Thursday, May 03, 2007

Lincecum is Near, Best Time of Year...

According to this breaking news from the Chron, Russ Ortiz has been placed on the 15-day disabled list with neuritis in his pitching elbow and Kevin Frandsen has been called up to take his roster spot. However, they have not announced who will start in Ortiz's place in the rotation Sunday, which also happens to be ESPN's nationally televised game.

Who Else Giants Gonna Call?

But who else but Lincecum should get the call? Hennessey is settling into the setup role. Sanchez hasn't really been prepared to start. That leaves the minors and there's only one choice there: Lincecum.

And what a grand cosmic coincidence that Ortiz's spot in the rotation happened to be the ESPN game and now Lincecum's first start will be televised to the nation. Giants fans across the nation - heck world - who has access to ESPN will be able to see him pitch. Can't get a bigger stage than that for your first major league game. I assume his dad will be coming down for the game, his dad must be thrilled with this development plus it's on the weekend, so he won't have to miss work. And Tim will be facing the Phil's great young starter too, Cole Hamels, so it'll be the battle of the great young pitchers too, as a sub-text to the game.

It is hard not to be giddy about how Lincecum will do as a Giant in the majors, given all that he has done in the minors, but even Hughes did poorly in his first start for the Yankees and he was rated higher than Lincecum coming into this season. However, Hughes did no-hit his next game (no pressure Tim!).

Ortiz Probably Lost His Starting Spot

Assuming he does welll enough, it looks like Lincecum might Wally Pipp Ortiz out of the starting rotation and into the bullpen, which would probably push Sanchez back to start in AAA and become the 1st choice starter out of the minors.

And this makes a lot of sense. If Ortiz is having neuritis in his pitching elbow so soon in the season (warning, not a doctor or medical expert), it just seems logical that he should not really pitch a lot this season or it would flare up again. Putting him in the bullpen would reduce the stress on his pitching elbow and add, hopefully, a quality arm to the bullpen, not that Sanchez wasn't.

Sanchez, Not Chulk

Speaking of Sanchez, I had forgotten that Sanchez is another choice to drop out of the bullpen when I was thinking that Chulk would be the logical person to drop based on performance in my other post - he's still the logical one based on poor performance, but Sanchez is the logical one to go down since starting is where the Giants see his future as, and there is no one close to Lincecum or Sanchez in the farm system in terms of being near major league ready to start, in terms of talent and skill.

Sabean had seen the error of not having good replacements ready to step up and has populated his roster with players who can play multiple positions and could start if necessary. So he added players like Aurilia, Fransen, and Klesko to the roster/bench this season. If Lincecum is in the Giants rotation, then there's Ortiz in the bullpen as one possible replacement - however the neuritis! - and there's no clear go-to guy in the minors right now unless they send Sanchez back down to start in the minors and be ready.

Go Giants!!!

7 comments:

  1. I should have also noted that I found out the news via Lefty Malo's great site, it is in the comments section of this post: http://www.leftymalo.com/2007/05/prephiew.php#comments

    Look for "bigO" comments.

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  2. Pretty unbelieveable how giddy we all are, Giants fans all across the country, around the world even. Martin, re: your comment no one else (starters) close to being ready for a major league shot, what do you think about Kinney (ERA 3.13, WHIP 1.04, 5 BB, 16 Ks) or Palmer (2.83 ERA, WHIP 1.23, 13 BB, 21 Ks)?
    At a minimum, with numbers like those, might they be trade bait?

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  3. By the way, have you seen Geise's and Misch's numbers? WOW. They have really come around.

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  4. Hot damn!

    I haven't been this hopeful about a prospect since I saw Matt Williams in Spring Training.

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  5. allfrank, I guess I have perpetual blinders on: I don't really pay too much attention to the fillers in the minors.

    Kinney is a former major leaguer, he's there if the worse thing happens and they need to dip in. He should be doing well in AAA. I guess he's a AAAA pitcher. Padres I think but before we got Bochy.

    Palmer has been in the system for a while, moving up the system. He's what some call an "organizational soldier", someone who isn't good enough to make the majors (I've never seen him mentioned in any prospect list), but who fills a spot on the team and gives a good performance. 21:13 K/BB is a horrible ratio, and I'm guessing his K/9 rate is also low?

