Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Spring Training Game Wrap 3/14/2017: Giants 6 Indians 5

Jarrett Parker and Justin Ruggiano, potential LF platoon partners, matched 2 run dingers in a 5-run first inning and the Giants held on to edge the defending American League champs.  Key Lines:

Eduardo Nunez DH- 2 for 4, 2B.  BA= .261.  Nunez' bat seems to be heating up after a slow spring start.

Brandon Belt 1B- 2 for 2, 2B, SF.   BA= .333.  Belt continues to swing a hot bat.

Jarrett Parker LF- 2 for 2, HR(3).  BA= .323.  Parker keeps the pedal to the metal with another big day at the plate.

Aaron Hill 2B- 1 for 2, 2B.  BA= .292.  Hill seems to be making it tough to not keep him on the Opening Day Roster.  I suppose he could be kept as a utility IF and Nunez could cover SS if Crawford needs a blow.

Jae-Gyun Hwang 3B- 2 for 4.  BA= .346.  Speaking of making things tough…..

Justin Ruggiano RF- 1 for 3, HR(1).  BA= .136.  Ruggiano probably needs to get hot for the remainder of spring training to make the team, but he has two things going for him:  1.  He can play all 3 OF positions adequately.  2.  He historically kills LH pitching which would dovetail nicely with Jarrett Parker's extreme opposite splits.

Albert Suarez RHP- 2.2 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 4 K's.  ERA= 6.14.  With Matt Cain's grip on the 5'th starter spot getting shakier by the day, Suarez had a chance to move into the lead to be next in line.  He did not exactly grab that opportunity by the throat.

Kyle Crick RHP- 2.1 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 2 K's.  ERA= 1.29.  Crick has pitched 7 innings this spring with 3 BB's and 6 K's.  Were he to maintain those ratios in his minor league assignment all season, it would be a major victory.

George Kontos and Derek Law pitched scoreless innings with Law striking out 2 and getting credit for the Save.


Madison Bumgarner gets the start tomorrow afternoon against he Angels in Scottsdale while Johnny Cueto is slated to pitch in an exhibition at the minor league complex.


  1. Crick: He is going to AAA, the Giants optioned him to the River Cats yesterday. So maybe that line is more real than small-sample. We'll see.

    1. Giants must see something!
      Crick's promotion is not based on three years at Richmond!
      More than a few wondered if a slot on the 40-man roster was being wasted on a ne'er-do-well.

  2. I just don't see Hill making it over Hwang. I don't think it is a matter of merely back up SS. It is also what the other IFs can do:

    Panik--2b (I guess he could play SS in an emergency)
    Nunez--super sub (3b, SS).
    Hwang is 3b only
    Hill is 2b only.

    So if you're keeping Hill it is back up Panik, and Hwang is start 3b and allow Gilli to back up. I would think Nunez could also play 2b, so that is a wash if he's not starting. It seems to me Hill was an insurance signing that was driven by a concern that Panik not be back. He is.

    Of course, all this assume that (a) we keep one of Hill/Hwang, and (b) we opt to send down Kelby. Not sure that happens since the Giants are relatively loyal. Of course, sending Kelby down to the minors so he can work on being a super sub isn't a bad strategy--gives you a guy when the injury bug hits and gives you a guy to replace Nunez and maybe Gilli next year (Kelby probably needs a tad more experience at 3b as a just in case emergency). Long term that might make the most sense.

    As for pitchers-- I'm thinking Strickland, Law, Smith and Okert are the 4. I'm leaning Blach as long man. As you noted, Suarez has not really had a great spring. As much as I really want Cain to be in the pen (or DL), I don't think the Giants will pull that trigger out of spring. That makes Blach the right guy, since he effectively is a replacement (and hopefully an upgrade) on Suarez. I think Stratton has had a nice spring and had a good year last year, so he might be the first up to take the swing position if Cain falters and Blach is promoted to starter. Keeps everyone's roles.

    Crick as a set up guy for Black in the minors. Planning for the future....

  3. You can only rate so many, Doc, but what do you think of RHP Ryan Halstead, 21st round in 2015?
    Not a GB pitcher, K/W numbers (94/13 in 81 IP) at S-K and Augusta.
    Used some as a closer, 12/15 S/SO, more in multi inning relief.

    1. Halstead: Looks like I forgot about him. Should have been in HM. I think he was a college closer who looks like he's on a reliever track in the minors. The odds are a bit long on guys who fit that profile, but I do like the K/BB.

  4. As for Wednesday's game, although he probably doesn't care personally, Bumgarner most likely thinks when he leaves with a 4-run lead after 6 innings, he'll get the W. No big deal, but:
    Blach isn't helping his cause. He and Cain are opening the door for ...
    As Stengel said in a moment of frustration in 1962: "Can't anybody here play this game?"
    Or pitch?
    Cain, Blach, Blackburn, and Suarez are making Beede, Stratton, and even Crick look good.
    Bring back Big Dan and Chase Johnson?
    Are Tomlinson, Williamson, and Brown sacrificed on the alter of options because Bochy/Evens like seasoned vets?
    Rollins, Hill, Morse, Beckham and Hundley have been around but when do you turn to guys who are the future, not really even the past?
    This going to be a very interesting 17 days!

  5. As for Brown, You may remember all that stuff Sabean talked and delayed over calling up Posey - that catchers needed X amount of games in the minors. When Brown skipped some levels and held his own at MLB, he still hasn't shown in the high minors. I think there is an organizational and even old school baseball mentality about properly seasoning catchers. And the new stats craze to properly capture pitch framing and even game calling further reflects on those beliefs and I think we all agree Brown could work on his receiving. Furthermore, I think the org. might recognize that they kind of spun wheels on Sanchez by making him learn in the majors and bouncing him to AAA and back. I don't think anyone can understand the thankless task of back-up catcher better than Bochy, and giving Brown a full-time job has to be best for him right now, while old-man Hundley tries to show he can still matter in the majors. In the short term looks like win-win, and probably even adds more pop to the bench.

  6. I think that's right, why you use guys like Whiteside and Stewart.
    Implicit in Brown's case, playing him in AAA is saying he has an ML future. Is he potentially a regular, everyday catcher?
    You can never really use the b/u catcher to PH unless, in the Giants case, you take Belt out.
    Huntley's a good guy but he doesn't seem to have zip on his throws. Of course he's not getting a lot of help from his pitchers holding the runners which isn't their primary spring concern.