Were you expecting moves the night before Thanksgiving? Me, neither. Nonetheless, here they are:
— San Francisco Giants (@SFGiants) November 28, 2013
Peguero was listed as the #10 prospect within the SF organization, but let’s not get that confused for a “top prospect,” overall. I will say, that their choosing of Peguero over Roger Kieschnick is interesting, but maybe there are some conversations we don’t know about between the Giants and Franky Pegs or Kieschnick.
The people at SB Nation’s Padres site, Gas Lamp Ball did an article on Jose De Paula earlier this calendar year and we find out a little bit about the kid from the Dominican Republic. Then there’s Erik Cordier, the guy who’s got a roster spot on the squad right now despite having no MLB appearances. This is quite the move, though it’s been a while since the Giants have had a flamethrower on their squad, even if there is no movement on his fastball. Here’s an interaction between pitcher Shane Loux, and beat writer Henry Schulman on the odd-ness of the move:
Then a former teammate of Cordier, Doug Mathis, that was playing with the AAA-Pirates squad weighed in:
— Henry Schulman (@hankschulman) November 28, 2013
So the Giants brought on a flamethrower, someone that struck out 28% of the guys he faced, and walked 12.1% of them in 53 innings pitched and 44 games. Perhaps the Giants figured if they had just signed Cordier to a Minor League contract that he would get picked in the Rule 5 Draft by an organization that needs a power arm, and so they gave him a MLB deal. I’m sure that was very welcome by Mr. Cordier and his camp, so we’ll see how this works out once camp rolls around. Or heck, maybe he doesn’t make it to camp and a move is made before then. Still, some interesting moves, albeit relatively minor ones for the time being.
A little over an hour ago we got the news, and I’m sure that Brett Pill couldn’t be happier:
— San Francisco Giants (@SFGiants) May 13, 2013
Pill gets the call up, and Francisco Peguero gets sent down, which makes everybody wonder less about who might be the DH as the Giants head to an American League park for a two-game series. This season, Pill was 6th in wOBA in the Pacific Coast League with the Fresno Grizzlies at .445 with a tied for league leading 9 HR.
For those that are getting super excited about those stats, I do want you to stay calm as other wOBA leaders for the PCL include Scott Van Slyke, Brian Bogusevic, and Kila Ka’aihue. This is not to say Pill will be a huge fail for the Giants, but that your expectations of his performance shouldn’t be as league leading as they were in AAA.
I’ve been mostly quiet on the internet today due to some computer gaming, a habit that’s been developing this week, but will probably die out next week because I’ll start to be busying myself with other, more career-minded business. The world moves on, and the lineups were posted for tonight’s game, with the Dodgers noting Carl Crawford and Mark Ellis were injured, but available tonight, and not in the starting lineup. Then Adrian Gonzalez get scratched from the lineup with neck pain, but unfortunately the Dodgers are allowed to replace him. Therefore, the lineup for the visiting Dodgers look like this:
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) May 4, 2013
Meanwhile, in the Champions corner, Barry Zito and company lookalike this:
Tonight’s #SFGiants lineup: Pagan cf, Scutaro 2b, Sandoval 3b, Posey c, Pence rf, Arias ss, Torres lf, Belt 1b, Zito p
— San Francisco Giants (@SFGiants) May 3, 2013
Also important to note that the Giants finally sent down the very much offensively-struggling Hector Sanchez, and called up the doing-well-in-Fresno Francisco Peguero. Jeremy Affeldt also was taken off the disabled list today. You might be aware that tonight is Metallica Night at AT&T Park, and while Brandon Belt‘s mug with a wig has been floating around the tubes, a Panda picture surfaced:
— San Francisco Giants (@SFGiants) May 4, 2013
Game time is 7:15PM PST, and should be a good challenge against Kershaw. I won’t remind you how it went last time they saw him.
With Spring Training happening now, prospect lists are coming out, from Baseball America and MLB most notably, fans start to compare farm systems and search within themselves how much that farm system matters to how they feel about their team. If you’re the Cardinals, you take pride in knowing the club you have at the major league level is of very good quality, and your farm provides plenty of promise. If you’re the Padres, you hold out hope for the future, because your farm has been good for some time while fans in San Diego have been left with a 2010 rush but not much else recently. If you’re a fan of the Giants, you’ve been given proof in postseasons and parades that the team at the major league level is worthy of being taken seriously, while the system may not be as top-heavy as it has been in the past, so you wonder how long the current MLB club can hold on until you will need reinforcements from the farm, not just on journeymen AAAA players.
While many of the Top 10 prospects of national lists have an estimated time of arrival in 2013, the MLB should expect to see plenty of new, highly-touted arms and bats before the end of the season, we’re not sure who from the Top 10 lists (or really any list) of San Francisco Giants minor leaguers that haven’t had their shot will crack the 2013 rosters AND be a useful piece.
