Monday, March 6, 2017

Spring Training Game Wrap 3/6/2017: Giants 3 Indians 2

Aaron Hill and Kyle Blanks, both longshots to make the Opening Day roster were the only Giants player to get hits, a total of 4 in all.  The 3 runs produced by the offense was enough to break their 8 game losing streak due to some pretty good pitching.  Key Lines:

Aaron Hill SS- 1 for 3, 2B.  BA= .333.  Hill could be working his way into contention for a Utility IF role on Opening Day.

Kyle Blanks 1B- 3 for 3, 3B.  BA= .308.  It's tough to see a scenario where Blanks make the Opening Day roster no matter how well he hits in the spring.

Matt Cain  RHP- 3.1 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 2 K's.  ERA= 7.36.  If you squint hard, you can see an improved appearance in the stat line.  When you factor in that a bloop single to lead off the first inning led to 1 run and a 1 out walk in the 4'th scored on a double allowed by Ty Blach, and it's Cain's best appearances for a long time.

Ty Blach  LHP- 2.2 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K's.  ERA= 1.35.  After giving up the double that drove in Cain's inherited runner, Blach settled down and continued his run of impressive pitching.  I think if he does not get the #5 starter, the Giants should still keep him in the swingman role.

Dan Slania, Derek Law and Hunter Strickland all pitched scoreless frames with Law striking out 2 batters.  Pavs reports that Strickland threw only 2-seamers and splitters.  Last year, he was 80% 4-seam and sliders.  Strickland is hoping an expanded repertoire will keep hitters off the 4-seamer.


The Giants travel to Camelback Ranch to take on the Dodgers tomorrow with Matt Moore facing Clayton Kershaw.


  1. The fourth went:
    Almonte lines out
    Colabello walks
    Blach replaces Cain
    Zimmer grounds into force. Colabello out at 2. Zimmer to first.
    Kratz doubles in zimmer

    How is that Cain's run?

    1. Because Zimmer would likely not have reached base if Cain had not walked Colabello. Cain is still charged with allowing the runner who scored to reach base. That is pretty much the standard way to score it.

    2. Blach gets a ding, too, as he "allowed" an inherited runner to score.
      MLB also gave him a blown save, but that's a stretch, and maybe not correct. It has to be a save opportunity but it wasn't because if Blach had finished the game without losing the lead, he would have gotten the win and not a save (starter didn't go 5 innings).
      The inherited runner scoring is murky, too, because you get dinged if you come in with the bases loaded and no outs and one guy scores.

  2. Cain: Off the top of my head, it's probably his best start since May of last year. In fact, in May of last year it looked like Cain was going to work himself back. Didn't happen.

    Strickland: According to Brooks Baseball he did use the sinker last year after abandoning it in 2015. But it's kind of hard to distinguish and think this description of his 2017 Spring Training sinker might illustrate why:

    "His sinker (take this with a grain of salt because he's only thrown 8 of them in 2017) generates an extremely high number of swings & misses compared to other pitchers' sinkers, is thrown at a speed that's borderline unfair, is an extreme flyball pitch compared to other pitchers' sinkers, has little sinking action compared to a true sinker and has slight armside run."

    According PitchFX his sinker, as he threw it last year, comes in between 96+ MPH and 98+ MPH. And since it doesn't have the same heavy, late drop... I could see why people think he's just a 4-seam/Slider guy. Also, FWIW, his use of the two-seamer, generally speaking, increased over the year last year. Not much at the beginning, but showing up more-and-more as the season went along.

    Anyway, I'm glad he's working harder on his sinker (and I hope he's getting more movement on it) and I hope the cutter replaces his ok, but not very impressive, slider. Because he needs more than just raw velocity if he wants to me more than a 7th inning set-up man.

    Law: I'm so happy to see him succeed. Every now and then you just fall in love with a player. It's irrational. But that's the way it is. And Law is one of them.

    1. OK, I clarified what Alex P said in the main post. The exact quote was that Strickland throw exclusively 2 seams and splits yesterday whereas he threw 57% and 23% 4-seams and sliders respectively last year. The point is still that he is trying to develop at least 1 more go-to pitch to keep hitters off the 4-seam.

    2. Cool. Thank you. Speaking of Cain and pitching, I just read this on Bleacher Report (nothing we haven't figure out for ourselves):

      Tyler Beede is the leading candidate to take over for Matt Cain in the starting rotation once he hits free agency next offseason. Ty Blach might be the next man up for a rotation spot this season, though, after a strong showing last September.

      Manager Bruce Bochy on infielder Christian Arroyo, per Alex Pavlovic of CSN Bay Area: "He showed he can handle the bat, third base or wherever we put him. It's just a matter of time with him."

      Lefty reliever Steven Okert (No. 12 prospect) has a good chance to be the second lefty in the bullpen, and he's allowed one hit and one unearned run while striking out three in three innings this spring.
      Seattle Mariners

      Anyway, I though maybe Blackburn should have been in the CAin Replacement section, too. What do you think? Does have a reasonable chance or is he a AAAA guy we'll look to ship out as part of trade or, eventually, just give up on?