Saturday, September 30, 2017

Game Wrap 9/30/2017: Padres 3 Giants 2

The Giants somehow managed to pull off giving Matt Cain a career sendoff to remember AND keep the Tank Brigade happy.  Now, THAT is not an easy accomplishment!  Key Lines:

Matt Cain RHP- 5 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 K's.  ERA= 5.43.  Talk about waking up the echoes!  Cain looked a lot like the Horse out there even if he was running on fumes in the 5'th inning.  What a triumphant exit.  Have to say I choked up a bit as he went down the hug line in the dugout and came back out for one last curtain call.  Cainer still has most of his life ahead of him.  I am sure he will find a way to live it well as he has up to this point.

One more thing:  When you factor in his postseason record, I am not so sure he doesn't belong in the Hall of Fame, but with HOF voting more and more taking on a sabermetric bent, I am sure he won't be judged as worthy by those who regard the postseason as just another small sample size.

Sam Dyson RHP- 1 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 0 BB, 2 K's.  ERA= 6.09.  Oh my!  Just when we think the Giants have found their backup plan for Mark Melancon, he blows 2 Saves in 2 games giving up multiple runs in both games.  In fairness, the first two hits were pure bad BABIP luck with a throwing error by Brandon Crawford thrown in, but there was nothing fluky about the 2-run double by Austin Hedges into Triples Alley.

I just don't see how the Giants can commit anymore money to the closer position this offseason, so they have to hope Melancon is fully healthy, or Dyson can pull it back together or someone else steps up, Maronta, Crick, Law?


The Giants Loss coupled with the Tigers win over the Twins put the Giants in the driver's seat for the #1 overall draft pick by 1 game with 1 to play. If the Giants lose tomorrow, the pick is there's no matter what the Tigers do. Unfortunately, if the Giants win and the Tigers lose tomorrow, the Tigers hold the tiebreaker and will get the first pick. The Giants are guaranteed at least the #2 pick.


Johnny Cueto gets the final start of the season facing  Luis Perdomo.

Game Wrap 9/29/2017: Giants 8 Padres 0

The Giants unleashed a 17 hit attack to support the shutout pitching of Chris Stratton and 3 relievers after Nick Hundley won the Willie Mac Award.  Key Lines:

Joe Panik 2B- 4 for 5, 2B.  BA= .290.  Early in the season, it seemed like an open question whether the Giants wanted Panik to be their 2B next season.  There seems to be no doubt now.  .315 in the second half, .393 in September.

Buster Posey C- 3 for 4, 3 2B.  BA= .317.  Posey was driving the ball and he seems to be doing that more since cutting back on catching and playing more 1B.

Brandon Crawford SS- 3 for 5, 2B.  BA= .252.  Crawford is hitting .283 for the second half, .292 in August and .296 in September.

Pablo Sandoval 3B- 2 for 4, 2B.  BA= .219.  Pabs is hitting an even .300 since his 0 for 40 and .419 over his last 9 games.  His bat looked quick on a single through the left side batting RH.  Giants may decide they don't need to go after a 3B in the offseason and let Pabs be the placeholder for Christian Arroyo or Ryder Jones.

Jarret Parker LF- 2 for 4, 2B.  Kruk and Kuip were impressed by how deep he let the pitch get that he hammered into the left-center gap for the double.

Chris Stratton RHP- 6.2 IP, 7 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 7 K's.  ERA= 3.68.  Stratton is pitching like a first round draft pick.  That is a nice curveball he flashed their.  Per Pavs, Fedex and Hundley have worked with him to use his 4-seamer up in the zone and back it up with that curve.  So far, it's working to get him back to what we saw in those pre-draft videos out of Mississippi St.

Kyle Crick RHP- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K.  ERA= 3.06.  Crick flashed a couple of very nice fading changeups to back his heater.  He should definitely be in the plans for 2018.

Josh Osich LHP- 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K.  ERA= 6.23.  Osich is still up and down. It looked like he was getting frustrated after allowing a baserunner, but he hung in there and preserved the shutout.


With the Win, the Giants fell into a tie with the Detroit Tigers in the race for the #1 overall draft pick.  They lead the Phillies by 2 games with 2 to play and have clinched no worse than the #3 pick as they lead the ChiSox by 3 games. Phillies hold the tiebreaker over the Giants. Not sure about the Tigers.


Matt Cain makes his farewell start today against Jhoulys Chacin.

Blast From the Past: A Matt Cain Story

This is not much of a story, but I'll share it anyway because it shows why Matt Cain might be my favorite Giants player of all time.  Juan Marichal keeps giving me hard stares whenever I say that, but it's a close call between those two.  It was 2004.  The Giants were coming off 2 more heartbreaking postseason losses.  My family and I occasionally went to major league games at Dodger Stadium and once in Anaheim.  We are all big Giants fans, well, except maybe my wife who is a big Twins fan.  We had never been to a minor league game.

I always get irrationally exuberant about first round draft picks.  Cain was something like #25 overall in 2002 and considered an overdraft my most analysts, but I liked his size and profile.  He didn't make much of an impression in rookie ball as the Giants were very cautious with him.  He made 8 appearances but pitched just 19 innings.  I started to get really excited by his numbers in Hagerstown, the Giants low A affiliate at the time.  It just seemed like start after start was dominant with more than a K per IP and a low walk rate.  I was very disappointed that he got shut down early with a stress reaction in his elbow, but relieved when he showed up to start the 2004 season the next level up in San Jose.  I don't remember if he had 1 or 2 starts before the SJ Giants made their first trip to SoCal but it was early in the season and they were playing in Rancho Cucamonga.

I think my family thought I had gone completely crazy when I said I wanted to go to the game because a prospect was pitching that night who I had very high hopes for and I wanted to see him pitch in person.  They were good sports and came along with me.  We got tickets at the window for seats right next to the home plate side of the Giants dugout.  Trevor Wilson was the pitching coach.  He could see we were Giants fans by the gear we were wearing and came over to say hi.  Cain was actually a bit off that night, but his performance was a preview of his early MLB career.  He threw almost all fastballs.  Nobody made hard contact, but there were a ton of foul balls and he had to come out in the middle of the 5'th inning when he hit his pitch count.

Somewhere along the way, between innings, my younger daughter who was 11 years old held up a ball.  Trevor Wilson thought she was asking for his autograph but she shook him off and said we wanted Matt Cain's autograph.  How embarrassing!  He took it in stride and said he would send Matt over after he was done pitching.  Sure enough, after Matt came out of the game, Trevor motioned for him to come over and he signed the ball. "Matt Cain #18".  

Matt Cain wore #18 as a prospect.  When he was called up to the Giants, Moises Alou had #18 so Matt was assigned #43.  After Alou left the team, Cain got his #18 back.  We took a trip up to SF to go to a game and I bought a Matt Cain #43 shirt in the Dugout Store.  Now, that is one quality piece of merchandise!  I'm not sure how many Matt Cain #43 shirts are still out there, but I still have mine. It is my go-to shirt when I go to games or if I am watching a big game on TV.  Over the years, it may have faded just a bit, but not very much.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Down on the Farm: 2017 DSL Giants Season Review

The Dominican Summer League(DSL) is another place where age vs level is a critical metric for evaluating the health of the farm system.  Since international prospects can sign at age 16, you are looking for 17 year olds who succeed at this level and can then move on to the States for their age 18 season(although since government enforced truth-in-advertising came on the scene, the 17 yo thing suddenly became less critical as in the past, you never really knew if a prospect was really 16 when they signed.  Probably still don't, but it's less likely to be way off).  2017 would be the first pro experience for prospects signed in 2016.  The Giants were in the first year of their penalty of being limited to $300 K bonuses in 2016.  I found 2 names who got the maximum from this signing class:  SS Ghordy Santos and OF Ismael Alcantara.  Alcantara appeared in just 3 games in June then disappeared, which means he was probably injured.  Santos got off to a slow start but came on in the second half of the season.

Other 17 yo's to make on the DSL Giants roster include OF Raiber Gutierrez, 2B/3B/OF Aynesber Sivira, OF Alexander Canario, 3B Samuel Jorge, SS Andrew Caraballo, IF Enoch Watts, OF Luigi Pichardo, C Keyberth Mejia, RHP Yovanny Moronta.  Another RHP, Rafael Martinez was listed as a signing but failed to appear in any games.  Moronta was wild as a hair, walking something like 13 batters in just 2+ IP.

Key holdovers included OF Franklin Labour, OF Jose Patino, RHP Norwith Gudino and LHP Marco Gonzalez.  Loose armed Gregory Santos was added after the Eduardo Nunez trade.

Here are the Team Leaders for the 2017 DSL Giants:

AB:  Canario- 235, Sivira- 194, Labour- 186, Omar Medina- 179, Patino- 175.

Hits:  Canario- 69, Labour- 59, Sivira- 43, Gutierrez- 41, Patino- 41.

2B:  Canario- 17, Labour- 10, Ghordy Santos- 9, Wascar DeLeon- 8, Carabello- 7.

3B- Labour- 4, Canario- 4, Ghordy Santos- 3, DeLeon/Jorge/Gutierrez- 2.

HR:  Labour- 5, Canario- 5, Jorge- 2, Robinson Batista/DeLeon/Ghordy Santos- 1.

SB:  Sivira- 20, Canario- 18, Gutierrez- 18, Patino- 16, Ghordy Santos- 15.

BA:  Labour- .317, Canario- .294, Gutierrez- .275, DeLeon- .275, Martin Doria- .271.

IP:  Gudino- 74.1, Gonzalez- 69, Luis Moreno- 64, Francis Pena- 58.2, Aneudy Acosta- 54.2.

ERA:  Abel Adames- 1.50, Gudino- 1.82, Gonzalez- 1.83, Orleny Quiroz- 2.25, Lylon Lopez- 2.45.

K:  Gudino- 83, Gonzalez- 74, Pena- 60, Acosta- 53, Quiroz- 52.

Saves- Quiroz- 13, Jose Yan- 5, Adames- 3, 4 pitchers- 1.

DrB's 2017 DSL Giants MVP- Alexander Canario!

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Game Wrap 9/27/2017: D'Backs 4 Giants 3

The Giants final game of the season against the D'Backs ended pretty much the same way their first one, with a Blown Save.  This time it was Sam Dyson giving up 3 in the 9'th while conjuring up memories of Mark Melancon's season debut.  The BS ruined another strong start for Jeff Samardzija. Key Lines:

Denard Span CF- 3 for 4, 2B, 3B.  BA= .270.  Span is making a case that he can hit enough to play LF next year.  He's hitting .313 on the month with a .547 SLG%.

Pablo Sandoval 1B- 2 for 4, 2 2B.  BA= .215.  And Pablo is making his case to start next season on the 25 man roster, whether we like it nor not.  He's hitting .283 since his 0 for 40 slump with 4 doubles and 3 HR's out of his 13 hits in that span.

Mac Williamson LF- 0 for 1, BB.  BA= .235.  Anyone know why Gorkys Hernandez pinch hit for Mac in the 6'th inning?  Was it an injury or did Bochy just decide he couldn't stand the site of Mac batting one more time?  Maybe his doghouse just needed a little warming up?

Jeff Samardzija RHP- 6 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 4 K's.  ERA= 4.42.  That's pretty much the story of Shark's season.  He's been on the receiving end of a double whammy of dingers and poor run support.

Sam Dyson RHP- 0.1 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 2 BB, 0 K.  ERA= 5.87.  Uh-oh!  Dyson has pitched well for the Giants but between him and Melancon, the Giants closer situation next year is anything but secure.


