Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Game Wrap 9/17/2014: Giants 4 D'Backs 2

Matt Duffy hit a bases-loaded 2-run single in the top of the 9'th inning to break a 2-2 tie and give the Giants a series win over the D'Backs.  Matt Duffy!  Key Lines:

Brandon Crawford- 4 for 4, 2B.  BA= .246  Crawford continued his torrid hot streak that has seen him go 12 for 24 over his last 7 games and .452 for the month of September.  He accounted for 3 of the Giants 4 runs in this one scoring 2 and driving in 1.

Matt Duffy- 1 for 1.  BA= .235.  So, Matt Duffy is hitting .308 over his last 10 games, mostly in a PH/Bench role, which might be the toughest role in all of baseball.  He is 4 for 10 as a PH.  Game winner today!  Matt Duffy!

Madison Bumgarner- 6 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 6 K's.  ERA= 2.91.  Bummy maybe did not have his best stuff today, but hung tough and kept the Giants in the game.

Santiago Casilla- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K's, Save(17).  ERA= 1.82.  Casilla seems to have tightened his grip on the closer role coming down the stretch.

The Dodgers were crushed by the Rockies today 16-2, thank you very much.  The Giants Win gets them to 2 games behind the NL West leaders.  The Pirates took it to the BoSox 9-1 so the Giants lead for the home field advantage in the Wild Card Play-in game remains at 2.5 games.  The Brewers lost so the Giants lead over them for the second Wild Card slot grows to 4 games with 10 to play.  The Braves continue their free-fall and are 8 games off the Giants Wild Card pace.

The Giants now have a day off before taking on the Padres in Petco Park for a 3 game weekend series. Tim Hudson tries to right his ship in game 1 facing Odrisamer Despaigne.  Gotta love that name!  The Dodgers, meanwhile, travel to Chicago to face a Cubs team looking to be spoilers.  Can we cue up Tommy Lasorda for a postgame interview?  LOL!

MLBTR is reporting from multiple sources that the Giants are not willing to go more than 3 years for Pablo Sandoval, are planning to make a QO and expect him to go on the market where the BoSox and Marlins are interested.

Oh, and I have one more thing to say.  Matt Duffy!!

50 comments:

  1. Great to see Crawford's bat coming back around. He and Duffy provided ALL the offense today. Duffy can play... give him a role, and he'll give you solid production. What are the Giants going to do with all of these MIF next year?

    Huge win today...

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    1. I was just thinking this afternoon. Maybe Matt Duffy can take 3B next year with Crawford and Panik at SS and 2B and Adrianza as the reserve MIF? Or maybe Crawford moves to 3B with Adrianza taking SS and Duffy playing the UT role?

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    2. duffy seems more like a super utility, bat off the bench, sort of guy

      given pablo's history of not taking care of himself, when his position seems secure, i dont blame the giants for not wanting to go past a 3 year gig

      nice to see what craw can do when fully healthy

      very interesting stuff going on in the pcl, with 2 franchises trying to land the giants and both the a's and dodgers wanting to move far away from their home clubs....bummer for fresno if they end up with the brew crue

      and doc, that whole "going for it all" thing that beane pulled....didnt work out...

      bacci

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    3. Yeah, remember when everybody was hailing Billy Beane's midseason moves and calling Brian Sabean timid or else saying he should just throw in the towel? I think even I wanted him to make a more aggressive trade for a 2B. How's all that looking now?

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    4. I'm thinking Duffy is best fit as an everyday position player; we have see him field all positions (with minimal time) effectively - and when you check his batting average over his years with our club ...... let's just say we need him hitting daily. There hasn't been much made about it; but he led all AA players this year with a .332 average. A guy who can hit like that belongs on the field. Just sayin'

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    5. Pablo is going to be real hard to replace, but I just can't see giving a guy with his body type and history a 5 year contract.

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    6. Well, I will say this: The idea of losing Pablo is scaring me more the more I think about it. However, I understand it's a very realistic possibility, given his supposed contract demands. If we cannot re-sign him, I have no doubt that Duffy could give the Giants every bit of production from 3B as any other free agent option aside from Headley and Hanley... and I don't see any chance the Giants pursue either of those guys.

      Someone mentioned Conner Gillaspie. He seems to be doing just fine in Chicago, and I would say Duffy has a similar profile. If the Panda bolts, it makes more sense to me to spend the money on bringing back Peavy and maybe another pitcher, and leaving all of these cost-controlled young guys alone.

