Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Sabean Like Sanchez, Really He Does

One of the big debate among fans has been about how good Sanchez is and whether Sabean knows what he has in the lefty. There is good news for Sanchez fans like me from Hank Schulman, from his The Splash blog.

He reports that at the Comcast Lunch, I suppose just today, Sabean said that he can't imagine trading a bigger, stronger Jonathan Sanchez for a bat, adding further that Noah Lowry will have to wrest the fifth spot in the rotation from the incumbent Sanchez.

What happened is that Greg Papa asked about trading Sanchez for a corner infielder and Sabean, noting he saw Sanchez throw Tuesday in Arizona, said, "He's bigger and stronger. He's ready to pitch. I have a hard time thinking we could trade this player for value. Plus, he's the incumbent. Lowry is going to have to unseat him."

Vote of Confidence for Sabean and Bochy

Meanwhile, Neukom said at the lunch, "We think we have the best general manager and field manager in baseball,"adding they all decided it would be best to concentrate now on putting a good team on the field and worry about those messy contract issues in October.

Giants Thoughts

What this means is that Sabean doesn't think he will get equivalent value for Sanchez in trade. And I totally agree. If Sanchez can pitch for a whole season like he did - and dominantly so - in the first half of the 2008 season, he would put together a sub-4 ERA season, which would make him easily a #2 type starter. That is easily worth a middle-of-lineup hitter but he won't fetch anyone like that right now. On the other hand, I think he's capable of showing it in 2009.

However, an idea I've been luxuriating in has been this: what if we just kept Sanchez and create a truly monster rotation? Sanchez strikes out a LOT of batters, which as I have reported, is key to a successful playoff run in the post-season. With Lincecum, Cain and a #2 caliber Sanchez, we would have not only a young rotation but one with three pitchers who could arguably be the #1 or #2 starter for any team in the league, with Bumgarner and Alderson looking to join them in 2010 or 2011.

The only way that works is if the Giants position prospects continue to show the skills they showed in the minors and develop further.
  • That would mean Ishikawa at 1B, who as I showed in a recent post, isn't that platoon oriented, no more so than other young players who are top lefty firstbasemen. Plus he plays great defense there.
  • That would mean Villalona continues to develop and be capable of playing 1B or 3B in the future.
  • That would mean Frandsen and Noonan become the clear choices at 2B now and in the future, respectively.
  • That would mean Burriss continues to develop and can handle SS
  • That would mean Sandoval proves to be adept enough to field 3B adequately and continue to hit well.
  • That would mean Lewis continues to develop and can hit 20 HR as he thinks he can.
  • That would mean Schierholtz translate what he did in the minors to the majors.
  • That would mean Posey continues to amaze with his hitting.

Those are a lot of ifs, driven by the fact that the Giants don't have any truly plus hitters except potentially Posey and hopefully Villalona and Rafael Rodriquez. Still, the above is not totally out of the question either:

  • Ishikawa and Frandsen have had success hitting in the majors, as well as the minors, and just need to continue it.
  • Burriss, despite his defensive lapses, shows good hitting skills that should continue to develop.
  • Sandoval was actually above average defensively in his short stint at 3B in the majors last year, and both Baseball America and Deric McKamey thought that he could become adequate defensively at 3B with experience and practice, and reportedly he took thousands of grounders over the off-season to prepare for 3B. And he showed good hitting skills with his peripherals throughout most of his minor league career and just continued to show it in the majors, with the added plus of adding power to his mix in 2008.
  • Schierholtz hasn't had a disappointing season yet and has continued to hit over .300 when given the chance in the majors.
  • And Villalona, Noonan, and Posey did well in the minors in 2008 and showed enough that I think they will continue to do so in 2009.
So there is a lot of ifs, but there is a lot of positives to take as well. The question to me is, will the positives be enough to boost the offense enough to win a lot of games with the pitching we got?

