We all start as new fans sometimes.
Also should’ve used “are” instead of “is,” but whatever, I just thought “Berry Zito” instead of Barry Zito was a little funny. Could be that his autocorrect got the best of him…. Technology can just be the worst.
— Bill Shaikin (@BillShaikin) November 2, 2013
I responded to Bill asking if he was sure that Torres had an option. It was confirmed by the other beat writers, so clearly Torres did, and I had no idea. Not only did he have an option, he had a buyout!
Per me: #sfgiants and Andres Torres held a $3 million mutual option for 2014, after he earned $2 million in ’13. Buyout is $500,000.
— Henry Schulman (@hankschulman) November 4, 2013
Son of a! Not only was his option buyout $500,000, it was $200,000 more than the buyout for Ryan Vogelsong‘s was. That’s bonkers to me, as much as I love Torres. Baggs says the Giants are working to bring Vogey back for less than the $6.5MM he was set to make in 2014 if his option were to be picked up:
— Andrew Baggarly (@CSNBaggs) November 3, 2013
Makes me wonder how much the Giants are going to save. One 2013 Andres Torres, if that? Maybe just enough coin so that the Giants can give Javier Lopez a nice pay day.
In 2013, Vogelsong had one month with a FIP below 4. In 2011 and 2012, he had one month each season where he had a FIP over 4. That’s just one stat people might talk about going into 2014, assuming the Giants and Vogelsong get a deal done, which I expect they will. Also because I’m not ready for the Giants and Vogelsong to part ways, and I’m not sure many of us are, either.
Barry Zito didn’t hit that 200 IP mark some were scared he would hit in 2013, and surprise, he didn’t pitch well enough to warrant bringing him back to eat up a good chunk of their payroll in 2014. Instead, he will just be taking out about about a Marco Scutaro-sized bite.
— Ray Ratto (@RattoCSN) November 2, 2013
Thank goodness for 2012, otherwise the Barry Zito contract would probably surround him with negative energy, and really, it’s not Zito’s fault Giants management blew him and his agency away with that contract. Zito seems like a good guy, so I’m glad he had his moment with the Giants. I am also relieved the Giants can now waste their not-my-money on another regrettable contract that will make us headdesk repeatedly.
Good thing the Giants have their choices on whom to make a bad decision over.
Safe travels and thanks for being a big part of giving me the opportunity to go to my first parade, Barry.
Barry Zito, San Francisco Giant, makes possibly his last start as a member of the team on Wednesday night. For a guy that was signed for seven years and $126 million, this should be a post that talks about why his contract was a total disaster. Normally, that kind of contract with Barry Zito’s regular season performance, this should be that kind of post. I mean, look at these numbers:
|SFG (7 yrs)||4.63||206||196||8||3||1||1134.0||584||130||498||785||86||1.442|
No season with an ERA under four. In fact, his 4.63 ERA in that span for pitchers with at least 1000 IP is second-worst to Livan Hernandez. His HR allowed is tied for twenty-fourth most. He is tied for the sixth fewest complete games with 3. No season throwing more than 200 innings in a regular season. An ERA+ over 100 one time, in 2009. This was not the pitcher the Giants envisioned signing. Zito, of course, was the pitcher Giants fans loved to hate. Zito made millions performing at a below-average level, pretty much every lazy person’s dream. However, that shouldn’t be how Barry Zito should be remembered. Here’s part of how Barry Zito should be remembered:
|2008||1||5||5||Buster Posey (minors)||C||17.2|
|2009||1||6||6||Zack Wheeler (minors)||RHP||1.2|
|2013||1||25||25||Christian Arroyo (minors)||SS|
|2012||1||20||20||Chris Stratton (minors)||RHP|
|2011||1||29||29||Joe Panik (minors)||SS|
|2010||1||24||24||Gary Brown (minors)||CF|
It is not a stretch to say that without the help of Barry Zito, Buster Posey in a Giants uniform never becomes a thing. It is a stretch to say because of Barry Zito, the Giants nabbed Posey fifth overall. Had the Giants won one more game, the Marlins would have picked fifth, and the Giants would have had to trade for Posey after the Marlins fire sale of 2011 after the Florida Marlins won the World Series over the Oakland Athletics. Every little thing matters. Who knows if Barry Zito’s contributions will have helped the Giants turn Arroyo, Stratton, Panik, or Brown into superstars of the Giants, but maybe he will help the big club again in 2014 with Draft positioning.
What Barry Zito should absolutely be remembered for are his contributions to World Series teams. His performance in 2010 wasn’t anything remarkable, but nevertheless he contributed what he could to a team that won, that was in the right spot at the right time. In 2012, he led the charge on a white horse, saving the Giants from certain elimination against the very annoying St. Louis Cardinals.
To think that Barry Zito of all the people on the roster could lead the team to save the Giants and effectively take advantage of David Freese playing too far back was magical. It would be the beginning of a comeback and the second-half of consecutive elimination games won by the eventual World Champions. Barry Zito would also start Game 1 against Justin Verlander. Justin Verlander. Zito did not do all the work himself, but he did the job he needed to do: keep the powerful Tigers at bay. He would even add in a single off of the Tigers ace for good measure.
