I’d like to introduce a new recurring series for the offseason here on Covefficient: postseason grades for each and every player that appeared in a game for the Giants this year. The plan is to do one post per player per day until we’ve made it through all 44 players who played for the Giants in 2013.
The exception, of course, is today. Five players had 10 or fewer plate appearances or 10 or fewer innings pitched. One of those players is getting his own post, the other four are summed up below.
Johnny Monell, Catcher: 9 PA, .125/.222/.125. Grade: Incomplete.
Monell made his major-league debut this September after hitting for a .858 OPS at AAA Fresno during the year. He appeared in 8 games, 7 as a pinch hitter and once as a catcher. In that one catching appearance, he came in in the seventh inning of what would be a 19-3 Giants win over the Dodgers. He logged his first ML hit in the eighth inning (Video). Monell has a sweet left-handed swing and has a decent amount of power, logging 49 extra-base hits with Fresno this year, including 20 home runs. He’s been in the organization for a long time – he was drafted in 2007 – and it’d be nice to see him back in 2014. If not, he’ll get picked up by another club, likely an AL team given his poor defensive reputation.
Cole Gillespie, Outfielder: 10 PA, .000/.100/.000. Grade: Incomplete.
Gillespie did basically nothing in 3 games with the Giants before being picked up off waivers by the Cubs on July 13. He was a classic minor-league veteran pickup that Sabean likes to make; he had an OPS over .850 the previous three years at AAA in the Diamonbacks system. Minor-league free agent pick-ups are one of Sabean’s specialties. Sometimes they turn into Gregor Blanco, sometimes they turn into…well, Cole Gillespie.
Ramon Ramirez, Relief Pitcher: 5.2 IP, 11.12 ERA, 9 H, 2 HR, 5 BB, 0 K. Grade: Incomplete.
Did you forget Ramirez pitched for the Giants this year? You aren’t alone. RamRam, a deadline day pickup in 2010 and part of the Torres-Pagan trade after 2011, threw 26 fairly good innings for Fresno before being called up in late May. He was terrible in six appearances before being released on June 18th, and he ended the year in the Rays system. Ramirez was pretty bad for the Mets last year, so his implosion this year was not altogether unexpected.
Eric Surkamp, Starting Pitcher: 2.2 IP, 23.63 ERA, 9 H, 7 R, 0 BB, 0 K. Grade: Incomplete.
I’ll close with the player most likely to have a significant role with the Giants next season. Surkamp threw 26.2 innings for the Giants in 2011 and was expected to compete for a roster spot in spring training prior to the 2012 season. Instead, he sat out until July with forearm/elbow issues before deciding to undergo Tommy John surgery at the end of July. After a remarkably fast recovery, he made 5 starts with San Jose, then made four starts for Fresno before being called up to make a start less than a year after his surgery. I could write an entire post about why that was a poor decision, but what’s done is done. Surkamp got shelled and sent back to Fresno. His Fresno stats after his demotion are quite encouraging: 7 starts, 50.2 IP, 1.95 ERA, 38 K, 11 BB. Depending on what the team does in the free agent market, Surkamp could find himself competing for the fifth-starter job next spring with the likes of Mike Kickham and Ryan Vogelsong. He doesn’t throw heat, but he’s shown the ability to get guys out in the minors using deception and a plus curveball, and he could get the opportunity to show those skills in the majors next season.