A week ago, I tackled the hitters. Now it’s the pitchers’ turn. For the pitching staff I’ll be guessing whether they’ll be UNDER or OVER their projected ERA+.
Matt Cain: 125 ERA+ in 2012, projected 121 ERA+ in 2013. What is there to say about Matt Cain? He’s the rock of the staff, the unquestioned team ace. He’s the Opening Day starter. He’s gotten better each of the last three seasons, and in 2012 posted a career high in strikeouts and a career low in walks. He’s never made fewer than 31 starts in any full season, or thrown less than 190 innings. I’ll confidently predict the OVER on his projection. Continue reading
Yesterday, the Giants announced the full list of non-roster invitees (NRIs) to major league training camp. NRIs are players who aren’t on the 40-man roster who nevertheless will start spring training with the major league squad.
Spring Training at Scottsdale Stadium
This may not sound like big news, and it isn’t, for the most part. However, every year one of these guys sneaks on to the roster and ends up contributing in a big way. Continue reading
Earlier this week Benevolent Overlord Mac wrote up a post about Ryan Vogelsong’s appearance on the USA roster for the World Baseball Classic. Today, the complete rosters for all sixteen teams were announced, and there are nine Giants littered across the rosters of teams from around the world. Joining Vogelsong on the U.S. roster is Jeremy Affeldt. Pablo Sandoval, Jose Mijares, and Marco Scutaro will all play for the Venezuelan team, Angel Pagan and Javier Lopez will play for Puerto Rico, and Sergio Romo will play for Mexico. In addition to those eight, Giants minor leaguer Clayton Tanner will play for the Australian team.
Here’s the thing: I love the WBC. Love, love, love it. I understand why most people don’t, and I understand why many of the best players from around the world avoid it. It doesn’t matter to me. Few things get me going like athletic competition mixed with blind, fervent patriotism. Many fans out there would rather their team’s players not participate in this event, and while I understand the sentiment, I disagree. If, say, Sergio Romo tweaks his knee or his elbow pitching for Mexico, will I be upset? Of course. But I understand that that’s the sort of thing that comes with the territory of being an elite talent in a globally popular sport.
Andrew Baggarly posted a story today that states that the Giants are in serious negotiations with Brandon Lyon, the right-handed reliever who pitched for Toronto and Houston last season. Lyon had a fantastic year last year, pitching 61 innings in his two stops last year, striking out a career high 9.3 batters per nine innings while only walking fewer than three. Continue reading
Hit an XBH tonight. Cool stuff. (Photo by SD Dirk/flickr)
As I began to write this sentence, Jon Miller said “And Matt Cain gets the win on a night where he was anything but perfect!” That warmed the cockles of my black little heart, it did. Cain had nothing working for most of his five innings, alternating between hittable and wild, but he stubbornly kept throwing and mostly avoided meatballs when it counted, somehow wriggling out with only three runs. (It helped that he re-discovered his curveball later on.) And for his perseverance, he was rewarded with four perfect innings from a recently shaky bullpen, and five runs from a productive offense. It’s a Very Matt Cain Christmas.
So, you know. We were hoping for Cain to avoid the inevitable PG hangover, but a win was nice. Brandon Belt continues to impress, enough that hopefully he will soon be moved up the lineup and get on base in front of hitters more likely to drive him in. (Although, Brandon Crawford had his regularly scheduled extra base hit tonight, and that was cool.) Melky Cabrera and Ryan Theriot both had good games. Once again, this is a lineup that can score runs even when Buster and Pablo aren’t doing much of note, and that’s pretty cool. Continue reading
Essentially, the story of this game is Ryan Vogelsong. Not because he was amazing – it was, basically, a quality start with a little mustard on it – but because A) the rest of the Giants scored their runs in hilarious fashion B) Ryan Vogelsong turns in these “6 or 7 innings, 2 or 3 runs, no problem” starts with such stunning regularity that I’m beginning to take him for granted.
Don’t let me take Ryan Vogelsong for granted, readers. Remind me that the fact that he is a major league starter in 2012 is an awesome story. That he is a major league starter of this caliber in 2012 can only be a testament to the ineffable grace of the Baseball Gods, praise be unto them. Every time Aubrey Huff grounds out to second base, or one of the indistinguishable shortstop options (Failed Prospect Guy, Handsome Guy, and Useless Guy) flails at a pitch somewhere in the vicinity of his eyeballs, or a reliever explodes into fleshy shrapnel and that shrapnel is hit into the gap for a double – Ryan Vogelsong. Yeah. Continue reading
I have a few friends who are fans of some currently-dreadful baseball teams. Every time I get to complaining about the Giants, they’ll tell me something along the lines of “Hey, I’d love to root for a team around .500!” They have a pretty good point, of course – I mean, Royals? Astros? – but there’s something to be said for the power of expectation. Call us spoiled, but Giants fans are rooting for a top 10 payroll team coming off of several stellar first-round draft picks. We’re banking on playoffs, not a few more years of development followed by possible playoffs. Continue reading
A few roster moves to report on this warm and sunny Mother’s Day morning.
Conor Gillapsie was optioned to Fresno as the corresponding move for Culberson. Culberson will be starting at second base today, which, frankly, probably can’t be worse than the other options. It makes sense to see what they have as middle infield options since Pablo Sandoval seems to be recovering quickly and Joaquin Arias has been good at third, and the middle infield is likely to be a more ongoing concern. On the Affeldt front, Blackley has been fine, but was never going to be a long term solution to any bullpen questions, so that’s not a move that should be a surprise.
The Giants behind Barry Zito take on Joe Saunders and the Diamondbacks at 1:10 this afternoon.
So this just happened. And I guess the injury thing is back again or something for reasons that I don’t even want to understand but if it’s another frozen hamburger patty incident or something that is completely outrageous, I am going to play Mario Kart because Affeldt’s injuries would seem so much like a Mario Kart game that I don’t even know where to end with this obnoxiously long sentence.
Giants, left, is defeated by baseball, right. (Illustration by Mac)
The Giants had many opportunities to score. The Padres even gave the opportunities to score. The Padres even had three errors tonight, as opposed to the Giants’ two.
Eric Hacker was perfectly acceptable tonight, going six innings, giving up three runs on eight hits, walking two, and striking out seven. A quality start is really all you can ask for from a spot starter and the Giants got that. Continue reading