Category: Roster Building 2012

Astros leaked trade notes on Deadspin: Giants willing to trade Clayton Blackburn in Bud Norris deal; hold on to Belt in off-season

Fans of any sport like to imagine what it would be like in a front office where they live and breathe a particular sport. Thanks to some hacker(s), some of that information has been leaked and posted to Deadspin. As you can imagine, when you have ten months-worth of trade notes for the world to see, you’re getting a great look inside the dialogue and way of thinking from not just one, but several front offices, including the San Francisco Giants. Last summer, the Giants were connected to the Astros in rumors for Bud Norris, whom was eventually traded for Josh Hader, L.J. Hoes, and a draft pick. As you will read, this is not exactly at the level of return the Astros were trying to get for Bud Norris.

The following notes are the Giants highlights from the article:


[Giants assistant GM] Bobby Evans called [Houston AGM David Stearns] to check in on Bud Norris. DS told BE that it’s probably a little early for us to consider dealign Norris but are always willing to listen. DS said that when we do trade Norris we will likely be looking for quality over quantity.


SF indicated to [Astros GM Jeff Luhnow] that they would do Clayton Blackburn (2014 #8 SF prospect according to plus another piece but couldn’t include Kyle Crick (2014 #1 SF prospect according to

SF said they could not do Blackburn and Crick but that they would like to keep talking and keep in touch on Norris.


[Luhnow] offered Norris for Blackburn, (2014 #3 SF prospect according to Adalberto Mejia, and (2014 #19 SF prospect according to Keury Mella. SF said no.


SF said they still had interest in Norris. [Luhnow] said they would have to include both Blackburn and Mejia to be competitive.

SF said they wouldn’t include Mejia on top of Blackburn.

In the off-season, the Giants signed Tim Hudson on November 18th, and Ryan Vogelsong on December 4th. Still, Lucas Harrell was being discussed, and for some reason Brandon Belt is a footnote in this conversation.


SF reiterated interest in Lucas Harrell to [Luhnow]. Also said they would not discuss Belt.

Some other highlights were the Dodgers being okay with including Carl Crawford in a deal, the Marlins willing to consider trading Giancarlo Stanton, and Luhnow asking for Lucas Giolito in exchange for Lucas Harrell. It’s quite a read, and I recommend you take a look.


GIFPost: @joshreddick16 Makes Two Stupid Crazy Catches to Rob @Mcode38 in Wednesday’s Opener

I haven’t had the chance to see all the highlights from today’s game, but let me tell you something: Josh Reddick made some pretty neat catches while climbing the right field fence in Scottsdale to rob Michael Morse of at least six total bases, maybe even eight. First, watch the videos so can get a glimpse:

Now, watch on repeat the crazy grabs that Josh Reddick made. First, the prayer backhand stretch catch:

and the second, the “thank goodness I didn’t have to climb as high this time” grab:

No, those were not the same catches, even though I wasn’t sure when I first watched. Hopefully that kind of stuff only happens to the Giants in Spring Training and not in the regular season. I mean, the bullpen was already tired of this happening after the second catch:

Well done, Josh Reddick. Do that to everybody else but the Giants during the regular season, and I’ll be just fine with your defensive work. Had Reddick not been in RF today, we know Morse’s first AB could have been much different, tough to say about the second because who knows if the conditions would have even been the same.

#SFGiants Bring Back RHP Ryan Vogelsong on One Year Deal

The San Francisco Giants, after signing Tim Hudson to a deal, decided to turn their focus on landing their #5 pitcher, be it Ryan Vogelsong, a different in-house option, someone on the market, or finding another pitcher in a trade. Apparently, the Giants have decided that Ryan Vogelsong was their best option:

The Giants rotation is now something along the lines of:

  1. RHP Matt Cain
  2. LHP Madison Bumgarner
  3. RHP Tim Lincecum
  4. RHP Tim Hudson
  5. RHP Ryan Vogelsong

Originally the Giants had a $6.5MM option for him for 2014, but opted out, paying him $300,000 for the chance for them to explore their options for a better pitcher. Instead, it seems they could be paying more than their original option should Ryan Vogelsong first pass his physical to seal the deal, then summon his inner 2011 and 2012 seasons to earn more than what he was originally scheduled to earn.