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    7. I might be in the minority, but I don't see Pablo as that hard to replace. He's a 117 OPS+ guy, not a 144 OPS+ guy, his jacket is pretty set at this point. You have the high points of the Verlander game, no doubt, but you also have the miserable conditioning issues. At the moment he's killing it on defense, is he a good bet to continue that for 5 years though?

      Its trendy to make fun of Ribeyes, but is it worth pointing out that Brandon Crawford, generally hitting 7th or 8th this year, is basically tied with Pablo in the category, with Pablo getting the meaty opps in the heart of the lineup?

      3 years is a good line to hold with Pablo. He is just too inconsistent. He's put up numbers in a few places that are easy pickings through his career as well.

      Duffy can run and field circles around Conor G. Might not have as much pop... yet. But he is a more natural hitter. I'd be fine with him and a scrap heap vet to compete with next year. That Pablo money needs to become Peavy money.

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    8. Buster to 3B for the first half season at least. Belt/Morse at 1B. Trade Crawford for league-ready pitching, Duffy/Adrianza for SS and UT. Susac starting at Catcher, find a backup, or let Posey be the backup with Duffy/Adriana being the 3B backup when Posey takes over.

      Honestly, with the money involved, I just don't see how the Giants DON'T try Posey at 3B - both saving his legs, improving his performance at the plate, preventing concussion/impact dangers, and solving the huge hold being created by the void of Pablo Sandoval. It cleans everything up, creates the space for Susac to become the everyday guy, which he's proven out for, and creates leverage to focus on finding pitching. The Giants can't ask Adrianza/Duffy to fill Panda-sized shoes offensively, and the Giants need to roll the dice on brining new blood/talent into the Starting Rotation.

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    9. I agree with Shankbone at not being so unnerved at losing Sandoval. This year he is at 3.5 fWAR, so let's say that's the production we need to replace. IF Panik can keep up his present pace (a big if), an extra 400 PAs from him will get us halfway there, since he is at 1.5 fWAR for 250 PA now. IF we can get something like a full year from Belt, we can add, say, another 1-1.5 to that, no? And the replacement at 3b should at least make up the difference. We should survive nicely, and use the 20M that is not going to Pablo for other improvements, I think including a year of Peavy to join Cain, Bumgarner, and Hudson, and for replacing Morse with someone who can give us at least a starter's worth (2 fWAR) in LF.

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  2. The Dodgers save their best pitchers for us, but then, they can't beat anyone else.

    It's a good time to go on a run and finish the season strong. Hopefully Hudson has straightened whatever that was ailing him. Belt is back. Pagan is optimistic. Crawford is hot. Posey has been for a while. Today, the rookies came through - Duffy, Susac.

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  3. Pretty squeeze bunt by Blanco. SFGate sure gave Duffy a hero's write-up.

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    1. That was a well done play. Great execution from Blanco - who I think has had trouble with bunting in the past - and great read and run from Crawford. But the Giants played for one run with a man on 2nd and 3rd with one out and the top of the lineup coming around, and they got... one run. They could have left it to Blanco or Panik to extend the inning, and put up a big number. It was a great play, but also a good example of the cost of giving up an out. I was thinking about the 'lost opportunity' when the Diamondbacks tied it up.

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  4. What was also nice was seeing Mr Belt in the box working the count and getting the walk in his first at bat in a dogs age.

    Richard in Winnipeg

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    1. Agreed. I was worried he would try to do too much with anxiety to prove he is back, and the pressure of a rookie behind him. Instead, he played within himself; done his part, and trusted his teammate.

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  5. I've got Matt Duffy working part of 3B rotation with Duvall and Arias next year. May the guy who hits and fields best take the job - He can be a right handed Conor Gillaspie with better D. Duvall needs to work his ass off to improve on D. Winter ball? Or intense drills stateside.

    Matt Duffy: Batting leader for all qualified AA batters in 2014.

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    1. I lack the technical expertise to evaluate the players' strokes. I would appreciate it if someone qualified to do so could compare the plate approach and batting stroke of Panik and Duffy. Extra credit if you could also compare their fielding prowess. These two cats are only a few months parts in age, play the same IF positions, and each hits for percentage. Also each has excellent minor league stats...

