Friday, September 30, 2016

Down on the Farm: 2016 Richmond Flying Squirrels Season Review Part 2

As with position prospects, the Giants had most of their top pitching prospects spend at least part of the season in Richmond, their AA team, including their top pitching prospect, Tyler Beede.  Here are some of their performances:

Full Season Starters:

Tyler Beede RHP.  DOB:  5/23/1993.  6'3", 210 lbs.  Drafted Round 1, 2014.  8-7, 2.81, 147.1 IP, 53 BB, 135 K.  After Tyler Beede's first full pro season collapsed due to fatigue in 2015, he dedicated himself to getting stronger for the long haul.  His personal motto for the season was Finish Strong!  Finish strong he did as his pitching line over his last 7 starts was 3-1, 1.58, 45.7 IP, 21 BB, 51 K's.  He also had the top ERA in the EL for qualified pitchers and was second in K's.  Bonus:  He reportedly hit 98 MPH in the 9'th inning of his next to last game of the season.

Matt Gage LHP.  DOB:  2/11/1993.  6'4", 240 lbs.  Drafted Round 10, 2014.  9-7, 3.38, 136 IP, 34 BB, 106 K, GO/AO= 1.60.  Big lefty who stuck at AA after a spot start last year.  The K rate is not too impressive, but does he make up for it with a strong GB tendency?

Kyle Crick RHP.  DOB:  11/30/1992.  6'4", 220 lbs.  Drafted Round 1(comp), 2011.  4-11, 5.04, 109 IP, 67 BB, 86 K.  Maaaybe started to come around a bit in he second half of the season with a 3.48 ERA over his last 10 starts.  His K/BB was about the same as the first half though.  He's been around a long time and still has a long way to go.

Converted Reliever:

Dan Slania RHP.  DOB:  5/24/1992.  6'5", 275 lbs.  Drafted Round 5, 2013.  7-6, 2.50, 82.2 IP, 22 BB, 79 K.  Replaced Chase Johnson in the rotation mid-season and didn't miss a beat.  Final start of the season was for AAA Sacramento and he went 6 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 3 BB, 9 K's.  Jumbo body with a low-mid 90's FB, a couple of secondary pitches and good command.  Probably a reliever in the majors, but the starting experience will help.

Joan Gregorio RHP.  DOB:  1/112/1992.  6'7", 180 lbs.  0-2, 2.33, 27 IP, 6 BB, 30 K's.  High ceiling pitcher got an early promotion to Sacramento where he pitched well with a great K/IP, but struggled with too many walks at times.  Probably a reliever in the majors.

Promoted to AAA:

Adalberto Mejia LHP.  DOB:  6'20/1993.  6'3", 195 lbs.  3-2, 1.94, 65 IP, 16 BB, 58 K's.  Got an early promotion to Sacramento where his ERA went up to 4.20 before he was traded to the Twins for Eduardo Nunez.

Promoted From San Jose:

Andrew Suarez LHP:  DOB:  9/11/1992.  6'2", 205 lbs.  Drafted in Round 2, 2015.  7-7, 3.95, 114 IP, 24 BB, 90 K's.  Took a few starts to adjust to the higher level but went 5-1 with a 2.33 ERA over his last 10 starts.  Giants reportedly love how he commands a 3 pitch mix.

Sam Coonrod RHP.  DOB:  9/22/1992.  6'2", 225 lbs.  Drafted in Round 5, 2014.  4-3, 3.03, 77.1 IP, 38 BB, 52 K's.  Good results but kind of an ugly K/BB there.  Most likely a reliever in the majors due to high effort delivery and marginal command.


Chase Johnson RHP.  DOB:  1/9/1992.  6'3", 190 lbs.  Drafted in Round 3, 2013.  1-4, 3.77, 52.1 IP, 18 BB, 37 K, GO/AO= 1.69, 5 Saves.  Was suddenly pulled from the rotation early in the season.  Seemed to work his way into the Closer role but then disappeared from the boxscores in early August.  I think I read that he had TJ?

Christian Jones LHP.  DOB:  1/27/1991.  6'3", 210 lbs.  Drafted in Round 18, 2013.  2-6, 3.98, 63.1 IP, 28 BB, 47 K, GO/AO= 2.02.  Jones is a guy I keep expecting to break out, but never does.  The GB rate is impressive, but the other numbers, not so much.

Tyler Mizenko RHP.  DOB:  4/9/1990.  6'1", 200 lbs.  Drafted in Round 28, 2011.  2-7, 4.31, 54.1 IP, 25 BB, 41 K, GO/AO= 1.43.  Repeat of AA.  Mizenko lives by the groundball and his GB rate slipped significantly.

Preston Claiborne RHP.  DOB:  1/21/1988.  6'2", 215 lbs.  2-1, 2.38, 45.1 IP, 13 BB, 49 K's.  Down-on-his luck minor leaguer who came in and became a workhorse out of the bullpen.  Does he get a chance at higher levels?

Tyler Rogers RHP.  DOB:  12/17/1990.  6'5", 187 lbs.  Drafted in Round 10, 2013.  1-1, 0.77, 35.8 IP, 8 BB, 24 K, GO/AO= 5.15, 10 Saves.  Got promoted to AAA where he did not fare as well, but still showed the unbelievable GB rate.

Ray Black RHP.  DOB:  6/20/1990.  6'5", 225 lbs.  Drafted in Round 7, 2011.  1-4, 4.88, 31.1 IP, 32 BB, 53 K, 6 Saves.  Black started the season with talk that he might make the MLB team out of spring training.  Instead, the season turned into a nightmare ballooning walk rates and ERA.  He disappeared from the boxscores in early August.  I think I read he needed surgery of some sort.  May not be able to stay healthy long enough to ever make the majors, which is a shame because….104 MPH!!

Rodolfo Martinez RHP.  DOB:  4/4/1994.  6'2", 180 lbs.  0-3, 6.65, 23 IP, 15 BB, 17 K's.  Hard throwing reliever who had a great first half as the Closer for San Jose.  His command deserted him after a promo to Richmond.

Game Wrap 9/29/2016: Giants 7 Rockies 2

Johnny Cueto shook off a rough first inning to pitch dominant baseball and the Giants offense turned some voodoo magic that included 2 bunt singles and 2 Sac Flies plus some defensive miscues by the Rockies into 7 runs in a win that was not nearly as easy as the score would make you think.  Key Lines:

Brandon Crawford- 2 for 5.  BA= .272.  Crawford is hitting .391 over his last 7 games and .308 over his last 15.  His fWAR is up to 5.4 which means he has given $42.9 M of value on his 5 year/$75 M contract in the first year alone.

Angel Pagan- 2 for 4, 3B.  BA= .272.  In addition to the triple, Pagan legged out a bunt single to lead off the 6'th inning to start a crazy rally.  BTW, for all those Pagan haters out there, he now has an fWAR of 1.8.  Not too impressive, right?  The Giants can do better than that, right?  Well, that fWAR of 1.8 is the 10'th best for LF's in all of MLB!  So yeah, they could do better, but it's not as easy as it might seem.  Over the course of his current 4 year/$40 M contract, Pagan has given $10 M, $13 M, $-5.5 M and $14.2 M in value.  Not great, but the only year he didn't earn his keep or better was 2015.

Conor Gillaspie- 2 for 2, BB, SF.  BA= .258.  Gillaspie seemed to be in the middle of every rally.  Again, he's been a valuable bat off the bench this season.

Johnny Cueto- 1 for 2, Sac.  BA= .114.  The hit was a bunt single in the 6'th inning with runners on first and second that Nolan Arenado threw away to allow both runners to score to give the Giants a 5-2 lead.  So between Pagan leading off the inning and this play, there were 2 bunt singles fielded by Arenado in the inning.  As Vin Scully would say, "Go figure!"

Johnny Cueto- 7 IP, 9 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 11 K's.  ERA= 2.79.  Whew!  Huge sigh of relief here.  When Cueto got torched for 2 doubles and a triple in the first inning, you had to be wondering if he was physically OK after coming out of his previous start with a groin strain.  Apparently he was as he settled down to dominate the next 6 innings.  I'm thinking if the Giants can squeak into the postseason, they have 4 SP's who are as capable of dominant starts as anybody!


The Mets were idle and the Cardinals won, so the Giants are 1 game behind the Mets for the first Wild Card playoff spot and 1 game ahead of the Cardinals for the second with 1 weekend, 3 games, to go.


Madison Bumgarner takes the mound for game 1 of the weekend series agains the Dodgers facing lefty Rich Hill.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Blogger's Note

It looks like I lost my links in a Blogger format change.  It will take some time to rebuild.  Sorry for the inconvenience.

Dr B

Game Wrap 7/28/2016: Rockies 2 Giants 0

Jeff Samardzija pitched another dominant start, but the Giants offense went back to sleep against Tyler Chatwood.  Key Lines:

Jeff Samardzija- 6 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 11 K's.  ERA= 3.81.  Shark was on fire again.  In his last start, he used a knuckle curve he developed midseason as his out pitch.  In this game it was a re-tooled splitter which Krukow explained was more of a true split-finger FB held farther out in the fingers than the previous version which was more of a forkball.  Again from Krukow, the progression was forkball to circle change, which didn't work out at all, to the current splitter.  So Shark, working with the Giants pitching coaches, completely retooled his repertoire including the addition of those 2 new pitches on the fly as the season progressed.  Good stuff!

Steven Okert- 1.1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K.  ERA= 3.21.  Okert seems to be climbing Bruce Bochy's depth chart.  After Samardzija allowed a run on a leadoff double and single in the 7'th, Okert came in and retired the next 3 batters easily.  He did allow singles to 2 of 3 LH batters he faced in the 8'th.

Will Smith- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K's.  ERA= 3.35.  Smith continues to pitch well, although this was in more of a hold the line action than protecting a lead.  The Giants still had a chance to win though.  Gotta think Smith and Okert will be the lefties in the pen next year.

Tyler Chatwood(Rockies)- 8 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 9 K's, GO/AO= 8/2.  ERA= 3.87.  Chatwood was also dominant.  In addition to the 9 K's, he erased leadoff walks in the 7'th and 8'th with GIDP's.  Chatwood finishes the season with a 1.69 road split ERA with 8 Wins against just 1 loss.  His home ERA in Coors Field was over 6.  Hometown boy from Redlands East Valley HS. I think he was originally drafted by the Angels.


With the Loss, the Giants dropped 1.5 games behind the winning Mets for the first Wild Card playoff spot.  The Cardinals lost, so the Giants remain 1 game ahead of the Cardinals for the second WC berth.


Johnny Cueto gets back on the mound for the series finale tonight facing Jon Gray who has 26 K's in his last 2 starts.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Game Wrap 9/27/2016: Giants 12 Rockies 3

The top 8 batters in the Giants lineup reached base multiple times and Matt Moore was dominant on the mound in a runaway win.  Key Lines:

Denard Span- 2 for 5, 2B.  BA= .262.  Span started an XBH barrage in the bottom of the 5'th against rookie SP German Marquez with a double into the RF corner.

Brandon Belt- 3 for 5, 2B, 3B.  Love Belt in the 2- hole where his walks will help set up the middle of the order and his pulling the ball to the right side will advance runners.  He got the hits in this game including a shot down the 3B line into no-man's land.  His ball of the RF wall in the 5'th got to CarGo too quickly for him to try for a double and he got thrown out at 2B, though.

Buster Posey- 1 for 3, HR(14), 2 BB.  BA= .288.  Buster was the only positional starter who did not get multiple hits, but his was a dinger to add on in the 5'th and he added the 2 BB's.  Oh, and the dinger was Buster's 1000'th career hit.

Hunter Pence- 3 for 4, HR(13), BB.  BA= .294.  When was the last time 2 Giants hitters went B2B?

Brandon Crawford- 4 for 5, 2 3B.  BA= .272.  With the 2 triples, Crawford became just the second Giants player along with Willie Mays to have 2 seasons with double digit doubles, triples and HR's, or something like that.  The TV broadcast put it up as a graphic, but I couldn't find it this morning.