Sure, Francisco Peguero could be useful here and there if one of the corner outfielders find the disabled list, but I haven’t seen a recent report that suggests he has the profile for an everyday spot. Gary Brown, the former number one prospect of the Giants could be that guy, especially with his strong second half he put up in Double-A Richmond. Roger Kieschnick‘s name got whispered last year by some fans, and he’s on the 40-man.
Conor Gillaspie has 48 PA across three different seasons, and you just hope he’ll be a good backup when the time comes, and you hope the same for the featured Fanfest kid Nick Noonan. All we’ve heard about Kensuke Tanaka is from Marty and his “Japanese feet.” Brock Bond has a cool name. That’s pretty much it when it comes to Giants prospects and who makes their living on the dirt.
The big names are all years away, although Chris Heston could be of use if one of the five go down. If he’s no good, then the Giants will probably draw from the AAA well, none of the others being prospects, mmmmaybe before checking in on Michael Kickham. Eric Surkamp is the wild card in all this, who says he’ll start resuming activities in July. Keep all this in mind as you consider whose contracts and service time with the Champs could be coming to a close after 2013.
If there’s anything we’ve seen with Sabean in the last few years, it’s that he’s got this, and this year he may not have to even trade any fringe major leaguers to shore up the ‘pen. Prospect Heath Hembree, still thought by Jonathan Mayo to be a potential closer, could start the year in Fresno and then force the issue after the first month of the season if someone in the bullpen goes down or gets consistently lit up. Perhaps Bochy sees that the front office calls up son Bret Bochy. Jason Martinez of MLBDepthCharts (who also wrote a “window of opportunity” article for ESPN that you should read) also has minor leaguers Jake Dunning and Fabio Castillo as other names to watch that haven’t had a taste of the Major League coffee yet.
Whose Swan Song Might 2013 Be
The Giants have about $70MM of their nearly $140MM budget committed to their rotation this year, but this could be the last year San Francisco pays to have two guys in Tim Lincecum and Barry Zito on their roster. Unless Ryan Vogelsong magically disappears this year, his $6.5MM option will be picked up, and the Giants will still be left wondering who to fill in to the 4th and 5th spots of the rotation with Matt Cain and Madison Bumgarner still leading a formidable 1-2 punch out of the gates. Do they commit the money that comes off the books to pitching? Posey? (<–the right answer. your argument is invalid.) Other offense?
The Giants got Hunter Pence for his bat, but his price tag is also very high, but one wonders how much it goes down if he continues what he did as a Giant in the regular season in 2013. If it doesn’t, though, do the Giants put out? Andres Torres, Javier Lopez, and Jose Mijares might also be tipping their caps to SF when the last game ends.
The Future is, and has been, now
Since the Giants have had a stable of young arms (plus Zito), people wondered what would happen if a team drew San Francisco in a best-of-series. 2010 was pretty much what some thought could happen, even if it did with a group of misfits. 2012 was a different set of happenings because the Giants went from three guys they could rely on with Jonathan Sanchez either walking everyone or finding his release point in ’10 to now in three guys and omg what about Lincecum and Zito? Still though, if you have a good to great rotation, and a strong top three for the playoffs, life might not be so bad for you (part of the reason why teams like the Nationals and Tigers should scare you). After this year, the questions arise: Who will be that #4? #5? Who will pick up the offense for an aging Marco Scutaro? (I’m pretty certain he isn’t going to be hitting what he did from acquisition & playoffs throughout his contract time.) Can Gary Brown be an answer?
This doesn’t mean that this is the very last year the Giants will compete in forever, but I believe if Lincecum is let go (which could be the right move in the long-term), and another offensive piece is not found/brought on, 2014 will be a difficult year with some of the top prospects starting to knock on the door for 2015. Therefore, if any big injuries happen to the rotation, or to the offense in 2013, Giants fans could find themselves grumbling for a couple of years before they can realistically start dreaming of parades again. Hopefully, health will be on their side, and everyone’s side, for that matter.
It appears the great catch Justin Christian made last night did cost him some playing time — 15 days at the very least — as he gets put on the DL with a wrist sprain. In his spot gets called up “Top 100” prospect Francisco Peguero, 24 years of age. I put “Top 100” in quotes because Peguero shouldn’t be expected to be anything a big contributor (now and forever, really) like what we’ve been spoiled with from guys like Posey, Cain, Bumgarner, Lincecum, etc. His role will be bench player that platoons against LHP, most likely. Referring to his MiLB page, .317/.333/.488 vs. lefties is Peguero with 2 HR in a very power and hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League.
