Right park, different uni (manginphotography.net)
First of all, I apologize for the title, but I was in the NY Post spirit with the Mets in town.
Hunter Pence is the player that many Giants fans have been drooling over for quite some time, and in all honesty, the Giants didn’t give up as prized of a prospect as they did last year as they jettisoned Zach Wheeler for a Beltran rental (btw, can we have him back, now?)
It’s not generally recommended to react to trades completed by your divisional rival, but in this case the Giants had to put at least one more bullet in the chamber as the Dodgers put a few (Ramirez, Victorino, and almost Dempster). Alas, the gaping bleeding hole in their lineup is a right handed bat, and much as I like him, Brett Pill ain’t the medicine for that ailment. Pence is a nice fit, an energetic player with pop and speed. He reminds me a little of Eric Byrnes; very awkward in the field, not majestic in his mechanics, but god damn if he doesn’t just get the job done, he does it better than most.
Shierholtz had a nice tenure with the Giants; a player that always aspired to do more, yet was solid in his contributions, despite not getting as many opportunities as he’d hoped for. His comments in the Chronicle a few weeks ago essentially put an “X” on his back regarding trade bait. His comments may not have been detrimental to the clubhouse, but perhaps you want to change the scenery for that player in the interests of both parties. Heck, he’s even reuniting with one of his best buds, Kevin Frandsen, who was recently promoted from AAA. Frandsen was even in Shierholtz’s wedding. Tommy Joseph is a promising talent, but the Giants are flush at catcher, a position that teams generally have a paucity. San Francisco still has Hector Sanchez, Andrew Susac, and some guy wearing number 28.
Unfortunately, the Giants will have to deal with arbitration with Pence this offseason, and if Beltran is any indication of how he feels that AT&T Park is a black hole that just sucks power numbers away from any bat that lingers near its center, Pence may come to find that the next 30 odd games played in this pitcher’s haven are not kind to the stat sheet. Nonetheless, if they get into October, he could smell the allure of a triples record next year?
-Chad King, @chadk21