Angel Pagan- 2 for 5.  BA= .272.  Pagan has been steady Eddie this year, at least at the plate.  Do the Giants re-sign him to a 1 or 2 year deal?

Joe Panik- 2 for 4, 2B, 3B.  BA= .243.  That's more like the Joe we know.  Is this the start of a hot final week for him?

Conor Gillaspie- 2 for 5, HR(6).  BA= .247.  Might as well include everybody in the lineup.  Gillaspie has been a valuable bat off the bench this season.  He's arbitration eligible.  Do the Giants offer?

Matt Moore- 7.2 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 11 K's.  ERA= 4.21.   Nice recovery start from his disaster in LA.  He said he was too amped up for his start in LA.  Gotta learn how to handle LA starts there, Matt.


The Win, coupled with wins by both the Mets and the Cardinals left the Giants 0.5 games behind the Mets for the first Wild Card playoff spot and 1 game ahead of the Cardinals for the second spot.


The Giants traded minor leaguer Rich Rodriguez to the Braves for a 5 day rental of IF Gordon Beckham.  Beckham will fill in as the RH half of the 3B platoon until Eduardo Nunez recovers from his hammy strain.  They also released LHP Matt Reynolds and placed Mac Williamson on the 60 day DL with a quad strain.


Jeff Samardzija takes on Tyler Chatwood, who has been extremely tough on the Giants in his recent starts, tonight.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Down on the Farm: 2016 Richmond Flying Squirrels Season Review Part 1

Most MLB organizations have come to use their AAA teams as an extended bench for the major league team.  Most of the high profile prospects do not spend a lot of time there before the big callup to the majors.  As a result, AA has become the real final testing ground for most prospects.  If you want to see a bunch of fringe players with a history of limited major league experience play, go to a AAA game. If you want to see the most and the best prospects who will someday be MLB starters and stars, buy a ticket to a AA game.  This year's Richmond Flying Squirrels team was no exception as it featured the Giants top 2 prospects, Christian Arroyo and Tyler Beede as well as several others who have a good chance of eventually contributing to the major league team.  We'll break down the position players first:

Full Time, Full Season Players:

Christian Arroyo IF.  DOB:  5/30/1995. B-R, T-R.  6'1", 180 lbs.  Drafted in Round 1, 2013.  .274/.316/.373, 36 2B, 3 HR, 29 BB, 72 K, 474 AB.  Not a spectacular season for the Giants young top prospect, but a steady one.  Arroyo fits the recent Giants profile of successful infield prospects with a high contact, low K approach.  A lot of us were hoping to see more power but Richmond is crazy tough on power and Arroyo is still young.  One more thing to consider when reading these numbers:  Not only was Arroyo making the toughest transition in the minors, High A to AA, but he was also asked to play multiple positions during the season.  By the end of the season he was mostly playing 3B, the position he will most likely play in San Francisco.

Ryder Jones 3B/1B.  DOB:  6/7/1994.  B-L, T-R.  6'3", 215 lbs. Drafted in Round 2, 2013.  .247/.291/.397, 26 2B, 15 HR, 26 BB, 79 K, 473 AB.  The BA is not much to look at, nor is the OBP, but the power is impressive and combined with a low K rate.  While Arroyo gets all the attention, Jonesy has been sneaking up the system and way more than held his own at the toughest minor league level.

Hunter Cole OF.  DOB:  10/3/1992.  B-R, T-R.  6'1", 190 lbs.  Drafted in Round 26, 2014.  .271/.319/.420, 25 2B, 3 3B, 13 HR, 31 BB, 115 K, 469 AB.  Cole got off to a painfully slow start to the season hitting just .211 in April and .247 in May. He had a huge month of June hitting .337 before leveling off at .274 and .280 in July and August respectively.  Final numbers are comparable to Arroyo and Jones but look at the difference in K rates, although Cole's K rate is not terrible.

Promoted to AAA:

Austin Slater OF.  DOB:  12/13/1992.  B-R, T-R.  6'2", 215 lbs.  Drafted in Round 8, 2014.  .317/.413/.490, 8 2B, 5 HR, 24 BB, 36 K, 145 AB.  Slater had a tough introduction to AA in 2015 while trying to learn a new position, 2B.  He moved back to the OF this year and got off to a blazing start at the plate.  He even played CF most of the season in Richmond and Sacramento, although he is probably a corner OF in the majors.  His fast start earned him an early promotion to AAA where he again thrived after an approximately 1 month adjustment.

Promoted From High A:

Steven Duggar, OF.  DOB:  11/4/1993.  B-L, T-R.  6'2", 195 lbs.  Drafted in Round 6, 2015.  .321/.391/.432, 16 2B, 4 3B, 1 HR, 28 BB, 51 K, 243 AB.  Most prospects take at least a small hit on their stat lines when they move up from San Jose to Richmond.  Not only is it a big jump in level of competition, but the Cal League is strongly hitter-friendly while the EL is more pitcher friendly with Richmond having one of the more pitcher-friendly parks in the league.  Duggar's HR's took a hit, but the rest of his stats got a lot better!  Tremendous season for Duggar whose stock as a prospect had to have taken on helium.

Chris Shaw 1B.  DOB:  10/20/1993.  B-L, T-R.  6'4", 235 lbs.  Drafted in Round 1S, 2015.  .246/.309/.414, 16 2B, 4 3B, 5 HR, 20 BB, 55 K, 232 AB.  After hitting 16 HR's for San Jose in the first half to win a promotion, Shaw had a 1 month adjustment, hitting just .208 in July for Richmond, but then he found his stroke in August with a .279 BA and a .505 SLG%.

CJ Hinojosa SS.  DOB:  9/15/1994.  B-R, T-R.  5'10", 175 lbs.  Drafted in Round 11, 2015.  .248/.312/.336, 7 2B, 2 BB, 3 HR, 20 BB, 43 K, 226 AB.   Next year would be his expected AA season so we'll view these results as a nice practice run.


Tyler Horan OF.  DOB:  12/2/1990.  B-L, T-R.  6'2", 230 lbs.  .265/.337/.460, 12 2B, 4 3B, 12 HR, 31 BB, 79 K, 287 AB.  Long time personal favorite.  Horan got off to a hot start then slumped in June and July but came back with a tremendous August slashing .321/372/.603.  Needs to figure out how to stay out of 2-month slumps.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Nominations for Willie Mac Award

Who is your pick for this year's Willie Mac Award?  Why?

To me, there are 2 names that stand out as candidates:  Brandon Crawford and Johnny Cueto.  Neither has previously won.  Crawford's tenure with the team might make me lean toward him, but it's hard to top the sheer enthusiasm and joy Johnny Cueto brought to the mound every start.  Who do you think should win?

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Game Wrap 9/25/2016: Padres 4 Giants 3

This game felt more like meaningless end-of-season than playoff atmosphere.  The stands at Petco Park were way more than half-empty.  The rookie SP for the Giants lasted all of 3 innings and was followed by a seemingly endless parade of relievers.  The lineup had a makeshift feel to it even though I am sure Bruce Bochy would tell you he was putting the best matchups out there.  Oh, and the Padres won.  Key Lines:

Eduardo Nunez- 2 for 4, SB(40).  BA= .288.  Nunez is the one guy in the lineup who seems to be playing with some fire in his belly.  Just when you thought the team might rally around him, he pulls up lame with a hammy after the SB.  Yeah, that's pretty much a microcosm of the season, right there.

Buster Posey- 1 for 3, BB.  BA= .288.  Buster still has the ability to get a big hit as he plated 2 runs with a solid single to R-CF.

Ty Blach- 3 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 3 BB, 3 K's.  ERA= 2.00.  Believe me, this could have been a whole lot worse.  The kid was obviously amped up for his first MLB start and was sailing his FB, walking batters and running up astronomical pitch counts.  I liked the way he fought his way out of the jams.  I was pleasantly surprised by the velocity on the FB, 90-92 MPH, the break on the slider and curve and the sink on the changeup.  He didn't throw too many of those, but the few he did throw had a Noah Lowryesque quality to them.  His most impressive moment came when he blew a high heater past the RH hitting Wil Myers after a 13 pitch battle.  Not a great first start, but he showed enough to make me want to see more when he is less amped.


The Mets crushed the Phillies 17-0 and now lead the Giants for the first Wild Card playoff spot by 1 game.  The Giants are currently tied with the Cardinals for the second spot pending the outcome of the Cards-Cubs game tonight.


The Giants get tomorrow off before starting the final 6 game homestand agains the Rockies first then the Dodgers for the final weekend.  Matt Moore gets the start Tuesday night against rookie German Marquez.

Down on the Farm: 2016 San Jose Giants Season Review Part 2

Historically, the San Jose Giants field one of the best pitching staffs in the California League.  Part of that is due to San Jose playing in one of the more pitching friendly parks in the league and part due to the talent the Giants send them every year.  This was a down year for the pitching staff with the top prospects hanging around for only  a short time and most of the guys who stuck around all season appearing to be marginal prospects scuffling to show enough to make the next level.  The result was the 3'rd lowest Team ERA in the league.  

Full Season Starters:

Mark Reyes LHP.  DOB:  10/8/1992.  6'1", 225 lbs.  Drafted in Round 22, 2014.  9-9, 4.74, 127.1 IP, 60 BB, 80 K, GO/AO= 1.43.  An 80/60 K/BB is not going to cut if for a lefty known more for his pitchability than stuff.

Jordan Johnson RHP.  DOB:  9/15/1993.  6'3", 100 lbs.  Drafted in Round 23, 2014.  8-9, 5.33, 120 IP, 39 BB, 111 K, 24 HR Allowed.  The K/BB looks OK but my goodness!  24 dingerz in 120 IP is a whole lot of dingerz, even for the Cal League!

Jason Forjet RHP.  DOB:  1/4/1990.  6'2", 185 lbs.  Drafted in Round 31, 2012.  10-7, 4.84, 102.1 IP, 20 BB, 87 K.  When Forjet is on, he looks like he can pitch in the major leagues.  He had 9 games in which he pitched at least 5 innings and gave up 2 ER or less.  The problem is when he is not on, he gets lit up with too many disaster starts.  Unfortunately, it's getting late to expect anything different with more experience.

Swing Men:

Jose Reyes RHP.  DOB:  1/3/1991.  6'1", 185 lbs.  4-6, 5.38, 100.1 IP, 33 BB, 64 K.  Disappointing season for the hard throwing righty.

DJ Snelton LHP.  DOB:  5/29/1992.  6'7", 245 lbs.  Drafted in Round 9, 2013.  4-7, 4.11, 96.1 IP, 32 BB, 82 K, GO/AO= 2.69.  Disappointing season for the big lefty, but enough positives that he should get an assignment to AA Richmond next season.

Movin On UP to the Eastside:

Sam Coonrod RHP.  DOB:  9/22/1992.  6'2", 225 lbs.  Drafted in Round 5, 2014.  5-3, 1.98, 63.2 IP, 22 BB, 42 K's.  The K/IP is low, to say the least, but I tend to believe the Giants had him working on pitching to contact to help his command and limit his walks.

Andrew Suarez LHP.  DOB:  9/11/1992.  6'2", 205 lbs.   Drafted in Round 2, 2015.  2-1, 2.43, 29.2 IP, 5 BB, 34 K, GO/AO= 1.84.  Not the hardest thrower in the organization, but the Giants like that he commands the FB to both sides of the plate and has good command of 2 secondary pitches.  I think he was the first promo to AA from the 2015 draft class and he pitched well there too.

Rodolfo Martinez RHP.  DOB:  10/4/1994.  6'2", 180 lbs. 1-1, 0.88, 30.2 IP, 10 BB, 33 K, GO/AO= 1.32, 23 Saves.  Very hard thrower, upper 90's FB.  He dominated the Cal League in a Closer role, which did not provide a large sample size of IP.  He got the promo to AA, but struggled mightily there.

Movin' On UP From the Eastside:

Phil Bickford, RHP.  DOB:  7/10/1995. 6'4", 200 lbs.  Drafted in Round 1, 2015.  2-2, 2.73, 33 IP, 12 BB, 36 K.  Did not miss a beat after a promotion from pitcher-friendly Augusta.  Traded to Milwaukee for Will Smith amid rumors of reduced velocity.


