Sunday, March 23, 2014

Spring Training Game Wrap 3/23/2014: Giants 13 Royals 9

The Giants offense stormed back from a 7-1 deficit to win going away in Scottsdale.  Key Lines:

Angel Pagan- 2 for 5.  BA= .256.  Good to see Angel get a couple of hits after some time off for a sore back.  Giants need him healthy and hitting.

Brandon Belt- 2 for 3, 2B, 2 BB.  BA= .295.  Perfect numbers for a #2 hitter!

Gregor Blanco- 2 for 3, 3B, BB, Sac.  BA= .279.  Blanco has been hot.  If Morse is not ready to start the season in LF, Giants will be fine with Blanco and his great glove.

Brandon Crawford- 2 for 4, HR(1).  BA= .239.  Crawford got off to a slow start, but has been hitting better lately.

Ehire Adrianza- 1 for 1, HR(3).  BA= .205.  Mendoza line or no, this dinger almost surely nailed down a roster spot!

Juan Perez- 1 for 2, 2B.  BA= .315.  It's looking more and more like Perez is the guy for the 5'th OF slot.

Tim Lincecum- 4.2 IP, 11 H, 7 R, 1 BB, 7 K, 3 HR.  ERA= 6.52.  Timmy found his strikeout pitch again and only walked 1 batter.  On the other hand, we see a familiar pattern of when things start to unravel, they fall completely apart and quickly.  On the other hand, I'm not convinced that he gives up those 3 dingers in AT&T Park.

Dan Runzler- 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K.  ERA= 2.70.   Amazingly, Runzler apparently had an option left and got sent down after the game along with George Kontos who struck out the 2 batters he faced in this one.  Life is definitely not fair!

Derek Law- 0.1 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 0 K.  ERA= 5.40.  Law did not get sent down, but it's probably only a matter of time.  He probably needed to be perfect to unseat Jean Machi for the last of the setup relief slots.  This outing will probably be the one that gets him sent out, even if it doesn't happen right away.

Marco Scutaro did not appear in any games this weekend.  Gotta assume he's starting the season on the DL.

Michael Morse drew a walk in his one plate appearance and came out for a PR.  What's your over/under for him starting the season on time?

Around the League:

TB Rays LHP Matt Moore became the latest pitcher to take one off the grille today.  MLB needs to act fast, but won't!

Despite his 3 hits in yesterday's game, Yasiel Puig is apparently annoying his manager Don Mattingly.  Apparently the references to an MRI and bone scan were sarcasm from the manager who is getting sick of Puig grabbing a different body part every time he strikes out.  Getting thrown out on the basepaths twice did not endear him to the manager either, I'm sure.

Cubs sent Javier Baez down to sit out his Super 2 service time.  That has to change!

Cardinals named Joe Kelly their 5'th starter and announced that Carlos Martinez will open the season as the 8'th inning setup man making a mockery of the charade of spring training competition.

Early returns on the D'Backs are they do not have a very good team.  On top of that, Manager Kirk Gibson has made some head scratching decisions in game 2 against the Dodgers in Australia:  1.  Hit Miguel Montero in front of Mark Trumbo with a LHP on the mound.  2.  Played Didi Gregorius, a LH hitter instead of Chris Owings who hits right and hits better.  3.  Allowed Trevor Cahill to face 2 LH batters then took him out with a RH batter coming up after he walked the 2 lefties.

Texas Rangers 2B Jurickson Profar is out for 10-12 weeks with a torn shoulder muscle.  Most likely they will fill the void with internal options including a possible promotion for prospect Roughned Odor.    This is bad news for fantasy baseball players who took a chance on Profar having a breakout year.


  1. Awesome roundup Doc (you're hell on weeds). I appreciate the scoops from around the league.

    And I appreciate your candor - no sugar coating: you tell it like it is and can appreciate the prospects of Belt batting second.

