Friday, November 25, 2016

Hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving!

Catching up on news, the Giants added five players to their 40-man roster.  Per the Giants website, they added five players to protect them from the Rule 5 draft:
  • RHP Chase Johnson
  • RHP Reyes Moronta
  • RHP Dan Slania
  • INF Miguel Gomez 
  • Infielder-outfielder Orlando Calixte, who they had recently picked up as a free agent
As reported:
Johnson, 24, was rated San Francisco's 18th-best prospect by MLBPipeline.com. He finished 1-4 with a 3.27 ERA and five saves in 24 appearances (seven starts) for Double-A Richmond last season. 
Moronta, ranked 24th among the organization's prospects, struck out 93 batters and walked 20 in 59 innings for Class A Advanced San Jose last season. The 23-year-old went 0-3 with a 2.59 ERA in 60 appearances. 
Slania, 24, performed at three classifications last season: Class A Advanced, Double-A and Triple-A Sacramento. His combined record was 11-8 with a 2.93 ERA in 34 games (16 starts), including 111 strikeouts and 35 walks in 119 2/3 innings. 
Gomez, 23, batted a combined .330 in 109 games at Class A Augusta and San Jose. He totaled 17 home runs and 67 RBIs while compiling an .882 OPS. 
Calixte, 24, performed for Texas' Double-A affiliate and Kansas City's Triple-A outpost last season before the Giants acquired him. He batted a combined .274 with 19 stolen bases in 28 attempts.
These moves filled up the Giants 40-man roster.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Your 2016 Giants: The Three Ami-Gold Glovers

As reported by various news outlets (Haft, Pavlovic, Schulman; I would include Baggarly, but since the SJ Mercury changed to no RSS feed, it's not easy to grab, as these three were), three Giants won Gold Gloves:  Buster Posey, Brandon Crawford, and Joe Panik.
  • Schulman reported:  "The winners were announced on ESPN on Tuesday afternoon. Posey, Crawford and Panik were selected in a vote of National League managers and coaches who could not choose their own players, in combination with a defensive index created by the Society for American Baseball Research."
  • As Pavlovic reported, this is the first time since 1994 that the Giants won 3 Gold Gloves in a season.  Bonds, Lewis, and Williams won it that year.   As Haft noted, this is the most since 4 Giants won gold gloves in 1993:  Bonds, Manwaring, Williams, Thompson.  And Schulman noted that the Giants and Rangers were the only teams to win three in 2016, and that 1993, 1994, and 2016 are the only seasons the Giants won 3 or more Gold Gloves.
  • This is Posey's and Panik's first Gold Gloves.  Posey's win broke Yadier Molina's eight year streak and he was the first Giants catcher to win it since Matheny won it in 2005.   Panik won in spite of only playing 127 games (and starting only 118, per Schulman), which suggests that, with health, he could put up a streak at 2B.  However, one of the guys he beat out, DJ LeMahieu, had won in 2014 and, per Schulman, is "widely viewed as the best defensive second baseman in the league."  He and Robby Thompson are the only Giants secondbasemen to win a Gold Glove (no Tito?).  
  • This was Crawford's second Gold Glove, which was made easier when his top competitor, Andrelton Simmons, was traded to the AL, but he got a new strong competitor in Addison Russell, who the A's stupidly traded away to the Cubs.  Pavlovic:  "This season he had to hold off Cubs rookie Addison Russell, who tied Crawford with 19 Defensive Runs Saved and led in SDI. Crawford had the support of opposing coaches and managers who have spent years watching him pull outs from thin air. "
  • Schulman noted:  "Crawford and Panik compose the first double-play combo to win in the NL since the Cardinals’ Edgar Renteria and Fernando ViƱa in 2002."
  • Pavlovic provided numbers that backed Posey:   "He led all catchers with 12 Defensive Runs Saved and was a runaway winner in the SABR Defensive Index, which makes up about a quarter of the vote. Posey finished with 15.2 SDI, far ahead of second-ranked Yasmani Grandal (5.9) and Molina (0.7)."  He noted that the Giants were disappointed that Posey did not win last season, but it has historically been hard to unseat the incumbent, especially someone like Molina, who won for so many years.  These numbers could no longer deny the breakthrough for Posey.  
  • Similarly for Panik:  "Panik got a boost from SDI, finishing at 8.5, two points ahead of the next best second baseman."
  • This adds to the trophy case for Posey and Crawford, and starts one for Panik:
    • Pavlovic:  "The award is the first major one for Panik and gave Crawford two to go along with his 2015 Silver Slugger Award. Crawford said he was happy to hear Posey added another item to an overflowing trophy case. “I think it was the one award that he hadn’t won,” he said. Through eight big league seasons, Posey has an MVP, three Silver Slugger Awards and a Rookie of the Year Award. Like Panik, he finally has that coveted Gold Glove, too. "
  • All three noted that they had always focused on defense, from their earliest days.  Which is not surprising given that they all three started out as SS, which is a position that most coaches drill into their heads to be good defensively.  

Sunday, November 06, 2016

Your 2017 Giants: Post Cubs World Series Championship

Wow, the Cubs ended 108 years of misery, winning their first championship in most likely all of their current fans' lifetimes (unless there is a 115 year old or so fan out there).  Congrats to the new Champs!

With that comes the first rush of business that the Giants took in the post season.  They signed three players to minor league contracts, two oldies, one newbie:  Kyle Blanks, Ricky Romero, and Jason Johnson (the newbie).  Romero and Johnson had been All-Stars not that long ago, but are recovered from injuries and hoping to return to their careers.  In particular, Johnson is being viewed as a potential reliever (Schulman).  Plus, they released Tony Sanchez, outrighting him to AAA, freeing up a 40-man spot.

There currently are 35 spots taken, assuming all the free agents on the list leaves:  Casilla, Lopez, Romo, Nathan, Beckham (I think he's a free agent), Blanco, Pagan.  I believe we still control Suarez and Hernandez.  I'm not sure who are the five players who will be added out of the prospects, but the Rule 5 draft happens in early December, at the Winter Meetings, if I remember right, so the news will be out in a couple of weeks.

More importantly, they quickly picked up Matt Moore's option for 2017 at $7M (Pavlovic; Schulman; SFGiants).  We still have options for 2018 at $9M and 2019 at $10M.   He will be 28 YO for the 2017 season (Bumgarner is 27).

Lastly, Greg Holland, who had been amazing as a closer for the Royals from 2011-2014, until TJS at the end of the 2015 season knocked him out for the 2016 season.  He's having a showcase soon, in time for free agency (unlike Lincecum's long delayed showcase), and Evans said that the Giants are interested and attending, as will other teams (Pavlovic).  He's 31 YO.  Evans also noted that closer is his major goal for the off-season (Haft) and that it is great that the Giants have so many options available, both in terms of free agents, as well as one-year and two-year trade options available.

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