Sunday, March 11, 2018

Spring Training Game Wrap 3/10/2018: Giants 11 Angels 7; Giants 9 Angels 8

Giants hitters overcame disappointing performances by their top 2 pitching prospects to sweep a split-squad doubleheader.


Brandon Belt, Jarrett Parker and Nick Hundley all went deep to overcome 5 runs allowed by SP Andrew Suarez in an 11-7 spring training win in Scottsdale.  Key Lines:

Joe Panik 2B- 1 for 3, BB, SB(1).  BA= .333.  SB's are probably the least important skill for a leadoff hitter.  Panik is almost perfect for the role in every other respect and he even stole a base in this one.

Brandon Belt 1B- 2 for 4, 2B, HR(2).  BA= .440.  Belt's dinger on Friday was an Arizona HR.  This one was crushed and a HR in any ballpark.  Great spring so far for The Belter.

Nick Hundley C- 3 for 4, 2 2B, HR(2).  BA= .467.  The Giants need a great backup catcher as Buster Posey's playing time at the position starts to wind down.  Hundley was a rare bright spot last year and he's having a stupendous spring.

Jarrett Parker RF- 2 for 4, HR(2).  BA= .233.  Parker is not giving up his roster spot without a fight.  personally, I would rather have Parker coming off he bench with Williamson starting everyday in Sacramento as I think Williamson has more longterm power potential.  It may be all moot if Duggar wins the CF job with Austin Jackson and Gregor Blanco serving as the 4'th and 5'th OF's.

Steven Duggar CF- 1 for 2, Assist(3B).  BA= .286.  Duggar broke his 0'fer with a single and added to his defensive rep with an assist at 3B.

Andrew Suarez LHP- 4 IP, 5 H, 5 R, 1 BB, 2 K's.  ERA= 9.00.  Suarez shows pretty convincingly he needs to go to Sacramento for some more salt.

Julian Fernandez RHP- 1 IP, 1 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 2 K's.  ERA= 38.57.  Disappointing follow up to his impressive inning in his previous appearance.


Tyler Beede ran into a BABIP buzzsaw but Mac Williamson had a big day to help the Giants road squad outscore the Angels 9-8 in Tempe.  Key Lines:

Kelby Tomlinson SS- 2 for 3, BB, 2 SB(2).  BA= .292.  The reserve middle IF role should be Kelby's to lose.  He's not losing it so far.

Kyle Jensen 1B- 1 for 2, 2 BB.  BA= .389.  Jenson's sensational spring continues.  Unfortunately, there is a roster numbers crunch and they don't work in his favor.

Pablo Sandoval 3B- 1 for 3, SF.  BA= .348.  Pablo Sandoval is one big reason why Kyle Jensen won't end up on the Opening Day roster.

Mac Williamson DH- 3 for 4, 3B, HR(4).  BA= .424.  Huge game for Mac. The dinger reportedly cleared the batter's eye wall in CF.  Mac is definitely getting the ball in the air more this spring where the triple digit exit velocity can create more dingers.  See discussion for Jarrett Parker above for roster analysis.  Only realistic path to an Opening Day roster spot is probably an injury to either Pence or Cutch in which case Mac should be the starting replacement.

Josh Rutledge 2B- 3 for 3, 2B.  BA= .402.  Rutledge is having a terrific spring.  There is probably room for just 2 Inf reserves, and Kelby and Pabs are ahead of him on the depth chart.

Tyler Beede RHP- 2.1 IP, 8 H, 6 R, 0 BB, 1 K.  ERA= 12.27.  Beede looked good through the first out of the 3'rd inning, then gave up 7 consecutive singles.  It was definitely a bad BABIPing, but he had given up a couple of loud outs in the second inning and lack of a strikeout pitch hurt him badly.  Mike Trout's 2 hits might have jammed lesser batters, but he was able to pull his arms in and get enough barrel to hit line drives to the OF.  Beede needs to go to Sacramento and work on a put away pitch.

Steven Okert LHP- 0.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K. ERA- 1.92.  Okert allowed one of Beede's runners to score, but then got out of the 3'rd inning.

Josh Osich LHP- 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K's.  ERA= 0.00.  The O'Boys are probably both headed to Sacramento and will likely ride the Sacramento-SF shuttle all summer.