    The Huff-Petit two headed monster is alive and well.

    1. Yeah, I'd second that. Really appreciate the news from around the league doc.

    2. Even if Belt bats second, that doesn't mean his power has suddenly disappeared. The long ball may have eluded him this spring, but I fully expect belt to hit 20+ HR. Probably closer to 20 than the plus, but he has some serious thump for a tall lank dude. That being said, I bet he starts the season hitting 3rd. Pablo has more power imo, but he needs to earn his 3 spot back. Excluding Posey, Belt is probably our best all around hitter when it comes to AVG/OBP/OPS ergo he should be hitting 3rd.

    3. I think Belt bats second until Scutaro joins the team, which I'm pretty sure won't be by Opening Day. It was telling that Arias started at 2B today.

  2. Surprised to see Law's era @ 5.40....I seem to recall good outings when he pitched.

    1. When you don't pitch many innings, one bad outing will blow up your ERA, one of the limitations of the metric.

    2. Totally agree and it works the other way as well - only a few good outings starting out will keep the ERA low for a while.

  3. Speaking of the Rays, Alex Colome was popped for PED's this morning... using a horse tranquilizer? Come on, man!

    We're one week out, ladies and gents! I have to admit, I'm very even keeled about the season right now. Are Morse and Pagan ready? Scutaro certainly isn't. Are Timmy and Vogey ready to roll? I know the options situation played a big role in the (to be announced) decision to keep Petit and Huff on the roster, but I really have to wonder if the coaching staff isn't concerned about Lincecum and Vogelsong being able to throw 6 or 7 good innings. Maybe they felt they needed a bit more insurance until the back end of the rotation can prove itself?

    I definitely think the Giants can contend in this division... there's not a doubt in my mind. But I wonder how they will gel during the first month or so, seeing how the full lineup really hasn't played together this spring. It seems to me like they've gotten off to a sloppy start in recent seasons, defensively... I think that will be a key as they come out of the chute this year. And hopefully it's a fast start!

  4. Are there more injuries this spring than normal?

    1. Pitchers are dropping like flies and there has been a veritable epidemic of repeat UCL tears which has not been a big problem in the past. I would be interested to know if the technique changed 2-3 years ago or if there is a particular surgeon who is having bad outcomes.

    2. Doesn't Dr. Andrews perform all of the Tommy Johns?? Maybe he is getting old!

    3. I'm not sure he performs any of them at this point. I think a lot of them are done at his clinic, but I'm not sure he actually performs the surgeries and I also don't think his is the only place that does them.

  5. There is really only one thing I feel when I think of this 2014 Giants team.... Nostalgia!! So nice to see Timmy and Voggie and Scuts and all the rest of the gang back together again! Can't wait to see Timmy and Voggie get lit up like cigars and Scuts filling the ever important DL spot on our roster! If Morse isn't healthy to start the year I'm pretty sure Pat the Bat is still available!!

    I'm having a really hard time being positive about this team in case you guys didn't catch the sarcasm. We just spent 48 million or so on 2 pitchers who suck when we could have signed Arroyo and J. Johnson and Yes, I would rather have Josh Johnson than Voggie right now!!

    Trade Pablo. Trade the farm. Do whatever it takes to make this team interesting because right now I'm falling asleep. I don't see the best case scenario working out where Pagan, Morse, and Scuts are healthy and productive most of the season. I don't see Voggie and Timmy pitching well. I don't see Belt hitting 20 HR's!! Everyone is getting excited right now a week away from opening day but lets see how everyone is feeling after a month into the season and at least 5 games out of 1st.

    1. I am looking forward to the season.

      Maybe it looks like the mighty Persian army across the Pinarus river at Issus, but anything can happen in a battle.

