Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Something Sinister: Schierholtz called up, Ortmeier optioned down

I am all for bringing up Nate Schierholtz and seeing how he can do with us, but really, this is about the lamest excuse for a call-up I've ever seen. According to AP report, the Giants are calling up Schierholtz and sending down Ortmeier because they need a left-handed bat. And sure enough Schierholtz is a lefty, but there are two things that ring false about that:
  1. Ortmeier switch hits and thus bats left. Now the problem is that he's not hitting RHP right now. So what! We have nobody in the OF reserve who can hit LHP right now, Sweeney, Klesko are both lefties too. Unless they plan on playing Frandsen there a lot
  2. When would Schierholtz play? Main free playing time is being Roberts platoon buddy. Only time he will see regular play is when Bonds don't play.

So what's up with that?

But still, good to see Schierholtz up, nice to see what he can do.


  1. Are you overlooking the fact that they're just about to go to an AL city and Bonds obviously won't be playing in the OF at all during that series? Also, it's really looking like Bonds needs more time off. The Giants just don't seem to believe Ortmeier can hit left-handed at a major league capability, and his minor league career lends a lot of credence to that idea. On the other hand, he has more power than Nate's ever displayed.

  2. Yes, I think Annon has it right. Bonds will DH in Boston and we'll be fcing RH starter's for the Boston series and the rest of the Toronto series.
    They can't send Sweeney down if they want to trade him, plus it will be good for Ort to get regular ABs for 3-6 weeks, then after a trade he can come back up if he shows he's hitting in Fresno.

  3. Yeah, it was just a minor oversight, Martin. You were looking at the big picture and overlooking the more immediate/smaller picture. If Lewis never went down with his injury, it's pretty certain that Ort would have gotten sent down anyway. At least for this stretch of games.

    The Giants management AND players still believe they're in this, and they can't afford to wait and see if Ortmeier can come around batting left-handed. Schierholtz is a lefty, so there shouldn't be much question if he's better against RHP or LHP, the matchup is as it is.

    As allfrank said, Ort will probably come back up if any trades go down. This is especially true if Sweeney is thrown into a trade, as it frees up a potential outfield spot.

    As for your point #1, I think they may just use Frandsen and Feliz in the outfield if need be. But for the remainder of this series and the next, they really have no dire need for an outfielder that bats right handed.

  4. Thanks, forgot about the Boston series and all the DHing for Bonds with Toronto too, meaning playing time for the 4th OF over the next week and the need for a lefthanded bat, particularly as anon noted, Ortmeier's inability thus far to hit RHP (so he really kills LHP? His batting line is not that bad and RHP makes up 60-80% of most batters ABs).

    OK, over reaction on my part, thanks for clearing that up for me everyone.

  5. OK, I just can't give it a rest, can I? It's the O and the C. :^)

    Given that the AL team is the reason for gettin Schierholtz, wouldn't it have therefore made more sense to send back down Sanchez and retain Ortmeier? Less need for reliever in AL, starters go longer.

    With Ortmeier gone, righties on bench are Aurilia, Frandsen, Rodriguez when RHP starter, Frandsen (not if Aurilia still hurting, then he might play 3B and Feliz 1B) and Rodriguez LHP. Meanwhile, lefties on bench are Sweeney when RHP starter, Sweeney, Schierholtz, and Klesko when LHP.

    That means we have no power at all against LHP relievers late in the game (Aurilia's out for a little while for his neck and the shot). Plus Ortmeier is our only basestealing threat on the bench.

    Not a great big deal, but I had to point them out, we basically can't play long-ball or small-ball from the bench against LHP, and they will come in against our lefty-laden lineups in particular.

  6. > Given that the AL team is the reason for gettin Schierholtz, wouldn't it have therefore made more sense to send back down Sanchez and retain Ortmeier? Less need for reliever in AL, starters go longer.

    This is a great point, and it really can go either way. One of the reasons I think the Giants went with Sanchez (staying up) rather than Ortmeier is Bochy. Boch loves to switch up his relievers and use a lot of them. He really digs the lefty/righty match ups.

    Another reason is that AL teams generally have better offenses. While the starting pitcher isn't doesn't fall victim to the double switch anymore, he has a higher likelihood of throwing more pitches (and possibly getting into trouble). That means the bullpen will naturally get more work in.

    > That means we have no power at all against LHP relievers late in the game (Aurilia's out for a little while for his neck and the shot).

    If I'm not mistaken, the way the starters are lining up for the remainder of this series and the Boston series are all right handed. With that said, the majority of the at bats are going to be against right handers, not left. Even if a lefty reliever comes in, do you really take out someone like Klesko for Ortmeier? Or Roberts? The reliever may only be there for one inning, so your player may come back around and face a righty next time through.

    In any case, the Giants problem as of late isn't the lack of power. It's just the lack of hits when they need them in general. Nate is tearing up AAA, so the Giants want to see if he could translate that to the bigs. By most accounts, Nate is a better contact hitter than Ort, but has less power. Perhaps the team could use the extra singles Nate provides (if he bats for better average) over Ortmeier.