With the Loss, the Giants maintained a 0.5 game lead in the race for the #1 overall draft pick over the Detroit Tigers who have lost 9 in a row.  The Phillies and ChiSox won so the Giants lead them by 2 and 3.5 games.  The Giants could still mathematically end up with the 4'th pick in the draft due to tiebreakers if the Giants swept the Padres and the ChiSox lost all 4 of their remaining games.


Giants get the day off tomorrow before starting the final homestand of the season agains the Padres with Chris Stratton, Matt Cain and Johnny Cueto the scheduled starters.


Matt Cain announced that Saturday's start will be his final appearance as a Giant and the final appearance of his career.  He's retiring to become just the 4'th player ever to play more than 10 seasons and play his entire career with the Giants.  What a terrific career!

Game Wrap 9/26/2017: D'Backs 11 Giants 4

The Giants won this game 4-3..... except for the Matt Moore part.   Key Lines:

Tim Fedorowicz C- 2 for 3, HR(2).  BA= .250.  I won't be complaining if the Giants find a way to bring Nick Hundley back next year, but Fedex might give them pretty much the same thing at a lower price.  I'm a big Fedex fan!  I will say, though, that if he wants a big league career, he might want to drop a pound or 20 between now and next spring.  Wow!  That is one big dude tamping down the infield dirt on his way around the bases!

Matt Moore LHP- 1.1 IP, 5 H, 8 R, 7 ER, 3 BB, 0 K.  ERA= 5.52.  We've seen more than our share of disappointing performances this season, but this line might be the most disappointing of all coming on the heels of some pretty good pitching and Bobby Evans announcing that the Giants would pick up his option.  It's hard to find words for this one.  I know there is a certain market out there for any veteran pitcher and Moore has had his moments, but my goodness!  If I'm Bobby Evans, I have to be reconsidering the promise to pick up that option.  Yeah, $9 M does not buy you much on the open baseball market these days, but couldn't it be put toward something, anything, else like maybe signing Tyler Chatwood?  It's just very hard to see any reason to be optimistic that Moore's recent success is at all sustainable after what we saw in this game.

Speaking of, maybe the Giants have already done their due diligence, but isn't it time to at least kick the tires on why this is happening?  Is he hurt?  Are there off-field issues?  Is he tipping pitches like I've suspected all season?  If you are about to invest $9 M in anything, I'd think you would want some answers not that I'm saying they don't.

Reyes Maronta RHP- 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K's.  ERA= 1.59.  Another impressive appearance for Maronta who is stating a real case to be a member of next year's Opening Day bullpen.

Kyle Crick RHP- 1 IP, 0 R, 0 B 2 BB, 1 K.  ERA= 3.16.  Cricky is nearing the finish line on a surprisingly successful season.  I'll have to go back and check but was he one of my top 50 prospects last winter?  Even Honorable Mention?


The Giants Loss, coupled with a Phillies win, gave them sole possession of first place in the race for the #1 overall draft pick by 0.5 games over the Tigers and 1 game over the Phillies.  They lead the ChiSox by 2.5 games.


Jeff Samardzija tries to end his season on an up note as he takes the mound for the series finale against D'Backs rookie Braden Shipley.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Game Wrap 9/25/2017: Giants 9 D'Backs 2

The Giants have won 62 games this year.  They have scored 5 or more runs in 38 of those Wins and 20 of the Wins have been by a margin of more than 3 runs.  Not sure what that means but it just seems like when they are good, they are very good.  So, I looked up their Pythagorean projection and they are only 2 games off how many they theoretically should have won.  Oh well!

Johnny Cueto lasted 6 innings and Jarrett Parker and Nick Hundley led a sustained offensive attack against the D'Backs B squad one day after they clinched a playoff berth.  Key Lines:

Hunter Pence RF- 2 for 5, HR(13).  BA= .260.  Pence is hitting .290 in September after hitting .290 in August.  He's actually hit pretty good in 4 of the months of the season but his May and July were awful.

Buster Posey C- 2 for 4, BB.  BA= .315.  Buster is playing pepper with the OF's.  He is 8 for 23 over his last 6 games with 1 XBH.

Jarrett Parker LF- 3 for 4, 2 2B.  BA= .250. Parker was playing pepper with the OF wall and may have left a couple of dents.  Those balls were hit hard!

Nick Hundley C- 2 for 3, HR(9), BB.  BA= .252.  In his comments after the game, Bochy sure sounded like he was ready to sign up Hundley to be the starting catcher with Buster moving over to 1B most of the time.  He said "you just don't know" when asked about whether Belt would be ready for next season.

Johnny Cueto RHP- 6 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 8 K.  ERA= 4.43.  Assuming Cueto does not opt out of his contract, it is important for the Giants to go into next season with confidence that he is healthy and can still be an effective SP.  He kind of showed that tonight.  Kruk and Kuip were all over him for his high pitch counts, though.


The Win dropped the Giants back into a tie with the Phillies in the race for the #1 overall draft pick(I believe the Phillies hold the tiebreaker with a worse record last year).  The Giants are 0.5 games up on the Tigers and 2.5 up on the White Sox.


Matt Moore tries to extend his good pitching tonight facing lefty Robbie Ray.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Game Wrap 9/24/2017: Dodgers 3 Giants 1

Clayton Kershaw induced a career high 4 GIDP's out of the Giants which helped him shut them down for 7 innings.  Mac Williamson homered to CF in the 8'th inning, but it was too little, too late.  Key Lines:

Hunter Pence RF- 3 for 4.  BA= .259.  Pence did not figure into any scoring in the game.  He was the lead runner on 2 of the GIDP's.

Mac Williamson LF- 3 for 4, HR(3).  BA= .242.  Mac also had an assist at 3B from the OF.  I STILL think Mac might be the Giants best hope for a 30 dinger/year LF, but he's out of options, so has to make the 25 man roster or be DFA'd and go through waivers.

Chris Stratton RHP- 4 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 2 BB, 2 K. ERA= 4.15.  I did not see the game, so hard to comment here.  He threw 84 pitches in the 4 innings, though, which tells you something.

Ty Blach LHP- 3 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 0 K.  ERA= 4.84.  Maybe Blach and Stratton can be tandem 5'th starters next year?


The Loss allowed the Giants to retake sole possession of the lead for the #1 overall draft pick next year by 1 game over the Phillies and Tigers and by 2.5 games over the White Sox.


The Giants move on to Arizona who clinched a Wild Card playoff berth today with Johnny Cueto starting game 1 of the series facing Zack Godley.

Down on the Farm: 2017 AZL Giants Season Review

Rookie or complex ball is where most teams assign HS draftees immediately after the draft for their first taste of professional ball and where DSL graduates make their entry into playing in the USA.  While most top prospect lists and farm system rankings emphasize players in the upper minors who can be expected to "graduate" within the next year or two, the longterm health of a farm system might be judged more accurately by the number of rookie ball players who are still teenagers.  Over the years, the Giants have tended to not have many of those to due to a strong emphasis on drafting college talent over HS players as well as a relatively weak international effort.  That all changed and fairly dramatically this season as the Giants used their top 3 draft picks to take HS players added to an unusually strong class of DSL graduates.

The list of teenage talent on this year's AZL Giants squad starts with OF Heliot Ramos(17) who did not turn 18 until after the season ended.  Second round pick 3B Jacob Gonzalez(19) joined him from the 2017 draft class.  DSL graduates included OF Ismael Munguia(18), OF Diego Rincones(18), C Ricardo Genoves(18), SS Jose Rivero(19), OF/1B Beicker Mendoza(19), Francisco Medina(19) and 1B Angeddy Almanzar(19).  C Jeffrey Parra(19) was a holdover from the 2016 draft class.  The pitching was generally older, but included LHP Seth Corry(18) from the 2017 draft class and Jake Greenwalt(19) from the 2016 class.

The starting lineup was augmented by 2017 college draftees OF Aaron Bond and SS Nico Giarratano while the pitching included 2017 draftees RHP Franklin Van Gurp, RHP Keenan Bartlett, LHP Joey Marciano joined later by LHP John Gavin off a successful College WS run.  Older DSL graduates included RHP Miguel Figueroa, RHP Camilo Doval, RHP Weilly Yan and RHP Olbis Parra.

Not only were the 2017 AZL Giants young, they were successful finishing with the top overall record in the AZL East at 34-22 after going 20-8 in the first half and 14-14 in the second half. They advanced to the final round of the AZL postseason where they lost to the Cubs in 3 games.

Here are the team statistical leaders:

AB:  Gonzalez- 168, Nathanael Javier- 162, Rincones- 159, Bond- 147, Munguia- 142.

H:  Gonzalez- 57, Rincones- 49, Ramos- 48, Javier- 47, Munguia- 47.

2B:  Gonzalez- 15, Javier- 14, Ramos-11, Rincones- 8, Bond- 8.

3B:  Ramos- 6, Munguia- 4, Bond- 3, Nick Hill- 3, Javier/Kyle McPherson- 2.

HR:  Bond- 8, Ramos- 6, Rincones- 3, Genoves- 2, Alcanzar- 2.

Runs:  Ramos- 33, Munguia- 31, Bond- 26, Gonzalez- 23, Genoves/Javier- 20.

RBI:  Rincones- 34, Bond- 31, Ramos- 27, Gonzalez- 21, Munguia/Genoves- 19.

SB:  Ramos- 10, Mikey Edie- 10, Hill- 9, Munguia- 8, Giarratano- 8.

BA:  Edie- .394, Ramos- .348, Gonzalez- .339, Munguia- .331, Rincones- .308.

OBP:  Edie- .444, Gonzalez- .418, Ramos- .404, Munguia- .398, Giarratano- .375.

SLG%- Ramos- .648, Bond- .565, Gonzalez- .458, Munguia- .458, Edie- .455.

IP:  Greenwalt- 49, Sidney Dupree- 47, Figueroa- 44.2, Yan- 33.2, Doval- 32.1.

ERA:  Van Gurp- 0.92, Bartlett- 1.53, Marciano- 1.57, Yan- 3.21, Doval- 3.90.

K:  Doval- 51, Yan- 43, Van Gurp- 41, Greenwalt- 41, Figueroa- 38.

Saves:  Parra- 8, Van Gurp- 2, Doval/Yan/Bartlett/Gavin- 1.

Game Wrap 9/23/2017: Giants 2 Dodgers 1

Gorkys Hernandez had a big night and scored both of the Giants runs to support a Dominant Start by Madison Bumgarner and a shutdown 9'th inning from Sam Dyson as the Giants evened their final series with the Dodgers.  Key Lines:

Gorkys Hernandez LF- 3 for 4, 2 2B, BB, SB(12).  BA= .258.  Hernandez had been hampered by a sore wrist most of September, but he shook that off to lead the offense.

Denard Span CF- 3 for 4, SB(11).  BA= .268.  Apparently the plan is to move Span to LF next year and go after a CF on the offseason.  I agree the Giants need better defense in CF, but Span is not what they need out of LF which is 30 HR's.

Buster Posey C- 2 for 4.  BA= .316.  Buster's season rolls on.  Love to see more power, but hey, a .300+ BA and .400+/- OBP with great catching defense is nothing to scorn.

Madison Bumgarner LHP- 7.2 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 5 K's.  ERA= 3.32.  While I am a marginal member of the Tank Brigade, I do think it's important for the Giants to have confidence that Bumgarner is fully healthy going into next season, which he certainly seems to be.