2013 for Ryan Vogelsong saw him pitch in the World Baseball Classic and struggle in the regular season before coming back to being the Vogey we all know and love, before suffering a broken hand on a swinging HBP vs. the Nationals while he had a 6-0 lead on them:

The rest of the year he spent recovering and working to get that hand strength back, so even when he was reinstated and pitching again, he wasn’t the 100% Ryan Vogelsong we’ve been used to. What can you say about this deal? The Giants apparently didn’t like what they saw in Yusmeiro Petit, Edwin Escobar, or even Chad Gaudin enough to say to them, “You’re our #5 guy,” so if any of them are on the 25-man Opening Day Roster, it’s probably as a bullpen option. I know I can’t necessarily think of better, cheaper #5 options for the Giants that were out on the market, but I can’t say I’m thrilled or angry at this move. I’ve accepted it, and am OK with it. I believe the contributions Vogelsong can make for the Giants aren’t done yet, and this will be the last year he works his stuff with the Giants. If he can’t get that velocity back though while not improving his control+command, he’ll be pushed out of the rotation in favor of Petit or Escobar, should they still be around.

The Giants will now be turning their attention to filling out the rest of their roster, with their biggest goal of being acquiring a platoon partner for Gregor Blanco. Beat writers have said they expect the Giants to do so through trade, rather than free agency. The Winter Meetings, where baseball executives get together, will be held December 9-12 in Orlando, FL.

The Dodgers lost, but not the way I wanted

Clayton Kershaw will be a favorite for the NL Cy Young, and he was on the losing end of a miserable outing on Friday night in Game 6 against the St. Louis Cardinals. For a guy that had a FIP below 2.50 for September and at 2.20 for the second half and had struck out more than 40% of the lefties he faced in 2013, you regularly expect excellence out of him, and rightly so, I believe. Maybe the innings caught up with him. Maybe it was one of those days where he was off his game and he faced a team that was ready for the punishing like they always seem to be against Matt Cain of our beloved Giants. Whatever it was, it didn’t feel right.

I hold Kershaw in the highest of lights for pitchers, considering him the best pitcher in all of baseball. I love watching him dominate when he’s doing his work, I’m even a little awestruck when he’s on against the Giants, or even just having a slightly bad day and only going seven innings and striking out five. Really it is no wonder there were rumors of him getting big money before the regular season started. His fastball sits around 92-93 with pretty great command, his slider gives you a different look of a good pitch, and his curveball is straight out of baseball heaven with the numbers to prove it. That repertoire can go up with the best of them, and has been successful, too.

When the Cardinals went up 1-0, 2-0 in Game 6, that was exciting. It could be all Michael Wacha needed, I thought and wondered, and the wasn’t necessarily a game that was out of reach, even for the bats of the Dodgers. Then the Cardinals went up 4-0, and even though it was only the third inning, I worried that this game was over before a third of it had been completed. Kershaw had thrown 81 pitches through three, there was no way he’d be able to go six. The Cards would eventually double the score plus one, and within that time Kershaw was pulled, a couple relievers used, and then it was over. If only the game had stayed closer, and Kershaw hadn’t been lit up, then this would have been a bowing out I would not have felt so odd over, but in the end, would I rather have this 9-0, STL NL Champions in 6, than possibly start the game over and see if the game could be closer?

Absolutely not.

Now my attention turns to rooting for the American League, because nobody wants to see the Cardinals win besides people connected with the team and their fans (really, what sort of “best fans” call themselves “best fans in baseball?”). I do wonder if the media will do another sketch featuring a Red Bird defending the trophy against a team with a payroll $30-$40 million more than themselves. Sure, it’s not around $100 million more like the Dodgers were compared to the Cards payroll, but doesn’t every team that lacks have the farm depth to make a team have to do some buying to field a competitive team?