Dusten Knight, RHP.  DOB:  9/2/1990.  6'0", 185 lbs.  Drafted in Round 28, 2013.  3-1, 5.02, 80.2 IP, 20 BB, 90 K's.  Very nice K/BB in long relief role.  Should be enough to move him up next season.

Reyes Maronta, RHP.  DOB:  1/6/1993.  6'0", 175 lbs.  0-3, 2.59, 59.0 IP, 20 BB, 93 K's, 14 Saves.  Took over the Closer role after Martinez' promotion.  Performed very well.  Should get the promo to AA next year.  Throws hard, sits about 96 MPH, but not as hard as Martinez.

Jose Fernandez RIP

Shocking and awful news out of Florida where Marlins star pitcher Jose Fernandez and at least 2 others apparently died when a 30 ft boat they were in capsized on some rocks near Miami.  Not that his stardom makes it any more or less tragic but Fernandez is the most talented and accomplished star I can recall to die suddenly while still playing.  The Marlins-Braves game scheduled for today has been appropriately cancelled.  Thoughts go out to Jose's family and the Miami Marlins team.

Game Wrap 9/24/2016: Giants 9 Padres 6

The Giants offense picked up Madison Bumgarner, who uncharacteristically gave up 5 runs on 3 dingers, to win in extra innings.  Key Lines:

Denard Span- 1 for 5, HR, BB.  BA= .261.  Span has been struggling, but hit one into the short porch down the RF line plating 2 insurance runs in the 10'th.  He now has 11 HR's on the season, 3 more than his previous career high of 8 in 2009.

Eduardo Nunez- 2 for 5, SB(39).  BA= .286.  The Giants may have found a new emotional leader.  In addition to the offensive line, he sprinted in from 3B without a second's hesitation to make a running catch of a foul pop that Buster Posey completely lost in the twilight.  If the pure joy and enthusiasm of that play isn't enough to convince you, add in the emotional response to getting called out by the 2B ump on a steal attempt in the 9'th and the subsequent overturning of the call on replay.  Yeah, Nunez is fired up and it's starting to fire up his teammates too!

Angel Pagan- 3 for 5, SB(14).  BA= .273.  Pagan has been struggling out of the #2 slot in the batting order.  He moves down for this game and responds with a 3-hit night including a leadoff single in the 10'th that led to the go-ahead run.

Madison Bumgarner- 2 for 3, 2 2B.  BA= .171.  On a rough night on the mound, Bumgarner helped himself again at the plate.

Kelby Tomlinson- 1 for 1. BA= .299.  Kelby is 10 for 23, .435, with RISP.  This one drove in the go-ahead run after Pagan led off the 10'th with a single and took 2B on Adrianza's Sac Bunt.

Madison Bumgarner- 6 IP, 4 H, 5 R, 1 BB, 5 K's.  ERA= 2.71.  There is an offshore flow going in SoCal and the ball was jumping out of Petco Park.

Hunter Strickland- 1.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K's.  ERA= 3.15.  Strickland overcame his recent struggles to hold the line for 5 batters in dominant fashion.

Sergio Romo- 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, Save(3).  ERA= 2.93.  Romo's 3 Save in as many tries.  He seems to have stabilized the Closer role, at least for the time being.


The Win put the Giants into a tie with the Mets, who lost, for the 2 Wild Card playoff spots.  The Cardinals won and still trail by 0.5 games.


Ty Blach gets the call for his first MLB start today facing lefty Clayton Richard.  If you think Petco was a live yard last night…..Day Game, hot, dry, offshore flow…...

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Down on the Farm: 2016 San Jose Giants Season Review Part 1

2016 was a season of comings and goings for the San Jose Giants with only 2 position players accumulating more than 300 AB's.  The rest either played the first half and were promoted to AA or else were promoted from lower levels midseason or else missed a lot of time due to injury.  Here's how it broke down:

Full Season Starters:

Ronnie Jebavy OF.  DOB:  5/17/1994.  B-R, T-R.  6'2", 205 lbs.  Drafted in Round 5, 2015.  .247/.305/.385, 28 2B, 5 3B, 12 HR, 24 SB, 34 BB, 153 K, 535 AB.  The tools look good.  Extra base power.  Speed to steal bases.  Played CF on D.  The glaring thing is the K's.  He'll have to cut down on those.

Jonah Arenado 1B.  DOB:  2/3/1995.  B-R, T-R.  6'4", 230 lbs.  Drafted in Round 16, 2013.  .254/.286/.422, 36 2B, 17 HR, 18 BB, 110 K, 516 AB.  Exciting power.  The walk rate is so low, but he kept the K rate at barely over 20% which is pretty good for a young power hitter.  He's got time.  Tremendous potential here.

Missed Time With Injuries:

Jose Vizcaino Jr. 3B.  DOB:  4/5/19914.  B-R, T-R.  6'3", 220 lbs.  Drafted in Round 7, 2015.  .261/.342/.424, 17 2B, 2 3B, 7 HR, 29 BB, 69 K's, 295 AB.  Hit .417 over his last 10 games before going down with an ankle injury on 7/21 which caused him to miss the rest of the season.

Aramis Garcia C.  DOB:  1/12/1993.  B-R, T-R.  6'2", 220 lbs.  Drafted in Round 2, 2014.  .257/.323/.340, 6 2B, 2 HR, 14 BB, 47 K, 144 AB.  So-so start to the season which was cut short by a HBP to the face.  He got back for a few games at the end of the season and will try to make up for the lost AB's in the AFL.

Movin' On Up to the Eastside:  The Giants gave aggressive placements to no less than 5 2015 position player draftees.  These 3 stayed healthy and performed well enough to get even more aggressive midseason promotions to AA Richmond in the fearsome Eastern League.

Chris Shaw 1B.  DOB:  10/20/1993.  B-L, T-R.  6'4", 235 lbs.  Drafted in Round 1S, 2015.  .285/.357/.544, 22 2B, 16 HR, 28 BB, 70 K, 270 AB.  Maybe a few too many K's, but a tremendous display of power.  Enough to convince the Giants brass that he needed a bigger challenge in AA, where there was some adjustment.

Steven Duggar OF.  DOB:  11/4/1993.  B-L, T-R.  6'2", 195 lbs.  Drafted in Round 6, 2015.  .284/.386/.462, 12 2B, 4 3B, 9 HR, 44 BB, 66 K, 264 AB.  Duggar also earned himself a mid-season promo to AA where he just turned it up a notch.

CJ Hinojosa SS.  DOB:  7/15/1994.  B-R, T-R.  5'10", 175 lbs.  Drafted in Round 11, 2015.  .296/.378/.442, 14 SB, 3 3B, 6 HR, 36 BB, 46 K, 260 AB.  Another aggressive placement for a 2015 draftee who made that decision look good.  Another mid-season promo to AA where he had some adjustments.

Movin' On Up From the Eastside:  2 callups from Augusta and a midseason placement of an Indy League signee.

Dylan Davis OF.  DOB:  7/6/1993.  B-R, T-R.  6'0", 205 lbs.  Drafted in Round 3, 2014.  .278/.344/.544, 10 2B, 18 HR, 22 BB, 61 K, 248 AB.  You may not think a K rate of 20+% is all that great, but it's down from around 30% when he first turned pro.  Hit a total of 26 HR's between Augusta and SJ. Might have made the biggest progress in his game of all Giants prospects in 2016.

Miguel Gomez, 3B.  DOB:  12/17/1992.  B-S, T-R.  5'10", 185 lbs.  .267/.302/.500, 9 2B, 2 3B, 9 HR, 8 BB, 28 K, 172 AB.  After kicking around short season ball for seemingly forever, Gomez torched the SAL in the first half.  He kicked the power up a notch after a promo to SJ while suffering a drop in BA for the first time in his career.  The BA recovered late as he hit .324 over his last 10 games.  This guy can obviously hit.  Giants have a decision to make as he has 5 years of pro service and is eligible for the Rule 5 draft unless the Giants put him on the 40 man roster.

TJ Bennett, 2B.  DOB:  7/22/1992.  B-L, T-R.  6'3", 215 lbs.  .284/.357/.482, 15 2B, 9 HR, 20 BB, 67 K, 222 AB.  Older indy league signee.  IDK if he can stick at 2B, but has tremendous size for the position.  Showed impressive power in a half season with SJ.  Definitely worth a look at higher levels.  Sleeper alert!


Johneshwy Fargas OF.  DOB:  12/15/1994.  B-R, T-R.  6'1", 170 lbs.  Drafted Round 11, 2013.  .172/.255/.216, 3 3B, 9 SB, 12 BB, 40 K, 134 AB.  You can't steal first base and Fargas just didn't get there often enough to use his speed.  Back down to Augusta where at least he got his feet back under him and did well.  Big challenge to stick in SJ next season!

Game Wrap 9/23/2016: Padres 7 Giants 2

The Giants fell behind early on a 3-run dinger by Wil Myers and a potential comeback win was blown up by another bullpen meltdown, this time by Matt Reynolds in the 5'th inning.  Key Lines:

Buster Posey- 1 for 4, 2B.  BA= .289.  Buster doesn't seem to see Edwin Jackson very well. He was something like 0 for 14 before he tomahawked a ball that was up around his shoulders off the left-CF wall for a 2-run double in the 5'th inning to briefly close the gap to 3-2.

Albert Suarez- 4 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 1 BB, 1 K.  ERA= 4.29.  After the first inning dinger, Suarez settled down to pitch scoreless innings 2-4.  Boch lifted him for a PH after 69 pitches even though he had doubled earlier.  Probably not a terrible idea since Suarez historically starts giving up a lot of hits the second and third times through the batting order.

Matt Reynolds- 0.0 IP, 3 H, 4 R, 2 BB, 0 K.  ERA= 7.50.  Reynolds has had his moments, but it's this type of appearance that led Arizona to give up on him.  He just had no command which led to grooved pitches….just awful!  The rest of the bullpen pitched 4 innings of perfect baseball the rest of the way.


The Mets won and the Cardinals lost to the Cubs so the loss dropped the Giants 1 game behind the Mets for the first Wild Card playoff spot while they remained 0.5 games up on the Cardinals for the final Wild Card spot.


Madison Bumgarner tries to get back on the winning side of the ledger tonight facing Jared Cosart.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Down on the Farm: 2016 Augusta Greenjackets Season Review Part 2

The Greenjackets started the 2016 season with 3 age-appropriate pitchers in their rotation: Phil Bickford, Logan Webb and Michael Santos.  Bickford was promoted to SJ, then traded.  Webb and Santos were shut down early with injuries.  The Greenjackets ended up being a place where a large number of older pitchers found some traction on careers that had been drifting.

Michael Connolly RHP.  DOB:  10/31/2994.  6'2', 205 lbs.  Drafted in Round 27, 2013.  11-7, 3.05, 135.2 IP, 31 BB, 107 K, GO/AO= 1.35.  Connolly's IP almost doubled from his prior high.  He had a 2.39 ERA on August 14 but faded in his last 3 starts, probably from fatigue.

Jake McCasland RHP.  DOB:  9/13/1991.  6'2", 215 lbs.  Drafted in Round 26, 2013.  8-5, 1.65, 109.1 IP, 24 BB, 107 K, GO/AO= 1.18.  McCasland is a guy the Giants drafted twice.  He kicked around the lower minors for 3 years.  He finally moved into the Augusta rotation midseason and really found a groove.  Like Connolly, he will have to prove it at higher levels.

Cory Taylor RHP.  DOB:  12/14/1993.  6'2", 255 lbs.  Drafted in Round 8, 2015.  9-5, 2.58, 97.2 IP, 25 BB, 100 K, GO/AO= 1.78.  Jumbo righty.  Dominated the SAL in his first full pro season.  Held his own in a late season promo to SJ.

Conner Kaden RHP.  DOB:  10/27/1992.  6'4", 200 lbs.  Drafted in Round 27, 2014.  6-3, 3.71, 87.1 IP, 26 BB, 80 K, GO/AO= 2.80, 3 Saves.  Love the size!  Kaden shined in a long relief role. Should get a chance to move that up to SJ next year.

