Friday, December 19, 2014

Kendry Flores is the cost of replacing Panda

So now we learn the true cost of losing Panda, the replacement cost.

getting RHPs Kendry Flores and Luis Castillo from for Casey McGehee.

McGehee gives about the same production offensively, probably a bit of a drop-off defensively. He also comes cheaper at $3.5M versus Pablo's $8.5M or so last year. Maybe we can bring back Vogie now.

Kendry Flores is going to break a lot of hearts in Giant Prospect Prognostication-ville. He was a favorite of the stats crowd for his K/9 - BB/9  efficiency of about 4:1. He may not arrive until 2016 anyway, so a potential piece of the future leaves the franchise. Detractors would point to a bit of a drop off moving from Low-A to High-A as a bit of a warning sign against his chances of making the big squad. In Florida, he has more of a chance to advance. Luis Castillo is a non-prospect IMO.


Giants stay the course, re-sign Jake Peavy to two-year deal - Yahoo Sports

San Francisco Giants v Los Angeles Dodgers
(Getty Images)

Another good move for the Giants. A good move, maybe not a great, splashy move like the Lester signing would have been. But the Giants don't specialize in splashy anymore. And maybe that's a good thing. Let the Dodgers specialize in splash, flash and spending wads of cash. The Giants can keep specializing in winning.

from Yahoo Sports:
Giants stay the course, re-sign Jake Peavy to two-year deal | Big League Stew - Yahoo Sports:
The latest late night/early morning deal is brought to us by Fox Sports Ken Rosenthal, who reports the San Francisco Giants and GM Brian Sabean have reached an agreement to bring back veteran right-hander Jake Peavy on a two-year deal. ESPN's Jerry Crasnick later confirmed the overnight agreement and the financials, which come in at $24 million guaranteed.
'via Blog this'

This buys the Giants some time to rebuild the starting rotation. Tim Hudson leaves after 2015 and perhaps Lincecum as well. Peavy will be gone after 2016.

In the prospect pipeline, for starting pitchers you might expect the following reinforcements to arrive:

Ty Blach
Chris Stratton

Kendry Flores

Kyle Crick
Clayton Blackburn
Adalberto Mejia
Keurry Mella
Tyler Beede

If any of them arrive ahead of schedule, either due to injury or a sudden bump in development, so much the better. And there is some hope for that, especially with Kyle Crick.

I was listening to MLB radio on Sirius and one of the commentators made a similar comparison to my Madison Bumgarner - Tim Alderson career path divergence and the ramifications with the Dodgers Clayton Kershaw and Chad Billinglsey. Not as elegant as the Giants example in that they started their careers at different times, but what I noticed in the comps is that Kershaw struggled mightily with his control at the AA level in 2007 at Jacksonville,  posting a 6.12 BB/9 versus a 10.44 K/9. The next year in 2008 Kershaw repeated AA Jacksonville and posted 8.70 K/9 versus 2.80 BB/9 and the rest, as they say, is history.

Kershaw's K/BB rate went from 1.71 when he was a 10+ K/9 to 3.11 when his K's went down to 8.66 per 9IP. Kershaw's K level held at the level when he reached the bigs, although his BB level wen up to 4.35 and 4.79 his first two years. Since then his BB/9 in  the bigs has decreased almost every year dropping from 3.57/2.08/2.49/1.98/1.41 from 2010 to 2014. Strangely enough, Kershaw's K/9 is now back over 10+ in 2014 @ 10.85, while his BB/9 is an absurd 1.41!!

Crick was 11.1 K/9 and 6.1 BB/9 which is about his minor league career line in those two metrics. He needs the light to go on in a similar way that it appeared to for Kershaw. Kershaw sacrificed the gaudy 10+ K/9 to lower his BB/9 rate to an acceptable level, which  increased his overall pitching efficiency.

If Crick can take a similar career U-turn, the Giants could see the Matt Cain 2.0 comparisons for Crick come true. That would bolster the Giants starting rotation for years to come.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Concussions Derail Batting Performance for MLB Players -- University of Rochester Medical Center

At least now I will feel like I'm in good company when I feel the need to repeat myself. Before I read this I felt like I was just banging my head against a proverbial wall in some perverse way hoping that I would feel better when I stopped. 

Ben Carlson, CFA, who writes for A Wealth of Common Sense, referenced a financial advice quote from Jason Zweig of The Wall Street Journal that sums up what investors should be thinking in these volatile times.
"I was once asked, at a journalism conference, how I defined my job. I said: My job is to write the exact same thing between 50 and 100 times a year in such a way that neither my editors nor my readers will ever think I am repeating myself."

"That's because good advice rarely changes, while markets change constantly. The temptation to pander is almost irresistible. And while people need good advice, what they want is advice that sounds good."

Now I feel more like a professional journalist. Perhaps I should start getting paid for this. 


  • The following study demonstrates why you will continue to see the "Buster Posey moves to 3B" conversation continue to be pervasive among Giants fans and bloggers regardless of what Brian Sabean says.
  • The following study demonstrates why you will continue to see the "Buster Posey moves to 3B" conversation continue to be pervasive among Giants fans and bloggers regardless of what Brian Sabean says.