I think so. Most of the projections I've seen places the Giants at around .500 for the season, or 81 wins. And personally, I think some of the projections are conservative, I think it is very possible that some of the players could beat their projections. I think that is a decent expectation to have for this season and not that hard a hurdle to jump over and do better without a lot of over-performances. I think if we can just get two out of the three (Sandoval, Ishikawa, and Frandsen) to meet their projections, the Giants can make 81 wins, and I think they can.

To get over 81 wins in 2009, it would take a few of the below:
  • Sanchez pitching like Cain or better with a mid-3-ish ERA
  • Johnson pitching like he did in 2007 and 2008
  • Zito pitching like he did with the A's, with an ERA below 4.00
  • Wilson moving to the upper echelon of closers with a low 3 (or better) ERA
  • Rowand hitting the way he was the first two months of 2008 for a whole season
  • Lewis being able to hit 20 HR while still hitting like he has hit in the majors so far
  • Renteria having another of his career peak seasons
  • Frandsen matching training buddy Dustin Pedroia's breakout season in 2008
These are not what I would call likely or probable occurences but wouldn't surprise me if they happen either. Well, except for the last one about Frandsen.

I like where the Giants are right now in terms of their development. I think Sabean has done a good job so far and is deserving of the vote of confidence Neukom gave him. It is also as I had suspected, that Neukom does like Sabean but couldn't be too open about his support early in his term as owner, though I think this is still kind of early as well, I would have waited until after spring training and passed it on as part of the opening day celebration.

Still, I wouldn't give Sabean an extension now. I think we need to see generally good progress by the Giants young players and prospects for him to get an extension. Big question marks that need to be answered positively, besides those above, include:
  • Posey showing he has what it takes to do well in the majors
  • Villalona showing he has progressed
  • Rodriguez showing he is worth the money given him
  • Bumgarner and Alderson continue to do well at a higher level
  • Some good performances among the other prospects, like Gillaspie, Kieschnick, Crawford, Adrianza, Fairley, Noonan, Culberson, Downs, Rohlinger, Jesus Guzman, Thomas Neal, Hector Sanchez, Julios Izturis, Henry Sosa, for examples
I think in particular Posey, Villalona, and Rodriguez. At least one of them and Sandoval must continue to show that he is a plus hitter, that there is a good hitter for the Giants in the future. Still, if the rotation continues to perform great, that could be enough for me to say yes to an extension as well.

4 comments:

  1. "We think we have the best general manager and field manager in baseball," Neukom said.

    Is there even one person, let alone a consensus in the Giants front office, who really thinks that?

    Even if you happen to like both Sabean and Bochy, which I suppose is not impossible, the idea that a MLB organization thinks both are the best in the majors at their positions is grotesquely, hilariously implausible.

    So it's just hyperventilated corporate-speak. This is a clue to Neukom. He wanted to stop having to swat away press questions that basically circled around if or when will one or both of those guys would be fired. So given the choice between uttering a clear, even if insincere, vote of confidence to shut up the inkstained wretches and uttering a Selig-like howler, he dove into Selig whole hog and came up (as anyone who pulls a Selig has to) smelling like an arrogant, negligent, and complacent liar.

    Agree on Sanchez and the team overall: 2010 might be pretty OK.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I agree with this assessement. I know you've been a proponant of TI for some time and you past post on his splits was good insight. I hope the Giants try just as you've laid out and a few break out years could push us into the playoffs and with our pitching???? I don't agree with you on Franny... Heart can do more then stats and projections and he's the type of player where that creates synergy.

    Giant Escape

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hilarie, I agree with you to a point. It is certainly hyperbolic corporate-speak, but he doesn't seem to be an insincere person, so he's not going to go out into public and say something like this without thinking that Sabean is arguably one of the better GM's around. He's also not going to say it if there any good chance that he is going to fire Sabean at the end of the season.

    Giant Escape, I've only been a proponent of not giving up on Ishikawa because I thought he had enough potential to play his prospect string out. People have mistaken my emphasis on him for thinking that I think he's a great prospect - he hasn't been for years now, since his great first season in San Jose.

