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Giants in review

Last October, I suggested the Giants do a whole lot of nothing in the off-season. Clearly, they wouldn’t be in the World Series if I was their GM.

However, I did get a couple things right:
– suggesting Posey start the season with the team. they would have won a game or two more with Posey over Molina – however I can’t fault their handling too much. The kid’s done great.
– pick up the option on Sanchez.
– leave the rotation alone.

Some things I got wrong:
– Ryan Garko. I suggested resigning him, seeing no obvious upgrade available. He managed 38 plate appearances this year.
– I also suggested signing Nick Johnson, who was injured most of the year.
– I suggested Panda at first base as an option, but then we wouldn’t have Huff’s great year – and Pablo had a rough sophomore slump
– Nate Schierholtz. The “wrongness” here is debateable, as Nate didn’t get many at bats, but again showed great OF defense.
– Rowand. I expected a bounce back season.
– Rentaria. I expected a bounce back season.
– Bowker. I still think they gave up on him too soon and I hope he has success in pittsburgh.
– I didn’t mention Andres Torres, who was the giants best position player this year (and kept Rowand out of the lineup).

The giants would definitely have missed the playoffs, in my scenario.
So for the first time – Bravo Sabean.
This is a fun team to watch, most of the time.

San Francisco Giants Off-season

What should the giants do in the off-season?

Running through the positions:

C. Posey/Whiteside – let Posey take his lumps. He may not be ready. I’m fine with that. He’s a smart kid. Split time with the veteran. I would not put Posey in the middle of the lineup right away, despite how much I like the bat/eye.

1B. Garko – Yes, in limited at bats Garko stunk it up. He’s better than that.

However, I would possibly pursue Nick Johnson depending on his arbitration status (type B?). I would not give up a first round pick to sign Nick Johnson – a second rounder perhaps. The glove and the batting eye would be put to great use here in SF.

2B. Freddy Sanchez – pick up his option, assuming his ailments have improved. No need to spend 8 million for an injured bench warmer. But I like the bat when he’s healthy.

SS. Uribe/Renteria – I’m hoping Renteria can have a strong bounce back year next year. I would never have signed these two, and I prefer a shortstop who causes fewer outs at the plate and more in the field.

I’d prefer Marco Scutaro, but he’s type A, and I wouldn’t give up the pick. Toronto will certainly offer arbitration.

3B. Pablo Sandoval – if the Panda can stick at 3rd, I’d leave him here (I believe there was either some elbow or shoulder soreness toward the end of the season). If he’s got to move to first base, I wouldn’t spend on a first baseman. And in that case, I would pursue Joe Crede, if the price is right.

RF. Nate Schierholtz
If he can approach 800 ops, he’s close to an all star with his defense.
Do nothing but hand him the job.

CF. Rowand
Time for a really good year, and if I’m right about his timing, try to trade him after the good season.

LF. Bowker
Great AAA season, with more walks than strikeouts.
I’m really impressed.
Do nothing but give him the keys.

Realistically, I expect us to do next to nothing with the position players.
Let go of Winn, Uribe, Molina – possibly keep uribe if he is not expensive or long term – short term contracts only.

Starting Pitching

Tim Lincecum
I’m ok with Timmy

Yep, Cain too.

I think he can keep doing what he did this season – which isn’t bad at all. Seemed to get a little mojo back this season.

J. Sanchez
Was amongst the most difficult pitchers to hit in the national league last season, with improving control as the season went on. Just give him the ball.

Randy Johnson/Joe Martinez or Madison Bumgarner
I’ve always enjoyed watching Randy pitch, but I would prefer to give the spot to Joe Martinez until Bumgarner is ready. Martinez I expect to be very capable, as he consistently put up low WHIP numbers. Why not give him a shot until the kid is ready, assuming that isn’t spring training. In which case, Martinez can be a long guy out of the pen or emergency starter.

I’m ok with the bullpen as is.
Our closer is too exciting sometimes, but I’m ok with it.

Like the A’s, I would recommend the Giants do a lot of nothing.
Don’t tinker Sabean – unless you can upgrade SS/CF – but I doubt that considering those two were your most recent big free agent signings.

Giants on Twitter:

Jonathan Sanchez of the SF Giants

San Francisco Giants lefty, Jonathan Sanchez
San Francisco Giants lefty, Jonathan Sanchez

Earlier this summer, J. Sanchez of the San Francisco Giants threw the first no-hitter in San Fran since the 70’s.

Before that game, he was having a rough season, and in the offseason was rumored to be a trade subject.
Today, he’s proving to be one of the toughest pitchers to hit in the national league.

Still a bit wild, with more than 80 walks – but the second half of the season his walk rates have gone down while his strikeout rates have gone up.
A rotation of:

1. Lincecum – (.208 ’09 BAA ranks 2nd in the NL)
2. Cain – (.235 ’09 BAA ranks 11th in the NL)
3. Sanchez – (.222 ’09 BAA ranks 5th in the NL)
4. Zito – (.250 ’09 BAA ranks 19th in the NL)
5. Bumgarner (the rookie)

Sounds great to me for next year (making sure to limit Madison’s innings).
4 of the top 20 hardest pitchers to hit in the national league reside in San Francisco.

Sabean should let Bowker have LF – cheap and might be the big bat we need to go with Sandoval. If we can get reasonable production out of the non-Sandoval position (either 3b or 1b) and Renteria has a bounce-back season at the plate, the Giants could have an average offense to go with their outstanding pitching – and that could lead to a title. And with fortune, Buster Posey has a fine rookie season next year.

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