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    2. Not an expert here either, but Duffy seems to have a bit of a longer swing. Will likely K more, but I see some potential for power in there. I don't see that power potential with Panik, but his swing is shorter and more contact-driven. I don't see him hitting more than 6 or 7 HR in a season during his prime, but we are all seeing that he certainly has .300 average potential. Duffy, in my opinion, is a guy who might top out in the .270-.280 range (at his peak) with the potential for 8-12 HR. That's just my evaluation!

      Duffy seems to have more potential for SB, and the Giants still apparently believe in his ability to play the left side of the infield. That ship seemed to sail for Panik last year in Richmond.

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    3. I basically agree with Covechatter here.

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  6. Pablo or no Pablo...the Gmen need a middle of the order bat! A bat to protect Posey. I think the Giants brain trust is fine with having Arias at 3rd base. Taking a supplemental pick is smart and Arias will still is under contract next season. I think Duffy will go back to AAA. I'm fine with that. Giant's need to find a power hitter in LF. Giants now have some great tradable pieces. Susac or Sanchez could be traded for a Sabean special. The only reason not to trade one of them is if Giants plan on moving Posey to another position soon. Another question is will Romo come back at a discount? Another Sabean special 3 yrs/18 mill. If not do they let Romo leave without qualifying offer? I think Gmen let Romo leave and without QO because as non closer now Romo will for sure accept the QO. No other team will lose a pick for Romo unless Romo has good post season. So, if Gmen let Pablo go they must sell the farm for a LF to hit behind Posey. It's either or in my opinion. Great blog DR. B. keep up the good work! Giants quest for 90 wins!

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    1. The Giants tried for their middle of the order bat with Jose Abreu. They were outbid. Unless another unknown superstar-type international slugger pops up this offseason, I'm not sure which team out there is going to part ways with a power bat. At least not for anything the Giants would probably be willing to offer.

      At this point, I'd say trading Susac would be a huge mistake. The Giants don't trade away young players with the kind of talent he's already showed.

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    2. Jason Heyward. He didn't sign a long term deal with the Braves. J Hey in LF....Giant's don't have the best prospect package to get him, but it could be a quantity over quality type of thing. Susac, Crick, Stratton, G Brown, and ptbnl (Bedde). Braves love pitching. I'm not a GM, but we match up pretty good for a trade between the two teams.

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    3. Justin Love - that's a huge price to give up for Heyward. Susac is a big part of the Gints future. You don't want to give up that kind of control on the contract, it helps burn off the injured vets signed to big moneys, and keep things balanced in the force that is Los Gigantes. Any trade involving Stratton is OK with me though!

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    4. Shank, I respect your opinion dearly. Isn't this why Giants drafted Garcia in the second? We didn't need to draft a catcher so high, but I believe it was for this scenario right now. Giants can't have 3 "future" catchers can they? I rather the catcher traded be Sanchez honestly, but Susac has more value. Posey will be the catcher for the next 3-5 years so you aren't really saving money with Susac as just a back up. The balance money wise should come with a cheaper bullpen and with pre arb Panik. Romo, Affeldt, Lopez, and Castilla equals +20 mill. Law, Strickland, Okert, and Cordier is where money could be saved. COULD be saved not saying a better or more effective bullpen. Better finically to protect your bottom line if you should go after big ticket LF. The bullpen has been great. Those four relievers Romo, Lopez, Affeldt, and Castilla have been a big part of the reason why the Giants have a chance to overtake the Dodgers. If you have a chance at Jason Heyward though or a big bat I don't want to go cheap. If they let Pablo go and it takes a Susac type prospect to get Heyward...sorry, I'd trade him and wait for Garcia

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    5. Nope, its not. Garcia was drafted because he was the BPA in the Gints view. Yes, they really like their catchers. We have no idea how Garcia will react to pro ball, you can't make a decision yet on him. But you do know what Susac has done, and how he's handled himself in the show. On that line, the mlb roster, we don't know how Sanchez will come out of concussion hell, so its useless to speculate about him being a trade chip until he's fully healthy.

      I've seen various theories on getting a cheaper pen for the past five or so years (Aka "the Jeremy Affeldt" era). While it would be nice to have a cheaper pen, I don't think the Giants make it a priority. The pull pieces from various angles to get a "real" LF just hasn't been a priority ever with Sabean. Of course he had the LF to end all LFs for a while...

