Monday, September 24, 2007

Mo' Better Deal: Blackley vs. Ellison

Travis Blackley, the second Aussie native to pitch for the Giants (the immortal Damian Moss was the first), started yesterday and had a nice outing once he settled down: he started off walking the lead-off guy and then gave up a homer to the second batter, so he was down 2-0 to start, but then shut out the Reds the rest of the way, for 5.0 IP, 3 hits and 4 walks, 5 strikeouts with the 2 runs. Except for the walks, very nice start on his part.

The 24 year old Blackley came to the Giants in the trade that ended the Jason Ellison era in the pre-season. Given that the Giants were probably not going to be able to keep Ellison on the roster, what with Linden earning his chance last season and Ryan Klesko and Mark Sweeney in the mix in the OF too, plus Fred Lewis in the minors, I was amazed that the Giants could get another team to actually give up any prospect, let alone one who used to be a good prospect until he had surgery.

Blackley had an OK season with the Fresno Grizzlies this year: 28 games started, 168.1 IP, giving up 156 hits and 68 walks, with 121 strikeouts and 21 homers, for a 4.66 ERA, 1.38 WHIP, 3.6 BB/9, 6.5 K/9, borderline OK 1.8 K/BB, 1.1 HR/9. But he's still only 25 years old for next season and by then will be two seasons past his surgery. It took Joe Nathan two years to recover from his surgery (though some never recover) so there is some hope that Blackley can return to the stellar form he displayed in 2003 as a 20 year old.

However, I'm not sure what our control over him is. He should have been a 6 year minor league free agent after last season, which would imply that the Mariners took him back when no one else would sign him up, before trading him to us. That would imply that we have some sort of control still, though I'm not up on those rules. I would hope that we keep him in some fashion, but given that his season's stats aren't that sterling, I don't see another team stealing him away from us, even if he were free.

Ellison's Interesting 2007

Meanwhile, Jason Ellison had what I would term an interesting 2007. I won't go into his stats too deeply, since he's not a Giant anymore, but with Seattle, he was on the roster most of the season but didn't get into many games as a starter or even a hitter, he was used mostly as a pinch-runner, from what I remembered. If he didn't set a record for least ABs for someone on a major league roster all season long, then that means that only Herb Washington, who the A's used ONLY as a pinch-runner, beat him. Then he somehow ended up with the Reds, who actually started him against us and he had some nice hits to help them beat us.

Good for him, but I'm happy with the trade as we got a young pitcher with some potential and still some time to reach his potential, for a player who wasn't going to do much for us that another player wouldn't do better or with more potential. Hopefully we get to keep Blackley and see how he turns out in the next couple of years.

3 comments:

  1. As long as the Giants keep Blackley on the 40 man roster he is their's for next year. He still has two more option year's as 2004 and 2007 are the only year's he has pitched at the MLB level.

    ReplyDelete
  2. However, from what I remember, once you are on the 40 man roster, whether you play on the MLB club or not, you use up an option to send him back to the minors. That would mean that Seattle used up options to send him back to the minors in 2005 and 2006, for a total of the 4 option years, from my count.

    ReplyDelete
  3. You could be right. But, this would only mean that he would have to pass thru waivers to be sent down at the end of next year's spring training. This would not mean that he becomes a free agent.

    ReplyDelete

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