    2. I hear what you are saying, Pato, but there are positives: Buster looks stronger. Pablo looks a lot healthier and ready to have a big season. I don't know about 20 + dingers for Belt, but I will bet that he is in the top half of OPS's for 1B in MLB this year. Bummy is looking like a true ace. Cain looks ready to have a good season and Huddy is almost certainly a big upgrade on Zito. $20 M for Timmy is way too much. If it were me, I would have offered him the $14 M QO and seen where it went from there. Garza was a better deal and wouldn't have cost a draft pick. I really don't care about Vogey. If he's good OK, if he's not, he's a fungible commodity. Unlike last year, the Giants have backup options.

      I think this team will produce a surprising number of runs and the pitching will be adequate. Maybe not enough to win the division over the Dodgers, but enough to get into the playoffs.

    3. Sorry, my blood sugar got a little low there and I couldn't help myself. I like the offense but there are zero and I mean zero back up plans if all doesn't go as planned. The pitching on the other hand is going to be half good and half awful. I think Timmy is going to have the same struggles as he did the last 2 seasons and Voggie might as well spike himself and go on the DL because he is primed to be worse than Zito if that is possible. That is really where it is going to fall apart for us. Timmy and Voggie getting shelled every 4th and 5th day putting pressure on MadBum, Cain, and Huddy. I see more of a 81 and 81 team myself. 5 games out of 1st place at least a month into the season is my first prediction though.

    4. P-Duk, welcome back. Way to throw in the towel - before the season starts. Make sure no else beats you to it.

      Please proceed to watch Mr. Johnson pitch for the Padres. Oh, that's right he can't even pick up a baseball for weeks.

      If it makes you feel better, I'm pushing for the Giants to trade Panda, Scoots, Pagan, Morse and Belt in a package to the Rangers for Fielder and Profar. Think of the 1B homers and youth.

      And you betcha! Everyone IS excited for the Giants season. Hope springs eternal, join the parade P-Duk (you'll feel better).

    5. Fie, fie, Shark: you are failing to recognize Ducky's sly irony in picking Johnson and Arroyo. Not only can't Johnson "even pick up a baseball for weeks," as you remark, but Hardball Talk reported two weeks ago that "37-year-old Bronson Arroyo has been sidelined with a bulging disk in his back for almost all of Diamondbacks camp and the injury hasn’t shown much improvement. He’s able to play catch, but Steve Gilbert of reports that Arroyo was sore and stiff after doing so Monday and could be running out of time to be ready for Opening Day." Unless Ducky is falling asleep (as he says) so that he doesn't follow the news, he must be kidding us with these pitchers' names. He must. He must, mustn't he?

  6. Some funny shit.
    This is a good crowd here. Everybody take a second to pat themselves on the back. You like baseball, therefore you are smart and cool.

    Baseballito Ergo Sum.

    Apparently the Diamondbacks suck after two games. I'm under the impression that the Giants are better than the Dbacks, especially after Corbin went vaya con dios for the season.

    The Giants offense will do surprisingly good things. The back end of the rotation may make you want to grab Sabean by the scruff of the neck, but contending for the wild card may be the poppy milk your nerves need.

    Kick some A, Giants.

  7. Yet another Ray gets popped (Drugs or PEDs - PEDs this time... hard to keep track, seriously, with these guys). The Giants might be a little more slow and steady, but you really need to be in the game to win the game.

    Pato trolling with Arroyo and Johnson. That was pretty good. Two words on the backup plan: Edwin Escobar.

    The Giants finally do have a backup plan! This is exciting. And he's young, and a lefty to boot.

    One guy I'm watching closely, I think there might be a pretty good fit: the Cubs Junior Lake. The Cubs have a murderer's row of hitting prospects, not very much pitching, they will grow impatient with Lake because he's a "hacker" and they have other guys to slot in. Play stupid, go get him for some shiny pitching prospects. He'll cost, no doubt, and you have to wait for the 3 HR game shine to wear off as well, but when he starts struggling, and the cubs start sucking... Make a troll. Make that first on your list Sabes!