Sam Dyson RHP- 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K, Save(14).  ERA= 5.40.  It's also important for the Giants to have confidence in Dyson as either a closer or setup man going into next season.  I know the Dodgers did not have anything to play for in this game, but they have been so hard to close out all season, this Save impressed me.


With the Win, the Giants fell into a tie with the Phillies in the race for the #1 overall draft pick.  They lead the White Sox by 1 game and the Tigers by 1.5 games.  While it's nice to control your destiny with the first pick, there is currently no clear #1 draft prospect out there, so it's really no big deal other than an extra $ million or 2 which could theoretically be used to sign a HS player or two away from school down in the draft, although most of the extra $$$ would likely go to the top pick.


Chris Stratton tries for a series win and to send a message for next season in the series and season finale agains the Dodgers facing Clayton Kershaw who will likely not stay in there longer than 5 innings or 70 pitches.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Game Wrap 9/22/2017: Dodgers 4 Giants 2

The Giants did not play well and the Dodgers clinched the NL West Division title, but at least it was on their own field.  Key Lines:

Gorkys Hernandez CF- 1 for 3, BB, SB(11).  BA= .252.  Hernandez led the game off with a bunt single, stole 2B and scored on Buster Posey's line drive single up the middle to give the Giants an early lead.  That was the last run the Giants scored until the 9'th inning.

Pablo Sandoval 3B- 1 for 4, HR(8).  BA= .213.  Sandoval has a 4 game hit streak in which he is 8 for 15 with 2 doubles and 2 dingers.

Jeff Samardzija RHP- 4.1 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 2 BB, 4 K's.  ERA= 4.51.  Dingers have been Shark's nemesis and 3-run dingers will kill you.  He gave up a 3-run dinger to Bellinger in a the 4-run 3'rd inning.

Josh Osich LHP- 1.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 K's.  ERA= 6.31.  Osich' first appearance in 10 days and it was dominant.  He struck out Yasmani Grandal with the bases loaded to end the 5'th inning and then sailed through the 6'th.  This was his second scoreless appearance after a series of rough outings early in September in which he couldn't get anybody out.

Reyes Maronta RHP- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K.  ERA= 1.93.  Seems like Maronta must be forcing himself into a crowded mix for next year's bullpen.


With the Loss, the Giants maintained their lead in the race for the #1 overall draft pick by 1 game over the Phillies, 2 games over the Detroit Tigers and 2.5 games over the White Sox.


Madison Bumgarner takes on Hyun-Jin Ryu in game 2 of the weekend series today.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Down on the Farm: 2017 Salem-Keizer Volcanoes Season Review

Short Season A ball is where the better college draftees generally get assigned for the professional debuts.  This year's Salem-Keizer squad featured several 2017 draftees including OF's Bryce Johnson and Logan Baldwin, IF's Orlando Garcia and Shane Matheny, C Rob Calabrese and DH Michael Sexton.  There was an AZL graduate from 2016, Malique Ziegler manning CF and a couple of backsliders from Augusta in 1B Ryan Kirby and SS Manuel Geraldo.

The pitching staff was headed by Stetson Woods starting his 3'rd full season after doing absolutely nothing in his last 2 with the AZL Giants.  There were a trio of DSL Graduates in Julio Benitez, Jose Marte and Alejandro De La Rosa.  Draftees Peter Lanoo, Jason Bahr, John Russell and Garrett Cave were later additions.

Like most other Giants minor league affiliates, the Volcanoes finished with the worst record in their league with a 29-47 record.  Woods and Ziegler started out strong but faded badly in the second half.  Johnson and Baldwin hit for average and Garcia showed some interesting power potential.  International pitchers were inconsistent and the draftees were disappointing.  Here are the team leaders by category:

AB:  Geraldo- 276, Kirby- 276, Ziegler- 254, Johnson- 222, Garcia- 190.

H:  Geraldo- 83, Kirby- 77, Johnson- 73, Baldwin- 63, Ziegler- 61.

2B- Kirby- 16, Baldwin- 11, Garcia- 10, Ziegler- 9, Geraldo- 8.

3B- Ziegler- 5, Kevin Rivera- 4, Baldwin- 2, Johnson- 2, 8 Players- 1.

HR:  Kirby- 8, Garcia- 6, Ziegler- 5, Baldwin- 3, Geraldo- 3, Gustavo Cabrera- 3.

SB:  Ziegler- 26, Johnson- 25, Geraldo- 23, Baldwin- 17, Kirby- 10.

Runs:  Kirby- 51, Ziegler- 46, Johnson- 41, Geraldo- 38, Baldwin- 38.

RBI:  Kirby- 65, Geraldo- 40, Garcia- 33, Baldwin- 25, Ziegler- 24.

BA:  Baldwin- .342, Johnson- .329, Geraldo- .301, Matheny- .284, Kirby- .279.

OBP:  Johnson- .400, Baldwin- .395, Matheny- .381, Calabrese- .369, Garcia- .366.

SLG%:  Baldwin- .473, Kirby- .424, Garcia- .416, Rivera- .397, Ziegler- .374.

IP:  Benitez- 69, Woods- 64.1, Marte- 54, De La Rosa- 49.1, Luis Pino- 48.

ERA:  Russell- 1.99, Logan Webb- 2.89, Woods- .336, Bahr- 3.55, DLR- 4.01.

K:  DLR- 57, Woods- 48, Marte- 42, Russell- 37, Pino- 37.

Saves:  Russell- 4, Cave- 3, 7 Pitchers- 1.

DrB's 2017 Volcanoes MVP:  Ryan Kirby

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Game Wrap 9/20/2017: Giants 4 Rockies 0

Matt Moore did not allow a run for the first time this season as a SP while Joe Panik continued his hot  hitting to lead the Giants offense to complete a 2 game sweep of the Rockies.  Key Lines:

Joe Panik 2B- 3 for 4, 2B, 3B.  BA= .291.  Panik has been en fuego since he started choking up on the bat.  Is it too late for him to make a run at .300?  Will this hotness carry over into next season?

Brandon Crawford SS- 1 for 3, HR(14), BB.  BA= .246.  Crawford leads the team in doubles and is second in HR's.

Pablo Sandoval 3B- 2 for 4, 2 2B.  BA= .212.  Sandoval is 7 for 11 with 2 doubles and a dinger in his last 3 games.

Matt Moore LHP- 6 IP, 6 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 6 K's.  ERA= 5.20.  Moore has a 2.84 ERA in September.  I'd say that bodes well for next season, but he was pretty good down the stretch last year too.

Steven Okert LHP- 0.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K.  ERA= 5.88.  Okert came in with 2 runners on base and no outs in the 7'th inning.  He struck out the RH hitting Pat Valaika and got Charlie Blackmon to ground into a force out.


The Giants win coupled with a win by the Phillies(over the Dodgers) and a loss by the ChiSox leaves the Giants 1 game ahead of the Sox for the #1 overall draft pick(2 in the loss column) and 1.5 games ahead of the Phillies and 2.5 games ahead of the Tigers, who also lost.


The Giants get a day off before heading south to Dodger Stadium for a weekend series against the Dodgers with Jeff Samardzija facing Rich Hill in game 1.


Brandon Belt appears to be feeling better and was running on the field today before the game.  He won't be playing again this year as he was moved to the 60 day DL to make room for waiver pickup RHP Pierce Johnson.

Game Wrap 9/19/2017: Giants 4 Rockies 3

Hunter Pence and Pablo Sandoval led the Giants offense in support of a QS by Johnny Cueto ending in a walk-off win and a Sac Fly by Pence.  Key Lines:

Hunter Pence RF- 1 for 4, HR(12), SF.  BA= .260.  The dinger was a long one for the Big Guy that landed halfway up the screen over the herb garden in CF.  The SF came with no outs and the bases loaded in the 9'th for the walkout.  The rally started with a squib hit by Pablo Sandoval followed by an attempted Sac that turned into an IF hit for Ryder Jones, then a slap hit by Kelby to set up Pence.

Denard Span CF- 1 for 4, SB(10).  BA= .265.  Span gets his second consecutive 10-10 season.

Buster Posey C- 2 for 4, 2B.  BA= .315.  Posey's season keep chugging along.  Maybe a questionable pitch call on the double by Parra off Hunter Strickland.  Maybe it would have worked without a location mistake but it sure looked like that was the pitch Parra was expecting.

Pablo Sandoval 1B- 3 for 4.  BA= .207.  Pabs is 5 for 7 in his last 2 games and hit the ball hard twice in the game before that.  Not sure it that is good or bad for the future of the Giants.

Johnny Cueto RHP- 6.2 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 4 BB, 6 K's.  ERA= 4.49.  Cueto started this game off like he ended his previous start, throwing lots of pitches.  He had 50 by the end of the second inning.  He settled down and threw just 55 more over the next 4.2 innings and looked a lot like the Johnny Cueto of last year.  If he's not going to opt out of his contract, at least Giants fans can have some hope that next year will be  better and the rest of his contract won't be a sunk cost.

Steven Okert LHP- 0.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K.  ERA= 6.04.  Okert has a 2.25 ERA in 8 appearances, 4 IP, in September.  He's allowed 1 ER and and 1 unearned run.  He's allowed baserunners in just 2 of those appearances, mostly as a strict LOOGY.  Ideally, Bochy will want 2 lefties in the bullpen next season and Will Smith is not a lock to be ready at the start.  The Giants could acquire one in the offseason, but Okert may be taking some of that pressure off with his September performance.


The Phillies beat the Dodgers, so the Giants remain 1.5 games ahead of them in the race for the #1 overall draft pick.  The ChiSox lost and are now just 2 games behind the Giants. The Tigers lost and are 3.5 games back.


Matt Moore tries for the 2 game series sweep this afternoon facing Giants Killer Tyler Chatwood.  BTW, Chatwood is a FA after the season.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Down on the Farm: 2017 Augusta Greenjackets Season Review

I was going to write a post about Ryan Vogelsong but I could not think of anything to say I haven't already written 10 times.  You all know the story by heart anyway.  You have probably already passed it on to your children and possibly grandchildren to be handed down to future generations of Giants fans into eternity.  So, back to the grindstone!

Low A ball is where good HS draftees are assigned the spring after they are drafted.  It's a big jump and many struggle at this level.  The SAL is generally a pitcher-friendly league and Augusta might be the most pitcher friendly venue in the league.  Many a young hitter has foundered there and others have had to take a step back before moving forward again.  You may recall that both Christian Arroyo and Ryder Jones washed out completely and were reassigned to Salem-Keizer before jumping going to San Jose the following season.

The biggest story line from day 1 was Sandro Fabian a 19 yo international OF who gained some national recognition as an 18 yo in the AZL.  Kelvin Beltre is a bit older than Fabian but he had lost the major parts of 2 seasons to injuries.  He desperately needed a full season's worth of AB's.  Minor league veteran Skyler Ewing decided to try to revive his career by taking up catching, a position he played a bit of in college at Rice.  Three 2017 college draftees, Jacob Heyward, Michael Bernal and Brandon Van Horn were also assigned to Augusta along with an assortment of minor league veterans.

On the pitching side,  lefty Dominic Mazza was a holdover from 2016 while college draftees DJ Myers, Steven WoodsGarrett Williams, Caleb Baragar and reliever Patrick Ruotolo got conservative assignments for their first pro seasons.  Hard throwing international signees Melvin Adon and Raffi Vizcaino rounded out the pitching staff.  

