Monthly Archives: January 2015

Is This an “Off” Season for Sabean?

Three rings in five years and currently the longest-tenured general manager in MLB, and he  still can't win over some Giants fans this offseason.

Three rings in five years and currently the longest-tenured general manager in MLB, and he still can’t win over some Giants fans this offseason.

Many Giants fans have not been satisfied with the lack of moves for the San Francisco Giants this winter. Actually, they’ve made moves, just not “sexy” moves. No Lester, no Panda, no Scherzer, no big names.

But, is that necessarily a bad thing? Clearly we’re heading into an odd-numbered year, so if the mystical powers have their way, the Giants will find themselves out of the playoffs and tuning up for another magical ride in 2016. Let’s review, by the numbers, if the Giants will actually be worse off than they were in 2014.

Let’s remember that the Giants WON THE WORLD SERIES with a team that, credit to getting off to a historic start of 41-20, rode through tremendous slumps catalyzed by a series of injuries. Brandon Belt could find no luck, breaking his hand and then getting his coconut smacked by a fellow player who was already on the DL. Of course, that player is Marco Scutaro, and his comeback lasted all of 11 at bats in 2014, which brings us to the horrendous situation on second base for the better part of the year, in which the Hicks/Uggla/Adrianza experiment failed miserably. Then you have Pagan in center, who couldn’t avoid another string of injuries, Morse, who was out for most of the last two months, Cain’s bone chips finally caught up with him…Jesus as I write this, how the hell did they even finish above .500?!

Many critics point out that Aoiki had only one homerun last year and Casey McGehee only four. Granted those power numbers undoubtedly will not go up playing at AT&T Park. But do they need to? The Royals came within a run or two of winning the World Series with the fewest home runs in the league, remember. Although those power numbers are down over the Giants corresponding position totals from last year, both Aoki and McGehee got on base at a much higher clip, and as a result, could score more runs (dependent on the lineup behind you, different for every team). Yes, McGehee is a downgrade from Panda, but the contract money saved has been spread in other areas, specifically Aoki, Peavy, Romo and Vogelsong. We also have to consider what the Giants could get back for close to a full season in 2015. Granted, this all relies on the bastard variable called “health,” but IF Cain and Belt can stay healthy, that means more production from first base and a starter, not to mention Peavy is in for a whole season. These in combination with a full season from Joe Panik at second base, to me, more than offsets the losses in left field and third base. Take a look at the projected numbers for Aoki, Belt and Panik, based on a projection of 550 at bats. McGehee is static at the 616 at bats he had last year:

stats20150127

 

Yes, please yell at me as you note the RED all over the power department, with dips in the 20 to 40 percent range. However, this can be tempered, to a degree with all the GREEN showing a projected rise in on base percentage, batting average and stolen bases. Runs are dependent on who’s hitting behind them, so I’d throw out the projected 8% drop in run production.

Bottom line, the redistribution of salary may have cost power, but that investment could potentially be reaped in other areas, such as men on base and contact percentage.

I know, but chicks still dig the long ball, right?

Chad

PS – We’ll be covering “Media Day” at AT&T Park on February 6, 2015. Be sure to look out for video and audio interviews with many of your SF Giants. If you have any specific questions for the players that you’d like to send in, email to chad AT torturecast DOT com.

You can view past video interviews from Media Day 2013 and 2014.

 

 

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by | January 27, 2015 · 4:20 PM

Should I stay or should i go?

Ryan Vogelsong is back with the San Francisco Giant

(Photo: Kyle Terada, USA TODAY Sports)

It looks like Ryan Vogelsong will remain with the San Francisco Giants for another year. This is according to Hank Schulman who’s tweet rolled across the timeline this afternoon. It’s possible that we have more details later tonight or tomorrow.

There had been reports over the last few days that linked Vogelsong to both the Rangers and Astros. He was rumored to being close to a deal with Houston before we heard of any talks with the Giants. Suddenly it seems as if he’s coming aboard for another run.

The main concern I’ve seen and heard from fans is why a move like this gets made if the rotation is already set. The most common themes have been…

  • Matt Cain and Tim Hudson are both recovering from a surgery.
  • Tim Lincecum has been shaky as a starter the last 3 seasons
  • Will Jake Peavy find a renaissance under Bruce Bochy and Dave Righetti
  • Madison Bumgarner is coming off a long, wonderful season and postseason
  • Also, can’t Yusmeiro Petit start some games?

It sounds crazy but I thought more pitching was a good thing. To think that Vogey chose to come back to San Francisco and give what he has left as a pitcher without the promise of being a starter. Those Texas teams would have put him in the rotation right away. He has no idea how many starts he’s gonna get this year.

That’s 7 starters for 5 spots. I don’t see that as a bad thing.

The Giants are going to need some good pitching this season. There’s considerably less thump in the lineup than in year’s past. It looks like Brandon Belt, Buster Posey, and Hunter Pence will be asked to carry the bulk of the load.

Nori Aoki signed earlier this week for $4 million. He has incentives to bump that to $5.5 if he has more than 600 plate appearances. He’s averaged 604 in his 3 seasons in the majors. He’s a contact hitter that can take over at the top of the lineup if (when) Angel Pagan goes down.

I keep talking myself in to really liking this signing because the way the lineup could be constructed he would be like another leadoff guy in the middle. Brandon Crawford could have a field day driving Aoki in.

Here’s how I’d draw it up right now.

  1. Angel Pagan
  2. Joe Panik
  3. Buster Posey
  4. Hunter Pence
  5. Brandon Belt
  6. Casey McGehee
  7. Nori Aoki
  8. Brandon Crawford
  9. Madison Bumgarner

Last season McGehee and Aoki hit 5 HR’s combined in over 1200 combined plate appearances. That’s a far cry from when Pablo Sandoval and Michael Morse used to drop bombs during some really great hot streaks.

That’s where we are with about a month to go until Spring Training. We’re focused on Ryan Vogelsong coming back to help the Giants defend their title. It’s not sexy or shiny, but it’s a move to help the ball club compete for a playoff spot. After that, as we well know, anything can happen.

Remember, you can follow us on Twitter @TortureCast and like us on Facebook. All of our podcasts, video and audio San Francisco Giants player interviews can be found on our Youtube Channel or here at TortureCast.com.

Eric

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