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.
Idea: Rank the best individual seasons of the 2012 MLB regular season (Spring Training, Minor Leagues, and Postseason are not included), while considering offensive and defensive facets of the game.
Consider: Using the individual metrics to measure individual performance; full avoidance of projecting results for shortened seasons, and past years performance to justify or dictate standings.
This is not: “Most Valuable” anything. Rather, this is “best,” like Baseball America does, so there is no confusion as to what I am ranking. It is also not a “this is a ranking of who I want in 2013, or wanted in any other year.”
This is: My opinion, and will be disagreed with by many.
20. R.A. Dickey (233.2 IP, 8.86 K/9, 3.39 tERA, 4.6 fWAR, 5.6 rWAR) – Had I considered age in this ranking, maybe Dickey would have been higher, but I’ll let someone else do that ranking. I think it’s still cool that we could have some more years to experience his dominance over hitters though.
19. David Price (211.0 IP, 8.74 K/9, 3.23 tERA, 5.1 fWAR, 6.4 rWAR) – Really had trouble ranking 19-21 with the three pitchers, but in the end, I just liked Price’s numbers the best
18. Aaron Hill (26 HR, 14 SB, .375 wOBA, 6.2 fWAR, 4.6 rWAR) – What a change of scenery can do for you, Aaron Hill looks like he’s found his comfort zone in Phoenix after being traded from Toronto.
17. Cliff Lee (211.0 IP, 1.19 BB/9, 3.21 tERA, 4.9 fWAR, 4.2 rWAR) – Poor Clifton didn’t get a lot of love because of the W-L record he sported, but it’s not his fault his team didn’t score runs for him, even if he was on for most of the season.
16. Michael Bourn (26 2B, 42 SB, .326 wOBA, 6.4 fWAR, 6.0 rWAR) – The speedy center fielder does his job tearing up the basepaths and covering his part out in CF. Jim Bowman suggested the Giants could be a fit, I think not. ($)
15. Felix Hernandez (232.0 IP, 8.65 K/9, 3.21 tERA, 6.1 fWAR, 4.6 rWAR) – The King may be the only true royalty in Seattle now, but he should have an army of arms coming to help out soon.
14. Aramis Ramirez (27 HR, 50 2B, .384 wOBA, 6.5 fWAR, 5.4 rWAR) – May be the most underappreciated season of the guys listed in this top percentage, but the BBWAA recognized it, and he finished 9th in NL MVP voting.
13. Yadier Molina (22 HR, 12 SB, .375 wOBA, 6.5 fWAR, 6.7 rWAR) – I know what you’re thinking: A Molina that steals bases, not just prevents SB? Yea, he does that, too.
12. Adrian Beltre (36 HR, 33 2B, .388 wOBA, 6.5 fWAR, 6.7 rWAR) – I felt Heyward edged the 3B of Texas in the way he manned his position, and in the way he contributed on the bases, but still a great year for the guy that loves the headrubs.
11. Jason Heyward (27 HR, 21 SB, .351 wOBA, 6.6 fWAR, 5.5 rWAR) – Should Heyward be able to step up his game to another level in his age 23 season, he could get real scary.
10. Clayton Kershaw (227.2 IP, 9.05 K/9, 2.95 tERA, 5.5 fWAR, 6.2 rWAR) – I also struggled between JV vs. CK, but in the end, felt other peripherals not listed evened things out, giving the edge to Justin over Clayton with IP being the tiebreaker.
9. Justin Verlander (238.1 IP, 9.03 K/9, 3.43 tERA, 6.8 fWAR, 7.5 rWAR) – I really struggled where to start to include the pitchers, but here seemed like a good spot. Verlander is still good.
8. Chase Headley (31 HR, 17 SB, .378 wOBA, 7.5 fWAR, 6.0 rWAR) – If this were a “best second half of 2012” post, Headley might be #1.
7. David Wright (21 HR, 15 SB, .376 wOBA, 7.8 fWAR, 6.7 rWAR) – If this were a “best first half of 2012” post, Wright might be #1.
6. Miguel Cabrera (44 HR, 40 2B, .417 wOBA, 7.1 fWAR, 6.9 rWAR) – The dude’s just oozing power, and while the change of positions is a great story, the playing of the position itself must be considered in this ranking.
5. Andrew McCutchen (31 HR, 20 SB, .403 wOBA, 7.4 fWAR, 7.0 rWAR) – Worthy of being on the cover of a video game, I’m just glad Pittsburgh has had someone to cheer about.
3. Ryan Braun (41 HR, 30 SB, .413 wOBA, 7.9 fWAR, 6.8 rWAR) – Probably got a lot of flack for the PED-related stuff at the end of the season in 2011, but a 40-30 season will never stop being impressive.
2. Buster Posey (24 HR, .406 wOBA, 8.0 fWAR, 7.2 rWAR) – It’s no secret that the catcher position is an incredibly important one, and when your backstop is producing at the levels Posey is, well that warrants some respect. Bias possible.
1. Mike Trout (30 HR, 49 SB, .409 wOBA, 10.0 fWAR, 10.7 rWAR) – If 21 year olds are just getting started, in the Majors, it’s difficult to fathom where he goes from here.
Today is a showcase of talent. Not all of the best talent are here, but there’s still going to be some amazing players on display like there were in the Futures Game, except of course at the MLB level, where a lot of these guys have for the most part put it all together.
Jeff Passan’s piece on Mike Trout vs. Bryce Harper is something we probably don’t talk enough about, but the Giants have now had the opportunity to see both, and were we ever disappointed. Disappointed that they did so well against our teams, but as a baseball fan, blown away by the fact they’re only 20, and 19 years old, respectively and why the heck couldn’t I do that at 19-20 years old 😦
All told, there were 38 players named or voted to the All Star team for the National League, and 36 voted for the American League squad. 16 National Leaguers are taking part in their first ASG, and for around 10 of them, I’d say this is just the beginning for them. You’d think the American League would be full of non-newbies, but even they have 10 guys new to the festivities and fanfare, with maybe 6 of them figuring this will not be their last trip to the All Star rodeo.
If you add the years up for the number of ASG the rosters have played, you would get 194 ASG played between the 74 players on the roster. The AL has 112 of those years, averaging 3.1111111111111 ASG/player, while the NL only has 90, averaging 2.36842105 ASG/player. There are five players in the ASG that have made 7 or more ASG rosters, can you name them? Think about it… OK I tell you now: Beltran 7; Miguel Cabrera 7; Chipper 8; Papi 8; Jeter 13. The people love them some gift baskets.
A Melky Cabrera homecoming should be heartwarming because Melky’s on record saying he did enjoy his time there, and Royals fans love the guy on their roster as they showed with Wil Myers (oh you thought I was going to talk about someone else, didn’t you?). Chipper Jones should have a nice final All Star Game, whether he plays or not, while Japan should be abuzz that Yu Darvish has the possibility of strutting his stuff on the international stage. Names like Chris Sale, Mark Trumbo, Aroldis Chapman, and Andrew McCutchen should hopefully become bigger household names as I believe all are special players.
So while we may be upset that the likes of Ryan Vogelsong, James McDonald, Johnny Cueto, and even yes, my favorite reliever, Sergio Romo did not make the squad, and others are upset over Matt Cain being chosen over R.A. Dickey and Stephen Strasburg, this should still be an excellent display of the talent that is flourishing within The Show. If you’re going to spend the whole time fuming of this or that, your appreciation for what’s being put out on stage tonight will likely go down, and as a baseball fan, this should be a moment for you to soak it all in, and appreciate some of what today’s game has to offer.