Barry Zito essentially again helped lead another charge made by the Giants to celebrate in the clubhouse. He would not factor into Games 2, 3, and 4, and it’s hard to say what would have happened in Game 5 had the Giants suffered a loss in Game 4. That’s not something we need to worry about, though. We’ll worry about the facts: Barry Zito was an overpriced player that caused GM Brian Sabean and his team to work around that behemoth of a contract to bring in the players he did. Zito really never performed well — or acceptable to our standards set by his contract — until he arrived in the last part of the 2012 Postseason. Barry Zito will not be the Greatest Giant, but he will forever be a Giant.
On September 1st, teams across Major League Baseball can expand their rosters to forty players. Teams will usually have twenty-five players ready to go on any given day (unless you’re the Giants and like playing with twenty-four for long stretches), but once September hits, anybody on the forty-man roster can be called up to The Show. If you’re a little confused, don’t worry, we’ve all been new to this at one time. You’ll notice the 25-man roster, or the active roster, has all the players in the dugout you’re familiar with. The 40-man roster has some additional names, some you’ve heard of, some that may be a little new to you. Everybody on that 40-man roster is eligible to join the team if/when the Giants feel like calling them up. With Triple-A affiliate Fresno finishing off their season today, the Giants announced their callups:
Callups: Noonan, Adrianza, Peguero, Perez, Kontos, Dunning, Hembree, Monell. 2 40-man spots needed. Zito will not be DFA. #sfgiants
— Henry Schulman (@hankschulman) September 2, 2013
Barry Zito has earned the respect the Giants are showing him by keeping him on the roster through the end of the season. Classy move by SF.
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) September 3, 2013
I just wish I was better at reading because earlier I asked who would be designated for assignment — as you see from Mr. Schulman’s tweet that two current 40-man roster spot holders must be designated for assignment when they get taken off said roster — and I incorrectly guessed that Zito could be one of the two on the ropes. I feel like the game we’ll play for these first two spots is which players did not get called up from the Minors in this most recent wave of call-ups. That leaves us with these Minor Leaguers and the rationale for keeping them/taking them off the 40:
- Angel Villalona — A lot of whispers surround him from his criminal case in Latin America, and his absence from baseball is something even the untrained eye can spot in his player profile. Still, the kid is playing in his Age 22 season in 2013, and you could do much worse than being 22 and playing in Double-A. The Giants have also signed him up for the Arizona Fall League in September. He’s safe.
- Kensuke Tanaka — The organization gave him his shot in Spring Training, and he got a cup of coffee earlier with fifteen games with the big club. Three other infielders were added since September 1st (Tony Abreu being the other), which makes him look like a giveaway for him being the odd man out.
- Eric Surkamp — Beat writers were saying the Giants just want him to rest after coming back from Tommy John surgery in 2013. He’s safe.
- Edwin Escobar — He’ll be 22 in April, been pitching well, and he’s playing in Double-A right now. He’s safe.
- Dan Runzler — Finishing his age 28 season, he put up a 5.68 ERA in 51 G with Fresno this year. Makes sense for him to be the other guy to go.
Much to the dismay of many, Guillermo Moscoso probably will not be in the first round of cuts from the 40-man. He may not reach the next round if/when Chad Gaudin, Jeremy Affeldt, and Matt Cain get activated, but stay he should for the time being. I get that fans don’t like his 4.43 ERA in 22.1 IP, his 15.7% BB% makes you sick to your stomach, his fWAR is -0.3, and he’s about to turn 30. This is not an attractive option to hold on to if you expect your team to get better, but let’s face it: if you want to have someone use up some of your innings in 2013, would you prefer someone that can more or less keep the score close-ish be in the game or push all of your stars in these games that are determining where the Giants will draft? Yea, those aren’t the only two options, but Moscoso is still just good enough to hang around the Giants. Every other outing since August 4th he’s allowed at least a run, and so today was the zero day. Normally unacceptable for the Giants in their recent stretch of success, Moscoso just needs to eat innings right now to save the arms of guys like Javier Lopez, Jeremy Affeldt, Santiago Casilla, and Sergio Romo. Guys who we’re expecting to all be back in 2014 with the Giants.
So hang tight, Moscoso-haters. He’ll be gone, just not right away. I believe the Giants are just using him to eat up some innings before they release him after the season’s over. He will treat this as an audition for 2014, and the Giants will watch, maybe invite him to Spring Training, but we will trust that they will have better options than him come April of ’14, when the Dodgers won’t be able to say they won the World Series.
The twenty-five errors the Giants have posted in May have cast a dark shadow only the Giants could cast over themselves, and say what you (accurately) will about fielding percentage, but having the lowest FLD% in the NL in May does not seem to be an incorrect evaluation of the Giants poor defense if you’ve watched them play. Still, the Giants, with their win today, are 14-13 in May and cannot finish the month with a below-.500 mark for May, which hopefully does serve as a confidence booster despite what they (haven’t) put out.