Concussions Derail Batting Performance for MLB Players - News Room - University of Rochester Medical Center:
"The message, “when in doubt, sit it out” flashed on video boards throughout the World Series, with good timing: A new analysis of Major League Baseball statistics shows that concussed players may not be fully recovered when they’re cleared to return to the batting lineup.
A University of Rochester study looked at MLB players who suffered a concussion between 2007 and 2013. Researchers found that during their first two weeks back, the concussed players’ batting performances were significantly worse than another group of players who were rusty because of being away for paternity or bereavement leave during the same period.
Lead author Erin Wasserman presented the data at the 142nd annual meeting of the American Public Health Association on Nov. 19, 2014, in New Orleans. Wasserman is an epidemiology doctoral student in the Department of Public Health Sciences at UR specializing in concussion research.
Brain injuries are most often associated with contact sports, but they are prevalent in baseball, too. During the World Series last month, head injuries affected two San Francisco players, one of whom was not able to play due to his concussion. At the high school and college levels, baseball concussions are rising at a rate of about 14 percent a year, researchers said.
In the MLB study, players returning after a concussion had lower batting averages (.234 versus .264); lower slugging percentages (.359 versus .420); and lower on-base plus slugging percentages (.654 versus .747) compared to players returning from bereavement or paternity leave, researchers reported.
“Although players who sustain a concussion may be symptom-free and cleared by MLB protocol to return to play, the residual effects of concussion on the complex motor skills required for batting may still be a problem,” said Principal Investigator Jeffrey J. Bazarian, M.D., M.P.H., associate professor of Emergency Medicine at the UR School of Medicine and Dentistry, and a national expert in sports head injuries.
When a batter is at the plate, the brain and its neural networks must be in top form to master hand-eye coordination, intense visual acuity, fast reaction time, postural stability and balance, and swing control in just 400 milliseconds – the estimated time it takes most balls to pass from pitcher to batter, Bazarian said.
After a concussion, brain function can be impaired for weeks or months resulting in symptoms such as slowed thinking or response speed, and poor concentration. Understanding the impact of concussions on batting performance can help to inform decisions about when to return to the lineup, the study said.
Concussions account for about 2 percent of all injuries that result in loss of playing time, behind strains and contusions as the most common MLB injuries.
'via Blog this'

Michael Vick and Redemption

NASHVILLE, TN - DECEMBER 14: Michael Vick #1 of the New York Jets warming up before a game against the Tennessee Titans at LP Field on December 14, 2014 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
NASHVILLE, TN - DECEMBER 14: Michael Vick #1 of the New York Jets warming up before a game against the Tennessee Titans at LP Field on December 14, 2014 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)

I know many people will still never forgive the man for the beginning of the story, but they have missed the rest of the story as it unfolded. A truly remarkable story of redemption. And really who doesn't need a little bit of that in their lives?

The credit goes to Vick for recognizing and making some serious fundamental changes in his life. An assist has to go to Tony Dungy, who made the effort to mentor the young man when many, many people wanted to throw him away like a piece of garbage. Sad beginning, conflict and drama in the middle, leading to a happy ending. If you made a  movie about it nobody would believe it, yet it is the basic theme of so many Hollywood movies. The go-to theme if you will.

A remarkable sports story as well as a remarkable human interest story.

from Yahoo Sports:
Michael Vick has nearly paid off his $18 million debt | Shutdown Corner - Yahoo Sports:

As ESPN notes, Vick opted to go with Chapter 11 rather than Chapter 7 bankruptcy, which meant he paid back all that he owed, not a small percentage. To him, it was an important and necessary step to demonstrate his willingness to atone.The deal with creditors is set to expire at the end of the year, and Vick will likely sell some property to close off the last of his debt.

"I feel blessed because I came out and found myself in a position where I had a lot of people that really believed in me, people who gave me an opportunity," Vick said. "At the time, it wasn't about trying to fulfill all the bankruptcy needs, I was trying to fulfill all the needs that I had in my life because I had nothing."

Vick will never escape the shadow of the events that landed him in prison. But he's shown through his actions that he won't remain defined by them. That's admirable, in its own way.
'via Blog this'

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Sergio Romo re-signs with the Giants for $15 million | HardballTalk

sergio romo getty

Yay!!! Giants win one!!! After losing Panda and Morse, this victory was needed for the fan base. Romo wanted to stay, was popular with the fans and after the Dodgers DFA'd Brian Wilson, I was beginning to worry we'd lose him too. The salary is about right and he just wouldn't have looked right as a Yankee or Red Sox. It was beginning to look like the one I thought we could afford to lose the most, we would keep in Jake Peavy. Maybe now Vogie will stay, but like Morse, it sounds like the Giants already gave Vogelsong the cold shoulder. We shall see. Morse at 2/$16M was pretty reasonable. I'm still in shock that we couldn't match the offer and end up losing a free-agent to the Marlins, of all teams.

from HardballTalk:
Sergio Romo re-signs with the Giants for $15 million | HardballTalk:
After testing the open market as a free agent Sergio Romo has re-signed with the Giants for two years and $15 million, according to Ken Rosenthal of Romo lost the closer job this year and his overall numbers slipped, but he finished the season by allowing just two runs in his final 23 appearances along with a 23/3 K/BB ratio. At age 31 his durability is a big question mark, but he’s been one of the best relievers in baseball for basically his entire career and the Giants obviously know what they have in Romo after seven seasons together.
'via Blog this'

We're still down about two bats and some of the solutions proposed out here in Blog-ville and BLB radio are downright absurd. Like, "let's trade Panik and Susac for a stud 3B or a LF'er". WTF, let's just toss in Posey and Bumgarner and get both at the same time. Why you would trade Panik and create a hole at 2B that you presumably just filled for a few years to patch another hole at 3B is beyond me? Maybe me not losing sleep over tossing Crick into a deal would sound just as ludicrous but IDK, Hot Stove League is in full throttle mode right now. Everybody is Monty Hall making deals.