    With all due respect, I just think you're making a big deal out of nothing. Just a few weeks ago, if Schierholtz wasn't hurt, he would have be up here with Lewis. Both were doing well down in AAA. When Roberts came back, the best man would have stayed. Well, Lewis is not here, and Schierholtz gets a chance.

  7. Good points, as usual.

    As I made a point of saying first off and last off, I'm all for Schierholtz coming up. I'm aware that he would have gotten the call if he weren't injured, I think I noted that originally when Lewis came up, about how fate works sometimes. I think I've also made it clear in the past that I think Schierholtz is the much better prospect. I clearly want to see how Schierholtz does in the majors more than Ortmeier, who I see as a 4th OF for now.

    I just feel the need for Ortmeier. I like what he did while he was up. I also feel bad that he got sent down when he was doing well for us.

    The lefty reason seemed bogus at first glance, but I understood the point about the need for lefty hitting with us facing Boston and Bonds DHing after it was explained to me. That makes perfect sense.

    But run opportunities have been hard to come by. And Roberts and Klesko are really bad against LHP, that's why they are platooned, what if he came up in a critical situation where we needed a run, run opportunities have been hard to come by, and Ortmeier would be good to come in there and bat for them. And late in the game, there is not always a next time around.

    However, the pitching has been pretty good for the most part, pitching late into the game, so the need for relievers is lessened. Yes, Bochy does like using the relievers, Bill James Handbook has stats on that and Bochy is up there with Bobby Cox and Felipe Alou in reliever usage.

    But what's done is done, that's all I got. I may be making a big deal of nothing for the wrong initial reason, but I still feel the Giants could use Ortmeier up here. Now we'll see what happens, who knows, we could get shutout three games in a row and it wouldn't mean a thing.

    Actually, from my impressions of the two, it has appeared to me that Schierholtz is considered the much better power hitter between the two. He is also the better hitter, hence why he's a more highly regarded prospect than Ortmeier. And I do love the homer!

    So please don't change what I'm saying to mean that I have some problem with Schierholtz. I immediately learned how to spell his name correctly because I thought he would do something for us. I've been rooting for him because I used to take the baseball class at Chabot College during summer and just hit in the batting cages the whole class, one of the most fun classes I've ever taken! I've been waiting impatiently for Schierholtz to come up and shut up some of the people calling for Sabean's head.

    Go Giants!

  8. But Martin, if you replace Sanchez with Ortmeier, you're left with 11 pitchers, only 6 for the pen. I think that is too few. While Ort might well get some playing time on this trip, I think that is the third best option, having a full complement of pitchers (12) and hanging on to Sweeney, I think, trump having Ort available for 2 or 3 ABs. I'm in favor of sending him down because what I think kills young players is infrequent playing time - this is a good time to send him down (sort of like "Roberts rehab starts) to get some ABs and get his timing back

  9. sfgfan's right, Allfrank, I made a big deal out of nothing. We won't know what really was the right decision is, but I'm glad Schierholtz is getting a shot at the majors, that is the main point I should have led with instead.

    The way I see it, it is our offense that has been off, not our pitching, and our starters have been going longer than most teams, longer than we did last year, so the need for relievers, I believe is less than the need for offense. Ortmeier provides power and speed off the bench, though unfortunately not against RHP, limiting his usefulness, but on a bench of left-handers?

    Anyway, moot point, lets root them on to continue the win streak!

  10. > So please don't change what I'm saying to mean that I have some problem with Schierholtz.

    That was never my intention, and I apologize. Sometimes I get pretty riled up and lose focus of the arguments I'm trying to explore and counter. I like our discussions, and never would I try to offend you (or twist your words) in any way.

  11. Eh, if there should be anyone apologizing, it should be me to you. I was the one getting riled up over nothing, and looking over your posts, you didn't do anything wrong, I was just talking myself into that.

    I know you're a good person, please accept my apologies.

  12. Well then, I'll say we're even.

  13. The Only reason Ortmeier was called up in the first place was because Nate was hurt. They wanted Scheirholz the whole time.

  14. I hate to contradict a Hall of Famer :^) (or correct his spelling :^) but I think Freddie Lewis was the beneficiary of Schierholtz's untimely injury. Both are lefty hitters and still top prospects, but if you bring both up, one will be sitting for an extended period or both would be used on and off, not getting consistent ABs.

    I would think that Schierholtz will probably be sent down again once this stretch where he would get some regular ABs end, though since Winn is having some physical problems right now, they could always sit him for a couple of games at Milwaukee against RHP and let Schierholtz start there too, then if they do that, they would let him stay for the Yankees series, before reassessing whether to bring back Ortmeier or to let Schierholtz stay.

    The problem is that if Schierholtz stays, we have not much of a bench against LHP, though he has been hitting not that bad against LHP the past season and about a half, I'm not sure why some analysts have labeled him a future platoon OF. If he can hit OK against LHP while he is up, they could let him stay over Ortmeier.

    But again, Ortmeier provides power and speed off the bench, and I think his defense is probably better than Schierholtz's right now.

    But I guess we'll see what happens when it happens. :^)



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