The Chron's version noted Kevin Frandsen's and Dan Ortmeier's determination to win playing time by building up their bodies and changing it per the team's instructions. Frandsen showed off his new physique, and Ortmeier likewise added more muscle and changed his proportions in order to generate more power.
That was the key for Geovanny Soto, a prospect for the Cubs who like Ortmeier was a good prospect coming up, but hadn't been doing much at the higher levels. So last off-season, he worked on his body and got into tip-top shape and had a monster offensive year in AAA, then coming up and earning the starting job then and for 2008.
Not that either Frandsen and Ortmeier can hit as well as Soto, just that sometimes it doesn't take much to get the prospect to another level. Also, Frandsen talked about his strong feelings of friendship and respect for Durham but also basically challenged Durham publicly that he's going to take the starting job. But can he?
Sabean had some good words to that effect, stating:
"I think at this point it looks favorable. I think the players realize that, and Boch and the coaching staff realize the transition we're in. To not give guys like Frandsen and Ortmeier a chance to play, in the phase we're in, would be counterproductive."Still, Sabean added that nothings in stone, that the offense and roster will be a work in progress into the regular season, mainly through trade, though free agents remain a possibility. Basically, that's the same as any year, if you produce, you have nothing to worry about, if you don't, we will replace you with someone we think can do the job. Also, both players were asked about that and responded that neither of them were promised anything by Giants management. Ortmeier noted:
"But I respect that because I want to be ready to compete and win a job," Ortmeier said. "That was my mindset from the first day of the off-season and it remains the same today. Whether we sign somebody tomorrow or we don't sign anybody at all, I'm focused on being healthy and ready to contribute."Bochy was there too and had some info to share:
"Kevin looks like he's ready to take over and play on a regular basis," Bochy said. "But you do have another second baseman (Ray Durham) who two years ago threw up some great numbers and hit in the heart of the order. We're geared toward pitching and defense, but we'll have to knock in runs, too.Happiness: No Feliz
"So as manager, there'll be some tough decisions, especially when you're coming off a season like we had. We want to get back on track. It usually comes down to how much trust you have in your young players and who else you have on your ballclub. Right now, I'd say Ortmeier and Frandsen would get a lot of playing time."
Bochy said Ortmeier still has to answer questions about his defense and his switch-hitting stroke, especially from the left side.
The good news is that the Giants have moved on from Feliz (though there appears to be a tiny window open). They offered him a two year contract and he turned it down. So the Giants are moving on and looking into trades and other free agents, apparently.
Morgan Ensberg was mentioned by the Merc (I like him best, no cost in prospects, could be low cost/risk, high reward if he returns to past excellence, which I think is still possible, Garner didn't like him or use him well, I heard) and Crede has been a constant name tied to the Giants, and now there's a link, in that Rowand highly recommends him and Ron Schueler, Sabean's new advisor, was the ChiSox GM when they got Crede, and Ron has been pushing for Crede.
However, Sabean had to add the word "pretty", as in, "we've pretty much moved on," which leaves a window open for the Giants to sign Feliz. But that is the Chron version, the Merc version quotes instead: "We moved on," Giants G.M. Brian Sabean said. "I don't see us doing business." I don't see means that there's wiggle room for something he didn't see.
And according to the Merc, sources close to Feliz said that Feliz is thinking of dropping his agent and coming back to the Giants, either at the Giants terms (two years) or possibly even if it is only a one year contract. But according to Baggarly, it was left unclear if Sabean would reopen negotiations with Feliz.
Frandsen and Ortmeier Show
The two young players, though, were the star attractions. Both are hoping to get a lot of ABs. Ortmeier said that he wanted 500 AB, to which Frandsen then retorted that he wanted 700 AB (which is only possible if he led off and didn't walk or get HBP much). Both are excited over the opportunity they might be getting.
"It's a new era, a fresh start for all of us," Frandsen said Wednesday. "All we care about is playing for the Giants, for this city and the fans in our ballpark. We're here to show them they should be excited about us because we can play. We've watched each other have great success in the minor leagues."Ortmeier knows that he's not going to replace Bonds's production:
"I'm definitely not going to come in and try to hit more home runs," Ortmeier said. "I'm going to try to do what I do, which is make good, consistent contact. I think I'm strong enough, and my mechanics are good enough, that if I hit the ball, it's going to go. I'm not too worried about that. You can't come and think, 'I gained 10 pounds. I'm going to hit 15 more home runs.' "The Chron noted that at this time, Aurilia looks likely to be sharing time with both Frandsen and Ortmeier, at 3B and 1B, respectively. It also noted that with Aurilia around, the Giants will not be in the market for mentors like Tony Clark or Mark Sweeney. That kills the rumor that the Giants are interested in Tony Clark, which to me has always appeared to be just a suggestion that Clark's agent threw out there to drum up business for his client.
We'll end with a quote from Frandsen, who talked about working out with Dustin Pedroia, who the Red Sox stuck with after a horrid April:
"There's no bigger confidence boost than having someone stick with you after a month like that," Frandsen said. "It's what you'd hope the Giants would do if they give me an opportunity: stick with you and let you go through your lows, let you fight out of it."Niekro Gone
Unsurprisingly, Lance Niekro is no longer a Giant. He recently signed with the Houston Astros, which is where he grew up when his father was an Astro player.