Saturday, March 28, 2015

Spring Training Game Wrap 3/27/2015: Giants 8 Dodgers 4

Chris Heston pitched a Quality Start against what could well be the Dodgers' Opening Day lineup while the Giants hitters were roughing up Zack Greinke and several other Dodger pitchers.  Key Lines:

Justin Maxwell(RF)- 1 for 2.  BA= .286.  Maxwell has an opt out clause for 3/30 which is coming right up.  At this point the odds would seem to favor him making the team and opting in.  So far his K rate is a manageable 22.6% in 63 PA.

Joe Panik(2B)- 0 for 2.  BA= .154.  Panik's bat continues to be quiet, but he also made a spectacular diving stop and throw on a ball hit up the middle to nail Yasiel Puig, a very fast runner, at 1B.

Matt Duffy(PH-2B)- 1 for 3, 3B(2).  BA= .385.  Duffy continues to rake.  He has been on a continuous hot streak for over 2 full seasons now.

Andrew Susac(Catcher)- 1 for 3, HR(1), BB.  BA= .222.  Susac's HR was a monster shot that bounced into the trees up on the berm in CF, just to the left of the batting eye which is a long way from home plate.  Man, is this some kind of battle for reserve catcher between Susac and Sanchez or what?  And do the Giants have some kind of depth at the position or what?

Gregor Blanco(CF)- 2 for 3, 3B(2).  BA= .302.  When Blanco is in one of his hot streaks, he is one of the better OF's in all of baseball.  If he could just stay away from the slumps!

Chris Heston(RHP)- 6 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 0 K, GO/AO= 11/4.  ERA= 2.40.  Wow!  Hesto Presto went up against the Dodgers "A" lineup and had them killing worms all night out pitching Zack Greinke in the process!  No K's but that must have been quite a sinker he was serving up there tonight!  With his spring performance, Heston positioned himself to be first in line for a callup if a SP is needed in season.

Javier Lopez and George Kontos had a scoreless inning each while Jean Machi gave up a late run to round out the pitching lines.

The Giants play a game against the minor leaguers tomorrow in Scottsdale with Yusmeiro Petit pitching for the Giants.  Tyler Beede will reportedly get the start for the "Futures".  Jake Peavy pitches for the road squad agains the Mariners.


  1. I was reading something that was tagged by the Bleacher Report. The short of it is the bullpen is going to be seven men (Vogelsong, Petit, Lopez, Affeldt, Romo, Casilla as the 'sure six') with it coming down to Kontos (under 30) or Machi (a Bochy favorite) for the one open spot and the other having to run through waivers or being traded.

    Also, not a Giants thing, but remember the Rangers #1 selection that didn't sign -- Brady Aikin. The reason being he had some issues with his UCL and the Rangers wanted to drop his contract. Aiken's camp went all Press Kit and pointed out the kid was throwing at 97 MPH with no pain, etc. and the media narrative was the Astros were trying to swindle him out of his slot money.

    He got Tommy John surgery a couple of days ago and it seems the rush to judgement against the Rangers and their low-balling ways (which I was a part of) was wrong.

    1. Those 6 bullpen slots have been locks from Day 1 of spring training with Kontos and Machi battling for the final slot. Gotta think Machi has the inside track on that one, but Kontos has had a slightly better spring.

      There are still a lot of unanswered questions about the Astros and how they handled the Brady Aiken situation. Dave Cameron had a nice piece about this on Fangraphs yesterday. What did Brady Aiken's MRI actually show? If the Astros were so convinced that Aiken's elbow was doomed, why did they come back with a $5 M offer at the end? Aiken sent out an open letter explaining his side of the story and said it was not about the money. He and his family and advisors decided that he did not want to work in what he called an unsupportive environment and he was not comfortable with the overall situation in Houston. Those words are eerily similar to what Vogelsong has said about his experience dealing with the Astros.

    2. 1. It was the Astros, not the Rangers. I remembered it was one of the Texas teams and guessed Rangers for some reason. Don't remember why.

      2. Anyway, the Astros came back with a 40% slot offer to protect the 2015 1-#2 compensatory draft slot and were more than willing to let Aiken move on with his life and reenter the draft. And that was the end of their management discussion and attempts to sign Aiken. However, the agent pitched a fit and made a big press-deal out it.

      The bad press hit the Astros like a fire storm and at the very end of the signing period they made three quick offers, the last one 5 minutes before the deadline, after bowing to public pressure to sign the kid they clearly didn't want anymore. Hardly makes them 'the bad guy' even if I was, through incomplete, one-sided press story telling, thinking they were the bad guy.

      As for the 'unsupportive charge' I take that with a complete grain of salt. I don't think the kid has anything worthwhile to say about the Astros organization. He had a bad elbow he and his agent minimized (or even lied about) to the press so I have issues with his credibility. Further, he was never a member of the Astros so he as ZERO actual experience or knowledge of what 'support' the Astros would give him as a player. So his 'knock' sounds like soft-sell sour-grapes to me.