This collection of talent, like several other Giants affiliates, finished with the worst record in the league at 55-80.  Here are the statistical leaders of the 2017 Augusta Greenjackets:      

AB:  Fabian- 486, Beltre- 423, Heyward- 359, Jose Vizcaino Jr.- 309, Ewing- 297.

Hits:  Fabian- 133, Beltre- 107, Viz Jr- 81, Heyward- 80, Jean Angomas- 77.

Doubles:  Fabian- 31, Beltre- 24, Ewing- 21, Viz Jr- 17, Heyward- 16.

Triples- Angomas- 3, 7 players- 2.

HR:  Ewing- 13, Fabian- 11, Heyward- 10, Beltre- 6, Frandy De La Rosa- 5.

SB:  Cristian Paulino- 30, Beltre- 15, Dunston Jr- 13, Ashford Fulmer- 13, Van Horn- 11.

Runs:  Beltre- 65, Fabian- 51, Ewing- 48, Heyward- 40, Viz Jr- 34.

RBI:  Fabian- 61, Ewing- 47, Heyward- 45, Beltre- 37, Viz Jr- 34.

BA:  Angomas- .292, Fabian- .277, Paulino- .271, Bernal- .267, Viz Jr/Van Horn- .262.

OBP:  Ewing- .359, Bernal- .349, Paulino- .343, Angomas- .338, Carlos Garcia- .331.

SLG%- Ewing- .455, Fabian- .408, FDLR- .372, Paulino- .371, Bernal- .369.

IP:  Mazza- 119.1, Barattar- 114.2, Woods- 110.0, Adon- 99.1, Myers- 78.1.

ERA:  Conner Kaden- 0.47, Ruotolo- 1.66, Nolan Riggs- 2.13, Williams- 2.25, Woods- 2.95.

K's:  Woods- 113, Mazza- 97, Adon- 89, Baragar- 81, Vizcaino- 74.

Saves:  Ruotolo- 17, Riggs- 3.

DrB's MVP:  Sandro Fabian!

-Mazza pitched a perfect CG early in the season.  Finally got a late season promo to SJ.

-Garrett Williams tamed his control/command issues and made a successful midseason jump to SJ.  

-Skyler Ewing's career will probably live to see another season, possibly in San Jose.                          

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Game Wrap 9/17/2017: Giants 7 D'Backs 2

Chris Stratton honored Ryan Vogelsong's retirement with a Vogey-like performance and the Giants avoided a sweep by the D'Backs.  Key Lines:

Joe Panik 2B- 2 for 4.  BA= .289.  Is there enough time left for Panik to hit .300 on the season?

Austin Slater LF- 1 for 2, 2 BB.  BA= .282.  The Giants could do worse than simply handing the LF keys to Austin Slater for 2018.   He keeps doing good things.

Jarrett Parker RF- 2 for 3.  BA= .250.  Do the Giants see Parker as a strictly platoon player?  Kelby Tomlinson PH for him in the 7'th with no outs and the bases loaded and lefty TJ McFarland on the mound.  D'Backs countered with RHP Jake Barrett and Kelby hit a SF.  It worked out, but I find that whole sequence odd.

Pablo Sandoval 1B- 2 for 3, HR(7), SF.  BA= .197.  Sandoval was the hitting hero of the game with 3 RBI's.  He hit the ball hard in game 2 of the series so maybe this is a true breakout from his epic slump.  If so, I'm not sure if that's a good or bad thing for the Giants future.

Chris Stratton RHP- 6 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 4 K's.  ERA= 3.94.  This was an important start for Stratton.  His last full start on September 4 lasted just 4 innings and he gave up 3 runs.  Then he faced just one batter in the rain delayed game recording a K.  This game showed some resiliency which I think bodes well for the future.  BTW, Stratton said after the game that Vogey offered some words of encouragement before the game.


The Win coupled with the Phillies loss reduced the Giants lead in the race for the #1 draft pick to 1 game(2 on the loss column).  The ChiSox lost so they are 3 games back while the Tigers beat the ChiSox and remain 5 games behind the Giants for the worst record in baseball.


The Giants get a day off at home tomorrow before starting a 2 games series against the Rockies with Johnny Cueto facing German Marquez.


In a fitting ending to one of the greatest baseball stories I know of, Ryan Vogelsong fulfilled another long held dream to retire as a Giant.  He took the mound wearing his #32 uniform with his wife, Nicole, looking on, just as she did the first time he walked off the mound at AT&T Park to a standing ovation.  This time his son, Ryder, was at his side and he got another standing O.   There will be more of those at 2012 and 2014 team reunions, but this one was special, just like the first one.  More on Vogey and his career in another post.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Game Wrap 9/16/2017: D'Backs 2 Giants 0

Madison Bumgarner gave up a 2-run HR to Paul Goldschmidt in the first inning and that was the difference in the ballgame as the Giants offense could muster just 2 hits against Zack Greinke and Fernando Rodney.  Key Lines:

Madison Bumgarner LHP- 7 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 6 K's.  ERA= 3.48.  A much better performance than his last game, but still a loss without a whiff of run support.  At least we know Bummy is OK and the poor start in Chicago was an isolated event.

Zack Greinke RHP(D'Backs)- 8 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 8 K's.  ERA= 2.87.  Greinke is a very good pitcher having a  very good season so it's not surprising he would shut down a moribund Giants offense.  Giants have their work cut out trying to figure out how to improve this lineup for next season.


Chris Stratton will hope he has better weather than he did for his last start which lasted 1 batter(he struck that batter out). He will face Taijuan Walker in the series finale tomorrow afternoon.


The Giants extended their lead in the race for the #1 overall draft pick to 2 games over the Phillies and 4 over the White Sox and remain 5 games up on the Tigers who have the 4'th worst record in baseball.

Down on the Farm: 2017 San Jose Giants Season Review

High A is an appropriate placement first full season placement for top college draftees and is thus a nice early barometer for how well those draft picks are working out.  The 2017 San Jose Giants started the season with a nice contingent of 2016 draftees including a trio of OF's, 2'nd rounder and top pick Bryan Reynolds, Heath Quinn and Gio Brusa as well as IF Ryan Howard and P's Matt Krook and Conner Menez.  Aramis Garcia was a holdover due to an early season-ending injury in 2016.  Promotions from the 2016 Augusta Greenjackets included IF's Dillon Dobson and Jalen Miller.  Last year's team MVP Jonah Arenado stayed on in 2017 as he was young for the level and deemed not ready to handle AA pitching.  At 20 yo, Miller was one of the younger players in the Cal League.  The rest of the pitching consisted mainly of minor league veterans who pitched for Augusta in 2016.  Later additions included LHP Garrett Williams and several big hard throwing relievers including Dylan Rheault, Will LaMarche and Michael Cederoth.

Reynolds, Howard and Garcia hit well all season long with Garcia finally getting the promo to Richmond later in the season.  Arenado came on strong in the second half.  Quinn was slowed by injuries.  Brusa hit for power but struggled to make contact and in the field and ended up mostly DH'ing by the end of the season.  Miller hit in the low .200's all season but improved modestly at the end and most importantly got a second full season's worth of pro AB's.  Don't give up on this kid.  He has some tools and is still very young for the level.  As a whole, the team struggled to a Cal League worst 62-78 mostly due to lack of consistent pitching.  About the best we can say of the pitching is Garrett Williams and Matt Krook both made progress in controlling their pitches which is not nothing as both are believed to have high ceilings.

Here are the team statistical leaders for 2017:

AB:  Howard- 526, Reynolds- 491, Arenado- 488, Miller- 431, Dobson- 428.

Hits:  Howard- 161, Reynolds- 153, Arenado- 131, Brusa- 101, Dobson- 100.

2B:  Arenado- 36, Brusa- 28, Reynolds- 26, Miller- 25, Howard- 21.

3B:  Reynolds- 9, Arenado- 4, Miller- 4, Ronnie Jebavy- 4, Dobson- 4.

HR:  Brusa- 17, Garcia- 17, Dobson-15, Arenado- 13, Reynolds/Quinn- 10.

SB:  Jebavy- 15, Howard- 7, Steven Duggar- 7, Miller- 6, Reynolds- 6.

Runs:  Reynolds- 72, Arenado- 67, Miller- 61, Howard- 59, Brusa- 58.

BA:  Reynolds- .312, Howard- .306, Danial Carbonell- .304, Garcia- .272, Duggar- .270.

OBP:  Reynolds- .364, Duggar- .361, Howard- .342, Carbonell- .338, John Polonius- .327.

SLG%- Garcia- .487, Carbonell- .486, Duggar- .470, Reynolds- .462, Arenado- .439.

IP:  Menez- 114.1, Mark Reyes- 101.0, Jake McCasland- 101.2, Michael Connolly- 94.2, Krook- 91.1.

ERA:  Ryan Halstead- 1.11, Williams- 2.45, Carlos Dias- 2.47, Rheault- 2.70, Cederoth- 3.20.

K:  Krook- 105, Menez- 99, McCasland- 95, Caleb Simpson- 80, Grant Watson- 69.

Saves:  Rheault- 21, Halstead- 8, LaMarche- 2.

DrB's 2017 San Jose Giants Team MVP- Bryan Reynolds.

Game Wrap 9/15/2017: D'Backs 3 Giants 2

Jeff Samardzija threw another Quality Start but also lost again as the Giants offense could not get over the hump.  Key Lines:

Joe Panik 2B- 2 for 4, 2B.  BA= .287.  Panik is hitting .438 through the first 15 days of September.

Hunter Pence RF- 2 for 3, 2B.  BA= .260.  Pence is showing he may have something left in the bat, but he had a rough night in the OF.  In fairness, those were tough balls to catch, but it seemed like Gorkys Hernandez had no trouble getting to one that looked similar.  Pence took a stumble on a close play at 1B and came up holding his right hand or wrist.  He later exited the game but reportedly with back spasms from a tumble in the OF.

Gorkys Hernandez RF- 0 for 0.  BA= .251.  Hernandez entered the game to replace Pence minutes after Amy G reported that he was unavailable.  After the game, Bochy clarified that he was not available to hit, but could play D and pinch run.  Jarrett Parker PH for Hernandez when his turn to hit arrived.  Which raises the question:  How deep is Mac Williamson in Bochy's doghouse if he didn't even get the call when Pence was injured?

Which raises another question:  Who are the two players who squawked to the press about feeling like they can't do anything to please Bochy?  When Bochy was asked why he put Gorkys out there with a sore wrist, his response is he wanted to keep a couple of guys on the bench- to give him options.  Who were the guys still on the bench?  Did Boch add the "options" phrase as an afterthought when he realized how the keeping a couple of guys on the bench might be interpreted?  Are we parsing words a bit too much here?

Jeff Samardzija RHP- 8 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 0 BB, 7 K's.  ERA= 4.42.  That's an 8 inning QS that went for naught.


Madison Bumgarner tries to bounce back from his last start this evening facing Zack Greinke.


With the Loss, the Giants remain in first place in the race for the #1 draft pick leading the Phillies by 1 game(2 on the loss column), the ChiSox by 3 games and the Tigers by 5.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Game Wrap 9/13/2017: Dodgers 4 Giants 1

Giants bats were listless and Matt Moore was Matt Moore in a quiet loss.  Key Lines:

Hunter Pence RF- 2 for 4.  BA= .258.  Back in the leadoff spot.  Pence had 8 hits in the series.

Jarrett Parker LF- 2 for 4.  BA= .250.  Parker was 3 for 9 on the series.

Matt Moore LHP- 4.1 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 3 BB, 5 K's.  ERA= 5.39.  After a brief run in August, Moore has fallen back into a familiar, bad, pattern mostly all attributable to poor command.