The scouting report on Francisco on MLB.com looks like this:
“Peguero has tools galore and uses them with an all-or-nothing style. He’s aggressive at the plate, a free swinger who doesn’t walk but also doesn’t strike out, making contact with anything and everything. He runs the bases the same way and has the speed to be a basestealing threat. Peguero’s power hasn’t shown up consistently yet, but he’s got pop in his bat for sure. He moved over to right field last year, partially because he was coming back from a knee injury. His strong arm works well there, and he split time between right and center in 2012. More than anything, Peguero needs to refine his tools and his approach to succeed as he moves up the ladder. He spent three weeks on the disabled list in July with a side strain.”
Today’s lineup against the Braves looks like this:
As you see, Buster Posey is still missing, Brandon Belt has been moved up to 5th, and Hunter Pence is batting 4th. Both Belt and Pence didn’t look too good last night, and Pence in the LA series as a whole. Hector Sanchez has been abysmal lately, so Bochy’s being a bit hopeful here. Basically, you feel good about the top 3, and then hope and cross your fingers from there. You also hope the Giants play as well at home as they did on the road, granted they are playing a higher quality team in the Braves, who’ve lost 4 of their last 5.
You know the news, you’ve had nearly a good half-day to digest the news of the Giants OF now being vacant of a certain hit-generator, laser arm, and wry-smile guy Melky Cabrera. Yes, he’ll be gone for fifty games which includes the rest of the season and would also include the first five games of the postseason if the Giants even get that far. We know that, so now what?
If the Giants get to the NLCS, does he play?
Theoretically, if the Giants play a one-game playoff, he’d be eligible for NLDS Game 5, too, but let’s just say NLCS for argument’s sake. Melky Cabrera would have to train on his own to be in game-ready shape. Most of the time, like Guillermo Mota would get to, and Manny Ramirez got to, players get to rehab in Minor League games but unfortunately those MiLB games will be over and therefore why Melky would have to be relatively self-reliant to get ready.
I believe the Giants would do their absolute best to get Melky ready for an NLCS and/or World Series appearance if the Giants get lucky enough to get that far (not because they’re an unskilled club, but let’s remember how predictable baseball can be). I say in the NLCS, Melky becomes a bench player; World Series, a regular.
This is not a predicting piece saying the Giants will make the postseason. I want to make that clear, just spelling out what I think if the opportunity presented itself.
What happens to Melky and the Giants?
Say what you want about Melky lying to Andrew Baggarly about the rumored drug use, keep in mind though it’s not the first time in history a person has lied to a journalist trying to do their job. I’m not backing Melky, but if you’re going to get mad, make sure you get mad at everyone else.
The Giants save $1.666MM with Melky’s suspension. Melky is a free agent after this year, and while the Giants will have an exclusive negotiating period with Cabrera, it’s anybody’s guess as to what they will do, but a no brainer to the heart-strings if he becomes a postseason hero. Melky is 28 right now, but he will be entering what they call his age 28 season next year, which is supposed to be when players are still within their prime.
I wish we knew how long Melky’s been using the PED, and he’s in a bad situation: if you tell the Giants/MLB how long you’ve been using it, your sticker price goes down; if you don’t tell organizations how long you had been using and they feel they can’t trust you, the sticker price may be even lower.
In the end, I’d expect a 2-year, $8MM deal offer assuming no postseason heroics. “Offer” does not mean he signs it.
The roster moves from here?
Let’s start with this: there are two rosters for an MLB organization that are pretty important — the 25-man, which we know as the MLB squad, and the 40-man roster which encompasses those 25 and includes others the Giants can protect from other clubs. Admittedly, I am not an absolute expert on the rules of moving guys to and from, and who and who is not protected, but let’s start with this:
This means that the Giants don’t have to designate a player currently on the 40-man and risk losing him to another team, I mean, not that teams are on the hunt for Justin Christian or anything, but he’s there for a reason. I’m guessing Melky will be on the Restricted List tomorrow because:
Poor Dan Otero came up for a short bit then goes back down. This opens up two spots on the 25-man roster, and there’s already one open on the 40-man. However, just because there’s a spot open on the 40-man doesn’t necessarily mean someone will be moved onto it. Brett Pill and Justin Christian could come back and my whole next one sentence paragraph could be just a waste of imagination. One option in Roger Kieschnick who is on the 40-man already got eliminated today:
So now we’re left with choosing between the obvious guys of Justin Christian, Brett Pill, and the you-wouldn’t-be-surprised in Xavier Nady (who’s doing horribly in AAA) or even Francisco Peguero (who’s doing better, but not “WOW” better), and the end of the spectrum of surprise in top-prospect Gary Brown.
My guess based off of 100% pure guessing of a guess I’m making in my head: Brett Pill and Francisco Peguero, while the spot in the 40 stays open.
A day off tomorrow probably won’t help matters, but the roster moves will help everyone move on. Winning against the Padres and Dodgers in the next six games will cure many cuts should that winning happen and really there’s no reason why it shouldn’t. If the Dodgers can put together a hot streak with Matt Kemp out and a mediocre roster, why not the Giants?
Really, why not them?