Archive for the SF Giants Rumors category.

No, Thank You. I’d Rather Not Trade For Jeff Samardzija

Posted on June 23rd, 2014 by admin in SF Giants Rumors

 

Jeff Samardzija Cubs

Jeff Samardzija Cubs – Photo Credit: Mike LaChance

A few weeks back, I wrote about potential trade targets for the San Francisco Giants. James Shields, Jeff Samardzija, and Jed Lowrie. One of them was more obvious than the others, and that same one has recently had a number of articles and news pieces surface regarding him and the San Francisco Giants. Yes, we’re talking about Samardzija. I was a supporter of bring Samardzija to the Giants in my last article.

And I take back everything I said.

Samardzija is having a great year, there’s no denying that. Over his first 15 games in 2014 he’s thrown 97 innings and sports a 2.60 ERA and 1.206 WHIP with an 8.4 K/9. Those ERA and WHIP are on pace to be the best of his career, and not just by a little. Samardzija’s holds a career 3.96 ERA and 1.33 WHIP.  

So maybe, you might think, he’s really taken steps forward, and this is going to be a career year for him. This improvement is legit, you say. Maybe you buy it.

But you know what? I don’t.

Samardzija has a history of starting strong and then falling off as the season goes on. And it really isn’t hard to see. In April and May of 2013, Samardzija started 11 games. He totaled 72.2 innings with a 2.86 ERA, 1.05 WHIP and an awesome 9.95 K/9. But his numbers from June till the end of the year (22 starts)? 141 innings, 5.10 ERA, 1.50 WHIP and a (still good, but not as good) 8.55 K/9.

He’s already on pace for that again this year. Let’s take a look at the numbers side-by-side.

April/May (11 starts) of 2014: 1.68 ERA, 1.06 WHIP, 7.68 K/9
June – Sept (4 starts) of 2014: 5.73 ERA, 1.68 WHIP, 10.6 K/9

Samardzija is not as good as his number say they are. Everyone wanted to talk about trading him prior to the deadline in 2013 because of his outstanding numbers. Right around the start of July he became, at best, average.

Still not so sure? 2012, side-by-side again.

April/May (10 starts) of 2012: 3.09 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, 9.14 K/9
June – Sept (18 starts) of 2012: 4.48 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, 9.35 K/9

Sure, he started to strike out more guys. But there’s a trend here – and it seems to be trending in the wrong direction. The gap is widening between how Samardzija starts the year and how he ends it. He could very easily post a 4.5+ ERA with a 1.40 WHIP and a 9.0 K/9 for the rest of 2014.

Do you know what a 4.50 ERA, 1.40 WHIP, 9.0 K/9 pitcher looks like?

It looks like Tim Lincecum.

Okay, okay, fine. Samardzija will probably be better than Lincecum, but are you sure? His numbers don’t say he will be, and even if he is, it very likely won’t be by much. And is this the guy you all want to trade for as the savior in 2014.

Are you sure? Are you really, really sure? Especially when it is going to cost you – at minimum – two of your top prospects? When it’s going to cost you Kyle Crick and Edwin Escobar.

Listen, I’m all for the Giants making a move to bring someone in. I’m mostly happy to sell the farm and future for the here and now, but Samardzija is not the guy. His history shows it. He’s 29. He’s a right-hander. He starts seasons stronger than he finishes. These are all facts, and it’s beyond me that no one else seems to notice! Either that or no one cares – I don’t know which would be worse.

I predicted early on that the Giants would not make the playoffs this year. I noted that the Tim Hudson signing was a “bridge signing” – he’s here to help bring in the new wave of Giants pitchers. Crick, Escobar, Chris Stratton, this new kid Tyler Beede – they are the future and they’re almost here. We just have to be patient.

The Giants are off to a great start, but we’re already seeing them come back down to earth. They’re not a “best team in baseball” kind of team. Samardzija? Sure, he might help. Or he might just be another Lincecum. In any case, but he’s still not going to make them a “best team in baseball” kind of team.