Kyle Crick RHP- 1.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K's.  ERA= 3.31.  Cricky continues to be one of the few Giants pitchers who can throw a FB by a hitter when they know it's coming.

Reyes Maronta RHP- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K's.  ERA= 2.45.  6 K's in 3.2 IP but also 3 BB's.  Giants need more of his and Crick's type of arms in the pen.


The Giants led the Phillies in the race for the #1 draft pick by 0.5 games after this game.  The Phils fell another 0.5 games behind with a W yesterday.  The ChiSox are falling off the pace a full 3 games back.  So far, there is no clear cut best prospect in the 2018 draft so I'm not sure having the #1 overall is all that, but at least they are guaranteed to get the guy they want if it ends in this order.

Game Wrap 9/12/2017: Dodgers 5 Giants 3

I'm not sure what the Giants record is when they score 3 runs in a game Clayton Kershaw starts, but I'll guess it's not too bad.  Unfortunately, Johnny Cueto's remarkable pitch count caught up with him in the 4'th inning and he gave up 4 to the Dodgers.  Key Lines:

Denard Span PH/CF- 2 for 2, 2B, SB(9).  BA= .272.  Span is closing in on a double-double season.

Joe Panik 2B- 3 for 5.  BA= .286.  Panik is hitting .342 in September after hitting .305 in August.

Hunter Pence RF- 3 for 5.  BA= .256.  Pence continues his hot hitting back down in the lineup.  6 hits in 2 days.

Austin Slater LF- 2 for 4.  BA= .286.  Are the Giants thinking of a Parker/Slater platoon in LF?

Kelby Tomlinson SS- 2 for 2, HR(1), BB.  BA= .273.  Imagine hitting your only HR of the season against Clayton Kershaw!  Kelby is hitting .300 in September after hitting .284 in August.

Johnny Cueto RHP- 3.2 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 4 BB, 8 K's.  ERA= 4.58.  The 8 K's tell you he must have had good stuff, but wow!  How can you throw 101 pitches in 3.2 innings?  The pitch count must have fatigued him in the 4'th as the Dodgers scored all 4 of the runs he gave up in that frame.

Game Wrap 9/11/2017: Giants 8 Dodgers 6

Back from a nice vacay.  Will try to do a few catch up posts.

This was a game that probably should have been postponed as it was initially delayed and then delayed again after the first batter.  It finally started after 10 PM and ended at about 2:30 AM on 9/12.   The hitters seemed to adjust better than the pitchers.  Key Lines:

Hunter Pence RF- 3 for 5, 3B.  BA= .252.  The Hunter Pence leadoff experiment went well as he was a sparkplug at the top of the order.

Denard Span- CF- 2 for 3, HR(12), BB.  BA= .261.  Span sets a personal record for HR's in a season. He hit 3'rd in the lineup in this game.

Buster Posey 1B- 2 for 4, 2B.  BA= .321.  Hundley's ability to handle the catching allows Buster to play more 1B which seems to help keep him from grinding down.

Jarrett Parker LF- 1 for 4, HR(4).  BA= .244.  Second dinger in 2 days for Parker.

Chris Stratton RHP- 0.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K.  ERA= 4.07.  Stratton started the game and struck out the only batter he faced before the weather turned bad again.  Nice to wonder what he might have done without the second stoppage.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Blogger's Note

My family and I are taking a much needed vacay to Lake Tahoe this week.  I may or may not make posts during this time.  I'll be back on Friday, Sept 15.


Sunday, September 10, 2017

Down on the Farm: Richmond Flying Squirrels 2017 Season Review

AA is supposed to be the "prospect" level, the really good prospects who are almost ready for the major leagues.  Unfortunately, the pickings were slim for the AA Richmond Flying Squirrels even at the beginning of the season.  There was Chris Shaw, a promising power-hitting first baseman starting his second full pro season.   There was CJ Hinojosa who from the same draft class trying to establish himself as a legitimate prospect.  There was also an intriguing international hitting prospect named Miguel Gomez who was still in search of a position.  Slade Heathcott was in interesting reclamation project out of the Yankees organization.  That's it from the positional side of the roster.  The rest were organizational guys trying to hang onto their dream.  On the pitching side, lefty Andrew Suarez, also from the 2015 draft class was the top pitching prospect along with suspects Cory Taylor, Sam Coonrod, Jordan Johnson, Dan Slania and Matt Gage.

Shaw, Gomez, Heathcott and Suarez all got midseason promotions with Gomez actually getting a cup of coffee(Slania got less than a cup of coffee, but did get a 1 or 2 day taste of a major league clubhouse).  Hinojosa turned in a solid season and Tyler Cyr emerged as a legitimate RP prospect while getting the lion's share of the Save Opportunities.  Minor league FA, Jose Flores, started out in the bullpen, worked his way into the rotation and got a promo to become a solid SP option in AAA Sacramento's rotation.  Tyler Herb was acquired late in the season from the Mariners organization and showed some promise as a workhorse type SP.  Caleb Gindl, a minor league veteran with some MLB experience, came in to play CF when Heathcott got his promotion.  Aramis Garcia finally got a promo to AA late in the season and more than held his own.

Here are the team statistical leaders for 2017(again using the 100 AB/20 IP thresholds):

AB:  Brandon Bednar- 411, CJ Hinojosa- 373, Slade Heathcott- 347, Myles Schroder- 332, Dylan Davis- 327.

Hits:  Bednar- 115, Hinojosa- 99, Miguel Gomez- 94, Heathcott- 91, Schroder- 86.

Doubles:  Bednar-24, Schroder- 22, Heathcott- 20, Gomez- 19, Davis- 17.

Triples:  Caleb Gindl- 7, Hunter Cole- 5, Schroder- 4, Jerry Sands- 4, Heathcott/Gomez- 2.

HR:  Heathcott- 12, KC Hobson- 11, Davis- 10, Gindl- 8, Gomez- 8.

Runs:  Bednar- 54, Heathcott- 52, Schroder- 47, Hinojosa- 47, Gomez- 43.

RBI:  Gomez-38, Davis- 38, Hinojosa- 35, Hobson- 35, Bednar/Cole- 34.

SB:  Heathcott- 8, Carlos Garcia- 6, Hinojosa- 5, Daniel Carbonell- 5, Schroder-4.

BA:  Gomez- .305, Chris Shaw- .301, Sands- .298, Ali Castillo- .287, Gindl- .284.

OBP:  Sands- .402, Shaw- .390, Schroder- .353, Heathcott- .339, Castillo- .336.

SLG:  Gindl- .533, Shaw- .511, Sands- .484, Gomez- .458, Hobson- .443.

IP:  Cory Taylor- 127.2, Sam Coonrod- 103.2, Jordan Johnson- 97.1, Dan Slania- 80.1, Matt Gage- 78.0.

K:  Taylor- 100, Coonrod- 94, Carlos Alvarado- 70, Johnson- 65, Tyler Cyr- 57.

ERA:  DJ Snelton- 1.66, Jarrett Martin- 2.04, Jose Flores- 2.09, Cyr- 2.19, Tyler Herb- 2.76.

Saves:  Cyr- 18, Reyes Maronta- 5, Alvarado- 2.

DrB's 2017 Richmond Flying Squirrels MVP- Slade Heathcott

Game Wrap 9/10/2017: White Sox 8 Giants 1

Wow!  The Giants played another wretched game with the guy who is supposed to be their ace on the mound.  Doesn't get much worse than this.  Key Lines:

Buster Posey C- 2 for 3, BB.  BA= .320.  Credit to Buster for plugging away at what he can do and not try to carry the team by himself.  On the other hand, the days of Buster carrying a team all by himself are probably not coming back.

Brandon Crawford SS- 0 for 4.  BA= .247.  It's just one game and Crawford has had a really good second half.  Him hitting cleanup, though, tells you all you need to know about this team.

Pablo Sandoval 3B- 0 for 3.  BA= .195.  So, Pablo broke out of his 0 for 40 slump with a 3-run dinger in the first game of the series, then followed that up with a SF.  He's 0 for 7 since then.

Kelby Tomlinson 3B- 1 for 1.  BA= .268.  Honestly, if the Giants need a placeholder for Christian Arroyo to start next season and the choices are Pablo Sandoval and Kelby?  Give me Kelby!

Jarrett Parker DH- 1 for 4, HR(3).  BA= .244.  Nice to have Parker back from an oblique strain.  His final slash line from August was .268/.304/.443.   Some fans may look at the OBP and scoff, but hey, I'll take that with plus D in LF for a full season.

Madison Bumgarner LHP- 5 IP, 10 H, 6 R, 1 BB, 4 K's.  ERA= 3.55.  Yeah, this worries me just a little.  If the Giants are going to contend next year, they can't have too many of these games from The Big Guy.

Albert Suarez RHP- 2 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 0 BB, 3 K's.  ERA= 5.86.  Sorry, I just don't see Albert Suarez being part of the next good Giants team, whenever that is.


The Giants now trail the Phillies by 1 game for the top draft pick in 2018.  They lead the ChiSox by 1.5 games and the Tigers by 5.5 games.


Giants come home for their penultimate homestand of the season with Chris Stratton facing Kenta Maeda tomorrow night in the first game of what looked like a showdown series against the Dodgers at the start of the season.  Maybe the Giants can extend the Dodgers current losing streak and put some more doubt in their minds about the postseason, or maybe they can keep shooting for the #1 overall draft pick.

Down on the Farm: Sacramento River Cats Season Review

AAA is one step away from the major leagues, but most top prospects spend only a short time at the level while most AAA rosters are populated predominantly with older players who act as an extended bench for the MLB club.  Most top prospects who are getting close to MLB ready are found in AA.  It was a bit of a novelty, and not completely in a good way, to find 4 former first round draft picks on the Opening Day River Cats roster, Christian Arroyo, Tyler Beede, Chris Stratton and Kyle Crick.  Arroyo and Beede were there on a more or less scheduled stop on their way to the big leagues, but Stratton and Crick seemed to be getting one last chance to salvage their careers. Chris Shaw would get a mid-season callup making it a total of 5 former first rounders who played a significant role on the club.

In addition to the former first rounders, at least 2 other legitimate prospects appeared on the Opening Day roster:  OF Austin Slater and 3B/1B Ryder Jones who also got PT in the OF.  Jae-gyun Hwang was an intriguing addition out of spring training and Orlando Calixte was signed as a minor league FA and immediately added to the 40 man roster.  Tim Federowicz provided catching insurance for the Giants while giving a steady veteran hand to guide the young pitchers.

On the pitching side, former 2'nd round draft pick, Joan Gregorio lengthened the rotation and Andrew Suarez was a midseason callup.  Long time minor leaguers Jose Flores and later Roberto Gomez were important rotation pieces while Dusten Knight, DJ Snelton and Tyler Rogers helped out in the bullpen.

The River Cats last place finish in the PCL Pacific Northern Division with a record of 64-77 was likely partially due to nearly constant roster movement but mostly to weakness on the pitching side.  It should be remembered that the purpose of a minor league roster is not to win championships but to develop and supply players for the MLB roster.

Here is a list of players who spent time on both the River Cats and Giants active rosters during the 2017 season:

Christian Arroyo, Austin Slater, Ryder Jones, Conor Gillespie, Tim Fedorowicz, Kelby Tomlinson, Drew Stubbs, Carlos Moncrief, Jae-Gyun Hwang, Justin Ruggiano, Michael Morse, Mac Williamson, Orlando Calixte, Aaron Hill, Jarrett Parker, Pablo Sandoval, Chris Marrero, Roberto Gomez, Chris Stratton, Derek Law, Kyle Crick, Steven Okert, Reyes Maronta, Josh Osich, Albert Suarez.