Some guys still believe that Matt Duffy or Adam Duvall can do what Panik did, given the opportunity. IDK, I still subscribe the football coaches maxim about how if you have 2 QB's you really don't have one QB. The Giants would go to the post today with a tri-headed monster of Blanco/Perez/Ishakawa in LF and Arias/Duffy/Duvall at 3B. So, I guess they really, really don't have one 3B or one LF. If that makes sense.

Bottom line, Romo stays, good news for Giants fans.

Just for this, he's worth all the money the Giants give him. I feel like this today.

Giants lose Mikey Mo

Too bad. He just seemed to have fun being a Giant. It doesn't get much better than that. You can't beat going home, though. Giants now have to work double time replacing his production as well as the Panda's. Not sure where it's coming from since the Yankees just took Chase Headley off the market (good news). Now it looks like the trade market has to provide the answer, which means losing a prospect or two or three, which means losing pitching prospects for the Giants.  Given that the Giants didn't lose a single prospect in the Rule 5 Draft, it doesn't seem as if the rest of baseball values the Giants prospects in the same way the Giants do (more likely) or the Giants utilize their pieces more efficiently (less likely).

from Giants Extra:

"Source confirms: Morse in agreement with #Marlins, two-year contract, pending physical. @JoeFrisaro first with news of deal.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 16, 2014

That's good news for Morse, who was a high school star in the Fort Lauderdale area and lives less than an hour from Marlins Park. (I believe his brother still lives right there.) It's bad news for the Bay Area media because, well, this guy was a lot of fun to cover. For the Giants, they expected this and they didn't plan on bringing Morse back. He was really well liked in the clubhouse, but the staff didn't view him as a left fielder anymore and there's no room at first with Brandon Belt and Buster Posey getting all the time there. There are still options for a right-handed platoon for Gregor Blanco and the Giants will still find another starter, whether it's James Shields or Jake Peavy or Ryan Vogelsong or someone else. The market is pretty much out of third baseman, though, so that piece will almost certainly have to come via trade (Ben Zobrist would be an outstanding fit, no?). Anyway, so long Michael Morse. People will always talk about Travis Ishikawa's homer, but Morse should never have to buy a meal in San Francisco, either."
'via Blog this'

Great moment in Giants history. We're going to miss his big bat and his seemingly boundless joy.

Michael Morse Game Tying Home Run Game 5 NLCS

Monday, December 15, 2014

WINTER MEETINGS NOTES: Giants chase Shields; Panda's move was no surprise - Giants Extra

Some good news for the Giants out of the Winter Meetings, hopefully they hold on to Blach and fellow prospect Clayton Blackburn. They could help solidify the back end of the starting rotation beginning as early as 2015. Kyle Crick still worries me a bit with his wildness, I don't seem to recall the same issue with Zack Wheeler at the same point in his development. If Crick comes around, he has top of the rotation stuff. No other Giants pitching prospect brings a higher ceiling to the table than Kyle Crick.

from Giants Extra:
WINTER MEETINGS NOTES: Giants chase Shields; Panda's move was no surprise; #ThreeBelt; Giants add two minor leaguers - Giants Extra:
"— On a brighter note, here’s another thing I heard all week: The Giants think Ty Blach is very underrated on prospect lists. The 24-year-old left-hander has had two good seasons since getting drafted in the fifth round of the 2012 draft, posting a 3.02 ERA over 47 appearances. Blach has pulled away from some of the other pitching prospects in that vaunted 2013 San Jose Giants class, and there are people in the front office who believe he can contribute to the back end of the rotation at some point next season."
'via Blog this'

As far as chances to be a major league contributor, I still like Blach the best although he fell a little bit off last years performance mainly due to his hitting too many bats. He is a pitch to contact guy, but the thinking is that guys are getting too much hard contact which will only get greater as he advances. Blackburn has no such worries attached to him that I have seen. He seems to be able to grind through lineups and get outs efficiently. LHP prospect Adalberto Mejia throws up a red flag with his PED suspension.