Game 6 of the ALCS between the Tigers and the Red Sox is tonight at 5PM on FOX.

Post-Fight Press Conference Notes from Don Mattingly and Zack Greinke

After the Dodgers got their 3-2 victory over the San Diego Padres, the Dodgers kept their word to release all news and debriefings following the game with Manager Don Mattingly at the mic. The summary from what was said at the press conference:

  • Zack Greinke suffered a broken left collarbone — that news from GM Ned Coletti
  • Grienke will see doctors in LA tomorrow, will get timeline then
  • Mattingly says Carlos Quentin shouldn’t play until Grienke pitches again
  • Says Carlos Quentin had “zero understanding of the game of baseball” in that context of a 3-2 pitch in a 2-1 game
  • Mattingly not sure what Hairston was saying to the Padres’ Baker
  • Once Grienke was hurt, and Matt Kemp knew about it, “he lost it”
  • Per Eric Stephen of TrueBlueLA, Jerry Hairston heard someone on the Padres making fun of Zack’s hurt shoulder, then “he lost it”
  • Greinke said, “[Quentin] always seems to think I’m hitting you on purpose… I didn’t hit him on purpose”
  • Greinke believes his collarbone broke in the collision
  • Greinke says, “I don’t know anyone that’s hit him on purpose before… I think it’s just a ploy [Quentin] uses to try to get pitchers to pitch outside”

The manager understandably upset that he lost their #2 starter, and tomorrow we’ll probably find out how long Grienke will be out. The Padres and Dodgers will see each other 16 more times this season.

Lineups Posted: Noonan’s first start comes at Wrigley

It’s raining lightly at Wrigley Field now. We’ll keep you posted if today’s game time is affected by the weather.

— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) April 11, 2013

Well, the weather hasn’t been California-style in Chicago, especially since yesterday when their final game against Milwaukee had to be postponed due to rain. As I look at, the zip code doesn’t say anything about heavy rains, although there is a chance of precipitation. Screen shot 2013-04-11 at 8.48.45 AMMeanwhile, at the ballyard, we have lineups posted. For the visiting Giants, you’ll notice Nick Noonan is getting his first MLB start, and that Brandon Crawford is batting second. Marco Scutaro is getting the day off, but that doesn’t mean a middle infielder needs to bat second. I’m not going to get into a full-rage rant over this since this is one game, and it could even work out (see Ryan Theriot DH-ing in Game 4). For the Giants:

Nate Schierholtz gets a start against his old mates, and he’s getting his share of starts, too, which is what he wanted during his prime years. Nate should be getting his ring some time this year but…

I would expect he gets it in late July at the very latest when the Cubs come to town, where I’d expect him to receive a lukewarm reception.

As you may have heard, Carlos Marmol is not the closer in Chicago anymore, a role now occupied by Kyuji Fujikawa.

Looking at today’s starter, going to take a look at how each pitchers pitches fared in 2012. First for the visitors, Ryan Vogelsong:

Screen shot 2013-04-11 at 8.59.25 AM

Vogey has done a pretty good job of not letting everybody take advantage of his off-speed stuff, although perhaps his defense helped him out as you look at that BABIP. The Great Equalizer of the four-seam variety fared pretty well last year also.

And next, for the home team, Scott Feldman:

Screen shot 2013-04-11 at 8.59.05 AM

Not much use of the four-seamer, and more so of the sinker-cutter for balls in play or on a pitch that ended a plate appearance. Plenty of homers off of the cutter and the changeup, especially for the ratio of AB to HR for the changeup.

The game is scheduled to begin at 11:20PM PST, unless we hear about some postponements or anything.