The Giants fell behind, as they usually seem to do, and when Andres Torres saw the ball bounce out of his glove on a single to LF, I was wondering how bad things were going to get. A four-game sweep was the least of my concerns. But yet, Barry Zito danced through danger. Six walks, including a first inning that saw second and third with no outs after a double steal with Coco Crisp at the front of it. The A’s didn’t even score that inning, but BZ clamped down on Oakland rallies and even being at 101 pitches through five and struggling to get ahead on hitters, came out for a solid sixth inning to save the bullpen that much more work (and most importantly, got through it unscathed).
The Giants, saving the bulk of their scoring towards the latter half of the game (a familiar pattern at home), had Brett Pill (line drive), Brandon Crawford (handsome double), Pablo Sandoval (2-RBI single), Hunter Pence (single up the middle), and Brandon Belt (2-RBI double to LCF) all get involved for contributing to a lead that the Giants would never give back, ending the inning up 4-1.
It took Ramon Ramirez, George Kontos, and Jeremy Affeldt to get through the seventh, still up 4-2 after one of the dudes RamRam walked came in during Kontos’ stint, but hold the lead they did with Affeldt throwing his two-seamer for a swinging strikeout to get the Giants ready for their half. Nick Noonan would begin the inning with a nice push bunt for a hit while Gregor Blanco decided to make Adam Rosales hate the seventh inning with this pop up:
And then Brandon Crawford would ground into a fielder’s choice, but then Rosales decides to try and make the impossible out at first and instead send the ball to somewhere not in the first baseman’s mitt:
This would be all the scoring done in the game, but not all the interesting parts were done as the frustrations of Andres Torres came to kill his bat after his strikeout in the eighth
Love the expression of the lady in the lower right corner of the shot.
Sergio Romo would close it out on thirteen pitches, and only one whiff of all of those, coming on a slider to Yoenis Cespedes. Still, he got the job done, and the Giants would get to salvage a game from their four-game set with the Athletics.
Mike Krukow was harping on home plate umpire Dan Iassogna’s strike zone, saying Zito should have got more borderline pitches, and I wanted to check out if he was right.
I’m sure you’ll have to click on that to get a better idea, but Iassogna’s strike zone was pretty good, and he called most of the close pitches on the sides correctly. Might have been a couple that are technically strikes, but if someone showed you that you would be getting that strike zone for the game you’re about to watch, I think I’d have a hard time finding people that wouldn’t take that.
The Giants are off for a weekend in St. Louis where it is raining right now in a game between them and the Royals, and my Yahoo! weather app is telling me there will be thunderstorms on Friday and Saturday (but there is a little sun logo behind the cloud, so maybe there’s hope), so hopefully those storms will only happen after the baseball games have run their course.
Also a positive for the Giants who have had to use their bullpen a lot lately, in the next eleven days, they will have three days off.
The 2012 World Champion San Francisco Giants head out to pre-season 2013 World Series favourite Toronto to square off against the Blue Jays who haven’t started the ’13 season the way they had hoped (last place in the AL East), but have gathered a little confidence in them as they come off of a two game win streak to finish a series in Boston. Like the Giants, they had a day off yesterday, but unlike the Giants, they have a day off on Thursday so they have a lot of freedom to use a lot of pitchers here and there. The Giants will be heading to Colorado for a four game series right after they’re done in Canada.
Here’s what the Giants are sending out:
Tonight’s #SFGiants lineup: Pagan cf, Scutaro DH, Sandoval 3b, Posey c, Pence rf, Belt 1b, Blanco lf, Noonan 2b, Crawford ss, Zito p
— San Francisco Giants (@SFGiants) May 14, 2013
Buster Posey will be DH-ing tomorrow, per Boch’s interview with Jim Bowden. The Blue Jays, cellar dwellers of the AL East bring you:
Tonight’s @bluejays lineup:Cabrera-DHBautista-RFEncarnacion-1BDeRosa-2BLawrie-3BIzturis-SSRasmus-CFBlanco-CBonifacio-LFDickey-P
— Blue Jays-Official(@BlueJays) May 14, 2013
Old friend and World Champion Mark DeRosa batting cleanup, and other old friend and kinda sorta World Champion Melky Cabrera leading off and DH-ing. Also, this is a reminder that Henry Blanco is still playing at age 41 — wow.
In terms of pitch usage for both of these fellows, one may seem more obvious than the other, but here goes:
This one, as you guessed, is for Barry Zito, who throws many pitches, and many sliders and curveballs, too! Loves throwing in that extra pitch to right handers as well.
R.A. Dickey will mix in his fastball every now and then, but definitely more when the batter is ahead, and RHH will definitely be aware of that when they face off in less than a couple hours. That scouting report may not be good enough, so here’s Dickey’s game log for this year:
Five homers in his last three starts, but none in his last start, so that’s an improvement. He’s had two solid starts this year, while being not-so-Cy-Youngish in the rest. The Giants hope they get that version today, and maybe Zito can mystify the Blue Jays.
It’s the first time the Giants are playing a game in the Eastern Standard Time Zone tonight, so you can catch the game starting at 4:07PM PST, then get ready for your Sharks-Kings hockey game when the baseball concludes.