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.
Series opens up in Milwaukee tonight where everybody will be wearing #42, since neither team played yesterday.
Tonight’s (4/16) #SFGiants lineup at MIL: Pagan cf, Scutaro 2b, Sandoval 3b, Posey c, Pence rf, Belt 1b, Blanco lf, Crawford ss, Zito p
— San Francisco Giants (@SFGiants) April 16, 2013
Barry Zito hasn’t seen the team lose behind a start of his since August 2nd when he went against the Mets at AT&T. He has had help from his defense in keeping his earned run total at 4 ER or below in each start since then. Two of those starts have seen him go less than three innings, so the bullpen certainly deserves a round of applause in helping keep that streak alive.
In the last four games the Brewers have played, which actually spans six days, Milwaukee has scored six runs, so they’re looking for a rhythm to get into that’ll make the home crowd cheer. Meanwhile, in annual notes:
Affeldt reported pain in right side yesterday. MRI confirmed strain. Hembree, Runzler considered. Wanteda better look at Machi. #sfgiants
— Henry Schulman (@hankschulman) April 16, 2013
That’s right, Jeremy Affeldt‘s injured again. Poor guy has had trouble with hamburgers, his kids, and now, the injuries just happen without him knowing (or something). Jean Machi gets the look for now, which brings more of a “eesh” expression than a “okay, that’s fine” reaction.
Anywho, the game’s at 5:10PM PST, and a reminder not to get confused when everybody’s wearing the same number.
This is not a picture of Jeremy Affeldt, just a reminder that him passing a physical is not a given. Today he’s supposed to go in and get his physical done and after that we’ll learn that the Giants have given him a 3-year, $18MM deal. That would mean the Giants will have paid him $35.5MM over the course of seven years (2009-2015). Having a reliever for seven years would make you think he’s one of those young guys you went through the arbitration years with, but the Giants have had Affeldt since his age 30 season. Did you know Affeldt started 42 G in his career all with his first team, the Kansas City Royals? I didn’t. Bay City Ball also put up some stuff I didn’t know comparing Jose Mijares to Jeremy Affeldt, and is certainly a recommended read if you haven’t got to it already.
Mr. Affeldt’s first full season of starting was 2005, but the Royals had him start some more in 2006 before being traded to the Rockies that same season where he continued to suffer, but then turned it around/figured it out in 2007. The graphs below chart his successful seasons by wOBA against. Affeldt was with the Reds in 2008.
Not everyone can have Sergio Romo’s splits so getting a sub-.300 wOBA out of Affeldt this year for both RHB and LHB is pretty acceptable, I’d say. The challenge for him will be repeating that success for three more years, which in all likelihood I would imagine isn’t all that probable. Looked at his seasons month-by-month in wOBA against to see if I could find anything.
Only thing I could find here is why we call him “good Affeldt” and “bad Affeldt,” but then again, most relievers are only human. Now where months are on the x-axis:
So if the Giants only pitch him in July, we may have something.
No one should enjoy three-year deals for relievers except the reliever, his agent, and his family/friends especially when you can go out and make so many one-year deals on the market. The Giants also have a number of guys they can control on the cheap for a few years. Who would’ve thought Brandon League’s trade to the Dodgers would mean the Giants would have to give Affeldt three years when it was all said and done.
So here’s what the SF World Champions have in their bullpen right now for absolutely darn sure: Romo, Lopez, Affeldt, Mijares, Casilla, Kontos. I have no idea what they’re going to do with Brian Wilson, whether they offer arbitration or they non-tender with the idea of getting multiple years out of him… or completely let him go. Would he shave his beard if let go? Probably not.
The number I have committed to 2013’s roster if the contract is divided up evenly is $86,783,333 or in other words about a third of what the Dodgers will probably commit to their 2013 roster.