Really Bitter Rangers Fans

Josh Hamilton, as you might have heard, hates people in Texas. Or Dallas. Or the Rangers. Something. With all the booing Hamilton received this weekend you’d think he’d have done something really, really bad. He had a poor stretch as the 2012 season came to an end, which didn’t sit well with fans, some perceived it as “giving up,” which is silly because I don’t get that. He signed with the Angels over the off-season, and the Rangers didn’t want to take that kind of financial gamble on him, so I’m not sure why they’re so mad about that. Would they have booed him less if he went to another non-AL West team? Yea, maybe a little. But what he said in Spring Training really got people in Texas going. Just stirring angry. Here’s what he said:

“Texas, especially Dallas, has always been a football town. The good with the bad is they’re supportive, but they also got a little spoiled at the same time, pretty quickly. You can understand a really true, true baseball town. There’s true baseball fans in Texas but it’s not a true baseball town.”

How dare he say Dallas is a football town! Mark Cuban is going to be pissed. And how will the Dallas Stars’ clever twitter account respond to that one??

Of course, you know that people are angry that he said Dallas isn’t a “true baseball town,” even though he clearly, and rightfully, acknowledged there are true baseball fans in Texas. Many people that attended the first games were really butthurt about this quote. Then I saw this sign on ESPN Sunday Night Baseball:

Screen shot 2013-04-08 at 2.26.46 PM

This can be read multiple ways:

  • Before Arlington Hamilton was a was Baseball 1981 Born 1972 Town Now
  • Before Hamilton was born 1981 Arlington was a Baseball 1972 Town Now
  • Before Hamilton was born (1981) Arlington (1972-Now) was a Baseball Town

Huh. So from 1972-April 7, 2013 Arlington has been a baseball town? I’m hoping I see some really impressive figures to show me that this is the case. Should I not feed the trolls? I absolutely shouldn’t, but I’m curious because I actually forreally reals do not know what attendance was like before Hamilton, or myself, were born. Luckily for me, baseball reference always comes around to save the day:

