my book, but after that...

  6. "Past performance is not an indicator of future results", or so the investment guides say. Well the Giants starters are really putting that disclaimer to the test.

    MadBum - is The Man, period. Fixes the team bus, wins the Cy Young.

    Cain - never pitch a perfect game again, don't try, don't "get lucky", just don't do it. Give up the hit. You'll be okay, we love one hitters too.

    Huddy - still getting "The Bulldog" vibe and still seems that he has the stuff to back it up. He could mentor the staff to greatness this year.

    Timmy - the Timmy Makeover ain't some cheap nose job. This is a major face lift, belly tuck and Zen Jedi mind trick wrapped into one season. I think he pull off the mind trick, but don't know if his mechanics can support the Maduxxian control required.

    Voggie - have to agree with the general tenor here...get Escobar ready ASAP.

    Now can we get to baseball, not football games.

  7. I know what everyone is trying to say when they say Timmy is going the Maddux approach but I would prefer them to use a more realistic potential future comp in terms of who approach is he going after. You say Maddux and you are almost setting expectations too high even if we are just talking about the approach. There are a lot more to contact type of pitchers to use indescribing his new approach that Timmy will probably end up like and will still be an improvement.

    1. Pitchers, such as...? If you were a professional pitcher, having won 2 Cy Young's would you not aim for the best, the zenith? Maddux comes to mind. Don't settle for less Timmy!

    2. Kirk Rueter and Livan Hernandez come to mind.

      Hey, whatever happened to that massive HOOK Timmy used to have when he was drafted from UW?

    3. RB, those names got me hot. My god, I hope we are past the Woody and corpulent Livan level of pitchers on our staff. Aim higher Timmy, the $17M/yr. says so.

    4. Anon,

      The Maddux comp was started by Carl Steward over at Giants extra. I think the comments here are mostly a reaction to that. He made it sound like the conversion as almost a done deal and was more likely that not. I think what Monterey and I are trying to say it, it's not going to be that easy!

  8. Mike Maddux is definitely doable.

  9. I do not think the conversion is not going to be easy either, but I do not think there has to be a lot of change for him to be effective. He was still able to get guys out with his pitches, for strikeouts. He was just getting too predictable, which led to hits at the wrong times. By studying hitters, he can be more focused on where the hitters weaknesses are and avoiding his hot spots.

    Being a pitcher is part of his changes, but not, to me, the key change. Besides, look at how long Cainer took, and he unlike Timmy was trying to be a pitcher and not thrower, even though he had stuff and velocity. This is just part of his evolution, not his main part.