The Giants got swept by the Nationals and could be a whole 1.5 games back of the Dodgers by the end of the day. The black and orange have lost 5 of their last 6, and the Giants are lucky it’s July before the break so that they have time to figure out what the heck they need to do. Here’s what I think some big complaints will be following tonight’s game:
#1: We have a closer problem
The people are right: we have a problem with the title “closer” because it’s a very flawed concept that is based off of the need to get saves, which is a stupid stat in and of itself for reasons I’m not going to dive into here. I personally do not know whom Bochy thinks is his best reliever is, but I know who it is and he bailed the Giants out of the 7th, and threw up a 0 for the 8th inning.
Here are some stats between Romo and Casilla coming into today’s game to help me prove my point for why Sergio is better than Santiago:
Even if you hate sabermetrics, I know you can see a difference in ERA, and K/9.
For those wondering how these two do versus left-handed hitters. Romo has been platooned by Bochy, but it’s not like that’s Romo’s fault. He does just fine, as you can see in his wOBA against.
Keep in mind you may not want to use your best reliever in the 9th, as the game might call for it in the 7th, like it did tonight. Too bad we don’t have two Sergios though we could’ve used the second one in the 9th.
#2: We lost because of Brandon Crawford, and Brandon Belt should’ve had that
To put the game on Brandon Crawford, while understandable in the moment, is pretty unfair. Should Brandon Belt have had that extremely low throw by Crawford? Yes. Does that put the game on those two? No. This was as team of a loss as team losses get.
Pablo Sandoval was 0-for-2 in 2 opportunities with the bases loaded.
Brandon Belt and Joaquin Arias left Angel Pagan on 3rd with 0, and 1 outs, respectively in the 7th.
Matt Cain made a huge mistake to Ian Desmond by leaving one up when Buster wanted it down, which really re-started the Nats’ rally.
The Giants left 11 men on base.
Casilla made an error on a sacrifice bunt, and you never know how the game would’ve been different.
#3: We would’ve won if that play had been executed!
You don’t know that, and I don’t know that.
#4: Bochy lost that game for us.
For all Bochy does, I don’t think he lost this one for us. With Cain and his 6.2 IP done with, Bochy brought in Affeldt to play the percentages, no problem with that. Affeldt doesn’t get anyone, so instead of Penny, Bochy brings in Romo. Definitely no problem with that. In the 9th, Arias moves to 3rd, Crawford moves to Short, Nate goes to RF, I’m fine with that. Casilla in the 9th, for the whole 9th — with the mess Casilla got himself into, if Bochy wanted to get into a platoon game with Javier and Penny, that bullpen wouldn’t have lasted extra innings very long if they would have even made it, so I didn’t have a problem with that. My biggest problem was with his lineup having Christian 1st and Theriot 2nd, and it worked out tonight. This means it could become the lineup vs. LHP, which makes me a little sad.
Some will disagree with the things I said and that’s fine. Remember, this is one game, and there’s 79 games left, and this team may look way different 30 days from now.
For anyone tonight that thought, “Hey, I’ll give this baseball thing a try. I hear the guy with the hair is pitching and that should be fun,” from the bottom of my heart I apologize. What you witnessed was not Major League Baseball, but something you tune in to ESPN in the summer to watch called “Little League Baseball.” Actually, do Little Leaguers, I apologize if that offended you. The so-called ace of the staff didn’t last three innings, and essentially was throwing crap to the plate hoping something would stick. Think I’m being harsh? How about a pitch plot from Brooks Baseball:
See all those green blocks way outside the box? Yea, not good. Lots of light blue well within the border of that box, too. He didn’t even “lose” the game tonight. Courtesy of Baggs, you could argue Emmanuel Burriss did. You want to know who put the game out of reach? That would be Senor Soul Patch, Jeremy Affeldt. Here’s his scatter plot:
May not look as bad compared to Timmy’s until you see all those pitches up in the zone that went in play for some sort of added baserunner. The one way on the inside, wuddyagonnado. The rest of them, out over the plate, especially the 4 up, man, that’s a lot of mistakes.
Oh, and Brandon Belt got benched essentially twice tonight: once (as mentioned in my pre-game rant) before the game, and another time after he went 0-for-2 only to give it up to Brett Pill, who had a brain-fart on how to be involved in a pickle while on defense.
Buster Posey also had a case of the shingles, is “definitely” supposed to play tomorrow, and PH tonight. I don’t know, man. I just do not know.