Dominic Mazza LHP.  DOB:  7/29/1994.  6'1", 195 lbs.  Drafted in Round 22, 2015.  8-3, 3.93, 84.2 IP, 16 BB, 29 K, GO/AO= 1.21.  Drafted out of UCSB where he was overshadowed by Dillon Tate.  Had some dominant starts this year, but some inconsistency.  Will have to prove it at higher levels.

Grant Watson LHP.  DOB:  7/2/1993.  6'0", 185 lbs.  Drafted in Round 16, 2015.  3-7, 4.62, 78 IP, 18 BB, 68 K.  The definition of a polished college lefty.  Those guys have to do better than this in low A ball.

Ryan Koziol RHP.  DOB:  10/4/1993.  6'3", 185 lbs.  Apparently signed as an undrafted FA in 2015.  4-3, 3.01, 68.2 IP, 13 BB, 59 K, GO/AO= 2.89, 9 Saves.  Another tall righty who shined out of the bullpen. Started long relief.  Ended up as the Closer.

Phil Bickford RHP.  DOB:  7/10/1995. 6'4", 200 lbs.  Drafted in Round 1, 2015.  3-4, 2.70, 60 IP, 15 BB, 69 K's.  The first rounder didn't hang around long after putting up dominant numbers.  Also pitched well for San Jose but was traded to the Brewers for Will Smith at the trade deadline.

Michael Santos RHP.  DOB:  5/29/1995.  6'4", 170 lbs.  4-2, 2.91, 58.2 IP, 5 BB, 44 K, GO/AO= 1.54.  I had forgotten how good Santos' numbers were before he disappeared from the boxscores after 6/3/2016.

Ryan Halstead, RHP.  DOB:  5/13/1992.  6'5 ", 220 lbs.  Drafted in Round 21, 2015.  4-3, 3.83, 54 IP, 9 BB, 62 K, 4 Saves.  Former college closer for Indiana.  Did not give up an earned run in his last 16 appearances for Augusta after July 8.  Made 2 appearances in the Cal League playoffs.

Tyler Cyr RHP.  DOB:  5/5/1993.  6'3", 200 lbs.  Drafted in Round 10, 2015.  3-3, 2.31, 50.2 IP, 16 BB, 65 K's, GO/AO= 1.41.  No scouting report, but appears to be a hard throwing righty.  ERA of 2.38 after a midseason promo to SJ.

Heath Slatton RHP.  DOB:  9/17/2013.  6'3", 200 lbs.  Drafted in Round 18, 2015.  2-4, 2.37, 49.1 IP, 23 BB, 44 K's, 4 Saves.   The big news here is Slatton got 3 starts at the end of the season and allowed just 1 ER in 15 IP with 3 BB, and 12 K's.  Sleeper/Breakout watch!

Caleb Smith RHP.  DOB:  10/4/1992.  6'2", 205 lbs.  Drafted in Round 17, 2014.  1-2, 2.35, 38.1 IP, 22 BB, 54 K's, 6 Saves.  Don't know much about him, but nice numbers.

Game Wrap 9/22/2016: Giants 2 Padres 1

The Giants got a dominant start from Jeff Samardzija, the offense pushed across 2 runs in the 8'th inning and the bullpen hung on for the Win.  Key Lines:

Kelby Tomlinson- 1 for 1.  BA= .295.  Tomlinson pinch-hit for Samardzija after Joe Panik led off the inning with a ground rule double to CF.  Tomlinson hooked a bunt foul then swung and missed for 0-2.  Mike Krukow started talking about his 2-strike approach and how he shortens up his swing to make himself one of the toughest outs on the team.  Sure enough!  On cue, Kelby punched one through the left side to advance Panik to 3B and set up the 2-run inning that was eventually capped by Hunter Pence's 114 MPH line drive double down the LF line to drive in the insurance run.

Jeff Samardzija- 7 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 9 K's, GO/AO= 7/2.  ERA= 3.83.  Shark was totally dominant thanks largely to a rapidly improving spike curveball that he learned on the fly midseason when he had on offspeed pitch and his hard stuff was getting pummeled.  Krukow explained that Shark had a curveball before but couldn't make the conventional grip work.  He started digging his index finger into the ball about midseason and it's been getting more deadly with each game.

Will Smith- 0.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K.  ERA= 3.58.  Speaking of curveballs…..right now, Smith's is as good as I can remember seeing from any pitcher, ever!  He should be the 8'th inning man if not the closer.  Let someone else be the lefty specialist.

Sergio Romo- 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, Save(2).  ERA= 3.04.  Another relatively drama free Save for Romo whose running 2-seam FB(AKA Shuto) is noticeably better against LH batters.  He can also combine it with a decent fading changeup with the occasional backdoor or back foot slider.


The Dodgers beat the Rockies 7-4 so the Giants remain 6 games behind the Bad Guys in the NL West. The Mets won a see-saw extra-inning game agains the Phillies 9-8 on Asdrubal Cabrera's walk-off 3-run dinger.  The Cardinals were idle.  The Giants and Mets are both 0.5 games up on the Cardinals for the 2 Wild Card playoff spots.


Albert Suarez takes the mound tonight facing Edwin Jackson.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Game Wrap 9/21/2016: Dodgers 9 Giants 3

Matt Moore returned to the site of his near no-hitter from just a few weeks ago and got shelled.  Key Lines:

Denard Span- 2 for 3, BB.  BA= .263.  Span's walk to open the game led to an early run for the Giants. He advanced to 2B on a PB and then came home on a single by Pagan.

Ehire Adrianza- 2 for 4, HR(2).  BA= .314.  Adrianza seems  to hit HR's against the Dodgers.  For the second night in a row, he was back on his heels on a groundball that kind of ate him up.  ESPN announcers pointed it out both times.

Matt Moore- 1 IP, 7 H, 6 R, 1 BB, 0 K.  ERA= 4.34.  Moore did not seem to have much of a curveball.  He threw his FB hard, but it didn't seem to have much movement.  Dodgers took batting practice.

Matt Cain- 2 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 0 BB, 2 K's.  ERA= 5.64.  Cain had turned in a couple of very good looking 1-inning stints out of the bullpen.  He couldn't stop the Dodgers onslaught this time.

Josh Osich- 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K.  ERA= 4.46.  Osich has been scuffling in 1 batter roles.  Hopefully this nice inning in a low pressure situation will settle him down.

Jake Peavy- 1 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 0 K's.  ERA= 5.54.  The only reason I post this line is there is an open rotation spot coming up this weekend where Johnny Cueto was supposed to pitch.  It's not a given that Cueto will miss it, but that looks like a strong possibility.  Does Bochy give the ball to Matt Cain, Jake Peavy or……

Ty Blach- 3 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K.  ERA= 0.00.  Blach hadn't pitched since Sept 5, but acted like it was a regular turn in the rotation.  He's now pitched 3 innings in Coors Field and 3 in Dodger Stadium and has not come close to allowing a run.  He did not even allow a baserunner in this one.  Of course, those 2 mop-up stints are a far cry from starting a game in a pennant(or Wild Card) race, but hey, when you look at what Cain and Peavy have done lately, do you go with one of them or do you role the dice and give the rook his big opportunity?


The Giants loss dropped them back to a 6-game deficit behind the Dodgers in the NL West.  The Mets and Cardinals both lost so they remain in a 3-way tie for 2 Wild Card playoff spots.


The Giants move on to San Diego for a 4 game series with Jeff Samardzija facing Christian Friedrich in Game 1 tonight.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Game Wrap 9/20/2016: Giants 2 Dodgers 0

For the second night in a row, the Giants took a 1-0 lead into the 9'th inning.  This time, they got an insurance HR from Brandon Belt and a shutdown Save from Sergio Romo for the Win.  Key Lines:

Eduardo Nunez- 2 for 5, HR(4).  BA= .290.  On Monday night, Nunez created a run with his speed.  In this game he did it the old fashioned way with a solo HR to LF.  The ball initially appeared to bounce off the top of the LF wall back into the field of play for a triple, but a replay clearly showed is hitting a camera mount behind the wall, so maybe it wasn't the old fashioned way?  Nunez is hitting .276 since coming to the Giants vs .296 with Minnesota, but he has a higher OPS, .777 vs .764 with the Giants.  Very nice combination of average, power and speed.  Giants control his contract for 1 more season.  He might be an extension candidate this offseason.

Brandon Belt- 2 for 4, HR(16).  BA= .271.  Belt homered in the top of the 9'th to give whoever the Giants Closer was going to be a 2 run cushion to work with.  Belt seems to be back on track offensively with a .283/421/.478 slash line over his last 15 games.

Brandon Crawford- 1 for 1.  BA= .268.  Crawford had to come out after dislocating his left 5'th finger on a slide into 3B.  Joe Panik missed just 1 game with the same injury a couple of years ago.

Johnny Cueto- 5.1 IP, 8 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 6 K's.  ERA= 2.79.  Cueto was magical again until he pulled up with a groin strain after delivering a pitch in the 6'th inning.  Hopefully he won't miss too much time, but it did not look good.  Giants can obviously ill afford to lose Cueto for either the ROS or the postseason.

Steven Okert- 1.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K's.  ERA= 3.86.  Okert shook off his last disaster appearance, with a scintillating 1.2 innings of work.  There was a mixup after Cueto's injury and George Kontos initially ran out to the mound.  Bochy sent him back while frantically tapping his left arm and Okert appeared out of the bullpen.  His first batter was Yasiel Puig PH for the left-handed hitting Joc Pederson.  Okert struck him out.  He stayed in for the 7'th inning and ended up with 3 K's. Very nice work by Okert who seems to be auditioning for a job for next year.

Will Smith- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K's.  ERA= 3.65.  Smith is on fire with a 0.79 ERA over his last 15 appearances with 17 K's in 11.1 IP.  The curveball was amazing.  My choice for the 9'th inning was to send Smith back out there, but Bochy went with Romo.

Sergio Romo- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K's, Save(1).  ERA= 3.16.  Bochy made his choice.  He did hedge his bet by having Javier Lopez and Derek Law warming up in the bullpen.  Romo took ownership of the inning, though, Striking out Puig then making it look easy against 2 LH batters with a very nice sinking shuto that was much improved on anytime I can remember in the past.  My guess is Romo at least earned the call for the next Save opportunity that arises.


The Win cut the Dodgers lead over the Giants in the NL West to 4 games.  The Mets lost while the Cardinals won to create a 3-way tie for the 2 Wild Card playoff spots.


Matt Moore goes for a series win tonight against Kenta Maeda.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Game Wrap 9/19/2016: Dodgers 2 Giants 1

The Giants bullpen descended into the realm of black comedy with yet another 9'th inning meltdown to spoil what might have been Madison Bumgarner's finest start of the season.  Key Lines:

Eduardo Nunez- 1 for 4, SB(38).  BA= .289.  Nunez manufactured a run on his own in the 3'rd inning starting with a 2-out single.  He stole 2B and went to 3'rd on a throwing error by Yasmani Grandal then scored on a passed ball.  It was the only run of the game until the fateful 9'th inning.

Madison Bumgarner- 7 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 10 K's.  ERA= 2.57.  Great game by Bumgarner. You have to wonder if the dustup between him and Puig in the 7'th might have distracted the bullpen, although they got through the 8'th inning just fine.  At any rate, Bummy, you've got to just look away, walk to the dugout and drill him in the ribs the next time you face him.

Bullpen- Will Smith got 2 outs in the 8'th.  Derek Law got the 3'rd.  Bochy left Law in to start the 9'th like a lot of fans wanted him to on Saturday.  Law promptly gave up a leadoff single to PH Andrew Toles.  Bochy went for the L-L matchup, bringing in Javier Lopez to face Corey Seager who also singled putting runners at 1'st and 3'rd with no outs.  Bochy brought in Strickland and you knew it was pretty much over at that point.  I mean, if he didn't have enough faith in Strickland to let him start the 9'th, what made him think he could salvage THAT situation?  Strickland gave up an opposite field single to Justin Turner to tie the score then a double to AGone for the game winner.  The only surprise there being it wasn't a walk off HR.