P.S. - Although I am partial to LHP's, I like Blackburn / Blach in that order. And before I get crushed by others, I have not seen enough of Tyler Beede outside of Vanderbilt to rank him yet, but he is 1-1A with Crick in terms of ceiling, with a little more consistency it seems in terms of performance. His age helps in that regard. Blackburn, Blach and Beede, the Killer B's of Giants pitching prospects. 

from Bleacher Report:
As Pavlovic mentions, Mejia is regarded as one of San Francisco's best prospects. He was ranked as the Giants' No. 4 prospect coming into the 2014 season by Baseball America and, and spent all year playing for Double-A Richmond. 
Just 21 years old, Mejia was signed by the Giants as an international free agent in 2011. In the scouting report for him coming into 2014, the left-hander was described as having the total package of what scouts look for in a young southpaw:
He had no problem handling high Class A hitters at age 19, as the only thing that slowed him down was a strained lat muscle that sidelined him for seven weeks.
Mejia has everything scouts look for in a pitcher -- stuff, size and command -- and as a bonus, he's left-handed. Mejia throws a low-90s two-seam fastball with minimal effort, getting the ball to cut or sink and locating it where he wants.
Losing Mejia for 50 games certainly delays his path to the big leagues next season. He still had work to do, as evidenced by a 4.67 ERA and 119 hits allowed in 108 innings, via, but the ceiling is bright for this young pitcher. This is just a bad speed bump on the road to what will hopefully be a long and prosperous career for a talented hurler. 
So in order, I guess my Giants pitching prospect list would be:
  • Clayton Blackburn
  • Derek Law
  • Kendry Flores
  • Keury Mella
  • Ty Blach
  • Adalberto Mejia
  • Steven Okert
  • Joan Gregorio
  • Kyle Crick
  • Chris Stratton
  • Martin Agosta
The bottom three could really turn this list around in a hurry. Especially if Crick and Stratton start pitching in a more consistently dominant fashion.  Agosta may start falling from lists in this coming year. A major disappointment given where he was drafted. Flores and Mella are still a couple of years away from contributing.

For someone who has breezed through pro ball, Giants right-hander Clayton Blackburn has a lengthy to-do list in the Arizona Fall League. He's trying to add two new pitches while replacing innings lost to a rib-cage injury during the season.
"I got hurt a little bit this year and missed about a month, so making up some innings, but also I'm trying to learn more of a true slider," said Blackburn, ranked as the Giants' No. 7 prospect. "I already have a big curveball, so I need a little bit of a true slider. And I'm going from a changeup to a splitter. So working on those, just perfecting my craft and getting better overall."
 In four pro seasons, Blackburn has gone 23-17 with a 2.98 ERA and a 405/76 K/BB ratio in 395 2/3 innings, thanks more to advanced pitchability than overpowering stuff. Though he has a burly 6-foot-2, 260-pound frame, he also has the athleticism to repeat his delivery. Blackburn throws with such little effort that his fastball appears quicker than its 89-93 mph velocity, he has the ability to manipulate the shape of his curveball, and he owns a sinking changeup to keep left-handers in check.
Blackburn went to big league camp with the Giants this spring and saw Hunter Strickland, his roommate at Double-A Richmond this year, become a key part of San Francisco's bullpen during the postseason. As the organization's most advanced starting-pitching prospect, he could make his Major League debut as a 22-year-old next season.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Chicago White Sox prevent Giants from doing something stupid

(USA TODAY Sports)
(USA TODAY Sports)

Now if someone will just step up and overpay for Chase Headley's services allowing the Giants to focus on signing James Shields, I would be grateful. From the White Sox standpoint, at least they didn't give him five years, which some were projecting Cabrera would get. That would have made the risk even greater. He can hit and he would plug a hole in the Giants lineup left by Sandoval, but he comes with even worse baggage than Sandoval's occasional struggles with weight watching. For that reason, I would have shied away from a Melky Returns to SF sequel.

The shopping list still includes a starting pitcher, left fielder and third baseman and will grow to include a set-up man if/when Romo sign elsewhere, so Sabean will have start shopping for pre-Christmas bargains (aka dumpster dives), which is his niche. It's still not too late to salvage the holiday season and bring good cheer to Giants fans, but the shelves are starting to look a little more bare.

from Yahoo Sports:
Chicago White Sox agree to three-year deal with Melky Cabrera | Big League Stew - Yahoo Sports:

If it wasn't official before, it's official now: The Chicago White Sox mean business.
After taking the Winter Meetings by storm, acquiring Jeff Samardzija in a six-player trade with the Oakland A's and signing free-agent reliever David Robertson to a massive four-year, $46 million deal, general manager Rick Hahn has struck again, agreeing to a three-year deal with outfielder Melky Cabrera. 
'via Blog this'

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Crasnick: Yanks, Sawx, Dodgers eye Romo - Yankees Blog - ESPN New York

 Sergio Romo

It looks like it's going to be bye-bye Romo and the Yankees-Sawks-Dodgers Trifecta is a sports agents wet dream come true and a nightmare to Sabean. I get that you pushed all your chips to the center of the table in a noble effort to acquire Lester. But now your other competitors, specifically the Dodgers, are clearly beating you to the punch in executing Plan B. Not a good Winter Meetings for the Giants so far, maybe Sabean needs a breath mint.

Unless the Giants Plan B is to wait for the big dogs to eat and then scoop up whatever scraps they miss.

from ESPN New York:
Crasnick: Yanks, Sawx, Dodgers eye Romo - Yankees Blog - ESPN New York:
SAN DIEGO -- We have mentioned a number of times that the Yankees could try to sign Sergio Romo as their closer, allowing them to leave Dellin Betances and Andrew Miller as setup men. Jerry Crasnick says the Yankees are not alone in their interest in Romo. 
'via Blog this'

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Lost in the Lester-lust, MadBum is SI Sportsman of the Year

Like Posey, almost uncomfortable talking about himself in the limelight. More times than not, both of them deflect the limelight to others in interviews.