      I'm not sold on Heyward's durability, and his value on the WAR scale is hugely influenced on the defensive side. In a word... as some clever chappie thought up a couple years back... "Posey's Better"

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    6. Right down to the finish line on Abreu and Castillo. Is this the time the Giants finally strike? It sure is tempting not to get into the race, and he's earned some sparkling reviews from Badler. I'm on board.

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  7. Sorry Dr. B - I posted the twitter link on an older recap. Lighter-side stuff really.... https://twitter.com/gregorblanco7/status/512401483380563968/photo/1

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    1. Holy Mackerel! Team Picture of the year.

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  8. To paraphrase Dr. B's comment about Belt in LF, "does anyone know if Duffy can play 3b?" I know lots of SS types move to second, but seems like 3B is harder -- longer throw and just as much defense if not more given the reaction time for bullets down the line. Duffy may be able to do it, I just don't know how good his defense is since most of the reports have been about his bat.

    In terms of next year's holes, I personally would not move Crawford. This season has shown me he's one who takes a lot on his shoulders, doesn't complain but then wears down. I would worry about moving a guy like that out of his natural position, one that is hard enough to fill and he does well. I also think the last month has shown us what he's capable of when rested, so having a competent back up to me is critical to keep Crawford at .250+ (if not closer to .270), with decent power. With his defense, unless EA is the second coming of Concepcion (sp?), I'd leave Crawford at ss.

    I think Arias is ok, but I'm not convinced he's an every day player. I would rather leave him as the UT guy and give either EA or Duffy a shot at 3b. We likely lose power but we become a small ball team with enough power (Posey/Susac/Belt/Pence) to make it work. Carbonell could be added to the small ball rotation, and also give us protection for Pagan going out. Would NOT trade Susac for the same reason we need a quality UT--Posey has shown what happens when he gets some rest, Hector's flame out has shown us he's not the guy, and Susac's maturity has shown us he is.

    If we're not spending the money on Pablo, let's get an upgrade (if there is one) in LF or spend the money on the newest Cuban name of the week that we've been looking at (who appears to be a LF type). Get the draft pick and roll the dice. Pablo had an ok season, great at times, but we also didn't have Belt so I think we will survive this. If you look at the turnaround, I think we do way better as a team with or without Panda when we have Pagan and a 2b. We now have both.

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  9. Is Adrianza ' s arm strong enough for short? Crawford 's is good enough for 3rd but I'm not sure Duffy or Panik ' s is song enough for short either.

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    1. I think Duffy and Panik both have strong enough arms for short. They can handle 3B, but have the range for 2B. Adrianza... are his hammys strong enough for short?

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    2. Adrianza's defensive rep is what carried him to the big leagues. Would he hit? Great question, but I think his arm and glove would be above average in an everyday SS role.

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    3. Isn't Crawford's defensive weakness (ordinary grounders kind of right at him) a problem at third? Adrianza is a huge unknown isn't he? between the bat and if he even stays with the Giants, it is a good thing they aren't counting on solving the third base problem tomorrow. I suppose Arias is a potential solution too if BC can concentrate on being an RBI guy and we don't count on as much power from Arias. Maybe if they get that Cuban they have showcased at their facility in the DR the power problem will be solved.

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  10. The next big Cuban signing is working out at the Giants Dominican Republic facility today r tomorrow for 6+ teams. Yasmani Tomas is a OF with .300 AVG and 30 Homeruns potential, but hasnb't played in a year+ as he's left Cuba. Peter Gammons suggested a deal in the area of $80 million.

    So maybe he is that LF of the future people were looking for in the above comments.

    I'd love to keep Panda too. They'd likely have to lock both up relatively soon, which would mean Panda taking the 3 year deal, and ~$160 million committed. If Sandoval doesn't sign quickly and Tomas goes elsewhere, I expect plenty of money will be lavished on the rotation and bullpen to set-up the pitching side, and then Sabes and Co scrambling for low cost players as usual: a power bat for the OF, and now 3b too.

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  11. One good thing about the payroll situation is we have money coming off the table soon:

    Timmy/Hudson expire next year, as does Scutaro, so that is close to $30mm
    Pagan comes off in two years.
    Pence in 3.
    You also have Romo and Vogelsong (this year), Affeldt/Lopez (next two).

