Sunday, March 4, 2018

Spring Training Game Wrap 3/4/2018: Dodgers 9 Giants 3

The Giants lost a lopsided game to the Hated Ones, but that doesn't mean there weren't a few good moments in the game.   The great thing about spring training games is the final score does not count, but individual developments within the game do.  You can almost always find a positive or two.  Key Lines:

Mac Williamson PR/RF- 1 for 2, 2B.  BA= .429.  I don't think Mac has a chance for a 25 man roster spot.  The Giants are going to want him to get regular AB's and barring injury, Pence and McCutchen will be the starting corner OF's.  Mac is making a statement that Giants management will remember when and if something happens on the injury front.  Not that we're hoping for that.

Steven Duggar CF- 1 for 1, HR(3), BB.  BA= .412.  Steven Duggar, on the other hand, does not have a definite veteran starting blocking his path to a 25 man roster spot.  Again, Duggar will either start every day in CF for the Giants or he will do the same in Sacramento, but unlike Mac, he has a real shot at being in the starting lineup for the Giants on Opening Day.  Bochy keeps insisting that Duggar has a path to win the Giants starting CF spot.  If the Giants are truly open to that possibility, they have to be thinking Duggar is winning it at this point.

Gregor Blanco PH/CF- 1 for 2, 2B.  BA= .538.  In the scenario where Duggar wins the starting CF job, Blanco and Austin Jackson would be the reserve OF's.  In the scenario where Duggar goes to Sacramento for more salt, Blanco and Jackson, or Blanco and Gorkys would form a CF platoon.

Jeff Samardzija RHP- 2 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 3 BB, 1 K.  ERA= 8.10.  You know, that is kind of an ugly line, but it's still early in the spring.

Tony Watson LHP- 1 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 0 BB, 0 K. ERA= 18.00.  Was this Watson's first appearance of the spring?

Josh Osich and Derek Law pitched 1 scoreless inning each.


  1. Just a few years ago the OF cupboard was looking pretty grim with last year being brutal. Now we have Duggar who has everything you want at CF, and more because he's got some power to him. Yesterday he made a fantastic catch to get Samardzija out of bases-loaded trouble. A catch that would have hit the ground with pretty much every CFer we've sported in the past four years.

    Williamson's retooled swing has him looking pretty good in the batter's box. And, in the past, he's demonstrated good tools when it comes to the field. And he's in some competition with Shaw who has, over his Spring Training appearances, hit .333 with a .968 OPS including .368 with a 1.113 OPS this year. And, of course, Slater who 'just keeps hitting' and has shown solid fielding and could easily be the #4 OF for the Giants this year.

    I would not be surprised if Slater, Williamson and Shaw all started in AAA, but got to the 25-man fairly early. I wouldn't be surprised to see Slater make the club as the 4th or 5th OFer (which I'd like to see). I think the road is harder for Shaw because he's got more options and less OF experience while Williamson splitting the difference between Slater & Shaw.

    Then we have Jackson and Blanco (and Hernandez, but he seems odd-man out at this point) also competing. And, in baseball, a track-record counts for a lot. And they have track records.

    1. Yeah, OF is becoming pretty exciting for the Giants prospecthounds. Especially with Duggar and Williamson showing improved bats over before (Duggar reported by The Athletic to have redone his batting mechanics with help of Giants, like Belt), plus Shaw's easy power. We might finally get to shut up the Sabean Naysayers complaints about the lack of OF development!

      I had been thinking the Giants were sure to re-sign McCutchen near or at the end of the season, and may still, depending on how our guys perform, but right now, with Duggar hitting so well, and Williamson showing an improved bat, I can see the Giants going into the off-season with Shaw, Duggar, Williamson, plus Slater/Parker and Jackson as our OF, barring signing Harper or another superstar OF, in the off-season. I was thinking the Giants, under Sabean, don't like relying so much on young players (huge variance in performances hurts chances of playoffs), and thus signs Cutch to ensure one good performing vet, with hopes of two vets should they sign Harper.

      But the odds are that one of Pence or Cutch will miss significant playing time, which would open up a starting spot for Williamson to show off his new batting stance, and show what he can now do. If he does as he's doing now, that could mean Cutch gets put on backburner, and maybe we sign in Jan/Feb timeframe, if still available, while pursuing Harper.

      And, yeah, I expect Slater, Mac, Shaw to start in AAA, but I see the 4th OF as Jackson (which the Giants said he was) and the 5th OF as Parker, as he's out of options, and he has actually hit OK so far while play OK defense, and thus they are not letting him go as he still has value (though not trade-able value). Blanco and Hernandez will be depth in AAA, I believe, in case they need to replace Jackson or Parker for some reason.

  2. You mentioned Saturday that Duggar might have a higher ceiling than some people on the Top100s. That made me curious, so I went back to your list synopsis of Duggar as the Giants #3 prospect, but still didn't really see a ceiling identified.