Here are some statistical leaders for the 2017 River Cats(Arbitrary thresholds:  100 AB, 20 IP):

AB:  Orlando Calixte- 378, Mac Williamson- 352, Jae-Gyun Hwang- 351, Chris Shaw- 336, Juniel Querecuto- 293.

Hits:  Jae-Gyun Hwang- 100, Chris Shaw- 97, Orlando Calixte- 92, Mac Williamson- 86, Tim Fedorowicz- 85.

Doubles:  Chris Shaw- 25, Jae-Gyun Hwang- 21, Mac Williamson- 21, Tim Fedorowicz- 19, Ryder Jones- 19.

Triples:  Orlando Calixte- 5, Jae-Gyun Hwang- 4, Ali Castillo- 3, Ryder Jones, Juan Ciriaco, Wynton Bernard- 2.

HR:  Chris Shaw- 18, Orlando Calixte- 14, Mac Williamson- 14, Ryder Jones- 13, Jae-Gyun Hwang, Tim Federowicz- 9.

Runs:  Mac Williamson- 54, Orlando Calixte- 48, Jae-Gyun Hwang- 44, Ryder Jones- 44, Chris Shaw- 42.

RBI:  Jae-Gyun Hwang- 56, Mac Williamson- 50, Chris Shaw- 50, Ryder Jones- 44, Orlando Calixte, Tim Fedorowicz- 43.

SB:  Orlando Calixte- 19, Wynton Bernard- 13, Kelby Tomlinson- 9, Jae-Gyun Hwang, Ryder Jones, Juan Ciriaco- 7.

BA:  Austin Slater- .321, Ryder Jones- .312, Tim Fedorowicz- .300, Kelby Tomlinson- .296, Ryan Lollis- .292.

OBP:  Ryder Jones- .396, Austin Slater- .377, Kelby Tomlinson- .377, Tim Fedorowicz- .366, Jarrett Parker- .353.

IP:  Tyler Beede- 109, Roberto Gomez- 97.1, Andrew Suarez- 88.2, Chris Stratton- 79.1, Tyler Rogers- 76.

ERA:  Tyler Rogers- 2.37, DJ Snelton- 2.42, Derek Law- 2.48, Kyle Crick- 2.76, Joan Gregorio- 3.04.

Strikeouts:  Roberto Gomez- 89, Tyler Beede- 83, Andrew Suarez- 80, Chris Stratton- 71, Jose Flores- 65.

Saves:  Tyler Rogers- 10, Derek Law- 10, Kyle Crick- 6, Steven Okert- 6.

DrB's 2017 River Cats MVP:  Chris Shaw!

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Game Wrap 9/9/2017: White Sox 13 Giants 1

As if we have not witnessed enough rainfall of biblical proportions, the Giants were swamped by a veritable deluge of dingers in the Windy City.  Key Lines:

Nick Hundley C- 1 for 4, HR(8).  BA= .257.  If the Giants are serious about contending next season, they might want to do what's necessary to hang onto Nick Hundley.

Jeff Samardzija RHP- 5.2 IP, 8 H, 6 R, 1 BB, 6 K's, 4 HR.  ERA= 4.47.  Welp.  I guess we got a firsthand look at why Shark did not dig pitching his home games in US whatever they call it now.

Josh Osich LHP- 0.0 IP, 4 H, 4 R, 0 BB, 0 K, 2 HR.  ERA= 6.75.  Josh Osich is an enigma to say the least.  His stuff looks great but he just is not getting hitters out.  This might be rock bottom for him.  I understand these games don't mean a thing, but major league games are probably not where Osich needs to be working out whatever is wrong with his game right now.

Roberto Gomez RHP- 2 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 0 BB, 3 K's.  ERA= 11.57.  Well, he didn't allow any dingers and the K/BB looks good.


Madison Bumgarner tries for a series win tomorrow facing former White Sox first round draft pick Carson Fulmer who has been pitching out of the bullpen.

Game Wrap 9/8/2017: Giants 9 White Sox 2

Pablo Sandoval broke out of an 0 for 40 slump with a 3-run dinger to lead the Giants to a route of the ChiSox in Chicago.  Key Lines:

Denard Span CF- 1 for 4, HR(11), BB.  BA= .269. Span tied his career season high in HR's which he set last year.

Brandon Crawford SS- 3 for 5, 2B.  BA= .251.  Crawford is slashing .287/.350/.463 in the second half.

Pablo Sandoval 3B- 1 for 3, HR(6), SF.  BA= .201.  As mentioned, the dinger broke an 0 for 40 slump.  Giants are clearly keeping him in there for a reason so the remainder of the season may determine whether Pabs is back next year...or he may be back no matter what.

Matt Moore LHP- 6.2 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 4 K's.  ERA= 5.31.  This is the kind of game we envisioned from Moore all season...on days he was off.  Moore has 4 QS in his last 5 Starts with a 2-inning scoreless relief stint thrown in.  Since August 7, his ERA is 3.18 in 34 IP.  At an $8 M differential between his option and buyout, the Giants have to pick up the option, although they could consider picking it up then trading him if they get a great offer.


Jeff Samardzija takes the mound for game 2 of the series facing what's left of James Shields.


Mark Melancon will reportedly undergo surgery on his forearm to relieve a muscle impingement next week.  He should be ready for spring training and the season on schedule.

Friday, September 8, 2017

State of the Giants: Corner OF Smackdown

The back and forth discussion about Mac Williamson in some of the comments got me to thinking about the in-house corner OF options for the future.  They have not shortage of in-house options from which to choose and those choices will not be easy.  They could impact the future of the team well into the 2020's(Whoa! Am I actually writing 2020's?).  I thought it might be fun to do a compare and contrast smackdown to help us and the Giants sort it out.  I'm not going to do an exhaustive review of all of their minor league stat lines.  Most of you already are familiar with them.  I'll just do a brief capsule summary of each then rank them in several categories.  Here we go!

Jarrett Parker, 28 yo, B-L, T-L, 6'4", 210 lbs.  Second round draft pick in 2010 out of college(Virginia).  5 tools. Tall, lean, athletic.  Generates impressive power from his long levers which can also make his swing get long.  Minor league hitting profile is relatively low BA, high BB, high K, average power and speed.

Mac Williamson, 27 yo, B-R, T-R, 6'4", 240 lbs.  3'rd round draft pick in 2012, college(Wake Forest).  4-5 tools.  Tall, muscular, athletic.  Massive strength.  King of Exit Velocities.  Raw power is blunted by flatness in his swing that produces more groundballs and line drives.  Minor league hitting profile is average BA, average BB, High K's, average power, below average speed.

Austin Slater, 24 yo, B-R, T-R, 6'2", 215 lbs.  8'th round draft pick in 2014 out of college(Stanford).  Strong but compact build.  5 average to above average tools.  Hit tool is probably his best which may be his trump card.  Above average raw power is blunted by a flat swing(Stanford?).  Minor league hitting profile is high BA, average BB's, average K's, below average power, average speed.

Chris Shaw, 23 yo, B-L, T-R, 6'4", 235 lbs.  1'st round(Supplemental) draft pick in 2015 out of college(Boston College).  2-3 tools.  Despite similar size numbers, looks shorter and heavier than Mac.  Defense is highly suspect, negative in most scouting reports. Rivals Mac for raw power and swing path makes it more accessible.  Minor league hitting profile is average BA, Average BB's, Average K's, plus power, poor speed.

Steven Duggar, 23 yo, B-L, T-R, 6'2", 195 lbs.  6'th round draft pick in 2015 out of college(Clemson).  5 tools.  Build is lean and athletic, similar to Parker but more compact.  Has CF potential which may elevate him out of the corner OF competition.  Swing had a lot of extraneous movements which have quieted down since turning pro.  Minor league hitting profile is above average BA, high BB's, average K's, below average power, above average speed.

So, let's rank 'em:

Hitting:  1.  Slater  2.  Duggar. 3.  Shaw. 4.  Williamson. 5.  Parker.

Raw Power:  1.  Williamson/Shaw.  3.  Parker.  4.  Slater.  5.  Duggar.

Game Power:  1.  Shaw.  2.  Williamson.  3.  Parker.  4.  Slater.  5.  Duggar.

Running/Speed:  1.  Duggar.  2.  Parker.  3.  Slater.  4.  Williamson.  5.  Shaw.

Throw/Arm:  1.  Parker/Williamson.  3.  Duggar/Slater.  5.  Shaw.

Catch:  1.  Duggar.  2.  Parker.  3.  Slater.  4.  Williamson.  5.  Shaw.

I can see a future Giants OF of Mac Williamson in LF, Steven Duggar in CF, Austin Slater in RF with Jarrett Parker as 4'th OF.  Chris Shaw could be the LF if his defense proves to be better than most analysts seem to think, but I tend to believe his future is at 1B.  Parker might have an edge over Slater in RF in his arm.  Giants desperately need a power masher in LF who can play adequate defense.  I think Mac gives the best potential for both offense and defense while Shaw has a clear edge on offense alone.  AT&T Park requires a lot of range for the RF.  Duggar might have the edge there if he is not quite up to the defensive demands of CF.  Slater just might give you the best all-around game for LF.

How do you break it down?

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Down on the Farm: 9/7/2017

The Cubs took the rubber match of the 3 game AZL Championship Series from the Giants 13-3:

Aaron Bond LF- 2 for 3, BB.
Nathanael Javier 1B- 2 for 4, 2B.
Seth Corry LHP- 2.1 IP, 1 H, 4 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 3 K's.
John Gavin LHP- 1.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 K's.
Olbis Parra RHP- 1.2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K.

-...and thus ended the Giants affiliates minor league season.

Down on the Farm: 9/6/2017

AZL  Giants broke a 5-5 tie in the top of the 9'th inning and held on for a 6-5 win:

Jacob Gonzalez 3B- 2 for 5, 2B.
Kyle McPherson 2B- 1 for 3, BB, SB.
Jeffrey Parra C- 1 for 2, BB.
Nico Giarratono SS- 1 for 3, SB.
Sidney Duprey LHP- 3.1 IP, 0 H, 1 R, 3 BB, 0 K.
Miguel Figueroa RHP- 3.2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K's.
John Russell RHP- 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K's.

-Jacob's double was the only XBH of the game for the Giants and it came on a popup in front of the pitching mound the Cubs whiffed on.
-Figueroa's first batter hit a bases clearing triple to drive in some inherited runs, but he then settled down to hold the Cubs at bay for the next 3 innings.
-John Russell was dominant in Salem-Keizer before being brought down to shore up the AZL Giants postseason pitching.
-Deciding game for the AZL championship tonight.  Jake Greenwalt will reportedly get the start.

Game Wrap 9/6/2017: Giants 11 Rockies 3

Joe Panik had 5 hits and set a franchise record for hits in a 3 game series to lead the Giants to a route in Coors Field.  Key Lines:

Gorkys Hernandez CF- 2 for 6.  BA= .258.  Gorkys is hitting .273 with a .348 OBP since the All-Star break.

Joe Panik 2B- 5 for 6, 2 2B.  BA= .285.  Joe came into the series hitting .267 and came out almost 20 points higher.  In the process, he set a franchise record for hits in a 3 game series with 12 putting him ahead of Fred Lindstrom, Bill Terry and the immortal Mike Benjamin.  This is what makes baseball worth watching even in the most miserable of seasons.