And giving up two top prospects would be a rough way to find out.

Don’t forget to visit our SF Giants Rumors Facebook page to share your thoughts on all the latest Giants News/Rumors!

~Robert Barsanti

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Get To Know The Giants First Two Picks In The 2014 MLB Draft

Posted on June 6th, 2014 by admin in SF Giants Rumors

2014 MLB DraftLast night was the start of the 2014 First-Year Player Draft. Your San Francisco Giants had the 14th pick in the draft and selected Vanderbilt University right-handed pitcher Tyler Beede. This was also Baseball America’s projected pick for the Giants in their mock draft.

This isn’t the first time that the 6-foot-4, 215 pound right-hander has been drafted. Beede is just the 18th player selected in the first round of two different June Drafts, as he was also picked 21st overall by the Toronto Blue Jays out of Lawrence Academy in Auburn, Massachusetts in 2011. Beede didn’t come to terms with the Blue Jays so he went off to Vanderbilt University.

In the 2nd round, with the 52nd overall pick in the 2014 draft, the Giants selected Aramis Garcia (catcher) out of Florida International University. Garcia batted .368 with 34 runs, 14 doubles, 8 home runs and 37 RBI’s this past season.

The Giants haven’t seemed to miss lately with any pitchers that they draft early. What are your thoughts on their first two picks (RHP & Catcher).

Don’t forget to visit our SF Giants Rumors Facebook page to share your thoughts on all the latest Giants News/Rumors!

~Steven Robles

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SF Giants Rumors: Statement Series in Colorado

Posted on May 20th, 2014 by admin in SF Giants Rumors

 

Photo Courtesy of Steven Robles

Photo Courtesy of Steven Robles

The San Francisco Giants hit the road for a 3-game series showdown with the Colorado Rockies. I know it’s only May, but the Giants need to go into Colorado and make it a statement series.

The Rockies are only 3 games behind the Giants in the NL West, and seem to beating up everyone’s pitching staff that they face. They currently rank 1st in runs (249), batting average (.299), on base percentage (.346) and slugging percentage (.494). Which means the Giants pitchers need to come ready to pitch and try not to miss their locations or these Rockies will be feasting all over it.

On the flip side, the Rockies pitching aren’t on the same level as their hitting. They’re currently ranked 22nd in ERA (4.09), 18th in quality starts (22), 17th in WHIP (1.33), and 18th in batting average against (.254). This means the Giants big bats should be capable of putting up some good numbers in this 3-game set.

Thus far the Giants and Rockies have faced each other 6 times in this young season. The first 3 games were in San Francisco, and the 2nd 3-game set was in Colorado. Both teams handled business at home against each other by winning 2-out-of-three on their home field. Which means it’s an even 3-3 record between the two teams.

Don’t forget to visit our SF Giants Rumors Facebook page to share your thoughts on all the latest Giants News/Rumors!

~Steven Robles

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Three Trade Targets for the 2014 San Francisco Giants

Posted on May 9th, 2014 by Robert in SF Giants Rumors

 

Picture courtesy of Marko Realmonte

Picture courtesy of Marko Realmonte

The San Francisco Giants are off to a strong start for the 2014 season, sitting at 22-13. Their record, is good for first in the NL West, and is also tied for the best record in the National League. The success is due in large part to much improved offense and a strong bullpen.

Led by an emerging Brandon Belt (.266/.316/.516 with 9 HRs), new addition Michael Morse (.294/.33/.587 with 8 HRs) and Buster Posey (.291/.376/.500 with 7 HRs) the team is currently third in the majors in homeruns (42) and tenth in runs (144) and slugging (.404).

The bullpen has been just as, if not more, effective. Closer Sergio Romo is a perfect 10/10 in save opportunities with a 1.49 BAA and a .70 WHIP. He and the guys setting him up have a combined 1.81 ERA, .202 BAA and .96 WHIP, all bests in the majors among bullpens. They also happen to be tied for second for wins (10, five of which belong to Jean “The Pitching Machine” Machi).