When you read some of this stuff coming out, you almost think, "Is that story real? Do they still make heroes like this?" He's a real throw back to a bygone era. A John Wayne type.

From a questionable draft prospect with a name seemingly borrowed from a romance novel to World Series hero. That's our Madison.

from Bleacher Report:

MadBum is Sportsman of the Year

12/10/14 | 00:03:34

Madison Bumgarner receives SI's Sportsman of the Year Award, and MLB Commissioner-elect Rob Manfred speaks about MadBum's remarkable career

Bumgarner on his splinter

12/08/14 | 00:29

Giants pitcher Madison Bumgarner jokes around about getting a splinter and throwing too much during the postseason

MadBum on rare suit purchase

12/10/14 | 00:25

SI's 2014 Sportsman of the Year Madison Bumgarner speaks about his limited history with wearing suits and having to buy one for the event

Giants "not in the driver's seat" in Jon Lester negotiations - Giants Extra

I heard this interview with Evans on Sirius yesterday and thought "then the Cubs ARE in the drivers seat" and that is how it turned out. Giants once again are in the back seat.

from Giants Extra:
Giants "not in the driver's seat" in Jon Lester negotiations - Giants Extra:
Assistant general manager Bobby Evans was less optimistic about signing Lester on Tuesday, saying he feels the free agent left-hander is feeling a strong pull from Boston and Chicago. Lester was drafted by the Red Sox and spent his whole career there before a July trade to Oakland. The Cubs are run by former Red Sox executives Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer. “I think there are other clubs he’s a little more attached to,” Evans said. “Ultimately, I don’t know, but the sense we get is that we’re not in the driver’s seat. I don’t know exactly who is, but it will probably come down to deep relationships he has in other places.”
'via Blog this'

So good for the Cubbies, they get their bell-cow. And they needed this win more than the Giants and the Red Sox. Good for the Sawks, 'cause Lester got the opportunity to publicly lead their owner John Henry around grovelling and begging and apologizing for past sins, before finally telling him to F-off. Truly every bitter employee and jilted teenage girls dream come true. The Daily Double of revenge.

And good for the Giants, since they won't have to deal with the dynamic of a guy who may be second or third in the rotation behind Bumgarner and Cain, if he's 100%, carrying the top contract around the clubhouse. That may have been the deciding factor for Lester, with the Cubs he is THE MAN and if he leads them to the promised land, it's never been done before. In SF, he might have the fear that "dang, even if the team wins the World Series, they've been there, done that". Same with the Sawks, so the Cubbies make the most sense. If he wins on the North Side, he owns this town.

Now the Giants can go after the guy who I still think fits better in the rotation and the clubhouse and that is "Big Game" James Shields. Forget about Scherzer and his $200M. That's Yankee money.

And get Romo back before he shuffles down to LA and joins Mr. Wilson in the embattled former Giants closers club that the Dodgers bullpen may develop into. .

And get a Vogelsong clone because I heard him interviewed on Sirius it seems like he's gone to Minnesota of Philliy or anywhere but SF. Way to burn that bridge quickly guys.

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

The final nail in the "Posey to 3B" coffin is struck by Sabean ( for now )

Well I guess this settles the "Posey to 3B" issue. HOWEVER!!!. There is a difference between can / can't play 3B and should / shouldn't.  Sabean's initial comments were more along the lines of  "Posey can't play 3B, so it's not even a consideration". That is a patently absurd comment, but I understand why he said it. If Posey goes the way of Hector Sanchez / Brandon Belt and misses significant time due to concussion symptoms, there might be less 20/20 hindsight. Less of a public furor along the lines of "See, we told you he was going to get hurt". Now we no longer have that problem.

from MLB Trade Rumors:
NL Notes: Giants, Braves, Mets, Andrus, Nationals – MLB Trade Rumors:
GM Brian Sabean says the Giants won’t have Buster Posey replace Pablo Sandoval at third base, and they continue to view him as a backstop,’s Chris Haft writes. “He’s a franchise player, a franchise catcher,” Sabean says, adding that Sandoval, who recently signed with the Red Sox, was a key presence in the Giants’ clubhouse. “He brought a lot of energy. He loved playing the game. He’ll be missed on and off the field,” Sabean says. The Giants will continue to look for a third baseman and left fielder, but Sabean expects they might do so through trades and not through free agent signings. Here are more notes from the National League.
'via Blog this'

We joke about the odd / even year effect because it's played itself out three times in a row (inverse gambler's fallacy?), but remember one of those odd year failures was at least partially due to the loss of Posey in the lineup due to injury.

Good to see Sabean own the decision. I'm OK with saying, "he's too valuable to us at the C position to move out of there. We'll have to look elsewhere for an answer at 3B". I'm not comfortable with the GM of my team making statements that seem to imply that he either doesn't have a working set of eyeballs in his head or he doesn't believe his fan base has a sufficient working knowledge of baseball that they would accept the first statement at face value. Maybe fans /bloggers don't have enough knowledge (opportunity) to be an actual GM, but at least some have a basic understanding of the game.

I can't say it loud enough or often enough.

Pablo Sandoval was a C who was converted to 3B and we just finished a season where folks lauded his athleticism and abilities enough at 3B to consider him for a Gold Glove. You can't tell me that with the level of athleticism and background that Posey brings to the table, that he couldn't make a similar transition if asked and lead the team from 3B, as many other major-league stars have before him. There is no baseball law or law of nature that says leadership always emanates from the catcher position. You have to protect one of the most valuable assets the franchise holds.