Year Tm W L Finish Stadium Attendance Attend/G Rank
2013 Texas Rangers 4 2 2 Rangers Ballpark in Arlington 138,080 46,027 1st of 10
2012 Texas Rangers 93 69 2 Rangers Ballpark in Arlington 3,460,280 42,720 2nd of 14
2011 Texas Rangers 96 66 1 Rangers Ballpark in Arlington 2,946,949 36,382 5th of 14
2010 Texas Rangers 90 72 1 Rangers Ballpark in Arlington 2,505,171 30,928 5th of 14
2009 Texas Rangers 87 75 2 Rangers Ballpark in Arlington 2,156,016 26,617 8th of 14
2008 Texas Rangers 79 83 2 Rangers Ballpark in Arlington 1,945,677 24,021 11th of 14
2007 Texas Rangers 75 87 4 Ameriquest Field 2,353,862 29,060 8th of 14
2006 Texas Rangers 80 82 3 Ameriquest Field 2,388,757 29,491 7th of 14
2005 Texas Rangers 79 83 3 Ameriquest Field 2,525,221 31,176 6th of 14
2004 Texas Rangers 89 73 3 The Ballpark in Arlington 2,513,685 31,033 6th of 14
2003 Texas Rangers 71 91 4 The Ballpark in Arlington 2,094,394 25,857 7th of 14
2002 Texas Rangers 72 90 4 The Ballpark in Arlington 2,352,397 29,042 6th of 14
2001 Texas Rangers 73 89 4 The Ballpark in Arlington 2,831,021 34,525 5th of 14
2000 Texas Rangers 71 91 4 The Ballpark in Arlington 2,588,401 31,956 5th of 14
1999 Texas Rangers 95 67 1 The Ballpark in Arlington 2,771,469 34,216 5th of 14
1998 Texas Rangers 88 74 1 The Ballpark in Arlington 2,927,399 36,141 4th of 14
1997 Texas Rangers 77 85 3 The Ballpark in Arlington 2,945,228 36,361 4th of 14
1996 Texas Rangers 90 72 1 The Ballpark in Arlington 2,889,020 35,667 3rd of 14
1995 Texas Rangers 74 70 3 The Ballpark in Arlington 1,985,910 27,582 5th of 14
1994 Texas Rangers 52 62 1 The Ballpark in Arlington 2,503,198 39,733 3rd of 14
1993 Texas Rangers 86 76 2 Arlington Stadium 2,244,616 27,711 6th of 14
1992 Texas Rangers 77 85 4 Arlington Stadium 2,198,231 27,139 7th of 14
1991 Texas Rangers 85 77 3 Arlington Stadium 2,297,720 28,367 7th of 14
1990 Texas Rangers 83 79 3 Arlington Stadium 2,057,911 25,096 7th of 14
1989 Texas Rangers 83 79 4 Arlington Stadium 2,043,993 25,234 9th of 14
1988 Texas Rangers 70 91 6 Arlington Stadium 1,581,901 19,530 11th of 14
1987 Texas Rangers 75 87 6 Arlington Stadium 1,763,053 21,766 10th of 14
1986 Texas Rangers 87 75 2 Arlington Stadium 1,692,002 20,889 8th of 14
1985 Texas Rangers 62 99 7 Arlington Stadium 1,112,497 13,906 12th of 14
1984 Texas Rangers 69 92 7 Arlington Stadium 1,102,471 13,781 12th of 14
1983 Texas Rangers 77 85 3 Arlington Stadium 1,363,469 16,833 10th of 14
1982 Texas Rangers 64 98 6 Arlington Stadium 1,154,432 14,252 11th of 14
1981 Texas Rangers 57 48 2 Arlington Stadium 850,076 15,180 10th of 14
1980 Texas Rangers 76 85 4 Arlington Stadium 1,198,175 14,977 9th of 14
1979 Texas Rangers 83 79 3 Arlington Stadium 1,519,671 18,761 8th of 14
1978 Texas Rangers 87 75 2 Arlington Stadium 1,447,963 17,658 9th of 14
1977 Texas Rangers 94 68 2 Arlington Stadium 1,250,722 15,441 9th of 14
1976 Texas Rangers 76 86 4 Arlington Stadium 1,164,982 14,382 5th of 12
1975 Texas Rangers 79 83 3 Arlington Stadium 1,127,924 14,099 5th of 12
1974 Texas Rangers 84 76 2 Arlington Stadium 1,193,902 14,924 4th of 12
1973 Texas Rangers 57 105 6 Arlington Stadium 686,085 8,470 11th of 12
1972 Texas Rangers 54 100 6 Arlington Stadium 662,974 8,610 10th of 12
Provided by View Original Table
Generated 4/8/2013.

Don’t you think “Baseball Towns” would consistently rank in the at least the top five of their league? They did so in 1974-1976, so maybe the area was feeling a little baseball-y, but with a capacity of over 35,700, through 1985 Rangers fans were only able to break 1.5 million attendees once with a possibility of being able to seat 2.891 million fans. This doesn’t mean there weren’t true baseball fans around, just saying the attendance data doesn’t suggest it was that kind of town from 1972-1985 whatsoever. Now, I do get that it’s hard to support a 100 loss team, I do, but there were also some winning records there, as well.

The question for now though that is Arlington a baseball town in the present an accurate statement is not one I could factually and emphatically state “yes” or “no,” and I know the SABR conference mentioned something about the growth in “unique” Texas Rangers fans, so I don’t think Arlington is inching away from becoming a baseball town. Word that I’ve just seen around twitter is that Arlington still isn’t a baseball town, what with their love for football at every level. Their current ballpark, The Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, has the potential to bring in nearly 3.9 million fans a season with the over 48,000 seating capacity it has.

So now that some Rangers fans live with a sound bite-sized chip on their shoulders, I’ll see it as interesting to see how they show up in good times and bad, and when I visit sometime in either 2014 or 2015, I’m very interested to see what I’ll experience when I get to the area, but it’s not going to matter to me whether it’s a baseball town or not. Just give me baseball.