This has now gone way beyond manager decisions or a slumping closer.  The Giants entire bullpen appears to be emotionally intimidated by the 9'th inning.  Pitchers who have no problem in the 6'th, 7'th and 8'th innings can't get an out in the 9'th.  I'm not sure what they have to do to get out of it, but it might be already too late for this season.  I say forget the matchup thing.  It's clearly not working.  Pick a pitcher, Smith, Law, Gearrin, Cain, Nathan, Peavy.  Whoever you feel is the current best option left, give them the ball and tell them the inning is their's, for better or worse with nobody warming up behind them.  If it works, great.  If it doesn't, well, it's no worse than the current results and you have the offseason to work on a solution.


The loss dropped the Giants 6 games behind the Dodgers and effectively out of the NL West Division race.  The Mets lost and the Cardinals won so the Giants remain 1 game behind the Mets for first Wild Card playoff spot and are tied with the Cardinals for the second spot.


Johnny Cueto faces Rich Hill tomorrow evening in Game 2 of the series.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Down on the Farm: 2016 Augusta Greenjackets Season Review Part 1

Most organizations fill their low A minor league affiliates HS draftees in their first full seasons or international prospects after 1 year of DSL and 1 year of rookie ball.  Ideally you want to see low A prospects who are age 20 or younger with 18 and 19 probably being the ideal ages.  Over the years, Giants prospect watchers have been frustrated by the relative dearth of such prospects assigned to the Augusta Greenjackets.  That changed this year, at least on the offensive side of the diamond with several teenage player on the Opening Day roster including top international signee Lucius Fox in his first pro experience plus infielders Jalen Miller, Kelvin Beltre and Manuel Geraldo.  Of course, Fox ended up getting traded to Tampa Bay for Matt Moore and Geraldo was sent to Salem-Keizer after struggling in Augusta, but hey, at least they were trying!  Here are some of the position player prospects of note:

Lucius Fox SS.  DOB: 7/2/1997.  B-S, T-R.  6'1", 175 lbs.  .207/.305/.277, 6 2B, 4 3B, 2 HR, 25 SB, 37 BB, 76 K, 285 AB.  Considering this was his first pro experience and to pitching-friendly environment, this is actually a pretty good line, IMO.  It will be interesting to see how he develops, but it will be with the TB organization rather than the Giants.

Jalen Miller 2B.  DOB:  12/19/1996.  B-R, T-R.  5'11", 175 lbs.  .223/.271/.322, 20 2B, 5 3B, 5 HR, 26 BB, 107 K, 475 AB.  The 475 AB is probably the single most important number in this line.  The Giants have had a lot of younger prospects miss a lot of time due to injuries.  Miller stayed on the field all season.  475 is truly on impressive number of AB's for a player this young.  This experience will hold him in good stead as his career progresses.

Dillon Dobson 1B/3B.  DOB:  8/21/1993.  B-L, T-R.  6'2", 220 lbs.  Drafted in Round 23, 2015. .273/.328/.465, 27 2B, 5 3B, 13 HR, 31 BB, 99 K, 396 AB.  The Giants also tend to send later round college draftees from smaller programs to Augusta for their first full pro season.  Dobson had a solid college career at Appalachian St.  He was drafted as a 2B, but seems destined for a corner infield position.  He started out mostly at 1B early in the season but played mostly 3B after Miguel Gomez' promotion to San Jose.  I would think Dobson's performance here earned him an assignment in SJ next spring.

Jean Angomas OF.  DOB:  6/5/1995.  B-L, T-R.  6'0", 170 lbs.  .260/.299/.348, 17 2B, 5 3B, 1 HR, 14 SB, 19 BB, 39 K, 342 AB.  Angomas has taken his time working through the lower minors, but seemed to find some traction this season.  He is the cousin of Edwin Encarnacion.  Reminds me a bit of Melky Cabrera in terms of statistical profile.

Matt Winn C.  DOB:  8/5/1992.  B-R, T-R.  6'1", 210 lbs.  Drafted in Round 14, 2015.  .230/.325/.393, 13 2B, 13 HR, 44 BB, 110 K, 331 AB.  Kind of a 3-true outcomes type hitter.  13 HR's in Augusta is impressive.  These kinds of hitters tend to put up the same numbers at any level.  That would not be bad for a backup catcher in the majors.

Johneshwy Fargas OF.  DOB:  12/15/1994.  B-R, T-R.  6'1", 170 lbs.  Drafted Round 11 in 2013.  .275/.340/.354, 11 2B, 3 3B, 2 HR, 32 SB, 24 BB, 57 K, 291 AB.  Fargas washed out in San Jose with a sub-Mendoza Line BA.  He put up nice numbers back in Augusta.  He can hope for another shot at Augusta next year, but the competition will be fierce with all the OF's drafted in 2016.

Miguel Gomez C/3B.  DOB:  12/17/1992.  B-S, T-R.  5'10", 185 lbs.  .371/.401/.532, 17 2B, 8 HR, 12 BB,  25 K, 267 AB.  I don't know much about the rest of his game, but Gomez can hit!  Got a midseason promotion to SJ where his BA initially took a hit but he showed more HR power.  The BA came back at the end of the season.  He has 5 years of service time in the minors so will need to be added to the 40 man roster or be  exposed to the Rule 5 draft.  If I was a rival GM, I'd be targeting him.

Dylan Davis OF.  DOB:  7/20/1993.  B-R, T-R.  6'0", 2015 lbs.  Drafted in Round 3, 2014.  .288/.368/.496, 17 2B, 4 3B, 8 HR, 30 BB, 58 K's, 236 AB.  Davis was kind of an all-or-nothing hitter in his first 2 pro seasons.  This was a breakout of sorts as he not only hit for much better average while maintaining his power, but he also cut in K rate to below 20%.  Midseason promo to SJ went well too.  I could see him turning into a Mike Napoli/Mark Trumbo type hitter in the majors.

Kelvin Beltre 3B.  DOB:  9/25/1996.  B-R, T-R.  5'11", 170 lbs.  .250/.329/.406, 14 2B, 2 3B, 4 HR, 7 SB, 16 BB, 63 K, 192 AB.  This is an impressive line for a 19 yo kid in the SAL who has not gotten al lot of pro AB's due to injuries.  Unfortunately this season was shortened by injury too, although he came back late.  I get the feeling that Beltre has a very high ceiling if he can just stay healthy long enough to get enough AB's to develop.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Game Wrap 9/18/2016: Cardinals 3 Giants 0

I'm not sure what is more disheartening, seeing your favorite team lose a game on a Blown Save or seeing them get dominated by a rookie pitcher who you quickly realize is going to dominate the entire league for years to come.  That second one is what happened out at AT&T Park today as Alex Reyes, a  BA top 10 preseason prospect and #2 midseason prospect pitched 7 innings of shutout ball aided by a couple of relievers who mopped up.  Key Lines:

Albert Suarez- 5 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 2 K's.  ERA= 4.16.  New Stat:  5'th Starter Quality Start= 5+ IP, 3 runs allowed or less.  Suarez pitched another one of those today.  Unfortunately, he would have had to pitch a CG shutout just to stay even through 9.

Cory Gearrin- 2 IP 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 5 K's.  ERA= 4.15.  …..and Gearrin wouldn't have been a better option against Yadi Molina last night than Casilla?

Matt Cain- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K's.  ERA= 5.56.  Cain has been dominant in 2 1-inning relief appearances since coming off the DL.

Alex Reyes(Cardinals)- 7 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 6 K's.  ERA= 1.03.  Holy Moly!  Am I envious of the Cardinals who have this guy for the next 6 years, at least!  He's the perfect height for a pitcher, 6'3", incredibly strong body, Mid-high 90's FB with movement, plus fading changeup mid-80's, solid hard curveball.  He still could use a bit better command, but no doubts that will come.  Easy, easy heat.  He just didn't look like he had to put much effort into it.


The Dodgers lost to the D'Backs 10-9 in extra innings to remain 5 games ahead of the Giants in the NL West.  The Mets won to move 1 game up for the first Wild Card playoff spot.  The Giants lead over the Cardinals for the second Wild Card spot is down to 1 games.


The Giants head south for a 3 game matchup against the Dodgers with Madison Bumgarner facing Clayton Kershaw in game 1.

Down on the Farm: 2016 Salem-Keizer Volcanoes Season Review Part 2

The Giants employed few of the usual college draftees on their more advanced short season team choosing instead to use the roster for developing several high ceiling international pitchers.  The result was the worst ERA in the NWL which contributed in no small part to the Volcanoes losing record.  Given that the purpose of a minor league system is to develop MLB players, I'm all aboard with the development first notion.

Melvin Adon RHP.  DOB:  6/9/1994.  6'3", 195 lbs.  5-5, 5.48, 67.1 IP, 34 BB, 55 K's, GO/AO= 1.52.  Adon is an older international signee whose first pro action came last year in the DSL, so this was a big jump.  He reportedly sat in the mid-90's with his FB.  His first game was excellent, but then a long struggle.  He did seem to improve as the season wound down allowing just 5 ER in 16 IP(2.81 ERA) with 4 BB's and 16 K's over his last 3 starts.  Potential breakout for next season.

Victor Concepcion RHP.  DOB:  11/23/1996.  6'0", 170 lbs.  4-7, 6.40, 57.2 IP, 24 BB, 46 K's.  Rough season, but young for the league while skipping Arizona after 2 DSL seasons.  Size may limit his ultimate ceiling.

Mac Marshall LHP.  DOB:  1/27/1996.  6'0", 180 lbs.  Drafted in Round 4, 2015(JC).  1-6, 4.73, 51.1 IP, 48 BB, 54 K's.  Managed to keep his ERA down despite a frightful walk rate.  Control is the obvious barrier to development he has to overcome.

Raffi Vizcaino RHP.  DOB:  12/2/1995.  6'1", 195 lbs.  0-4, 4.60, 47 IP, 23 BB, 43 K's.  Vizcaino also skipped Arizona after 3 DSL seasons(he missed almost all of 2014).  He got a late season promo to Augusta and turned in a sparkling 11/1 K/BB in 11 IP.  He reportedly sat 91-94 mPH with the FB and touched 96 according to David Lee.

Nolan Riggs RHP.  DOB:  5/22/1993.  6'8", 235 lbs.  3-0, 4.24, 46.2 IP, 12 BB, 36 K's.  Big guy signed as an undrafted FA in 2014.  This was his second rodeo in S-K.  He did post a 2.81 ERA over his last 10 appearances.

Hengerber Medina RHP.  DOB:  10/12/1994.  5/11", 160 lbs.  2-3, 4.43, 44.2 IP, 18 BB, 37 K's.  One of my favorite names in the organization.  Allowed just 1 ER in 11.2 IP with 3 BB and 14 K's in his last 5 appearances for S-K.  Had 17 K's in 9.1 IP in 4 late season appearances for San Jose.

Kendry Melo RHP.  DOB:  1/7/1994.  6'3", 210 lbs.  4-1, 4.94, 39.2 IP, 24 BB, 44 K's.  The K rate looks great, but still needs to cut the BB's.

Rayan Hernandez RHP.  DOB:  9/24/1995.  6'4", 230 lbs.  Drafted in Round 34 in 2013.  0-3, 2.78, 35.2 IP, 16 BB, 30 K's.  Hernandez has been around seemingly forever and still did not turn 21 until after the season.  I think I read his FB was sitting at about 94 MPH.  Love the size.  Time is still on his side, but needs to start making quicker progress.

Matt Krook LHP.  DOB:  10/21/1994.  6'4", 195 lbs.  Drafted in Round 4, 2016.  1-3, 6.17, 35 P, 33 BB, 39 K, GO/AO= 3.77.  High ceiling lefty who has to get the strike zone under control.  The K rate and GB rate look promising if he can do that.

CJ Gettman RHP.  DOB:  6/2/1994.  6'5", 215 lbs.  Drafted in Round 34, 2016.  1-0, 2.78, 27.2 IP, 12 BB, 27 K's.  Interesting size, interesting numbers for a late round draftee.

