Friday, March 23, 2007

Welcome Back, Mr. Foppert

Chron reports that Foppert has been re-signed and returns back to the fold, like many a former Giants this off-season (Russ Ortiz, Damian Moss, Aurilia, Snow - well, sort of). Now the saying of Giants farmhands of a prospect doing a "Foppert" will at least have some more meaning now that Jesse is back in the fold.

This part gives me chills:
On Thursday, Evans and Giants vice president of player personnel Dick Tidrow watched Foppert throw a bullpen session.

"I think that Dick wants to work with him with our coaches," Evans said. "We're the most familiar with him anyway. He's got the arm strength, and with the adjustments maybe we can get him back to where he was."
I know it's the fanboy in me talking, but can you imagine if they were able to get him back to where he was before? He was our Lincecum of a couple of years ago, striking out an impossible number of battrs per inning, totally dominating hitters. It took Joe Nathan three years before he could pitch effectively again, he was 28 the year he pitched so well for us and Jesse is still only 26 years old. If he can return to where he was, we don't have any space in the rotation (Zito, Cain, Lincecum, Lowry, and Sanchez looks like the future rotation), but maybe he can shine in the bullpen for us like Nathan did. I will keep my fingers crossed.

I think out of the pre-Cain/Lincecum era, Foppert was the starting pitcher prospect who I fell in love the most since Montefusco, in that I like him and am rooting big time for him. Not that others weren't as nice or as good, but there was that something, something there for Foppert that I didn't have for other prospects. Maybe it is the S.F. connection, as he's from the area, having pitched for U.S.F. (not exactly sure about his home, I recall him being born or growing up in Marin County somewhere - San Rafael? - but I also recall him being called one of the few Giants in history to have come from SF, Tyler Walker being another).

Maybe in this era where you get much more media information on prospects, including verbal interviews and such, that helped as well. Whatever it is, I'm rooting for him big-time, not just because if he did, it would greatly help out the Giants, but because he seems like a nice guy. Nice guys shouldn't finish last, as Leo Durocher once famously said the opposite of, and hopefully this will give Foppert a chance to fulfill the bright potential he showed previously.

Good luck Jesse, I wish you the best of luck and health!

6 comments:

  1. Hello Martin. I tried to post this info to your bit about the starters, but it somehow got lost. The idea comes from you, so you get the credit. Anyway, after looking at BBs re: our RPs, they fall into two distinct groups. Wonder if this is at all predictive of our opening day bull pen.

    player IP BB K
    Kim 10.2 2 8
    Atchison 9.1 1 4
    Kline 7.2 2 6
    Chulk 7 2 3
    TAschner 5.1 2 7
    BEnitez 5 0 6

    Now these:
    Hennessey 11 7 6
    Correia 9 5 4
    Wilson 8.1 5 6
    Munter 6.2 4 3
    Cortes 5.1 3 4
    Sanchez 6 3 6 (he could be in either group).

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  2. After today's Taschner/Wilson/Munter meltdown, I wouldn't be surprised to see the Fopp in the pen come April 3. (God am I frustrated, ST or not)

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  3. Well, that's the problem, spring training is basically over. Nice table of stats, shows who's scuffling and who's not, thanks, it's all good, just been busy with work.

    I would point out Wilson's meltdown for a problem area, but Taschner and Munter did not have really bad outings, just not good one in Taschner's case, but Munter was OK, you can't get everybody out.

    Yeah, I guess Wilson's going down if he doesn't have a good outing each time out going forward. They are probably going to him each game and see how he does. I am not surprised that he's wild, he's always been wild, but I really expected him to make the team, so that's a disappointmen as I thought he would do better.

    I'm also shocked that Mark Sweeney is so on the bubble. If Bochy would just play Winn in CF when Roberts isn't, there really is no need to keep Ellison, as Winn would play CF and Linden in RF. Ellison seems like a very nice guy and I wish him the best, but I think the Giants need Sweeney more than they need Ellison, as defense and LHP mashing is all that he really does well at, but Sweeney is a great bat off the bench and a good team influence.

    Niekro, on the other hand, I'm glad he's forcing the Giants to keep him, though I now worry how the bullpen is going to hold up. We might see a bunch of yo-yo-ing of relief pitchers this season to compensate. But I think Niekro can be very valuable starting next season, assuming Ishikawa can handle AAA pitching and is ready to move up, in a platoon with the two of them at 1B in 2008, probably pushing Aurilia to either SS or 3B.

    Niekro mashes LHP and Ishikawa loves them RHP, and both are good to great defensive 1B. Plus, Niekro's injury problems probably won't be as much of a factor since he won't be playing that much but coming off the bench mainly since most pitchers are right-handed.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Welcome back. I've missed you. I think you need to find a less demanding job. Your public demands it.
    I never suspected that Sweeney would not make the team, but there are good reasons, I think, to let him go. Hotwithstanding his lefthandedness (important because the majority of pitchers are RH), he had arthro this winter and is still not 100% - hard knowing when/if he would get to 100%. Certainly the knee gets most of the blame for his ST, but his D was awful (probably the knee) and his O was not too good. This is important because he was not particularly effective last year, either. So, with a rather poor '06, coming off of knee surgery, and showing nothing special, I can see why they decided to give his spot to either Ellison or Niekro. Neither of them thrill me, but compared to Sweeney, I can see why they went with the hope of 'promise finally being fulfilled.' And, if they fail, well, not much has been lost really. In otherwords, I think they are going with potential upside and their future. I think they get kudos for that.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thanks, but I'm not really back yet, trying to juggle everything. Plus, as I'm sure you notice, my Big 6 Questions was one of my longer ones to do. :^)

    But I would love to be retired. :^)

    I am totally surprised by Sweeney being on the bubble, I really thought the two of them (Klesko) could co-exist on the bench. If he's still hurting from arthro, maybe he could go on the DL for a while and the Giants could see how Ellison and Niekro works out. His D was never really any good, else with his hitting he would have been a starter, not a career-long journeyman who specializes in pinch-hitting.

    He actually hit well on the road (900+ OPS if I remember right), the problem was the usual lefty hitters scuffling at AT&T.

    I give them kudos for keeping Niekro, I still think that he can be very useful in a platoon with Ishikawa in 2008 if Travis can do well in AAA this year and be ready to move up. Niekro mashes lefties and Ishikawa mashes righties, but both struggles with the same handed pitchers.

    However, Ellison was never much more than a utility guy, even when he was younger, and while he can hit lefties, he can't hit righties, and he's not a particularly good base-runner despite his speed. I don't know why Bochy won't play Winn in CF - perhaps he thinks that Winn didn't do well last season because of all the switching back and forth - but if he would then there's no need for Ellison, really, whose only pluses are defense in CF and hitting lefties. I think it would be better to have Sweeney's experienced PHing on the bench than Ellison. Though I just checked and Ellison is an OK .267/.290/.567/.857 in 33 PH appearances. That has to be an a fluke, that's a power hitter profile, he probably got to hit against LHP more than when starting. Ellison career has been one of low OBP, low SLG, low SB% (69% success rate; ideally 75% or so is breakeven, good is 80%+). Promise is gone for Ellison, he's 29 this year, and speed improve during your physical peak years, at least not as much as power does.

    Niekro is 28 but he has a power profile and he should hit for more power over the next 3-4 seasons.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Oops, meant speed don't improve during peak years like power does, from my recollection.

    ReplyDelete

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