Nick Hundley C-2 for 5, HR(7).  BA= .258.  Hundley has been everything you would want from a backup catcher on a contending team.

Kelby Tomlinson 3B- 2 for 5.  BA= .263.  Game:  Name one thing Pablo does better than Kelby.

Mac Williamson PH- 1 for 1, HR(2).  BA= .238.  I want to see more of Mac, please!

Johnny Cueto RHP- 5 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 7 K's.  ERA= 4.43.  Cueto was terrific using a diving changeup as his kill pitch the first time through the batting order and the elevated FB the second time through per Shawn Estes analysis.  BTW, Shawn Estes is, by far, the most interesting analyst on Giants Postgame Live right now.


Giants head to Chicago to play the ChiSox but get a day off in the Windy City tomorrow.  Stay safe, everybody!  Friday's game features a matchup worth tuning into:  Matt Moore vs Lucas Giolito.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Down on the Farm: 9/5/2017

The AZL Giants dropped game 1 of the AZL championship series to the Cubs 10-4:

Ismael Munguia CF- 3 for 5.
Jacob Gonzalez 3B- 3 for 5.
Aaron Bond LF- 2 for 4.
Kyle McPherson 2B- 2 for 4.
Jose Marte RHP- 6 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 9 K's.
John Gavin LHP- 0.2 IP, 3 H, 4 R, 2 BB, 1 K.

-Munguia is 6 for 10 in 2 postseason games.
-Jacob Gonzalez is 5 for 10 in 2 postseason games.
-All 12 of the Giants hits were singles.
-Jose Marte, who spent most of the summer in Salem-Keizer, was probably the Giants strongest SP option.  Who do they run out there for game 2?
-John Gavin did not give up an ER in the regular season.  As Vin Scully would say, "go figure!"


The rest of the Giants minor league teams' seasons ended on Monday with the end of the regular season.

Game Wrap 9/5/2017: Rockies 9 Giants 6

The Giants put up a pretty good fight but were finally overwhelmed by the Rockies superior firepower and Coors Field.  Key Lines:

Denard Span CF- 2 for 3, 2B, 2 BB.  BA= .269.  Maybe if Span stays hot through the end of the season, he will convince another team they should trade for him.

Joe Panik 2B- 4 for 5, 2B.  BA= .278.  Weird season for Panik who has run very hot and cold.  Here are his monthly BA's:  April- .301, May- .192, June- .356, July- .216, August- .305, Sept- .450.  This was his 3'rd full season and his age 26 season so his peak season could still be in front of him.  Keep him around at least 1 more season.

Buster Posey C- 2 for 5, 2B.  BA= .318.  Buster took a foul tip off his right hand and left the game.  Diagnosis is a contusion of the finger.  What about Shawn Estes?  Monday he was calling out Joe West's strike zone using PitchFx as proof.  Last night talking about Buster's injury he said "that's why a lot of people think he should move out from behind the plate" and "I don't know where he usually holds his right hand, but if it's there, he's just asking for trouble."  LOL.  Stay hot, Shawn Estes!

Mac Williamson PH/RF- 2 for 2.  BA= .220.  Mac's bat woke up in August in Sacramento.  He's 4 for 9 since his callup.

Ty Blach LHP- 5.1 IP, 5 H, 5 R, 2 BB, 2 K's, GO/AO= 7/1.  ERA= 4.81.  Blach took a pretty good game into the 6'th inning, 2 runs on 2 hits allowed.  Then it quickly fell apart facing the 2, 3, 4 hitters, single, double, double, lineout.  Derek Law came in and struck out Trevor story but then went double, single and the Rockies had a 6-2 lead the Giants could never quite overcome.

Reyes Maronta RHP- 0.2 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 1 K.  ERA= 13.50.  Maronta struck out Charlie Blackmon with a 98 MPH heater at the knees on the outside corner.

Roberto Gomez RHP- 0.1 IP, 0 h, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K.  ERA= 0.00.  Gomez got his batter on a lineout but the pitch was 97 MPH.  Gomez and Maronta are like Jack Sprat and his wife.  Maronta makes Pabs look thin and Gomez has to stand twice to cast a shadow.   I don't care what they look like if they can bring the high-90's heat.  Giants need more of that in the bullpen.

Mark Melancon RHP- 0.1 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 0 BB, 1 K.  ERA= 4.50.  Maybe this is the game that will convince Melancon he should just get his surgery out of the way and get ready for next season?


Johnny Cueto tries to salvage a win in the series today facing lefty Kyle Freeland.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Down on the Farm: 9/4/2017

AAA  Sacramento River Cats outslugged the El Paso Chihuahuas 10-9(10 innings):

Steven Duggar CF- 1 for 4, BB.  BA= .261.
Austin Slater RF- 1 for 4, HR(5).  BA= .321.
Chris Shaw LF- 2 for 4, 2 HR(18), BB.  BA= .289.
Jeff Arnold C- 2 for 5, HR(1).  BA= .176.
Juniel Querecuto SS- 1 for 5, HR(1).  BA= .232.
Slade Heathcott PH/RF- 2 for 3, 2 HR(2).  BA= .290.
Reyes Maronta RHP- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K.  ERA= 2.12.

-Cats hit  a total of 7 dingers in the game including 4 in a 5-run 9'th inning to sent the game into extra innings.
-Heathcott's HR in the 10'th was a walkoff game winner.


AA  Richmond Flying Squirrels topped the Bowie Baysox 4-3:

Hunter Cole RF- 2 for 4, 2 HR(7).  BA= .249.
Dylan Davis LF- 1 for 3, HR(10).  BA= .217.
Cory Taylor RHP- 5 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 0 BB, 4 K's.  ERA= 4.30.


High A  Stockton Ports defeated the San Jose Giants 7-3:

Jonah Arenado 3B- 1 for 4, 2B.  BA= .268.


Low A  Augusta Greenjackets beat the Charleston River Dogs 8-2:

Sandro Fabian RF- 4 for 5, 2B.  BA= .277.
Skyler Ewing C- 2 for 4, 2B, HR(3).  BA= .246.
Jose Vizcaino Jr.  1B- 3 for 5, 2 2B.  BA= .262.
Michael Bernal 2B- 2 for 4.  BA= .267.
DJ Myers RHP- 6 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 3 BB, 4 K's.  ERA= 4.37.

-Giants have to be ecstatic over the way Sandro Fabian closed out the season.


AZL Giants came from behind to edge out the Rangers 6-5(semifinal playoff):

Ismael Munguia CF- 3 for 5, 2B, 3B.
Jacob Gonzalez 3B- 2 for 5, 2B.
Diego Rincones DH- 2 for 4, BB.
Andres Angulo C- 1 for 3, BB, SB.
Kyle McPherson 2B- 1 for 3, SF.
Keenan Bartlett RHP- 3 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 4 K's.
Franklin Van Gurp RHP- 4 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 4 K's.
John Russell RHP- 2 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 2 K's.

-Still no Heliot Ramos.
-The other 3 teenagers continue to shine.
-Giants advance to the AZL best of 3 championship round facing the Cubs who dispatched the Dodgers in the other semifinal.

Monday, September 4, 2017

Game Wrap 9/4/2017: Rockies 4 Giants 3

Denard Span and Joe Panik accounted for all the Giants runs.  Chris Stratton and a parade of relievers kept the Giants in the game, but they could not overcome the wind and Joe West in the bottom of the 9'th inning for a tough luck loss.  Key Lines:

Denard Span CF- 3 for 4, 2B, HR(10).  BA= .267.  Span's dinger in the 3'rd inning drove in the Giants 2'nd run.  His double in the 6'th set up the 3'rd as he scored on Joe Panik's single.  His 10'th HR leaves him 1 short of his career high set last season.

Joe Panik 2B- 3 for 4, HR(10).  BA= .272.  Panik seems to be doing a better job of looking for inside pitches and turning on them.  That approach has given him 4 HR's in his last 14 games.  10 ties his career high.

Pablo Sandoval 3B- 0 for 4.  BA= .204.  Not sure how much longer you keep the Pablo audition going.  I guess the only other candidate is Ryder Jones and he's getting all the AB's he can handle at 1B, so it's not like Pabs is blocking anyone right now, but the Giants can't be thinking there is any possibility of him starting 2018 as their 3B, they just can't!  His current 0 for 33 skid is 4 short of Johnny Lemaster's 37 consecutive outs.  Yeah, Johnny Lemaster!

Chris Stratton RHP- 4 IP, 8 H, 3 R, 3 BB, 4 K's, GO/AO= 5/1.  ERA= 4.10.  Not much of a line, but I thought Stratton showed a lot of heart hanging in there and not letting himself and his team get blown out early.  His ability to put the ball on the ground and get a key K kept it close.

Mark Melancon RHP- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K's. ERA= 3.99.  It was reported before the game by Baggs that Melancon will definitely undergo a surgical procedure to relieve something called Exertional Compartment Syndrome, but he wants to keep pitching and have it done early in the offseason.  Recovery time is projected to be 2-3 months.  OK, I understand that he's not going to further injure himself by continuing to pitch and I understand that timetable gives him plenty of time to get ready for next season.  My problem is recoveries do not always follow the schedule.  Why not give yourself an extra month's margin of error?  It's not like he's pitching for anything at this point.

Joe West Umpire- I've never liked Joe West's strike zones, or much of anything about Joe West for that matter.  Today he was the latest poster boy for electronic strike zones.  Early in the game, he was calling pitches 4 inches off the plate strikes.  In the deciding bottom of the ninth, 3 of the 4 pitches Steven Okert threw to Gerardo Parra were well within the PitchFx strike zone.  I won't even argue that PitchFx is the ultimate authority as Shawn Estes was.  West would have called at least 2 of those pitches strikes earlier in the game.  Even Duane Kuiper, who defended West, admitted his strike zone shrunk late in the game.  My problem is I am not sure it shrunk equally for both teams.


Ty Blach faces Giants Killer Tyler Chatwood tomorrow evening in game 2 of the series.


Matt Cain reportedly did not make the trip to Denver to attend to a personal matter.  

Austin Slater will get a callup now that the minor league season is over.  Reyes Maronta may also get a call.

Down on the Farm: 9/3/2017

AAA  El Paso Chihuahuas defeated the Sacramento River Cats 7-3:

Steven Duggar CF- 1 for 2, HR(2), 2 BB.   BA= .262.

-Read over on MCC that Duggar has been playing a sensational defensive CF for Sacramento.  Gotta think he is in the mix for to start in CF next year for the Giants, although he missed so much time this season they might want him to get more seasoning and aim for 2019.


AA  Richmond Flying Squirrels edged out the Bowie Baysox 6-5(7 innings):

CJ Hinojosa SS- 1 for 2, BB.  BA= .265.
Aramis Garcia C- 1 for 3, 2B.  BA= .282.
Dylan Davis LF- 2 for 2, 2B, HR(9), BB.  BA= .217.
Tyler Herb RHP- 6 IP, 8 H, 4 R, 3 BB, 6 K's.  ERA= 2.76.

-Garcia was a relatively late promo to AA.  Giants have no reason to rush him.  I could see him starting next year back in Richmond.
-Disappointing season for Davis who still shows flashes of power.
-I believe Herb is Rule 5 Eligible this offseason, so the Giants have a decision to make on him.  I could see him having a Joe Biagini type career.