We're just going to have to hold our collective breaths for the time being as long as Posey toils behind the dish. Later in his career when they are looking to get the final ounce productivity out of his bat, the math may shift and the issue may resurface.

But for now, get used to hearing the sound of  " batting, your catcher, Buster Posey!!" Hopefully, for a long, long time.

Buster Posey Contract Announced at Press Conference

Saturday, December 06, 2014

Giants Extra - An inside look at the San Francisco Giants

blanco comeback

This is what gives the Giants whatever chance they may have at bringing in Jon Lester. Six pretty productive players, cost controlled at $13M for this year. When you add in the low cost of Panik, Susac and perhaps Duffy, you can definitely allocate more dollars to the pitching staff side of the ledger. Then hopefully the young pitching prospects come up in 2016 or 2017 and allow you to have some roll off on the pitching side that can reward Belt and Crawford.

from Giants Extra
Giants Extra - An inside look at the San Francisco Giants:

It’s non-tender day, and there were no surprises for the Giants. They tendered contracts to all six arbitration-eligible players. Here are the projected arbitration salaries from the excellent MLB Trade Rumors. These are just projections, and you figure at some point the front office might approach the Brandons about buying out arbitration years and getting more cost control. 
Gregor Blanco – $3.5MM
Yusmeiro Petit – $1.6MM
Brandon Belt – $3.4MM
Travis Ishikawa – $800K
Brandon Crawford – $2.5MM
Hector Sanchez – $1.0MM
'via Blog this'

Friday, December 05, 2014

"I'm from the government and I'm here to help" ... and two diverse pleas to stop

Whether it's the events in Ferguson or the most recent media fed, manufactured crisis du-jour what always seem to be lost in the "debate" is how often the problem is not about race or bigotry, but about the jack-boot of government, stomping on the faces of people of all races, creeds and colors. Parsing or comparing misery by sub-groups is counter productive, however, it is the favorite parlor game of the MSM.  Given that they are an agent or a tool of the previously mentioned government, this should not surprise.  As a result, we don't learn from history, we just keep repeating it. And then mournfully, ask ourselves "Why?....Peace. 

The Nine Most Terrifying Words

"The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: I'm from the government and I'm here to help."
- President Reagan Aug. 12, 1986

Walter E. Williams - Please Stop Helping Us
Riley points out that there has been significant achievement among the black middle class but that wide black-white gaps remain with respect to income, ...
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JULY 30, 2014
Please Stop Helping UsWalter E. Williams7/30/2014 12:01:00 AM - Walter E. Williams
While reading the first chapter of Jason Riley's new book, "Please Stop Helping Us," I thought about Will Rogers' Prohibition-era observation that "Oklahomans vote dry as long as they can stagger to the polls." Demonstrative of similar dedication, one member of Congress told Vanderbilt University political scientist Carol Swain that "one of the advantages and disadvantages of representing blacks is their shameless loyalty. ... You can almost get away with raping babies and be forgiven. You don't have any vigilance about your performance." In my opinion, there appear to be no standards of performance low enough for blacks to lose their loyalty to their black political representatives.
Riley says that between 1970 and 2001, the number of black elected officials skyrocketed from fewer than 1,500 to more than 9,000, but black poverty has remained roughly the same. Between 1940 and 1960, when black political power was virtually nonexistent, the black poverty rate fell from 87 percent to 47 percent. Riley points out that there has been significant achievement among the black middle class but that wide black-white gaps remain with respect to income, educational achievement, unemployment, labor force participation, incarceration rates and other measures. Despite political gains, there have been dramatic reversals in teen unemployment, crime, out-of-wedlock births and family stability. Political power is neither a necessary nor a sufficient condition for socio-economic progress.
Riley lays out the devastating deal black political leaders and civil rights leaders have made with labor unions, in his aptly named chapter "Mandating Unemployment." Black leaders of the past recognized that labor unions were hostile to the interests of ordinary blacks. Frederick Douglass, in his 1874 essay "The Folly, Tyranny, and Wickedness of Labor Unions," argued that unions were not friends of blacks. W.E.B. Du Bois called unions "the greatest enemy of the black working man." Booker T. Washington also opposed unions because of their adverse impact on blacks.
Riley's "Educational Freedom" chapter details the sorry story of black education. Between 1970 and today, educational spending has tripled and the school workforce has doubled, far outpacing student enrollment. Despite these massive increases in resources, black academic achievement is a national disgrace. According to the National Assessment of Educational Progress, known as the nation's report card, black 17-year-olds score at the same level as white 13-year-olds in reading and math. White 13-year-olds score higher than black 17-year-olds in science.
A number of studies show that black students who attend private and charter schools do far better than their peers in public schools. If there were greater parental choice, through educational vouchers, black achievement would be higher. However, teachers unions see school choice as a threat to their monopoly, and virtually every black politician, including the president, backs the teachers unions.
At an 1865 gathering of the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society, Douglass said everybody had asked, "What should we do with the Negro?" Douglass said: "I have had but one answer from the beginning. Do nothing with us! Your doing with us has already played the mischief with us." Later on, Washington explained, "It is important and right that all privileges of the law be ours, but it is vastly more important that we be prepared for the exercise of these privileges." It's the abandonment of these visions that accounts for the many problems of today that Riley's book does a masterful job of explaining.