    The changes in the pen alone should give them room to move on pen upgrades. Plus, with young guys coming on line, they don't have as much urgency there and can be used elsewhere. Not saying this is a reason to sign Panda long term--seems to me the issue there is more about his physical shape than the money. But that does mean we should have enough money next year and years ahead for strategic moves to upgrade the holes, and other than a bandaid fix at SP next year, LF and 3B are the big holes (with MIFs, guys coming up at first base, Susac, current OFs and younger guys, we're actually in decent shape). Yes, Tomas was the guy I was thinking about and surprised the Giants are as active as they have been.

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  12. Hasn't Chris Dominguez played quite a bit of 3B in his career? His arm would surely play at 3B and he has shown good power in the minors, so he would be more of the prototypical 3B than Duffy, Arias, Duvall or anyone else. He may not be able to hold down the job full time, but other than Panda, no one else in the organization right now profiles as a full time 3B either.

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    1. Dominguez has some very intriguing tools and skills, but still strike out at frightful rates. Not sure he would break the Mendoza line in the majors.

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  13. I had been stumping for DUFFY for a long, long time...watched him in Richmond and he deserves to be with the Giants....But perhaps I might be the only one that isn't overwhelmed with him as a starter ...Has done well pinch-hitting but has struggled otherwise...I want him as a backup on my PO roster but no way would I count on him as a starter for next year...Super utility (along with Arias) with more ABs, yes, 3B starter? No way Jose...Panik has a lock on second and I don't think I would want to trade Cawford and replace him with Duffy YET...Replacing PABLO isn't even a consideration to me....

    But PABLO will have to be replaced.....and I could live with it...But a good bat has to replace him and I can' see it coming internally (i.e., Not Arias, Duffy or Duvall) UNLESS it's the Posey to 3B and SUSAC to C.....Other then that, I think the Giants go outside by FA or trade.....Doesn't the next Cuban, Thomas also play 3B??

    SteveVA

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    1. A little digging shows that Panik struggled at the plate for 5 weeks and 74 ABs before Duffy got the call up, then started hitting a few days after that point, effectively blocking Duffy chance. At 51 ABs and mostly full games and 3-5 PAs per game, Panik sat at .216. Duffy is presently at .235 in 51 very spotty PAs. Lately, it looks like his PAs are mostly coming via the double switch every few games, a very tough thing to do for a young rook adjusting to the bigs. And as someone mentioned above, this is a kid who had the highest BA of all three AA leagues this season at .332.

      Similarly, I'd guess that it has to be equally difficult to perform defensively coming in late once every 3 or 4 contests, and with no prior big league experience. His field time has dwindled, so the adrenaline has to be flowing in buckets for a kid in that situation.

      Until a rookie has been fortunate enough to enjoy regular play time for a meaningful stretch (whatever that may be), time and again we're shown that you have to withhold judgement of that player as a total package. Adjusting to the big league experience is just a huge step; it's no surprise that unlike the casual fan, the best managers and organizations are able to keep the elements in perspective.

      In light of all this, I'd say Duffy appears to be doing acceptably, even showing promise. Craw is a defensive stud though, so his shoes may be tough for the rook to fill.

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  14. Any 3Bs on the trade market??

    I imagine the Rangers would listen on Adrian Beltre, but anybody else come to mind?

    If no Pablo, then internal candidates are Arias, Duvall, Duffy, and Dominguez.

    Casey McGehee would be a cheaper FA option. There's always Chase Headley ;-)

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    1. McGehee 2.4 fWAR this year--I'd be happy to have him, as a quite decent fielder and a very reputable hitter with an over 10% walk rate.

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    2. Only 1.3 rWAR, I see, which is odd since he has hit .292 and has an OBP of .362, with 70 RBI in 2014. Hits into lots of DPs = slow of foot? makes hard contact?

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    3. McGehee is from Santa Cruz...maybe there would be mutual interest in a return here.

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  15. Bye bye Fresno. Our Triple A Affiliate for the next 2 years is the Sacramento River Cats. Meow!

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    1. For Fresno,

      Out with the Giants, in with the Astros. Should get to see more top shelf prospects in Fresno as that's one of the top 3 most loaded systems.

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    2. sad day for fresno

      the central valley keeps taking hits

      very loyal fans

      well, thats biz

      bacci

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  16. I live in Oklahoma, the Dodgers just bought out the Redhawks and will now be playing in OKC.

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