      And, FWIW, I do feel sorry for the kid. He's found out he's got a bad elbow, one bad enough that it scared the Astros off even though TJ surgery is no longer considered a big deal. I also feel sorry for the Astros because the press rushed to one side of the story and really blackened their reputation without considering that Astros were trying to make the best decision possible for their club in protecting their compensatory pick by making the CBA minimum offer.

      The agent, however, can burn in hell. He caused a lot of this mess including refusing to re-open negotiations during the later part of the signing period.

    3. Well, that is one currently popular narrative, but one based on just as much speculation as the old one about the Astros being the bad guys.

      One lesson that agents and prospects can/should take from this is to get their own pre-draft physical from a reputable clinic and make it available to any and all interested teams prior to the draft.

      Another idea would be for MLB to hold a combined pre-draft workout that would include physicals as the NFL does.

      As for TJ not being a big deal, there is another interesting article, can't place it right now, but it looks at the results of TJ surgery. Did you know that fully 50% of all MLB level TJ recipients fail to pitch 100 more MLB innings in their career? That something like 20-30% of all pitchers who undergo TJ surgery never pitch competitively again?

      Lastly, what say you about Vogey having almost an identical reaction with some of the same wording about his dealings with the Astros as Brady Aiken? Would you say Vogey and his agent can burn in hell too?

    4. I wonder, how many more great pitchers we would have seen, in the 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s and so on, had TJ surgery been available back then?

    5. Well, Sandy Koufax would probably have had a longer career, for one. Although I understand Koufax also had pretty severe arthritis in his elbow. I don't have the numbers to prove it, but I think the average pitcher throws much harder now than the average pitcher back in pre-TJ days and the incidence if UCL tears is rising along with average velocities.

      BTW, I met a lady who is a retired nurse who claims she used to be an office nurse in Dr Kerlan's clinic in LA. She said Koufax used to come in and get fluid drained off his elbow. She also said he had some pretty harsh things to say about how the Dodgers and MLB teams in general treated players.

  2. Giants got Kontos for a serviceable backup catcher (Chris Stewart) when he had less of a track record than he does now. He had a "good" 2012, 2014, and Spring. 2013, not so much.
    He or Machi should be worth something more than a cup of coffee. Trade one of them to the AL and keep the Dodgers from getting either!
    LOL, like this is news to Sabean!

  3. I'd keep Kontos. Younger and more upside IMO. We could probably get a decent minor leaguer for Machi and if Kontos doesn't work out, we have other option ready in the minors. Or we could trade them both and keep Strickland. Nice to have options.

    Billy Baseball

    1. That's where I'm at. But my reading through the Bleacher Report ticker articles says Bochy likes Machi better.

  4. Maxwell locking down that 5th spot.Panik,should be fine.We'll see how he hits when the season starts.Duffy looks like starter.Arias or Adrianza look like the odd man out.Susac showing why he's the back up.That HR was ripped.Salute to Hector for coming back healthy.We just have a better player in front of him.Blanco's always been a tough competitor.He's ready to go.Heston really have nice showing this spring.He was saying he added 20 lbs in muscle over the winter.Bochy said his fastball velocity is up.And, he's throwing with more confidence.That's good news.

    1. Duffy is not going to be a starter and barring a trade, neither Arias nor Adrianza are going anywhere. That leaves Duffy in Sacramento to start the season. I know Susac is the popular choice, but there is the experience factor and the Timmy factor to consider too. If I'm betting, I'll take Hector to be on the 25 man with Susac starting the season in Sacramento too.

    2. It's gonna be a great year to be in Sacramento!
      For us fans.
      Opening Day: April 9 @ 7:05!
      Heston pitching to Susac.
      Duffy, Duvall, Tomlinson (?), Delfino (?) Triunfel, Villona in the infield,
      Parker, Perez, Brown, Williamson (?), Carbonell (?) in the outfield.
      Well, some of those are a reach.
      Maybe Duvall will be in LF.

    3. My bad.I missed a letter there.I was saying Duffy looks like a starter.What would the logic be for keeping Arias over Duffy.I get Adrianza.If we're concerned about Duffy playing SS.Even though he looked solid the couple of games he played SS last season.

      It's definitely important for pitchers and catchers to work we'll together.I think Sanchez catching Lincecum is overblown.Lincecum was at his best before Sanchez was on the team.The main reason for Lincecum's struggles are well known.He stopped working hard in the off season.It had nothing to do with him not wanting to throw to Posey or him wanting to throw to Sanchez.He had the same problem Sandoval had.Neither one of them worked hard in the off season.I would like to see Lincecum throw to Susac,now that he's back to working hard in the off season.When camp started,Susac was catching Lincecum in his bullpen sessions.Now that he's back from injury we'll see what happens.

    4. Logic for keeping Arias? That's actually pretty easy and one we've been over several times if you remember. MLB experience including postseason experience. The Giants value it highly and at this point, who's to argue? Again, YOU may think the Sanchez/Lincecum connection is overblown, but I'm willing to bet Timmy doesn't. Timmy's season went in the toilet immediately after Sanchez went down last year and Sanchez has been Timmy's catcher his last two starts here in spring training. Do not underestimate the importance of that in the Giants decisionmaking.