Fantasy Focus:  Around the League

Rich Hill, SP, Dodgers- 4 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 4 K's.  ERA= 1.29.

Devin Mesoraco, C, Reds- 1 for 3, HR(1).  BA= .300.  Deep sleeper alert.  After several lost seasons to injury, Mesoraco seems to be healthy again.

Sal Romano, SP, Reds- 4 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 7 K's.  ERA= 3.00.  Another deep sleeper.  Romano pitched well for the Reds last year and has 15 K's in 12 IP, so far this spring.  I had never heard of him before looking up today's boxscores.  Impressive size at 6'5", 270 lbs.

Mike Minor, SP/RP, Rangers- 4 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K's.  ERA= 2.84.  Another sleeper.  Minor is a former first round draft pick who excelled as a multi-inning reliever last year.  The Rangers signed him with the idea of making him a SP again.

Brent Suter, SP,  Brewers- 4 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 K's.  ERA= 0.00.  Another sleeper and another guy I had never heard of before.  Suter had a 3.42 ERA in 81.2 IP last year.

Lucas Giolito, SP, White Sox- 4 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 8 K's.  ERA= 3.00.  Post-hype sleeper.  Did you know that Giolito had a 2.38 ERA in 45.1 IP, for the ChiSox last year?

Kyle Hendricks, SP, Cubs- 4 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 0 BB, 7 K's.  ERA= 4.00.

Dallas Keuchal, SP, Astros- 3.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 5 K's.  ERA= 3.38.

Nate Eovaldi, SP, Rays- 3 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 3 K's.  ERA= 1.42.

Vince Velasquez, SP, Phillies- 4 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K's.  ERA= 3.52.

Andrew Heaney, SP, Angels- 3.1 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 6 K's.  ERA= 5.59.  Heaney looked sharp agains the Giants spring travel squad.

Mike Foltynewicz, SP, Braves- 4 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K.  ERA= 0.00.  Folty struggled last year, but still has the raw talent to be a frontline pitcher.


  1. Mac’s homer was a monster shot on a rainy day where the ball wasn’t carrying as well as normal. His triple was absolutely hammered oppo high off the wall and he made it easy.

  2. Williamson: I saw the replay of Mac's HR. It was over the batter's eye wall which is at least 10' behind the CF wall at the 420 mark.
    I mean, it was a WOW-Aaron-Judge-esque home-run. Honestly, with his new swing and already decent defense and strong arm... I think I'd have Williamson on speed dial if I were Evans.

    Duggar: He's doing everything he needs to do to win that CF job.

    Beede: I agree that he needs an 'out' pitch.

  3. I wonder if the Giants would just decide the end is here with Pence? He's already a sunk cost, is not part of the future, and the Giants appears to have some other options. Really, just going by putting the best 25 on the roster, I am not sure he is deserving at this time.

    Billy Baseball

    1. Like most clubs, I think they're going to see if they can get one bite of that salary apple.

    2. I second that - numerous OF'ers having great ST here - painful to see Pence decline like this.

      Manegement - be diplomatic - but please omit Pence from the 25 Roster.

    3. I'll be surprised if Pence does not get at least 4-6 weeks to prove he's done and Williamson is no lock to be better in the short term, but I hear what you are saying. I'm not sure Pence is even an asset on D in LF anymore.

    4. All the whining about Pence, and it turns out he was trying out some new stance for the team. He switches back and gets a knock then a grand slam...

    5. Not sure it was whining, it was just pointing out the fact the he was having a bad spring on the tail of a bad year. I don't think it is unreasonable to be concerned about an older guy maybe being on the decline. I'd still give him a very short rope as I am not sure I fully buy it is because of a new stance. We will see.

      Billy Baseball

    6. That's the thing, people keep on pointing to his 2017 stats and call him declining, but he hit .282/.347/.451/.799 in his last 54 games played (third of season), with 7 HR in 195 AB, roughly 20-25 HR seasonal rate. If that is a decline, I'll take it for a full season.

      But that's the rub, he hasn't played a full season in a while. His problem to me is not decline due to aging, his problem was getting injured early on and then coming back too soon, before he got his batting swing back, and so we suffered with his bat for a while until he found his stroke again. The Giants just seem to have this issue with older guys (like Durham), where they keep them around hoping he heals or bring them back to the majors before they get back into baseball shape again, and finding their stroke in the minors instead of the majors.