Patrick Ruotolo RHP.  DOB:  1/15/1995.  5'10", 218 lbs.  Drafted in Round 27, 2016.  2-2, 1.42, 19 IP, 14 BB, 35 K, 4 Saves.  Late round college draftee who quickly moved into a closer role.  That is not necessarily a recipe for future success.

Cesar Yanez RHP.  DOB:  9/30/1994.  6'5", 175 lbs.  1-0, 0.60, 15 IP, 7 BB, 16 K, 4 Saves.  Intriguing size and K rate here.  Had 19 K's in 13.1 IP, after a late season promo to Augusta.  Sleeper watch!

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Game Wrap 9/17/2016: Cardinals 3 Giants 2

This game will be remembered for a curious piece of managing by Bruce Bochy in the 9'th inning as the Giants failed to capitalize on a terrific start by Jeff Samardzija and failed to hold yet another 9'th inning lead.  Key Lines:

Brandon Belt- 1 for 3, 2B, BB.  BA= .273.  Belt seems to have gotten his stroke back.  He doubled to the CF wall to drive in the Giants first run after Hunter Pence singled to open the second inning.

Jeff Samardzija- 6.2 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 4 BB, 4 K's, GO/AO= 12/0.  ERA= 3.97.  Samardzija was killing worms at AT&T Park.  Although the K/BB left something to be desired, the groundballs got him 3 GIDP's and he got the Giants into the 7'th inning with a lead.

Bruce Bochy- I thought it was odd when Bochy had both Romo and Casilla warming up for the 9'th inning.  I couldn't believe he would bring Casilla back as the closer already.  I knew the Cardinals had 3 RH batters coming up, so I was relieved when I  saw Romo coming in.  He made Piscotty reach for a slider for a weak flyball  to LF that Brandon Crawford ran a long way to make a circus catch on.  He then got Jedd Gyorko to reach for another slider but Gyorko managed to square it up enough for a weak line drive to LF for a hit.  The next batter was Yadier Molina who apparently owns Sergio Romo with a .500 BA against him.  Bochy went to Casilla who on paper was a better matchup.  You could hear a lot of murmuring and some scattered boos in the crowd as Casilla came in.  Casilla was the same Casilla we've seen all season.  He made a couple of good pitches, but had no command of others and walked Molina.  He then almost hit Randall Grichuk not once, but twice before allowing a hard groundball single up the middle to drive in the tying run and put the winning run at 3B.  Matt Reynolds came in to face the LH hitting Kolton Wong who hit a flyball far enough to drive in Pinch Runner Jose Martinez for the game winner.  

I have to admit, Bochy was in a spot, and it appears the decision to have Casilla pitch to Molina was made even before the inning started.  I also admit that if Grichuk's ball was 6 inches to the left, it's a GIDP, game over.  I just think Casilla is so freaked out by the closer role that prior matchup stats don't mean much and maybe there was another guy in the pen who could have pitched to Molina and Grichuk?


The Dodgers won in Arizona and gain a game on the Giants for a 5 game lead in the NL West.  Curtis Granderson hit a game tying HR in extra innings against the Twins then hit a game winner his next time up, so the Mets are now tied with the Giants for the first Wild Card playoff spot.  The Giants still lead the Cardinals by 2 games for the second Wild Card spot.


Albert Suarez takes the mound tomorrow facing rookie phenom Alex Reyes.

Game Wrap 9/16/2016: Giants 8 Cardinals 2

The Giants offense broke out for 6 runs in the 3'rd inning and Buster Posey broke out of his HR drought with a 2-run blast in the 4'th.  The Giants coasted the rest of the way to an easy win.  Key Lines:

Buster Posey- 3 for 4, HR(13).  BA= .294.  Buster is 7 for 9 in his last 2 games and he finally got the HR monkey off his back with his add-on blast in the 4'th inning.

Brandon Belt- 2 for 4, 2B.  BA= .272.  Belt drew 2 walks and scored 2 runs in the first game of the series.  He got 2 hits in this one.  The double with 2 outs and runners on 2'nd and 3'rd was the type of hit we've been missing from him.

Matt Moore- 5 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 3 BB, 4 K's.  ERA= 4.06.  It was a struggle for Moore as he threw 93 pitches in the 5 IP.  At one point, it looked like he might not get out of the 5'th inning after allowing a 2-out bases-loaded walk, but Bochy left him in and he got Jhonny Peralta on a can of corn to CF to end the inning.

Bullpen- 4 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 4 K's.  Kontos, Gearrin, Casilla and Matt Reynolds all pitched hitless innings.  The only blip in a fine bullpen effort was Josh Osich walking the leadoff batter in the 7'th inning.

Luke Weaver(Cardinals)- 2.2 IP, 5 H, 6 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 4 K's.  ERA= 3.21.  The rookie struck out the first 4 batters he faced, all swinging.  The 3'rd inning started innocently enough with a 1 out walk to Denard Span.  A throwing error by Yadier Molina in a sac bunt attempt by Matt Moore followed by another walk to Pagan loaded the bases.  Then the roof caved in.  Panik drove in a run with a SF, then the Giants reeled off 4 straight hits to blow the game open.


The Dodgers and Mets both won so the Giants remain 4 games behind the Bad Guys in the NL West and 1 up on the Mets for the first Wild Card playoff spot.  They lead the Cardinals by 3 games for the second Wild Card berth.


Jeff Samardzija tries to keep the winning ways going tonight against Mike Leake.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Down on the Farm: 2016 Salem-Keizer Volcanoes Season Review Part 1

The Northwest League is sometimes called a Short Season league to distinguish it from the lower level rookie leagues in Arizona and Florida which also play short seasons that start in June.  Organizations tend to assign their high round college draftees to the NWL.  You can also find a few younger players who were in rookie ball the previous year, but it's mostly a place for high round college draftees to see their first professional action.

It's not too surprising that the 2016 Salem-Keizer Volcanoes were an offensive heavy team since most of the Giants top 10 round draft picks were hitters.  The Volcanoes finished second in the league in Team BA and OPS and led the league in HR and SLG%, while finishing dead last in ERA. As you might expect, that combination generated a losing record of 32-42 which was the 3'rd worst record in the 8 team league and last place in the South Division.

We'll start with some of the hitters that caught my attention while following daily boxscores:

Manuel Geraldo 3B.  DOB:  9/13/1996.  B-S, T-R.  6'1", 170 lbs.  .298/.333/.371, 10 2B, 5 3B, 13 SB, 14 BB, 69 K's, 272 AB.  Geraldo is a DSL graduate who drew a tough assignment, first to Augusta then to Salem-Keizer after 2 years in the DSL.  After hitting just .162 in 43 games for Augusta, he found some traction in Salem-Keizer and a home at 3B, although he occasionally moved over to SS and 2B.  19 yo is fairly young for the league and I have high hopes for Geraldo's continued development.  He has a projectable frame.

Kevin Rivera 2B.  DOB:  6/12/1996.  B-S, T-R.  5'11", 170 lbs.  .320/.352/.435, 14 2B, 3 3B, 3 HR, 11 BB, 42 K, 253 AB.  Drafted Round 14 in 2014.  This was something of a breakout year for Kevin who was named the Volcanoes MVP by their website writer. He just kept hitting all season.  He's more of an advanced player than Geraldo, but might not have as much projection.

Ryan Howard SS.  DOB:  6/25/1994.  B-R, T-R.  6'2", 180 lbs.  Drafted in Round 5 in 2016.  .272/.313/.371, 10 2B, 4 HR, 13 BB, 24 K, 223 AB.  Howard fits the mold of contact hitting middle infielders the Giants have had success with.  Expect him to be the starting SS for San Jose in 2017.

Gio Brusa OF.  DOB:  7/26/1993.  B-S, T-R.  6'3", 220 lbs.  Drafted in Round 6 in 2016.  .264/.298/.495, 15 2B, 1 3B, 10 HR, 11 BB, 69 K, 220 AB.  I like Brusa for his power and switch-hitting.  He is reportedly weak on D and has a frightfully high K rate.  Drafted as a college senior, so is old for the level even though it was his first pro experience.  Started the NWL season hot, cooled off and then hit .325 over his last 9 games.

Heath Quinn OF.  DOB:  6/7/1995.  B-R, T-R.  6'2", 190 lbs.  Drafted in Round 3 in 2016.  .337/.403/.571, 19 2B, 1 3B, 9 HR, 26 BB, 50 K, 205 AB.  A lot of us were high on Heath Quinn's bat pre-draft and he did not disappoint.  Hit .353 in 4 games with San Jose at the end of the season.  Can't wait to see him play for SJ next season.  He could easily be in AA by the middle of the summer.

Ashford Fulmer OF.  DOB:  6/23/1993, B-R, T-R.  6'1", 175 lbs.  Drafted in Round 28 in 2015.  .292/.396/.396, 12 2B, 3 3B, 1 HR, 27 BB, 43 K, 202 AB.  Later round draft pick out of a small college program, Fulmer played rookie ball last year, so this is a nice progression.  Hit just .077 in 17 games for Augusta.

Ryan Kirby 1B.  DOB:  1/25/1995.  B-L, T-R.  6'2", 180 lbs.  Drafted in Round 12 in 2016.  .260/.345/.398, 16 2B, 1 3B, 3 HR, 22 BB, 49 K, 196 AB.  Started off hot and cooled off.  Longshot first baseman without a lot of power projection.

Bryan Reynolds, OF.  DOB:  1/27/1995.  B-S, T-R.  6'3", 200 lbs.  Drafted in Round 2 in 2016.  .312/.368/.500, 12 2B, 1 3B, 5 HR, 11 BB, 41 K, 154 AB.  College CF for an elite program, Vanderbilt, with tremendous numbers.  The big question is can he play CF in the majors?  If the answer is yes, then he's a rare package of size, power, speed with switch-hitting as a bonus.  Did not miss a beat in in his first pro experience.  He hit .317 in 63 AB for Augusta after a late promo then went 4 for 12 with a dinger in 3 Cal League playoff games.  Anybody else excited about him?

John Riley C.  DOB:  2/14/1994.  B-R, T-R.  6'0", 210 lbs.  Drafted in Round 31 in 2013.  .274/.369/.404, 10 2B, 3 HR, 15 BB, 51 K, 146 AB.  Riley is a local kid with ties to the Righetti family.  He's struggled to get traction in the low minors since being drafted.  I see him as kind of like Tommy Joseph a guy with light-tower power who strikes out way too much.  I could see him showing up in a MLB lineup and hitting some dingers in 4 or 5 more years at age 26 or 27.

Gustavo Cabrera OF.  DOB:  1/23/1996.  B-R, T-R.  6'2", 190 lbs.  .246/.285/.434, 9 2B, 1 3B, 4 HR, 5 BB, 42 K, 122 AB.  Were it not for the injuries, I could easily envision Gustavo coming off a AA season ranked as a top 10 MLB prospect.  Just a tremendous athlete who seems to have a clue at the plate despite all the K's.  The big question is will he ever stay healthy enough to get traction on his career.  This was the most playing time he's had since his first pro season in the DSL.  Also hit .232 in 69 AB for Augusta early in the season.

Game Wrap 9/15/2016: Giants 6 Cardinals 2

Hunter Pence's 2-run HR gave the Giants an early lead and they cruised to an easy win in the first game of a huge 4 gamer against their Wild Card rivals behind the dominant pitching of Johhny Cueto.  Key Lines:

Angel Pagan- 2 for 5.  BA= .276.  Pagan has been slumping like everyone else in the lineup, but he moves into the leadoff spot and gets on base twice.  He's 4 for 14 over his last 3 games.

Buster Posey- 4 for 5, 2B.  BA= .290.  Buster's power outage continues, but he keeps the line moving, or gets it started.

Hunter Pence- 1 for 4, HR(12).  BA= .296.  Pence picked on a hanging Waino curveball in the first inning after a 2 out single by Buster and hit it into the LF bleachers.

Brandon Belt- 0 for 2, 2 BB.  BA= .270.  There you go! Belt bats 5'th, draws 2 walks and scores 2 runs.

Eduardo Nunez- 3 for 4, 2B.  BA= .288.  The Giants missed Nunez in the SD series.  Nice game here.