These two strengths have more than made up for any flaws the Giants have – biggest of which on the Concern-O-Meter is starting pitching.

The Giants starters are averaging less than 6 IP per start. At that rate, that excellent bullpen (made up of more than a few older guys) is going to wear down quickly. The biggest offenders have been Ryan Vogelsong (5 1/3 IP/start) and Tim Lincecum (5 IP/start).

(Yes, Vogelsong is coming off a fantastic outing in LA last night, but that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t look into the following options)

In order to protect the bullpen and strengthen the starting rotation, here are two trade targets for the Giants.

1. Jeff Samardzija, SP (R), Chicago Cubs

Jeff Samardzija of the Chicago Cubs is a consistent pitcher capable of throwing deep into games. Over the last two seasons (his only full seasons as a starting pitcher), he averaged over 6 1/3 IP/start, and reached 213 2/3 last season. He is also capable of striking out batters, with a career 8.5 K/9 (9.1 over the last two seasons). He would make a very strong addition to the starting rotation, replacing either Lincecum or Vogelsong. Samardzija will also not be a free agent until 2016, giving the Giants an extra year of control) albeit an arbitration year).

As we’ve seen over the last few years, the Cubs are willing to shop their starting pitchers in return for minor league talent. In 2012, the Cubs traded away starting pitchers Ryan Dempster and Paul Maholm to the Texas Rangers and Atlanta Braves, respectively. In 2013, they traded starting pitchers Scott Feldman and Matt Garza to the Baltimore Orioles and the Rangers, again respectively. In return for all of these arms, the Cubs acquired eight minor league players, five pros and a lot of cash. What’s to say the Giants couldn’t do the same?

The Cubs have a lot of talent in their farm system (seven players are listed in the top 100) but only two of them are pitchers. They also have a very weak bullpen. There is also no real catching prospect for the Chicago Cubs. If the Giants can scrape together a deal that includes one of their young starters, a near-ready bullpen arm and a catcher, this seems like something the Cubs would do.

Suggested Trade: Edwin Escobar (SP, expected 2014), Jean Machi (RP) and Hector Sanchez (C) for Jeff Samardzija.

2. James Shields, SP (R), Kansas City Royals

James Shields, currently of the Kansas City Royals is another interesting trade target for the Giants to consider. Shields is a career 3.76 ERA pitcher with and averages 228 innings pitched per year. The kind of stability his arm – he hasn’t made less than 31 starts since his rookie year – would bring to the Giants starting rotation would be invaluable, and that league-leading bullpen would have more rest to stay league-leading. Like Samardzija, Shields also brings strikeouts, averaging 7.7 K/9 over his nine year career.

The downside to Shields is that he will be a free agent in 2015, and the last thing Giants fans and the organization want is another Zack Wheeler/Carlos Beltran situation.

Kanasas City will likely be hard-pressed to part with their ace pitcher as it is, especially if they plan on making a run at the playoffs like they did in 2013. But, if they start to fall behind (and with their current offensive woes – 22nd in runs, 23rd in RBIs, 20th in OBP – they likely will) then shopping their stud pitcher in his contract year might be a worthwhile endeavor. The Royals also have Kyle Zimmer, the 23rd overall prospect, ready to make his Major League Debut this year.

Beyond Zimmer, though, the Royals don’t have many pitchers ready until 2016. Again, with their depth at the position on the minors, the Giants could build a package around a young stud arm, maybe including a young second basemen to takeover for the aging Omar Infante.

Suggested Trade: Chris Stratton (SP, expected 2015) and Joe Panik (2B, expected 2014) for James Shields.