      What I'm hoping for, beyond Pence being healthy all season (possible, after all these years, it's a contract year), is that when he's injured, they take him out immediately and bring up one of our young guys and give him 10 days of starts or more, and then rehab Pence in San Jose or Sacramento (whoever is playing at home at the time) until he finds his batting stroke again, before he gets back on the major league roster. That gives our young guys opportunity to find their MLB stroke with consistent playing time, while not having to suffer through Pence finding his stroke and getting into playing shape while in the majors.

    7. Part of his problem being injured could be due to him aging, I don't think they are necessarily exclusive. Same with his inability to recover or thinking he is and coming back too soon but his body has other ideas. I also don't think it is a matter of giving these guys more AB's in the minors either, they are just getting older and their bodies don't/can't perform at the same level generally.

      Like you said, the Giants have seen this play out many times, holding instead of cutting bait. To me this is also strategic as I think we do have younger guys with more upside that will be able to probably replicate whatever Pence gives us at his current age and condition. I'd rather see what they can do at this point although I am ok with giving Pence a little rope if need be.

      Billy Baseball

    8. Definitely the hammy is related to age, but given that he hits well given time to prepare himself, I would not say he has declined due to aging, it was due to improper preparation for him to return to the MLB roster, because he was fine after some time in his return to MLB action last season. It was also due to the Giants allowing him to continue playing when he's injured, again not age related, they could have just sent him to DL instead.

      This should not be problem this year with Mac hitting so well, plus Shaw is getting close as well.

  4. Suarez's outing was disappointing coming against the Halos B lineup. Beede might benefit going to AAA. He missed the last few weeks in 2017 due to injury. Mac needs to play everyday somewhere. Although Curt Young is a good pitching coach, the Rags dismissal still doesn't seem right to me after all the successful seasons he's been a part of. I have Lucas Gioloto on my fantasy team, he's intriguing but wondering if I should waiver pickup a Ivan Nova to replace him, who is more of a sure thing.


    1. I always like to have 2-3 high risk, high upside guys on my fantasy squad. If the alternative is Nova, I'd hang onto Giolito until he proves to you he's not going to break out this year.

    2. I agree that Rags dismissal didn't feel right after all his years of success, but I would add that I've been disappointed that Samardzija has been so up and down the past two seasons. I was expecting one year of experimentation followed by a year of return to good pitching, but it became basically two years of experimentation, where he was great in that last third of 2017 and hopefully building off of that in 2018. I feel more hopeful that Shark can have a good season in 2018 because Young was his coach the year he did great, and hopefully knows the secret to unleashing Shark on MLB batters in 2018 and beyond, his experimenting with new pitches notwithstanding.

      Also, the ups and downs of the young pitchers - Law, Okert, and Osich - has been disappointing as well. Law should have been solidifying a spot in the bullpen in 2017 and Okert should have been winning a spot in the bullpen, as well as Osich. Given Rags experience as a closer, I would have thought he would have been able to coax good performances out of them in 2017, but all of the stumbled badly. I can understand Osich, because he has a long injury history, but Law and Okert had great K/BB ratios in the upper minors, and should have been much better.

  5. As much as many of you are falling in love with the longball, gotta kp in mind this is Arizona air. Both Parker & Slater have already proved they can hit MLB pitching in the Belle against scouting reports. Mac Will was extremely smart to get some new coaching but Parker is pretty much on the squad since they would have to DFA him. Duggar also hasn't seen the daily rigor of top tier pitching. Arroyo cooled off last year once they attacked him & I believe his bat is the real deal

  6. Did you read about Sandoval's shoulder injury on The Athletic (Baggarly)? Apparently he was told then that it would take two full years for him to heal, which is roughly around now. If he's hitting as well as he was in his Panda days, he's a great bat to have off the bench as he could hit both LHP as well as RHP, and especially if we make it to the World Series, where he becomes our DH.

    It's noted that he's just happy to be here and a great teammate this spring, but if he's healthy, I wonder if he'll force his way off the team to get to a starting role for the 2019 season, or if he'll just stay as happy.