Denard Span- 2 for 3, BB.  BA= .260.  A move from leadoff to the 8-hole will definitely send a message.  Span's 2-out bases-loaded single in the 7'th drove in 2 and put this game away.

Johnny Cueto- 9 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 7 K's.  ERA= 2.86. Cueto was a magician out there.  He ran into a couple of small speed bumps in the 3'rd and 4'th but limited the damage and dominated the rest of the way. He had 3 innings in which he threw just 8 pitches and ended up at 105 for the full 9. It was his 5'th CG of the season which is remarkable for this day and age.  His games just remind me so much of my memories of Juan Marichal.


The Win cut the Dodger's lead over the Giants in the NL West to 4 games as the Bad Guys lost to the D'Backs 7-3.  The Mets were idle so the Giants lead them by 1 full game for the first Wild Card playoff spot and the Cardinals by 2 for the second spot.


Matt Moore tries to keep it going tonight against rookie Luke Weaver.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Game Wrap 9/14/2016: Padres 3 Giants 1

The Giants, once again, failed to back a Quality Start by their ace, Madison Bumgarner, generating just 1 run on 4 hits of Padres starter Luis Perdomo and the Padres bullpen.  Key Lines:

Madison Bumgarner- 6.2 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 2 BB, 5 K's.  ERA= 2.66.  Not his best effort, but it should have been good enough against Perdomo who came out of the game with a 5.68 ERA after giving up just 1 run in 6.1 IP, himself.  The 4 hits the Giants managed were all singles.  Hunter Pence stole a base but other than that it was station-to-station baseball and meager at that.  Yep, hang this one of the offense!


The Dodgers topped the Yankees in the rubber game of their series to take a 5 game lead over the Giants in the NL West.  The Cardinals and Mets both lost, so the Giants maintain 0.5 and 1 game leads over them in the Wild Card race.


The Giants now start a 4 game series against the Cardinals which could determine which team makes the playoffs with Johnny Cueto starting game 1 against Adam Wainwright.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Game Wrap 9/13/2016: Padres 6 Giants 4

In a season characterized by devastating losses and Blown Saves, this game might be the most devastating of them all.  A 4-1 Giants lead washed away in a BABIP tsunami that just kept building until the wave crested in a non-BABIP 3-run HR to the deepest part of the ballpark off the bat of Ryan Schimpf, who may well have hit the crest of his entire career.  Key Lines:

Angel Pagan- 2 for 5, HR(11).  BA= .277.  Pagan has had fine season at the plate.  He needs just one more dinger to tie his career season record.  On the other hand, it is not clear that he can even cover LF anymore as yet another flare flyball landed in front of him for the second hit of the 9'th inning for the Padres.  OK, a quick glance at his Fangraphs stat sheet has him at near average D this year, so maybe another LF would not have gotten to that ball either?

Gorkys Hernandez- 3 for 4, HR(2).  BA= .357.  Hernandez is on fire.  He's never hit at the MLB level in the past, and he definitely won't hit .357 over the long haul, but he hit .300 all season for Sacramento and he's clearly a much better defensive CF than Denard Span.

Ehire Adrianza- 2 for 3, HBP.  BA= .310.  Eduardo Nunez has missed 2 games with back soreness.  Adrianza played 3B against the LHP one day after Gillaspie played it against a RHP.

Albert Suarez- 5 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 1 K, GO/AO= 7/3.  ERA= 4.20.  Suarez went his 5 innings and allowed just 1 run.  Suarez has been remarkably consistent in a 5'th starter sort of way.  In 10 starts, he has pitched at least 5 innings in 8 while not allowing more than 3 ER in any start. He's had 2 starts of 4.1 and 4.2 IP and 2 starts of 6.0 and 6.1 IP.  5 of his starts have been exactly 5 IP including his last 3.  He has an ERA of 4.50 in his 10 starts and 4.00 in his last 3 in which he has allowed 6 runs in 15 IP.

Javier Lopez- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K.  ERA= 3.65.  Lopez has not been himself this year, but he got a rare full IP in this game facing 3 LH batters in the 6'th.

Will Smith- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K's.  ERA= 3.86.  Smith pitched a dominant 8'th inning facing 2 LH batters and 1 RH batter who he struck out.

Hunter Strickland- 0.2 IP, 3 H, 4 R, 1 BB, 1 K.  ERA= 3.24.  Strickland got BABIP'd, pure and simple.  A bloop to RF by a RH batter.  A bloop to LF by a LH batter.  A grounder that ticked off Buster Posey's glove off 1B that trickled to Panik in the hole.  Strickland was late getting over to cover 1B but the runner probably would have beaten the throw anyway.  Then there was the comebacker that ticked off his glove to turn a GIDP into 1 out and a run for the Padres.  Aside from the mental cover 1B mistake, which probably was not a difference maker, the walk he issued to force in the first run was the only thing you could really blame Strickland for.  Very tough to watch!

Steven Okert- 0.1 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 0 K.  ERA= 4.50.  Bochy brought in Okert to face Schimpf with 2 outs and 2 runners on base and a 1 run lead.  It's hard to say what was worse, the 4 straight fastballs that Trevor Brown called for or Okert's execution of the 4'th one which was thrown on a 1-2 count when a breaking ball out of the strike zone might have been the better call.  Oh, and is there a role for calling a key pitch from the dugout when the pitcher and catcher have a combined barely 1 year of experience?  Anyway, it's very hard to hit a ball harder and farther than Schimpf hit that fastball that was out over the plate.


The Dodgers lost to the Yankees 3-0 so the Giants remain 4 games behind the Bad Guys in the NL West.  The Mets and Cardinals both won so the Giants lead in the Wild Card race is down to 0.5 games for the first berth and 1 game for the second.


Madison Bumgarner tries to prevent a Padres sweep this afternoon facing Luis Perdomo.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Game Wrap 9/12/2016: Padres 4 Giants 0

After a promising series in Arizona, the Giants offense went ice cold again while Hector Sanchez came back to haunt the Giants with 3 hits and a 2-run dinger.  Key Lines:

Jeff Samardzija- 6 IP, 8 H, 4 R, 1 BB, 6 K's.  ERA= 4.07.  Samardzija had great looking stuff.  Threw hard, good command, mixed his pitches.  He got BABIP'd for a couple of runs and hung an offspeed pitch that Hector waited on just long enough to pull it onto the short porch just inside the RF foul pole.  We don't see very many of those because the wind usually either knocks them down or blows them foul, but there wasn't much wind and Hector did a great job of staying back on the pitch.

Steven Okert- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K.  ERA= 3.72.  Okert again had great looking stuff and dominated his inning.  He may be moving up the lefty reliever depth chart.

Matt Reynolds- 1.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K.  ERA= 2.08.  Reynolds looked good and gives Bochy yet another lefty option in the pen.

Matt Cain- 0.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 0 K.  ERA= 5.63.  Cainer came in to get the final out.  I have to say he didn't look too thrilled to find himself in that role.


The Dodgers best the Yankees 8-2 so the Giants fall 4 games behind in the NL West.  The Cardinals and Mets both lost so the Giants stay 1.5 games ahead of the Mets in the race for the first Wild Card Playoff spot and 2 game ahead of the Cards for the second spot.


Albert Suarez tries to get the Giants back on track and even the series tonight facing a resurgent lefty, Clayton Richard.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Down on the Farm: 2016 Arizona Giants Season Review Part 2

The pitching side of the AZL Giants roster was, if anything, more motley than the hitting side with most of the innings taken by college draftees who probably should have been pitching at a higher level. One other interesting feature is the preponderance of LHP's on the squad.  The Giants organization had become a bit thin on southpaws and they obviously set out to correct that in the later rounds of the draft.

DJ Myers RHP.  DOB:  12/24/1994.  6'5", 255 lbs.  3-2, 1.70, 58.1 IP, 5 BB, 52 Ks, GO/AO= 1.50.  This jumbo sized righty was drafted in round 15 out of UNLV.  The Giants do like their big pitchers!  He dominated the AZL, but he should dominate.  No scouting report, but he looks like he should be a hard thrower.  Pitched 1 shutout inning for AAA Sacramento at the end of the season.  I think he could be a breakout pitcher like Cory Taylor next year.

Caleb Baragar LHP.  DOB:  4/9/1994.  6'3", 210 lbs.  5-2, 2.28, 55.1 IP, 16 BB, 50 K's.  9'th round pick out of Indiana.  I'm always interested when I see a LHP this big.  Not sure why a college draftee from a major program would spend most of the season in Arizona.  He did get one start for San Jose with mixed results.  He allowed 3 runs on just 2 hits in 5.2 IP, but walked 5.  He pitched a scoreless inning of relieve with 2 K's in the Cal League playoffs.

Alex Bostic LHP.  DOB:  11/14/1994.  6'3", 195 lbs.  2-4, 5.59, 46.2 IP, 27 BB, 39 K's.  10'th round pick out of Clemson.  Again, top 10 round college draftees out of major programs should probably be pitching at higher levels.  Bostic did get into 2 games with San Jose at the end of the season.  The first appearance did not go well, but the second he gave up 2 runs in 4 IP with 6 K's.

Sandro Cabrera LHP.  DOB:  6/22/1995.  6'2", 175 lbs.  2-2, 2.81, 41.2 IP, 14 BB, 38 K's.  Cabrera is an odd duck who was signed internationally at age 19, pitched in the DSL at age 20.  This was his first gig in the States which is a big jump.  He pitched well.  He's got pretty good size for a LHP and has an awkward looking delivery.  He pitched 1 inning for Augusta and struck out the side against the Rome Braves.  I have him as a breakout candidate for next season.

Julio Benitez RHP.  DOB:  11/1/1994.  6'3", 185 lbs.  3-2, 3.79, 38.0 IP, 11 BB, 31 K's, GO/AO= 1.80.   DSL graduate after the 2014 season, but only pitched 9 innings for the AZL Giants last year.  This year was in improvement. Has been used strictly in relief.

Chris Falwell LHP.  DOB:  4/14/1995.  6'7", 210 lbs.  3-1, 2.73, 33 IP, 12 BB, 20 K's.  16'th round draft pick out of Texas A&M Corpus Christi.  The Giants like tall stringbean lefties too.  They seem to draft one every year.  Falwell pitched mostly in relief starting just 3 games out of 12 appearances.  He got into one game with S-K and struck out 2 batters in 1.2 IP, while giving up 1 run.

Stephen Woods RHP.  DOB:  6/10/1995.  6'2", 200 lbs.  0-2, 2.67, 27 IP, 17 BB, 25 K's, GO/AO= 1.59.  8'th round draft pick out of SUNY Albany.  Made 8 starts out of 10 appearances for the AZL Giants.  8 of his 17 BB's came in his first 2 appearances.   He had a 2.34 ERA with 22 K's against 9 BB's in 23 IP over his last 8 AZL appearances.  He made 2 starts late for S-K allowing 5 ER in 10 IP with 5 BB's and 12 K's.

Sidney Dupree, LHP.  DOB:  11/15/1995.  6'3", 230 lbs.  2-2, 1.61, 22.1 IP, 10 BB, 12 K's.  38'th round pick out of Puerto Rico by way of Kaskaskia CC in IL.  Another jumbo lefty.  Unimpressive peripherals.

Conner Menez LHP.  DOB:  5/29/1995.  6'3", 195 lbs.  2-0, 2.57, 21 IP, 4 BB, 26 K's, GO/AO= 1.60.  Menez was drafted out of The Masters College in Santa Clarita in Round 14. Pitched very well for the AZL Giants which earned him a promo to S-K for 1 game then 6 appearances with SJ in which he posted a 4.94 ERA.  He pitched 6.2 shutout innings in his final start against the Visalia Rawhide.  Breakout watch for next season!

Nick Deeg LHP.  DOB:  6/26/1995.  6'5", 225 lbs.  1-1, 4.12, 19.2 IP, 7 BB, 19 K's.  Another big lefty.  Drafted in Round 30 out of Central Michigan.  Started 3 games out of 8 appearances.  actually pitched quite well except for his next to last appearance in which he allowed 4 ER in 2.2 IP.  I see him as a project.

