Catching Up With The Minors – The Halfway Point

Full-season minor league teams play about 140 games each season, and the teams just passed the halfway point – 70 games – last week, so I thought it’d be good to check in with each team and see how the season is going, both in terms of wins and losses and player development. We’re only talking full-season affiliates here, so short season Salem-Keizer and rookie-level Arizona won’t be discussed.

All stats and records through Sunday, June 24th. Continue reading

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Kickham To Make Big League Debut in Tuesday Start

Per the Giants’ official Twitter and the usual assortment of media folks, lefty Mike Kickham has been tapped to take over the vacated rotation spot left by Ryan Vogelsong’s injury. Kickham, who has been with Fresno so far this season, will join the team on Monday and will make his first start against the Jarrod Parker led A’s on Tuesday evening. A corresponding roster move has not yet been announced.

Kickham, a 2010 sixth round pick, is another “country strong” lefty that the Giants have tended to favor. While not a hugely overpowering pitcher, he does have average to above-average velocity with a low 90s fastball, as well as a slider that was ranked as the best in the organization by Baseball America.

Anyone who knows me knows that I was on board as soon as somebody said slider. Hopefully I’m proven right.

Giants Minor League Preview

Today is Opening Day for all of the Giants’ full-season minor league affiliates, so I wanted to run through the rosters of each of the teams and highlight a few players to watch on each team. The four full-season affiliates are: AAA Fresno Grizzlies, AA Richmond Flying Squirrels, high-A San Jose Giants, A Augusta Greenjackets. We’ll start with Fresno.

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Chukchansi Park in Fresno, CAFresno Grizzlies:

Last year’s record: 74-70, 3rd in South Division

Manager: Bob Mariano

Roster: Click here.

Players to watch: P Chris Heston, P Mike Kickham, P Heath Hembree, OF Gary Brown, OF Francisco Peguero, OF Roger Kieschnick Continue reading

A Look At The Giants Roster: The Pitchers

I’ve taken a look at the position players, now it’s time to take a look at the pitchers.

Starting Pitchers: Tim Lincecum (probably), Matt Cain, Madison Bumgarner, Ryan Vogelsong, Barry Zito

WARNING: CONTROVERSIAL AND POSSIBLY UNPOPULAR OPINIONS AHEAD

About a week ago, Buster Olney created a bit of a hubbub amongst Giants fandom when he ranked the Giants’ rotation only the ninth-best in baseball. Here’s the thing – I’m not sure I disagree with him. Continue reading