Giants Top Minor League Prospects

  • 1. Kyle Crick 6-4,220 RHP Power pitcher in the Matt Cain mold. High K-rate comes with High BB-rate. Low 90's FB with sink. Can be a top of the rotation starter once command/control issues ironed out. Mechanics are sound.
  • 2. Tyler Beede 6-4, 215 RHP from Vanderbilt projects as top of the rotation starter
  • 3. Clayton Blackburn 6-3, 220 RHP Good low 90's FB with sink, excellent command of stuff, good secondary pitches. His 8.64 K/BB ratio is off the charts efficient.
  • 4. Adalberto Mejia 6-3,195 LHP Throws strikes and mixes pitches well. Good secondary stuff, projects as middle rotation guy. Keeps ball down and gets outs.
  • 5. Ty Blach 6-1, 210 LHP Glavine comps will give him a chance to rise fast.
  • 6. Keury Mella 6-2, 200 RHP Dominican signee is really opening eyes with a nice power arm
  • 7. Chris Stratton 6-3, 185 RHP Mississippi State Decent four-pitch mix, solid pitching frame. Can run FB to 94 MPH with movement. Throws SL/CB, with the slider the better of the two.
  • 8. Mac Williamson 6-4, 240 OF Wake Forest grad with five-tool potential if he hits advanced pitching.
  • 9. Kendry Flores 6-2, 175 RHP very efficient pitcher, could also move fast
  • _10. Joan Gregorio 6-7, 180 RHP potential closer material
  • _11. Derek Law 6-2, 210 RHP power arm with some deceptiveness in his delivery, copuld be a dark horse to contribute in 2014
  • _12. Aramis Garcia 6-2, 220 C from Florida INTL projects as a good bat behind the dish with enough defensive skill to play there long-term
  • _13. Ryder Jones 6-2, 200 3B polished bat with some pop. Good athleticism for the corner IF
  • _14. Steven Okert 6-3, 210 LHP Oklahoma product, another power lefty prospect.
  • _15. Christian Arroyo 6-1, 180 SS very efficient with the bat, good hitting approach, test will be how he handles advanced pitching
  • _16. Martin Agosta 6-1, 180 RHP FB up to 94 mph with some sink. Plus secondary stuff, shows ability to mix pitches.
  • _17. Luis Ysla 6-1, 185 LHP from Venezeula cruises at 92-94MPH snd touches 97 on occasion, max effort delivery concerns, iffy slider, projects as reliever.
  • _18. Gustavo Cabrera 6-0, 190 OF INTL signee, 16 year-old compared to Justin Upton. Injuries slowed his progress in 2014
  • _19. Daniel Carbonell 6-2, 215 Cuban signee, speedy, switch-hitting CF with power potential. Could be a five-tool player if he hits.
  • _20. Dylan Davis 6-0,215 OF Good size and speed package from Oregon State. Has a good arm so may challenge in RF down the road.

2014 Top MLB College Draft Prospects

  • 1. Michael Matuella 6-6, 225 RHP Duke Nice four pitch mix, mid 90's FB and 12-6 CB. Potential top of first rounder.
  • 2. Nathan Kirby 6-2, 185 LHP Virginia Dominant starter, 92-93 MPH FB and power curve ball. Added an effective change-up.
  • 3. Carson Fullmer 6-0 RHP Vanderbilt Mid 90's FB compliments effective breaking ball and change-up for effective three pitch mix.
  • 4. Riley Ferrell 6-1, 200 RHP TCU closer for TCU upper 90's FB touches 98-99. Nasty high 80's slider makes him virtually unhittable as closer, can transition to starter
  • 5. Alex Bregman 5-11, 180 2B/SS LSU BS Freshman of Year in 2013 has all the tools, instinctive player.
  • 6. Kyle Funkhouser 6-3, 205 RHP Louisville FB cruises at 92-94 and touches 97.
  • 7. Walker Buehler 6-1, 170 RHP Vanderbilt Low 90's FB and competitive streak, will compliment Fullmer at top of rotation for defending champs.
  • 8. Kyle Cody 6-7, 245 RHP Kentucky Fastball sits at 93-96, 3:1 K/BB ratio in Cape Cod League, secondary stuff needs work
  • 9. Cody Pence 6-6, 240 RHP Cal Poly Pomona Nice four pitch mix, 95-96 MPH FB, plus cutter and curve
  • _10. Ian Happ 5-11, 190 OF Cincinnati Switch hitter with compact, line drive stroke, hard-nosed, high energy player
  • _11. Gio Brusa 6-3, 190 OF Pacific Switch hitter with above average power
  • _12. Phil Bickford 6-4, 200 RHP Cal State Fullerton (??) Good FB, power curve ball mix.
  • _13. Marc Brakeman 6-1 180 RHP Stanford 90-95 MPH FBm 47:7 K/BB ration in Cape Cod League, good swing and miss change and slider
  • _14. Richie Martin 5-10, 170 SS Florida Athletic ING with good speed and arm strength
  • _15. C.J. Hinojosa 5-11, 180 SS Texas Good instincts, confident player. Good arm, fringy power bat
  • _16. Kevin Newman 6-1, 180 SS Arizona Back to back Cape batting titles. Average arm, speed, controls strike zone well
  • _17. Alex Young 6-3, 200 LHP TCU Low 90's FB and slider, two pitch mix, projects as a starter
  • _18. Steven Duggar 6-2, 190 OF Clemson Good speed 6.3 60yd, good bat speed from left side. Potential five-tool guy
  • _19. Kyle Twoney 6-3, 170 LHP USC Easy delivery, good FB command 94 MPH FB
  • _20. Kevin Duchene 6-2, 205 LHP Illinois High 80's FB with nice change, strike thrower, repeatable delivery, good mound presence

