Even after the Cardinals lose a game that didn’t finish until after 1:00AM PST, the Giants are limping into St. Louis and have rolled into the underdog role even more, and it’s hard to say that we expected this to happen:
Pablo has left foot sprain, won’t start this series. Could miss up to a week, but Giants don’t think he’ll go on DL.
— Alex Pavlovic (@AlexPavlovic) May 31, 2013
Ok, so Pablo Sandoval‘s out for a bit, that should give Joaquin Arias some more starts. He hasn’t looked as great this year as he did last year in his limited role, but as long as he’s doing well defensively that should be cool, right?
Sandoval isn’t sure when he hurt it. Had MRI this morning. Pagan to play for sure Sunday, possibly tomorrow. — Henry Schulman (@hankschulman) May 31, 2013
Angel Pagan coming back may make the defense better in that Andres Torres will get a break to get all the demons out of his head, although I wonder if Andres doing well in the outfield is the only way to exorcise those thoughts.
Gaudin now officially listed to start Sunday. — Andrew Baggarly (@CSNBaggs) May 31, 2013
One more to add on to Sandoval, Pagan … Scutaro is pretty sick and Bochy said he would check with him after BP to see if he starts. — Alex Pavlovic (@AlexPavlovic) May 31, 2013
So if Marco Scutaro‘s sick, that would make three regulars in Pagan, Sandoval, and Scutaro out and Nick Noonan would be getting the start(s) depending on how Marco’s feeling, but this flu bug has really been running amuck in the Giants clubhouse. Whomever gave this to them owes us. I don’t know what they owe us, but they owe us. Lineups for the Giants:
Tonight’s #SFGiants lineup: Blanco cf, Scutaro 2b, Pence rf, Posey c, Belt 1b, Torres lf, Crawford ss, Arias 3b, Cain p
— San Francisco Giants (@SFGiants) May 31, 2013
and for the Cardinals:
#STLCards lineup vs SF: Carpenter 2B, Beltran RF, Holliday LF, Craig 1B, Molina C, Freese 3B, Jay CF, Kozma SS, Miller P
— St. Louis Cardinals (@Cardinals) May 31, 2013
Normally a blatantly obvious “key to the game” but this is especially true against the Cardinals: If the Giants can get to the bullpen of the Cards early on, there will be much rejoicing. The rotation and the lineup for the Cardinals is scary good, while their bullpen wasn’t as great as it was in the beginning of the season. No reports of game start being delayed from what I’ve seen yet. 5:15PM PST scheduled start since they’re two hours ahead of the west coast party peoples.
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 weather.com, the zip code doesn’t say anything about heavy rains, although there is a chance of precipitation. Meanwhile, 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…
#Cubs Schierholtz hasn’t heard from Giants as to when he’ll get his ring
— Carrie Muskat (@CarrieMuskat) April 11, 2013
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.
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) April 11, 2013
Looking at today’s starter, going to take a look at how each pitchers pitches fared in 2012. First for the visitors, Ryan Vogelsong:
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:
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.
Easy it is to get sucked in to the Madness in March and forget about things like America’s pastime in the midst of a lengthy pre-season. The lull of mid-March about ten days before the regular season wears on everybody, so we have to find ways to keep ourselves interested, and hyped for what’s to come, like in this definitely not-bad video featuring plenty of stars like Justin Verlander, Robinson Cano, and Buster Posey, to name a few:
When I heard people promoting this video with Posey in it I was wondering how it could be that good because most of the Giants-produced commercials I don’t feel that much of a bond towards. Case-in-point, this fan & Ryan Vogelsong commercial:
Vogey is obviously the star of this commercial, and he doesn’t really even do anything except be mad. Meh.
Some injury news and scares from the outfield, first from Arizona, the home of grit and gamers:
— Arizona Diamondbacks (@Dbacks) March 22, 2013
The loss of Adam Eaton for that much time means the insertion of Gerardo Parra into center. Good for Parra that he’ll get regular playing time, and then probably force a logjam in the outfield when Eaton gets back from his injury… at least that’s what I expect to happen, unless Jason Kubel or Cody Ross get injured sometime in May/June. Sucks for fantasy baseball owners that have drafted Eaton already expecting some help in the runs and stolen bases department.
In a Spring that has been less than ideal for the Dodgers with Hanley Ramirez having had to go through thumb surgery and be out for two months (the surgery went successful on Friday, by the way), then the Dodgers press box people are going nuts because
Yasiel Puig is down in center field
— Eric Stephen (@truebluela) March 22, 2013
Especially for the people that think Yasiel Puig belongs on the 25-man roster, this caused a reasonably-sized panic. However
Puig just got the wind knocked out of him.
— Dylan Hernandez (@dylanohernandez) March 22, 2013
so that’s all over and nobody has to fret over that. Puig told Hernandez (and others, I’m sure) he thought he could play tomorrow.
In other Giants news and notes, Ramon Ramirez and Wilson Valdez were released from the club and Nick Noonan was recalled, so… so much for that immediate 2010 reunion of everybody on the 2013 Opening Day roster, I guess. Brandon Belt also destroyed baseballs of his own today, and Bochy says he might even bat the more awkward Brandon third or fourth in the lineup when Posey’s sitting. Progress! The bench situation still looks pretty bad for the Giants, so know that Brian Sabean and his team are looking for acceptable options for Bochy to use for late inning subs, pinch hitting opportunities, and spot starts.
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.