AA  Bowie Baysox blanked the Richmond Flying Squirrels 1-0(7 innings):



High A  Stockton Ports outscored the San Jose Giants 6-5:

Ryan Howard SS- 2 for 3, HBP.  BA= .306.
Bryan Reynolds CF- 2 for 4, 2 2B, HR(10).  BA= .312.
Gio Brusa LF- 1 for 4, HR(17).  BA= .239.
Will LaMarche RHP- 2 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 5 K's.  ERA= 3.46.

-The only day Ryan Howard's BA was under .300 was after he went 1 for 7 on Opening Day.  He went 3 for 5 in game 2 of the season and kept the BA above .300 the rest of the way.  A terrific first full pro season.  No reason he should not start next season in Richmond.
-Reynolds surges at the end of the season hitting .359 over his last 10 games.  He was named Team MVP and led the Little Giants in BA, Triples, Walks and OBP.  A great first full pro season.  Expect to see him in Richmond boxscores next season.


Low A  Charleston River Dogs beat the Augusta Greenjackets 6-2:

Sandro Fabian RF- 1 for 4, HR(11).  BA= .272.
Stephen Woods RHP- 4 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 5 BB, 4 K's.  ERA= 2.95.

-Strong finish for Sandro Fabian to cap an impressive age 19 season in one of the toughest hitting environments in baseball.


Short Season  Salem-Kaiser Volcanoes buried the Eugene Emeralds 11-1:

Bryce Johnson CF- 2 for 5, 3B.  BA= .329.
Logan Baldwin LF- 2 for 4, 2B, BB, SB(17).  BA= .342.
Manuel Geraldo SS- 2 for 4.  BA= .301.
Michael Sexton DH- 2 for 4.  BA= .218.
Shane Matheny 3B- 3 for 4, SB(4).  BA= .284.
Peter Lannoo RHP- 6 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 2 K, GO/AO= 11/3.  ERA= 4.28.

-Terrific pro debuts for Johnson and Baldwin.  NWL offensive numbers can be inflated, but it's better to do well than not and they have done very well.
-I really like Geraldo's athleticism but slow starts almost every season have held him back.  He probably has no more than 1 more chance to stick in full season ball.
-Lannoo is a big RHP who was inconsistent as a reliever.  I think this was his first pro start and it looks like he pounded the zone with an effective sinker.


Today is the last day of the minor league regular season.  AZL Giants start their playoff run with a 1 game semifinal against the AZL Rangers.   Baby G's are the only Giants minor league team to make the postseason.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Game Wrap 9/3/2017: Cardinals 7 Giants 3

The Cardinals lineup pounded away at Madison Bumgarner and the Giants and finally wore them down.  Had it not been for 2 spectacular catches by Gorkys Hernandez, it would have been a lot worse.  Key Lines;

Gorkys Hernandez CF- 0 for 3, BB.  BA= .260.  By defensive metrics, Gorkys is not a great defensive OF and maybe he's not.  I'll just say I don't think Denard Span would have made either of those 2 catches today.

Mac Williamson LF- 2 for 4, 2 2B.  BA= .194.  Neither of Mac's doubles led to runs, but hopefully they buy him some more AB's and eventually a higher spot in the lineup.

Madison Bumgarner LHP- 1 for 2, HR(3).  BA= .241.  Pretty sad when the best power hitter on the team is a pitcher.

Tim Fedorowicz C- 1 for 2, HR(1).  BA= .250.  Still wish the Giants could collect a chit or two for a couple of savvy offseason signings, Hundley and Fedex.  Unfortunately, I think they are both FA's at the end of he season so they start from scratch.

Madison Bumgarner LHP- 6 IP, 5 H, 5 R, 2 BB, 5 K's, 3 HR's.  ERA= 3.15.  The ball was jumping out of a very warm AT&T Park and Bum left too many pitches in the fat part of the strike zone.

Matt Moore LHP- 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K.  ERA= 5.42.  Bochy and the Giants may be in the process of reinventing the term "swingman."  A couple of nice innings for Moore out of the pen in garbage time.


The Giants travel to Colorado where Chris Stratton will swing back to the rotation to face Chad Bettis who is back from cancer treatment.


I think it is worth noting the Cardinals lineup had major contributions from 3 rookies, Harrison Bader, Paul DeJong and Jose Martinez, who were nowhere near anyone's Top 100 prospect lists before the season.  In fact, the Cardinals have almost completely turned over their entire starting 8 since 2014, again, without any Top 100 type prospects.  My point?  You don't need a farm system full of Top 100 prospects to build a competitive homegrown team.  With some patience, good decisions and a bit of improved injury luck, I could see the Giants getting at least 2 or 3 players similar to what the Cardinals roll with out of Parker, Williamson, Slater, Duggar, Shaw, Arroyo and Ryder Jones.

Down on the Farm: 9/2/2017

AAA  El Paso Chihuahuas chewed up the Sacramento River Cats 8-1:

Steven Duggar CF- 2 for 5.  BA= .250.
Slade Heathcott RF- 1 for 2, 2B.  BA= .274.

-Heathcott replaced Mac halfway through the game.


AA  Bowie Baysox pounded the Richmond Flying Squirrels 11-2:



High A  San Jose Giants overpowered the Stockton Ports 11-3:

Cristian Paulino 3B- 2 for 5, SB(4).  BA= .395.
Ryan Howard SS- 2 for 5.  BA= .304.
Bryan Reynolds RF- 2 for 4, BB.  BA= .308.
Gio Brusa DH- 2 for 4, 2 HR(16), BB.  BA= .239.
Ronnie Jebavy CF- 2 for 4, HR(4), BB, SB(14).  BA= .253.
Matt Winn C- 2 for 5, HR(6).  BA= .215.
Conner Menez LHP- 6 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 6 K's.  ERA= 4.41.

-With just 2 games left, Ryan Howard's .300 BA looks safe.
-This was Gio Brusa's second 2-homer game in a week as he hit 2 against Stockton on Sunday 8/27.
-Strong finish for Menez who struggled the second half.


Low A  Augusta Greenjackets defeated the Charleston River Dogs 5-1:

Shawon Dunston Jr DH- 2 for 5, HR(2), SB(13).  BA= .246.
Jean Angomas RF- 3 for 5, 2B.  BA= .289.
Jose Vizcaino Jr. 1B- 3 for 3, 2B, BB.  BA= .257.
Michael Bernal 3B- 2 for 4.  BA= .263.
Ashford Fulmer CF- 2 for 4, SB(13).  BA= .240.
Yordy Cabrera RHP- 7 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 7 K's.  ERA= 3.44.
Patrick Ruotolo RHP- 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K's.  ERA= 1.71.


Short Season  Eugene Emeralds topped the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes 8-3:

Orlando Garcia 2B- 1 for 4, HR(6).  BA= .269.


Per Kevin Cunningham at MCC, the AZL Giants are in the postseason which starts today, but they have a first round bye.  First 2 rounds are win 1 or done.  Final round is best of 3.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Game Wrap 9/2/2017: Giants 2 Cardinals 1

It looked like Jeff Samardzija would once again but a hard luck loser, but his effort did not go for naught as the Giants pushed across a tying run in the 9'th inning and won it on Nick Hundley's walk-off dinger in the 10'th.  Key Lines:

Hunter Pence PH/RF- 1 for 1.  BA= .258.  Pence did not start so was available to PH when Mike Matheny brought in a lefty to face Denard Span and Joe Panik to start the 9'th inning.  Pence singled up the middle and Panik sacrificed him to 2B to set up the tying run.

Buster Posey 1B- 1 for 3, BB.  BA= .317.  Don't tell me there is no such thing as lineup protection!  Matheny could have had his lefty reliever walk Buster Posey and get the L-L matchup against Brandon Crawford, except Crawford is red hot and Matheny decided to take his chances with Seung Hwan Oh pitching to Buster.  Think that would have happened if Crawford hadn't been so dang hot lately?  Nope!  Oh completely did his job but Buster is such a great hitter he just reached out flat footed and poked the ball over the 2B head for a Texas League single that drove in Pence from 2B.

Nick Hundley C- 1 for 4, HR(6).  BA= .260.  A lot of things have gone south for the Giants this year but backup catcher is not one of them.  Hope they can find a way to keep Nick for next year, but he'll likely get a starting gig somewhere this winter.

Jeff Samardzija RHP- 7 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 9 K's.  ERA= 4.31.  Welp, that 6-man rotation thing did not last long as Chris Stratton was a late scratch, not because of injury but because he was needed in the bullpen.  Samardzija's start was moved up and he delivered another dominant start, but left the game trailing 1-0.  He didn't get the W, but at least he gave his team a chance to win and they did.

Steven Okert LHP- 0.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K.  ERA= 6.55.  Wonder of wonders, Bochy brought in a lefty reliever to face a lefty and get one out..... and he did!

Sam Dyson RHP- 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K.  ERA= 6.22.  Dyson needed to get back on his horse after getting thrown off in the previous game.  He stayed on this time to earn the W.


Madison Bumgarner is apparently recovered from the flu and will start Sunday's game facing a red hot Luke Weaver.

Down on the Farm: 9/1/2017

AAA  Sacramento River Cats outlasted the Las Vegas 51's 3-2(10 innings):

Roberto Gomez RHP- 5 IP, 7 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 8 K's.  ERA= 4.07.
Reyes Maronta RHP- 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K's.  ERA= 2.25.

-September is looking like a great time to assess whether Maronta is ready to pitch in the biglies.


AA  Richmond Flying Squirrels vs Bowie Baysox postponed.


High A  Stockton Ports smashed the San Jose Giants 12-1:

Cristian Paulino LF- 2 for 4, HR(1).  BA= .406.
Jalen Miller 2B- 1 for 3, 2B.  BA= .226.

-Miller's mini-surge at the end of the season continues.


Low A  Augusta Greenjackets blanked the Charleston River Dogs 1-0:

Jean Angomas LF- 4 for 4, 2B.  BA= .283.
Raffi Vizcaino RHP- 6 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 3 K's.  ERA= 4.98.
Melvin Adon RHP- 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 2 K's.  ERA= 4.42.


Short Season  Eugene Emeralds pounded the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes 12-4:

Bryce Johnson CF- 2 for 4, BB.  BA= .327.
Logan Baldwin RF- 2 for 5.  BA= .341.
Ryan Kirby 1B- 3 for 4, 2B, BB.  BA= .285.
Jason Bahr RHP- 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K's.  ERA= 3.55.
Aaron Phillips RHP- 3.1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K's.  ERA= 4.45.


AZL  Giants defeated the D'Backs 7-4(10 innings):

Ismael Munguia CF- 3 for 4, 3B, BB.  BA= .331.
Mikey Edie DH- 2 for 5.  BA= .394.
Jacob Gonzalez 3B- 2 for 4.  BA= .339.
Nathanael Javier 1B- 1 for 4, HR(1).  BA= .290.
Nico Giarratano 2B/SS- 0 for 2, BB, Sac, SB(8).  BA= .253.
Seth Corry LHP- 0.2 IP, 4 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 0 K.  ERA= 5.55.
Camilo Doval RHP- 2.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 5 K's.  ERA= 3.90.
Jose Marte RHP- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K's.  ERA= 0.00.
John Gavin LHP- 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K's.  ERA= 0.00.

-Not sure why Marte suddenly showed up in a rookie league boxscore.  He was not pitching badly for S-K as recently as 8/28.
-Seth Corry's struggles continue.
-Munguia is another teenager who continues to impress.
Doval continues to put up promising numbers.
Expect to see Gavin starting in SJ next season.