3. Jed Lowrie, SS, Oakland Athletics

This one is different than the above, because it addresses a non-pitching issue that the Giants have. Who is their second baseman? Brandon Hicks has been filling in admirably, but he is not the answer long term. Joaquin Arias is a proven back-up, but nothing more. Ehire Adrianza is a slightly lesser version of Arias.

Jed Lowrie, in his first full season (before 2013, he didn’t break 400 Abs), slashed .290/.344/.446 with 15 homeruns. That is right in line with, if not better, than what Marco Scuatro provided in 2013.

Lowrie is a natural shortstop, but with Crawford, the Giants would shift him into their everyday second base role. He could bat second or seventh in the lineup, and would very nearly complete the Giants lineup from 1-8.

I’m not entirely sure what the A’s would want in return – they have a solid major league team and a strong farm system – so this might be more of a stretch in terms of the teams lining up for a trade, but it’s still a target I would be looking into if I were running the show.

Suggested Trade: You tell me.

All of the above are targets that this writer thinks are worth exploring. They aren’t cheap targets, but if it’s the difference between a championship and watching the dodgers in October, well, it’s one worth taking.

October 2014 SF Giants Postseason Lineup

1. Angel Pagan, CF (S)
2. Jed Lowrie, 2B (S)
3. Brandon Belt, 1B (L)
4. Buster Posey, C (R)
5. Michael Morse, RF (R)
6. Pablo Sandoval, 3B (S)
7. Hunter Pence, RF (R)
8. Brandon Crawford, SS (L)

Madison Bumgarner, SP
Matt Cain, SP
Tim Hudson, SP
James Shields, SP
Jeff Samrdzija, SP

Jeremy Affeldt, LHP
Javier Lopez, LHP
Tim Lincecum, RHP
Yusiermo Petit, RHP
Juan Gutierrez, RHP
Santiago Casilla, RHP
Sergio Romo, Closer

Joaquin Arias, SS/3B/2B
Brandon Hicks, 2B
Andrew Susac, C
Gregor Blanco, OF
Juan Perez, OF

 

~Robert Barsanti

 

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SF Giants Rumors: Good Road Trip, But It’s Not Over With Yet

Posted on May 9th, 2014 by admin in SF Giants Rumors

 

Photo Courtesy of Jesse Montellano

Photo Courtesy of Jesse Montellano

The San Francisco Giants are in the midst of a 10-game road trip. They’re currently 5-2 on the trip with 3 more games to go before they can head back home. The trip started off in Atlanta where the Giants swept the three game set with the Atlanta Braves. That was the first time the Giants have swept the Braves in Atlanta since 1988.

The Giants then went on to face the Pittsburgh Pirates. It started off with a nice comeback win in game one, but then the G-men dropped the next two games to lose the series. This put the Giants a 4-2 with four more games to go on this road trip.

Now the Giants are in 4 game series with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Game one was pretty much what we expected. It was a flat out dog fight. However, the Giants were able to get 2 runs in the top of the 10th inning. Closer Sergio Romo then came in to close the door on the Dodgers while earning his 11th save of the season.

This series with the Dodgers is far from over. The Giants did take round 1, but there are still 3 more to go this weekend. The pitching match-ups for the remaining three games are listed below.

Bumgarner 3-3, 2.18 ERA vs. Maholm 1-2, 4.70 ERA

Cain 0-3, 4.35 ERA vs. Greinke 5-1, 2.35 ERA

Hudson 4-2, 1.99 ERA vs. Kershaw 2-0, 0.66 ERA

Don’t forget to visit our SF Giants Rumors Facebook page to share your thoughts on all the latest Giants News/Rumors!

~Steven Robles

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SF Giants Rumors: After 25 Games

Posted on April 28th, 2014 by admin in SF Giants Rumors

 

Credit: Steven Robles - SF Giants Rumors

Credit: Steven Robles – SF Giants Rumors

After twenty five games in the 2014 season the San Francisco Giants are leading the NL West by 1 and a 1/2 a game over the Los Angeles Dodgers and Colorado Rockies.
 
