Sunday, March 27, 2016

Spring Training Game Wrap 3/27/2016: White Sox 13 Giants 9

Travis Ishikawa had a big day against his former teammates as the ChiSox got the best of a slugfest in Scottsdale.  Key Lines:

Brandon Crawford SS- 3 for 4.  BA= .357.  Crawford seems poised to build on last year's breakout season.

Brandon Belt 1B- 1 for 3, 2B, BB.  BA= .410.  Belt seems poised for a breakout season.

Kelby Tomlinson 3B- 2 for 4, SB(3).  BA= .269.  Kelby has apparently made the 25 man Opening Day roster as a backup infielder.  Good job, Kelby!

Mac Williamson LF- 1 for 3, HR(5), BB.  BA= .298.  Williamson gets sent out after the game, but he's gotta be on the short list for an early callup if a corner OF is needed.

Trevor Brown C- 1 for 3.  BA= .324.  Brown has also apparently made the 25 man Opening Day roster as the backup catcher assuming Andrew Susac starts the season on the DL.  Brownie also won the Barney Nugent Award for the top player in his first major league camp.  Congratulations to Trevor Brown!

Gorkys Hernandez CF- 1 for 1, 2B.  BA= .333.  Gorkys has to be asking himself what it takes to make the Opening Day Roster.  Not much to improve on here unless you buy into the notion of an occasional hustle lapse in the OF.

Jake Peavy RHP- 5.2 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 2 K's.  ERA= 7.43.  Not quite up the Cueto and Shark's last starts, but some improvement here.  This one fell 1 out shy of a QS.

Travis Ishikawa 1B- 3 for 5, 2B, 3B, HR(2).  BA= .289.  A single short of the Cycle.  Hopefully Travis can catch a bench spot on the ChiSox roster.


Mat Latos plunked Hunter Pence on the upper arm with a pitch which I am guessing was not unintentional.  Latos continues to display  his punkitude.  He's been terrible this spring so hopefully he gets his punk ass handed to him on cutdown day.


Just 2 more games left in the Cactus League.  Chris Heston starts tomorrow against the D'Backs.  Matt Cain will pitch a minor league game to avoid facing a division rival.


Wow!  The Giants cleaned house, sending out 9 players with just 26 remaining in major league camp including Andrew Susac who will likely start the season on the DL.  The Giants are indeed going to start the season with 13 pitchers including both George Kontos and Cory Gearrin.  That leaves just 4 bench players who apparently will be C Trevor Brown, IF Kelby Tomlinson, IF Ehire Adrianza and OF Gregor Blanco.   Those 4 will give you good AB's off the bench, but there's no pop there to speak of.


  1. Kontos should probably be a little worried as he could be the odd man out should they drop a pitcher. The Giants traditionally have liked a power bat off the bench ie Burrell, Morse, etc to work with so will be interesting to see how long they go with this bench. You really should have at least one piece of Thunder on the bench unless they are counting on Madbum to be it!

    Billy Baseball

  2. I believe Williamson has potential to be our best hitter after Buster and draw down of Pence.

  3. Not to throw water on the Brandon Belt party but we've seen good Spring Training stats from him before:

    78 ABs
    8 HR
    19 RBI
    .410 AVG
    1.265 OPS

    39 ABs
    5 HR
    18 RBI
    .410 AVG
    1.433 OPS

    Granted, that was in double the ABs that he's had so far this Spring but he went on to have a pretty typical season for him that year. I certainly hope finally hits 20-25 HRs and has 90+ RBIs!


    1. I think the key for Belt is staying healthy. He probably would have approached those numbers last year if his season had not been cut short with the concussion.

  4. Pinch hitting is a crap shoot. We remember the good ones but they are statistically insignificant. The league average was only .220 for pinch hitters in 2016 (NL), less than a hit in every 4 tries. The more significant the AB, the more likely the PH is to face a specialist to make things tougher. Very few players do better in a pinch hitting role then when they are playing for a variety of reasons. It's imperative to built the team and the bench around what they do on the field, not sandbagging a bat that might hit 1 or 2 HR's off the bench in a season.

    1. Personally, I would rather have a PH who scraps and makes himself a tough out than a guy who might catch lightning in a bottle. Kelby fits that description quite well as does Blanco.

  5. More generally, pop is nice to have; but last year the mostly Pence-less and (as to pop) Pagan-less Giants were second only to the Jays in offensive fWAR and in wRC+. They were fourth in the league in slugging, and significantly lower than only one NL team, the Coors Field Rockies. That record was with a short bench, too.

    From this record, my take is that the offensive players the Giants have and opt for don't need the kind of beefing up that one gets from thunder bats on the bench, usually with a high rate of strikeouts to keep Mr Thunder from being a regular.