    If a team is willing to give Ponson a shot, I guess almost anyone can be trade bait, but you aren't going to get much. He could be a throw in for a bigger deal - quantity over quality - but not the main piece.

    I have not seen Geise, but that's why I've been pushing for Misch in my posts, he's been lights out for a while now, he was pitching like that in the AFL last year, and he's why I wasn't too worried about the bullpen, if anyone was really scuffling, he would go up and settle the situation down I think.

    I think it would have to be Will Clark for me, Barton, as Matt Williams was not always doing the greatest, so by the time he stuck, it wasn't a big deal, but Will had his first pro pitch for a homer going for him, then did the same against Nolan Ryan.

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  6. Speaking of desperate teams and players who show how they are desperate, the Mets just released Chan Ho Park after he was hit hard in his season debut with the team.

    He, with Ponson (Twins now, though why they signed him I don't know, they had Baker and Garza, why go with him, trade bait maybe? but that's wishful thinking) and Jeff Weaver (Mariners, the ultimate desperate team), is a sign that a team is desperate for starting pitching.

    * Ponson had his good start to his career then his one good year (with us), then it goes to his head (along with being knighted and a $21M contract), and he hasn't been good since.

    * Park was never really any good but had the good fortune of Boras steering him to LA, which has a nice pitchers park - his road ERA is horrible, but he's aces in LA - but no team seems to ever investigate that far into his stats.

    * Same with Weaver, he couldn't even benefit much from Detroit great pitchers park, one of the most extreme in the majors, though he did enjoy his stay in LA, his road ERA sucks too.

    Anyway, back to the Mets, they are so desperate for starters that they just called up Lino Urdaneta from AAA: 27 years old, has ONE major league appearance to his credit, facing 6 batters and giving up 6 earned runs on 5 hits and a walk (!!!), and he's not even a starter right now, he's their AAA closer, but with horrible ERA of 5.84 in 10 relief appearances, though 6 saves and 1-0 record, so perhaps he just had one big blown save. Still, he's not even a starter, how desperate is that?

    I guess either Alay Soler is not doing well or perhaps they lost him in the winter, he was a hotshot Cuban defector starting pitcher (is there any other? :^) who did OK in some starts with them last season, they must have lost him if he's not being called up. They might be wishing they kept Brian Bannister now instead of trading him for Burgos.

    And imagine if they never traded Kazmir, I still don't know what they were thinking when they made that trade, the players they got were not even that good, it should not have costed them Kazmir to get Zambrano (the lesser Z).

    I don't think that they are desperate enough to give us a good position prospect for Kinney - leverage like that only happens late in the season when they think they might win the division and he's not even a major leaguer so he still wouldn't fetch much in that situation - but, food for thought, perhaps later in the season, once Sanchez has a chance to shine in AAA (assuming he's the one who goes at some point, either now or when Ortiz returns), he would be a nice trading chip for a good position prospect (assuming Lincecum is the real deal - I know, blasphemy!). Perhaps Fernando Martinez, Carlos Gomez, or Lastings Milledge even, his stock seems to have fallen. Lowry should be able to fetch a couple good prospects, more than Sanchez, should we go in that direction.

    The thing is, our rotation looks full for this year and next with Zito, Cain, Lincecum, and Morris, then Lowry. Sanchez has no space for him but if he does well, then it makes Lowry expendable as well (I'm assuming no team wants Morris as much, who I think is good, but not conventionally good, so he won't bring as much in trade) as Sanchez - we have a number of pitchers coming up who are #5 starter quality or better, plus there's always Ortiz or even Hennessey, who could have been a adequate #5 for us this season, I thought, if it weren't for Ortiz and Sanchez.

    If things goes well, we should have a number of trading chips available by August who we could trade for good position prospects.

    ReplyDelete
  7. This is related to my comment to the above post, but, where we to need another starter (and it doesn't seem all that likely, as we now have 6), I wouldn't be opposed to bringing up either Palmer or Kinney as a #5. They are both doing well in a hitter's league (maybe it is just early, cool weather, and the hitters haven't gotten started). It seems one or both could be an adequate 1/2 year #5 - which would also show case them for the trade market.

    ReplyDelete

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