Left fielder Michael Morse has already more homers this season (6) than all the Giants left fielders combined in 2013 (5). Morse also is hitting .276 with 17 RBI’s.
 
Starting pitcher Tim Hudson already had fans in the Bay Area, but after his first 5 starts in a Giants uniform, he’s now got way more fans on the San Francisco side of the Bay Bridge. Hudson is 3-1 in his 5 starts with a 2.19 ERA, 25 K’s and a 0.78 WHIP.
 
First baseman Brandon Belt wasted no time showing his power early in 2014. Belt is currently at 7 homers and hit 17 for the 2013 season. Belt seems to be ready to turn on any ball he can, and I believe he could hit 30 homers this year. The downside to Belt right now is he has 31 K’s in just 24 games played thus far. It could be possible that he’s just trying to jack one out every time he’s out. It’s still early in the year, so let’s hope he makes an adjustment.
 
Infielder Marco Scutaro hasn’t sniffed the field yet this season, and Brandon Hicks has been getting some of the playing time at second base. Hicks hasn’t been spraying hits all over the field, but he has managed to show some power from the second base position and has come up with some key hits. Hicks has 3 homers, and also hit the game winning homer in yesterday’s game to help the Giants sweep the Cleveland Indians.

Don’t forget to visit our SF Giants Rumors Facebook page to share your thoughts on all the latest Giants News/Rumors!

~Steven Robles

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Brandon Crawford Belongs In The #2 Spot In The Lineup

Posted on April 11th, 2014 by Robert in SF Giants Rumors

 

Credit: Steven Robles – SF Giants Rumors

Credit: Steven Robles – SF Giants Rumors

The San Francisco Giants are about to wrap up their opening series in Arizona, and so far, three different players have started the game batting second: Brandon BeltHunter Pence and Gregor Blanco.

We knew before the season started that Marco Scuatro was going to start the year on the DL, and while Arias was the heir apparent (not the case, anymore!) to take his place in the field, who was going to take his place in the line, wasn’t as clear. And that is why we’ve seen a revolving door so far. But the one person who SHOULD be in that number two spot in the lineup has yet to join the party.

Brandon Crawford belongs in the number two spot in the line, right behind Angel Pagan and right in front of Belt.

Sure, it’s only 20 games, but in 2013, Crawford had 89 plate appearances, good for 76 at-bats, in the two-hole. During that time, he posted a .276/.371/.408 line. He had a 13.1% K rate compared to a 10.5% BB rate and posted a 132 tOPS+ (compares a batter to his normal value, the higher over 100, the better)

In the 8th spot, Crawford came to plate 271 times, with 246 official at-bats. His line was .268/3.26/.407, he struck out 15.9% of the time and walked only 0.1% of the time. His tOPS+ came in at 117.

A lot of the difference can be explained simply by the fact that in the 8-spot, Crawford is batting in front of the pitcher. He has to be a little more aggressive because he knows he has the pitcher behind him. This leads to the higher strikeout rate and lower walk rate, and even helps explain the lower batting average; more aggressive swinging at pitches he might normally take leads to more weak contact/easy outs. This is reflected in his BABip – .303 batting second, .296 batting eighth.

We’ve seen that Crawford can be better than the .255 hitter with no power he was once projected as. But we’re not going to see just how much better until he gets regular playing time in the second spot. With Belt, Buster Posey and Pence following him, pitchers aren’t going to want to walk him. Crawford has a good enough eye – his 17.4 K% and 7.8 BB% in 2013 are both at or near the accepted “average” – that he can work some counts and wait for good strikes to hit.

Sure, he might not be the perennial .300 hitter that Scutaro is in the same spot, but he’s certainly got a lot still to show us. And we’re not going to see it while Crawford tries to protect himself in the 8th spot in the lineup.

Plus, if Crawford bats second, then the Brandon’s would bat back-to-back. And that would be awesome.