    So, DrB, where do you see his ceiling (low likelihood, but peak possible), in terms of HR, SB, OBP, and defense? I've never really thought of him as anything other than a roleplayer defense first CFer batting 7 or 8 or 9.

    1. IMO, specific projections are kind of silly. I'll say Duggar can be an above average starting MLB CF. As for numbers, I'll pull something out here and say .270/350/400, 35-40 2B, 8-10 3B, 12-15 HR, 15-20 SB. How's that?

    2. Yup, that's what I was asking for. I'm sure we'd all be ecstatic with those numbers. Anything like a Crawford (ok with more speed, less power) from a prime defensive position is gravy.

    3. With Plus-defense in CF, that's a great package - even without such a healthy OBP. However, if the BA dips below .240, then it starts becoming a zero-sum game.

    4. Brandon Crawford in CF with a few more SB's is about right, I think. That's a 3-4 WAR player.

    5. I'd be happy with .250, a handful of HRs and a +10 (or better) DRS. Since 2010 the only 1,000+ inning CFer with a significant positive DRS is Aaron Rowland (+5). What we've mostly had are a bunch of average (at best) guys and:

      Span - 34 DRS
      Pagan - 41 DRS

      Of the two, Span was actually worse. It took Pagan an extra 1500 innings to make that -7 DRS lead.

    6. I like your projection DrB, and agree that it's a bit silly in some respects as well. This aligns well with what I've been reading about Duggar, that he's eventually a lead-off hitter type, with good CF defense, easily 3-4 WAR player.

      I think that's very low on the SB, though, I'm thinking 30-40 SB as his ceiling. And, like Crawford, I think he will touch 20-ish HR level at his peak. But those are quibbles on my part.

      And as you all said, that's great when you add in plus defense. With his good start, if he can continue, I don't see why the Giants won't start the season with him starting in CF, and I don't see him platooning at first, I think they'll give him rope to show what he can do, and will re-adjust as necessary, since Jackson is around.

  3. Law walked his first batter (Taylor) before Utley (0-9) whacked a scorching line drive into the gap that scored Taylor. Although ahead in the count (I think), Law set Utley's pitch up on a Tee with "hit-me" all over it. He did well after that.
    It's ST for the umps/scorers, too: on Sandoval's throw Panik was clearly on the bag putting the runner out, and Williamson's throw should have been caught by Calixte.
    Tomlinson missed a double or triple by a couple inches before being called out on strikes.
    Tuesday is OFF, as in NO GAME -- is that to make decisions and reduce the numbers? With 2 more off days until the opener, still 21 days of work for the pitchers, Posey, Pence, and Jackson as well as Crawford who hasn't been playing defense much.
    This Spring has not been kind to Parker -- another 2 K's. He needs a calm atmosphere to reset and clear his head -- he's not this bad. I'd guess Giants are checking to see if he'll clear waivers so they can keep him. They shouldn't use up roster space when Williamson, Duggar, Blanco, Slater, and even Hernandez and Shaw (and Jensen) have outperformed him for the last 2 OF positions. There's not even room in Sacramento for all the OFers who have played well.

  4. Parker has pretty much spent his career trying to make the majors but not quite sticking. Wonder how long one can keep that up. Even if he thinks he's giving it his all, a part of him may have checked out. He sees there is more competition at ST. I dunno; just thinking out loud.

    1. You make a good point. But instead of checking out, I think Parker sees the competition, and perhaps is trying to hard right now to make the team, and thus struggling, much as he did the first time he came up. He does best loose and freely swinging without thinking.

      I still think he makes the team as 5th OF, as he's out of options, and the Giants don't have any LH power options off the bench, unless Pablo starts showing his power again. And even if Pablo does, I think the Giants will want a LH other OF to complement Jackson, and between Parker and Blanco, Parker gives another dimension with his power, whereas Blanco is the LH version of Jackson, a duplicate for the most part. Shaw and Duggar, other LHH, they will want playing full-time, either in majors or AAA, wherever they end up.

    2. Parker 29 yo, out of options, what will the Giants do?
      3-year SF slash in 135 games: .257/.335/.456
      4-year AAA slash in 231 games: .261/.364/.454
      Another 29 yo
      4-year AAA Slash in 454 games: .265/.328/.502
      In January, Giants signed the second guy as a FA to a minor league contract. He had been released by his last major league team in 2016.
      Why would any major league team claim Parker at this juncture if he was DFA'd? Don't they have to give him a contract? Do they have to put him on their 40-man roster? What happens?

    3. That's an interesting, thought provoking post, OGC.

  5. I can see some team taking a flyer on him. He's cheap and has some power. That said, if the difference of us making the playoffs is having him on our roster or not, we are in big trouble.

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