2014 MLB Draft - Top National HS Players

  • 1. Justin Hooper 6-7, 230 LHP De La Salle HS (CA) 6-6 athletic lefty with mid-90's FB. UCLA commit.
  • 2. Kolby Allard 6-2, 175 LHP San Clemente HS (CA) easy mid 90's FB tops at 95MPH, good command with plus breaking ball and change. UCLA commit.
  • 3. Brendan Rogers 6-0, 195 SS Lake Mary HS (FL) Good speed and power, athletic IF. Florida State commit.
  • 4. Ashe Russell 6-4, 200 RHP Cathedral Catholic HS (IN) FB that sits at 92-94 and tops at 95 with average potential breaking ball. Could rise fast. Texas A&M commit.
  • 5. Daz Cameron 6-1, 185 OF Eagles Landing HS (GA) Athletic and toolsy player with power and speed. Son of Mike Cameron. Florida State commit.
  • 6. Mike Nikoriak 6-4, 205 RHP Stroudsburg HS (PA) FB sits at 94-96 with sionk. CB is inconsistent. QB prospect with Alabama commit.
  • 7. Beau Burrows 6-1, 200 Weatherford HS (TX) RHP FB workable breaking ball and change. FB sits at 94, tops at 96 with tilt. Texas A&M commit.
  • 8. Trenton Clark 6-0, 200 OF Richland HS (TX) speedy (6.6 60 yd) OF, solid line drive stroke with power potential, Texas Tech commit.
  • 9. Kyle Tucker 6-3,190 OF Plant HS (FL) Solid CF who can hit. Florida commit.
  • _10.. Nick Plummer 5-10, 200 OF Bloomington Brother Rice (MI) Physical, athletic lefty hitter with good bat speed.
  • _11. Chandler Day 6-4, 162 RHP Watkins Memorial HS (OH) solid 93 MPH FB
  • _12. Donny Everett 6-2, 220 RHP Clarksville HS (TN) Power pitcher tops at 96 MH FB
  • _13. Cole McKay 6-5, 215 RHP Smithson Valley HS (TX) Strong frame, power pitcher with some feel for pitching. 92-94 FB with late stuff. Curve and change are both above-average with sink to the change. Louisiana State commit.
  • _14. Chris Betts 6-2, 220 C Wilson HS (CA) Plus pure arm strength, arm stroke gets long for a catcher. needs work receiving, above average raw power from left side, good athlete. Tennessee commit.
  • _15. Hunter Bowling 6-7, 215 LHP American Heritage HS (FL) Great pitcher's build, projectible body. FB touches 93 MPH wit downward tilt. Slider is average, Florida commit.
  • _16. Ryan Johnson 6-3, 200 OF College Station HS (TX) Good bat speed and power bat. TCU commit.
  • _17. Luken Baker 6-4, 245 RHP/OF Oak Ridge HS (TX) Big, strong, physical two-way player. 94 MPH FB with extreme power bat. TCU commit.
  • _18. Wyatt Cross 6-3, 190 C Legacy HS (CO) One of the stronger arms behind the plate, plus pop time. Good strength and athleticism. North Carolina commit.
  • _19. Austin Riley 6-3, 220 RHP/INF DeSoto Central HS (MS) Two-way player and FB prospect as QB, FB touches 92-94 has power potential with bat from right side.
  • _20. Devin Davis 6-2, 210 1B/OF Valencia HS (CA) Two-way player who leads with the power bat. Hitting ability is advanced with natural power leverage in his stroke. Loyola Marymount commit.
  • _21. Thomas Szapucki 6-2,185 LHP Dwyer HS (FL) Three pitch arsenal with deceptive delivery. FB is low 90's with 93 top. Slider can show above average, with a workable change.
  • _22. Sati Santa Cruz 6-3, 230 RHP Sahaurita HS (AZ) Physical, power pitcher challenges hitters with a heavy FB that sits low 90's and touches 95. Secondary stuff needs work. Arizona commit.
  • _23. Corey Zangari 6-4, 230 RHP Carl Albert HS (OK) Also a catcher, his FB cruise at mid 90's and tops at 97. Breaking ball has potential but lacks consistency. Oklahoma State commit.

2015 Top Tampa Bay Area High School Baseball Players

  • Jake Woodford RHP Plant HS Florida commit.
  • Kyke Tucker 6-3, 175 OF Plant HS Good pure hitter and defensive OF. Solid skills across the board. Florida commit.

2015 Top MLB HS Draft Prospects (NW Suburban Chicago Area)

  • Bradley Parchute RHP Marengo HS
  • Brandon Krennrich C Johnsburg HS Kentucky commit.
  • Jake Esp RHP Marmion Academy