Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Spring Training Game Wrap 3/3/2015: A's 9 Giants 4

The Giants understandably seemed a big flat in their first game after winning Game 7 of the 2014 World Series, and Marcus Semien made a terrific first impression on his new employers going 3 for 3 with 2 dingers.  Key Lines:

Adam Duvall- 2 for 4, HR.  Duvall certainly has the toonder in his bat.  It's just hard to see where he fits on the active roster.  He DH'd in this game.

Madison Bumgarner- 1.2 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 0 BB, 2 K's.  A big Mulligan for Bummy as the last thing in the world you want him doing in his first spring training start is getting out of bed throwing his postseason stuff.  That is a great way to end up on the DL for a big part of the season or more.  Just get your work in and don't get hurt!  You can ramp up next start.  If he's putting up lines like this in his last spring training start, I'll start to get a wee bit worried.

Tim Lincecum- 1 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 2 K's.   Timmy reportedly looked sharp.  I like the 0 BB's and 2 K's.  Don't care about the rest.  FB was 88-92, sat 89, but with good command.

Erik Cordier- 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K.  Anybody else think Cordier may be moving ahead of Hunter Strickland on the depth chart?  Cordier is out of options.

Hunter Strickland- 1 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 1 BB, 0 K.  Strickland pitched in a bit of bad luck and should have been out of the inning by the time Jason Pridie took him deep to RF, but giving up a dinger was hardly the way Strickland wanted to start spring training after giving up 6 in postseason play.

Marcus Semien(A's)-  3 for 3, 2 HR.  Hello Marcus Semien!  Semien is a guy who I think could be a  smart, sneaky play in your fantasy baseball draft.  He already had eligibility at 3B and 2B, but probably won't be drafted for those positions.  He is the guy the A's want to win the starting SS position.  I mean, they traded Jeff Samardzija for him and also traded their two top SS prospects, so he BETTER win the position.  It will take about 10 games to gain SS eligibility, but then he not only can play SS on your fantasy team, he will retain his 3B and 2B eligibility.  Steamer projects him to have the 9'th best SLG% of all starting SS's and 2B in MLB yet is going completely undrafted in early Yahoo league drafting.  Pick him up at the end of your draft, stash him until he gains SS eligibility then trade the SS you started with and move Semien into the position.  You not only have a solid SS who will help you in 5 categories, you have some position flexibility to go with him.  On the other hand, if he keeps hitting like this, he may not remain a fantasy secret much longer and start to take on helium in drafts.

The Giants and A's meet again tomorrow for the spring home opener in Scottsdale with Jake Peavy starting off on the mound for the Giants.  Buster Posey, Angel Pagan, Brandon Crawford and Hunter Pence are scheduled to make their spring debuts.


  1. How bad was Duvall at 3rd in AAA? His bat seems to play at this level.

  2. Duvall's bat seems like it has a chance to play at the MLB level. Given that McGehee has no speed and led the league in hitting into double plays, I'm not overly excited by him. How bad was Duvall's defense at 3B in the minors? Any chance he gets the occasional start over there?

    1. My understanding is that Duvall has a longstanding problem with sailing his throws over first base and has never completely overcome that, despite specific drills changing arm angles. I do not expect to every see him playing significant innings at 3B for the Giants. The current 3B of the future is Mitch Delfino.

  3. Hopefully the A's didn't hurt themselves trying to beat up on the Giants in the first spring training game.

    But if it was that important, go for it. I had a hunch they would try to make us look terrible before a meaningless exhibition game. It's been that way for many years now.

  4. Hey Doc, is Delfino the man because the Giants brass see something, or is he it by default. Just taking a cold hard look at his numbers and pedigree, he doesn't look like the best of bets.

    (A lot of stuff you can't see in the numbers.)

    1. I've taken a cold hard look at Deflino's numbers many times and I like what I see. He's got great size at 6'3", 200 lbs. He has put up double digit HR's in 2 consecutive years. He makes contact with K rates of less than 15%. He doesn't walk much, but the Giants seem to be more focused on keeping K's down than walks high these days. On top of all that, he is reportedly a superior defender at the position. I am actually quite bullish on Mitch Delfino and I believe the Giants are too.

    2. There was a huge write-up of Delfino here: http://aroundthefoghorn.com/2015/02/25/san-francisco-giants-look-mitch-delfino-spring-training/

      Which includes this excerpt:

      "His 2014 season was huge, during which he appeared in a team-high 131 games and upped his slugging percentage to .424. He was selected for the All-Star game and named defensive player of the Giants for 2014 on top of that. His .950 fielding percentage at third base was the best in the California League for the season, which is most likely why he was invited to partake in the proceedings in the desert. However, he has not yet played above the A level of the minors, so it means that barring possibility that we have a “phenom” sighting in Scottsdale, Delfino will begin the season at the AA level."

      It was very positive. Of course, you sort of expect that. But, still, discounting biases and Spring Training Feel Good Stories, it's still a positive prospect article rather than, let's say, Gary Brown's more recent prospect articles.

  5. I see Hunter going down to AAA to get his golfer ball straightened out. Unless he just rocks it in Spring and Cordier falls off the wagon. Hopefully Giants work a trade for Kontos and Machi.

  6. Cordier vs Strickland is tough.

    Cordier's AAA performances haven't been very good despite his lights-out fastball which makes him somewhat of a tease to me. It doesn't help that both the Braves and Pirates have given up on him in back-to-back stints. In his defense, he did post his best AAA ERA last year at Fresno (3.59) so maybe the Giants have fixed something.

    Strickland, however, hasn't been tested by AAA, seems to have no confidence in his secondary pitch, and is having a problem with his pitch location leaving him with no way to keeps batters honest a gving him a HR problem... I really think he needs to head to AAA this year. He's got to have a secondary, off-speed pitch he can throw with reliability and confidence or he's just going to have MLB hitter camping his fastball and leaving him highly vulnerable to the slightest error.

    The deciding vote is Strickland has options. If it comes down to just the two of them for the final spot, I'll pick Cordier because I can still keep Strickland in for another year.