I’m not sure what to think about this game, only that the standings show we’re 1-4, but our offense is doing more than its part. It’s time for the pitchers to get out of Spring Training form and get into regular season form. You know what team they’re acting like? They’re acting like the traditional Colorado Rockies: offense, but no pitching.
Other teams did stuff today, but no one cares about them. The Giants are the only thing that matters. Word.
Short answer: Maybe, it will take some creativity though.
Jeremy Affeldt, congratulations on your $5MM option being picked up. Little did you (and the rest of us) know we were totally going to spin you for another baseball player. Or playerS with an “s” maybe! You never know! Let’s look at the athletes you could be traded for with the help of Fangraphs going from highest to lowest WAR that are free agents.
Troy Tulowitzki: Not happening. Next.
Jhonny Peralta: What’s interesting about him is he is due $5.5MM in 2012 and has an option in 2013. But with the Tigers looking to spend $$ on someone big a la Reyes or that Cespedes kid who hasn’t played a moment in the bigs, I don’t see something being worked out here. What you expect them to use Ramon Santiago? el-oh-el.
JJ Hardy: Just signed a contract extension with the Orioles. Nope.
Elvis Andrus: They’re just as likely to trade him away as they are Neftali Feliz.
Yunel Escobar: With two years of team control left and probably making somewhere around $3.5-5MM in 2012, the teams could lock up for a trade here that would involve a minor leaguer on both sides in my opinion. You would think the Giants would have to put out more, but GM AA just traded for Jeff Mathis so you never know. (oh my god are the Giants going to be traded Jeff Mathis?)
Erick Aybar: 1 year of team control left, 30 SB, .322 OBP, top of the lineup type guy, why not him? Well, the Angels don’t have anyone to replace him at SS with, so the Giants would probably have to get creative here and I don’t know that Brandon Crawford would be an acceptable solution for them. But they did trade for Vernon Wells…
Asdrubal Cabrera: 2 years of team control and 25 HR in 2011? Gonna take a lot more than Jeremy Affeldt to pry him from the Indians who are still looking to stay low budget.
Starlin Castro: Yea, right. Throw in Zito and Aubrey and you’ll land him no doubt, right?
Emilio Bonafacio: 3 years of team control left and will be paid under a $1MM. Too bad the Giants couldn’t get to their FO before they landed Heath Bell otherwise they only would’ve had a slim chance of landing the young Marlin.
Brendan Ryan: He’ll get paid $1.75MM next year with one more year of control after that. Seattle just signed Darren Ford, so why not give them another World Champion to grace their bench? I mean, it’s not like they’re going anywhere anytime soon. I could see this happening though. .248/.313/.326 in 2011 equals a SF Giants leadoff role fo sho!
Derek Jeter: See: Starlin Castro and add that the Yankees will eat the majority of his contract.
Sean Rodriguez: 4 years of team control left, did a .223/.323/.357 in 131 G? Giants would have to find more than an Extra 2% to pry him from the Rays.
Alcides Escobar: In 2011 the Royals didn’t have anyone paid above Joakim Soria’s $4MM. And they already added Jonathan Broxton and he’s going to take up their whole pen. No room for Jeremy. Unless they trade him for Broxton. Just kidding.
Jason Bartlett: Another Giants leadoff guy! In 2011 did a .245/.308/.307 with 23 SB, due $5.5MM in 2012 with an option in 2013. I could see a deal being worked out here especially with Mike Adams and Heath Bell gone now. Sabean will find a way to give a Top 10 prospect here if this trade happens.
Ruben Tejada: Lots of team control left. Probably the back up plan to Jose Reyes. If Reyes gets signed then maybe something could happen, but doubtful.
Cliff Pennington: 4 years of team control left. They’re about to lose Andrew Bailey as he BEGINS his 3 years of arbitration. Why would they want to bring in Jeremy Affeldt? They’re not moving into a new stadium or anything.
So there you have it. I stopped at 1.5 WAR because I’m tired. And why would Sabean trade for anyone else that’s worth so little?