Jake Greenwalt, RHP.  DOB:  4/30/1998.  6'1", 170 lbs.  0-1, 5.79, 18.2 IP, 10 BB, 13 K's.  Hey!  An actual 18 year old pitching in the AZL.  What a concept!  Greenwalt was a 23'rd round draft pick out of a Colorado HS.  He signed and held his own in an AZL which had way too many older players.

Reagan Bazar, RHP.  DOB:  6/22/1995.  6'7", 250 lbs.  2-2, 4.91, 18.1 IP, 13 BB, 15 K's, GO/AO= 2.00.  Round 17 draft pick out of Louisiana-Lafayette.  Bazar is a project.  I've read that he has hit triple digits, but doesn't know where it's going.  Had a 2.92 ERA over his last 10 appearances covering 12.1 IP.  His K/BB did no improve in that stretch.

Luis Amaya LHP.  DOB:  8/26/1998.  5'11", 160 lbs.  1-0, 3.68, 7.1 IP, 3 BB, 7 K's.  DSL graduate did not turn 18 until late in the season when he made his first appearance.  Not sure if he was hurt early or if the Giants are just taking it slow with him.  Small LHP with a big curveball and decent velocity.   Advanced command of his pitches.  I like to think of him as the Giants version of Julio Urias.  Breakout candidate for next season!

Cameron Avila-Leeper LHP.  DOB:  2/21/1996.  5'11", 150 lbs.  0-0, 0.00, 3 IP, 0 BB, 4 K's.  Local kid drafted out of JC ball in 2015.  Almost immediately needed TJ surgery.  Made 2 late appearances which went well.  Sleeper.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Game Wrap 9/11/2016: Giants 5 D'Backs 3

Angel Pagan drew walks in the 6'th and 7'th innings to start 2-run rallies.  Matt Moore was dominant for 7 innings and the Giants may have found their new closer in Hunter Strickland who earned a 4-out Save.  Key Lines:

Denard Span- 1 for 5, HR(10).  BA= .262.  Span, who has been struggling at the plate, ambushed Zack Greinke for a leadoff HR to start the game.

Angel Pagan- 0 for 3, 2 BB.  BA= .279.  One major criticism of Angel Pagan over the years has been his relatively low walk rate and OBP.   That was not the case in this game with Pagan hitting in the 2-hole.  He battled Greinke for 11 pitches and finally drew a leadoff walk that ultimately proved to be Greinke's undoing.  2 more walks and a hit later, the Giants had the lead.

BTW, is it just me or did Greinke have terrible body language that inning?  I started watching in the 6'th, so I can't say what he looked like in earlier innings, but he was clearly not feeling it in the 6'th.  He took forever between pitches.  He clearly did not want to throw a strike in any count or any situation.  He had 2 extended conversations, one with 2 teammates and 1 with the pitching coach in which he kept nodding his head. I can't read lips, but it sure looked like they were repeatedly asking if he was alright.

Buster Posey- 2 for 5.  BA= .288.  2 of Buster's outs were a flyball to the warning track in CF and a line drive to CF that was caught.

Hunter Pence- 1 for 3, 2B, BB.  BA= .294.  Pagan started another rally with one out in the 7'th with another walk.  He went to 3B on Crawford's single and Pence came up with 2 outs and runners at the corners.  He poked a Greinke FB that was low and just off the outside corner down the RF line where it caromed around in the corner long enough for Crawford to score the second run from 1B.  Those 2 RBI's proved to be the difference in the game.

Brandon Belt- 2 for 4.  BA= .273.  Belt drove in one of the runs in the 6'th inning by poking a perfect Greinke curveball to the large hole in the left side created by the shift.

Matt Moore- 7 IP, 8 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 11 K's.  ERA= 4.08.  Moore had a sensational curveball that he was able to augment with a 92-94 MPH FB that he threw like a dart at both corners of the plate.  He equaled his career high in K's.  He seemed to get stronger as the game went on, striking out the side in the 6'th and inducing a nice GIDP to end the 7'th.

Hunter Strickland- 1.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K's, Save(3).  ERA= 2.65.  Bochy said the plan was for Strickland to pitch the 9'th.  Bochy brought him in 1 batter early when he had to use Will Smith to strike out Jake Lamb after Romo had given up a solo HR to Welington Castillo.  Strickland proceeded to blow the pesky Brandon Drury away then dominated the 9'th inning.  The hit was a broken bat poke over the head of Nunez by leadoff hitter Socrates Brito.  Strickland started Brito off with 2  2-seam FB's on the outside corner that Brito swung and missed at.  Posey called for the same pitch but 2 inches off the plate.  Close enough that Brito had to swing but far enough out that he was unlikely to make contact and if he did it would be weak contact.  Strickland put the ball right where Posey wanted it, but Brito reached out and poked it over Nunez' head for a leadoff double.  If you were like me, you muttered something about here we go again, but Strickland stood tall and got the next 3 batters with a K, a weak comebacker and a weak liner to Panik at 2B.  Just a guess, but I think Strickland gets the next Save opportunity too.


The Win was the Giants' 4'th in 5 games and evened their record for the loooong road trip at 5-5.  When you figure how close the Cubs games were and the crushing come-from-ahead loss in Coors Field, this trip could have been a whole lot better than 5-5 which ain't bad at all.  The Win also gained a game on the NL West leading Dodgers who lost to the Marlins 3-0.  The Giants now trail the Bad Guys by 3 games.  The Giants also gained a game on the Cardinals who lost to the Brewers.  The Giants now lead the Mets, who won, for the first Wild Card playoff berth and the Cardinals by 2 games for the second spot.


The Giants now come home for a 7 game homestand with 3 against the Padres and 4 against the Cardinals.  Jeff Samardzija gets the ball for Game 1 against the Padres tomorrow night.

Down on the Farm: 2016 Arizona Giants Season Review Part 1

The 2016 Arizona League Giants started off slow, 12-16 in the first half, and finished strong, 16-11 in the second.  The second half record fell 0.5 games short of their second half division title and kept then out of the the AZL playoffs.

The Arizona League is a rookie league mostly populated by HS draftees getting their first pro action, later round college draftees, often from smaller college programs, and DSL graduates getting their introduction to stateside baseball.  In recent years, the Giants have tended to parade their higher round college draftees through for a few games before sending them on to Salem-Keizer in the college draftee heavy Northwest League.  Most true prospects in the AZL are age 20 or under.  Occasionally you will get a small college draftee or a guy who has spend 2 or 3 seasons on the DSL who beats the odds, but in general, players over the age of 20 are long shots to ever make it to the majors, which is not to say there aren't intriguing prospects in that group.

The AZL is a hitter friendly league and you will typically see a lot of high batting averages.  The ballparks are huge and the kids young, so you won't see so many HR's. With that background, let's dive into some names that I think are worth noting.  It's a long list so we'll divide it between hitters and pitchers.  I did not include players who spent only a few games in Arizona and most of their season at a higher level.  If there is one takeaway name from the 2016 AZL season it's Sandro Fabian, an 18 yo OF out of the DSL.  He dominated the league like no other 18 year old I can remember, at least in the Giants organization.  He is, by far, the top prospect from this team.

Nick Hill 3B.  DOB: 8/2/1994.  B-R, T-R.  6'4", 190 lbs.  .263/.330/.343, 8 2B, 3 3B, 17 SB, 2 CS, 9 BB, 47 K's, 175 AB.  Very intriguing player! Drafted in round 26 out of tiny Eckard College(FL) although he apparently had offers from larger programs like Maryland.  The Giants drafted him as a CF but he's listed as a P/1B on the Eckard website.  He played mostly 3B in Arizona.  Two things that stand out here are the size and the SB's.  He'll have to learn to control the strike zone better, but the tools are there.  BTW, he was hitting .297 on 8/17 but slumped down the stretch.  He got a late promo to S-K and went 3 for 13 in 3 games there.

Brandon Van Horn SS.  DOB:  12/18/1993.  B-R, T-R.  6'2", 175 lbs.  .231/.328/.300, 7 2B, 2 3B, 24 BB, 47 K, 160 AB.  One of 2 Giants draftees out of The Masters College in Santa Clarita, CA, picked in Round 19. Van Horn has a reputation for being a slick fielding SS, but obviously doesn't have much of a stick.  His D may buy him some time to develop the hitting.

Sandro Fabian OF.  DOB:  3/6/1998.  B-R, T-R.  6'1", 180 lbs.  .340/.364/.522, 13 2B, 5 3B, 2 HR, 7 BB, 28 K's, 159 AB.  There is a video out on the web of Fabian hitting a HR and flipping his bat that is worth searching for.  Beyond that, he hit for average and power while keeping his K rate well below 20% and garnered several assists from the OF all at age 18. If you are looking for negatives they would be a low walk rate and and a lack of projection in the body.  Of course it is the Arizona League and the big test will come when he hits Augusta, which should be next spring, but this is a kid to get excited about!

Michael Bernal 2B.  DOB:  9/6/1992.  B-R, T-R.  5'11", 190 lbs.  .260/.337/.473, 11 2B, 4 3B, 4 HR, 11 BB, 44 K's, 146 AB.  Older player drafted out of Arkansas in round 29.  Showed some pop in the bat, but not a whole lot else.

Mikey Edie OF.  DOB:  7/3/1997.  B-R, T-R.  5'11", 175 lbs.  .217/.287/.280, 5 2B, 2 3B, 10 SB, 8 BB, 44 K's, 143 AB.  Very disappointing season for Edie after he hit .290 in the AZL last year and .298 in the DSL in 2014.  He's still young enough to recover, but the road ahead is unclear at this point.

Beicker Mendoza OF/1B.  DOB:  2/14/1998.  B-R, T-R.  6'2", 185 lbs.  .272/.300/.316, 4 BB, 31 K, 114 AB.  Kind of a nondescript line here.  You would hope a kid his size would show more pop in the bat.  Just 18 yo, so has time.

Jacob Heyward OF.  DOB:  8/1/1995.  B-R, T-R.  6'3", 210 lbs.  .337/.488/.579, 10 2B, 5 3B, 1 HR, 10 SB, 24 BB, 30 K's, 95 AB.  Heyward is the brother of Jason Heyward.  The Giants drafted him out of Miami in Round 18 after his stock fell due to a subpar junior season.  These are great numbers, but a draftee out of a major college program has no business playing in the AZL.  I think the Giants just had so many OF's there was not room at higher levels so he stayed in Arizona just to get AB's.  I think he missed some time with an injury too.  He did hit .286 in 4 games after a late promotion to Salem-Keizer.  Very intriguing prospect, but has to show it at higher levels.

Woody Edwards OF.  DOB:  4/2/1995.  B-R, T-R.  5'10", 155 lbs.  .294/.360/.324, 8 SB, 5 BB, 11 K, 68 AB.  Woody is a new moniker for Edwards who was known as Roger last year.  He was drafted in round 40 out of JC ball in 2015 and hit just .198 for the AZL Giants in his pro debut, so this is an improvement.  He also hit .269 in 7 games after a late promo to S-K. Seems like a plucky guy, but the odds are against him.

Malique Ziegler OF.  DOB:  9/8/1996.  B-R, T-R.  6'2", 170 lbs.  .290/.384/.419, 4 2B, 2 3B, 4 SB, 10 BB, 15 K, 62 AB.  Drafted out of JC ball in round 22.  He's a project, but I really like this kid.  Nice size, with both speed and a bit of pop.

Jose Layer OF.  DOB:  5/28/1997.  B-R, T-R.  6'0", 160 lbs.  .283/.356/.377, 5 2B, 5 BB, 7 K, 53 AB.   Puerto Rican HS pick in round 13.  Giants have not had a lot of luck with their Puerto Rican HS draftees but Layer is off to a nice start.  He hit .321 over his last 10 games in which he took 34 of his total of 53 AB's on the season.

Jeffery Parra C.  DOB:  1/24/1998.  B-R, T-R.  6'0", 195 lbs.  .275/.370/.375, 1 HR, 3 BB, 8 K, 40 AB.  HS draftee in round 24.  Great story of a hard working kid from a hard working family.  Didn't see much action but performed well when he did.