~Robert Barsanti

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SF Giants Rumors: Opening Series Has Come and Gone

Posted on April 4th, 2014 by admin in SF Giants Rumors

Photo Credit: Marko Realmonte

Photo Credit: Marko Realmonte

The Opening Series has come and gone, and the San Francisco Giants managed to take 3 out of the 4 games in Arizona. We’ve learned that the instant replay isn’t going as smooth as it should be. There have already been a couple blown calls in just the first couple days of this young season.​

I expected a good season from Brandon Belt, but this guy is starting off on fire. I’m talking full 5-alarm fire. I’m just hoping he can keep this going against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Barry Bonds did mention that Belt already has the power; it’s just getting the consistency down.

Speaking of a hot start, outfielder Angel Pagan is just as hot with the bat and glove. He’s made a few key defensive plays and leads the starting lineup with a .421 average and 6 RBI’s from the leadoff position. We all know Pagan is the spark plug to getting this Giants lineup rolling, let’s just hope it can be a healthy season for Pagan.

I must admit, I was excited to see Tim Hudson make his Giants debut on April 2nd, and he didn’t disappoint. Hudson is a flat out gamer, and proved it in his first start. Hudson went 7 2/3 innings and just allowing 3 hits and 0 runs. Hudson’s next start will be Tuesday at the Giants Home Opener against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Don’t forget to visit our SF Giants Rumors Facebook page to share your thoughts on all the latest Giants News/Rumors!

~Steven Robles

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San Francisco Giants 2014 Opening Day Roster

Posted on March 31st, 2014 by admin in SF Giants Rumors

Today’s the day that all San Francisco Giants fans have been waiting for. It’s a fresh start, and a start of a new season. All of the roster questions have finally been taken care of. Infielder Marco Scutaro and reliever Jeremy Affeldt will start the season on the DL. Scutaro is retroactive to March 21, and Affeldt is retroactive to March 23.
 
2014 Opening Day Roster
 
Pitchers
 
Madison Bumgarner
Matt Cain
Santiago Casilla
Juan Gutierrez
Tim Hudson
David Huff
Tim Lincecum
Javier Lopez
Jean Machi
Yusmeiro Petit
Sergio Romo
Ryan Vogelsong
 
Catchers
 
Buster Posey
Hector Sanchez
 
Infielders
 
Ehire Adrianza
Joaquin Arias
Brandon Belt
Brandon Crawford
Brandon Hicks
Pablo Sandoval
 
Outfielders
 
Gregor Blanco
Michael Morse
Angel Pagan
Hunter Pence
Juan Perez
 
Don’t forget to visit our SF Giants Rumors Facebook page to share your thoughts on all the latest Giants News/Rumors!

~Steven Robles

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SF Giants Rumors: Mark Teahen Released, No Pablo Sandoval Extension In Place, Marco Scutaro Opening Day

Posted on March 20th, 2014 by admin in SF Giants Rumors

 

Photo Credit: Mike Sandoval's Twitter Account (mikesandoval0807)

Photo Credit: Mike Sandoval’s Twitter Account (mikesandoval0807)

The San Francisco Giants have released infielder/outfielder Mark Teahen. When Teahen was signed, he wasn’t given an invite to Spring Training and wasn’t expected to compete for a spot on the Opening Day Roster.

With only 11 days left till Opening Day, it doesn’t look like the Giants and Pablo Sandoval are close to a contract extension. However, it really only takes one night to put a deal together. Outfielder Hunter Pence‘s $90 Million deal came together around 1 a.m. after the last Friday night game of the season in manager Bruce Bochy‘s office.

Infielder Marco Scutaro is hoping to be ready for Opening Day, and recently played in his first Cactus game. Scutaro went 1-for-2 with a double and scored a run. Bochy is hoping Scutaro can get around 35 at bats to get him ready for Opening Day.

Don’t forget to visit our SF Giants Rumors Facebook page to share your thoughts on all the latest Giants News/Rumors!

~Steven Robles

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