    Still, a useful player is still a commodity with value, and he could save us from the merry-go-round of mediocre free agent 1B with a couple of serviceable seasons before Villalona makes the majors, and maybe even be a good enough trading chip when the time comes to bring Villalona up.

    I've also been rooting for him because there are so few Asian-descent players in the majors. Not that there should be more, just that I get a kick seeing people like me actually in baseball, maybe in the future there will be an Asian parent who will let his son play baseball and not force him to go to college (I refer here to my cousin who a Dodger scout once asked if he was going to continue, and when he said he couldn't, the scout said too bad; I would have cherished owning a playing card with him on it, we used to play baseball together at North Beach playground when we were growing up).

    And I do try to give insight, where I can, my whole point of blogging is to share whatever insight I find and present a more complete view of the Giants, a view I don't find anywhere else.

    I think we agree that Frandsen is a good player, full of heart. I'm certainly rooting for him big time, not only because of his San Jose roots, but also because the meaning it would bring to him because of his late older brother. It would make a great motion picture if Frandsen could become a star for the Giants.

    However, I don't think he can match what Pedroia is doing, who probably will be close to 20/20 each season, but I certainly think Frandsen could get into double digits in both HR and SB. I think Frandsen can be a very nice complementary player for any team, and I think he's going to win the 2B competition and be our starting 2B. Any winning team needs players like that to go along with their key players.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I was hoping to see what Manny Burriss could do with an everyday job. He hit pretty well and his speed is top notch. His "D" is suspect but it's not going to get any better riding the pine.

    ReplyDelete

Labels

1984 Draft (1) 2007 Draft (15) 2007 Giants (52) 2008 Draft (22) 2008 Giants (53) 2008 season (6) 2009 Draft (18) 2009 Giants (87) 2009 season (24) 2010 Decade (10) 2010 Draft (11) 2010 Giants (137) 2010 NL ROY award (1) 2010 season (19) 2010's (3) 2011 Draft (9) 2011 Giants (84) 2011 season (8) 2012 Draft (11) 2012 Giants (93) 2012 season (11) 2013 Draft (3) 2013 Giants (39) 2013 season (5) 2014 (1) 2014 draft (5) 2014 Giants (54) 2014 season (14) 2015 season (1) 25 man roster (7) 3B (1) 40 Man Roster (4) 49ers (1) 6-man rotation (1) 89 Quake (1) 89 World Series (1) A's (6) A-Ball (1) A-Gon (1) A-Rod (3) AA-Ball (1) Aaron Rowand (25) accomplishments (1) Adalberto Mejia (4) Adam Duvall (3) AFL (4) Alex Hinshaw (3) All-Star Game (1) almost perfect game (1) Amphetamine (2) analysis (5) Andre Torres (14) Andres Torres (2) Andrew Susac (5) Andy Baggerly (2) Andy Sisco (1) Angel Joseph (1) Angel Pagan (10) Angel Villalona (29) Anniversary (1) appendicitis (1) Aramis Garcia (1) Arbitration (12) Armando Benitez (5) Armando Gallaraga (1) art of failure (1) At the Rate They Are Going (1) ATT Park (1) Aubrey Huff (20) Award (4) BABIP (2) Barry Bonds (28) Barry Zito (77) Baseball America (2) Baseball Prospectus (2) Baseball Prospectus Bias Against Giants (3) baseball strategy (5) Baseball Study (14) baserunning (2) batting peripherals (1) batting stance analysis (1) batting title champion (1) Beat LA (6) bench players (1) Bengie Molina (14) Benjamin Snyder (1) Bert Blyleven (1) Beyond the Box Score (1) Bias Against Giants (1) Big 6 (7) Bill Hall (1) Bill James Handbook (2) Bill Neukom (21) Billy Beane (2) Blog Philosophy (2) Bob Howry (2) Bob Mariano (1) Bobby Evans (1) Brad Hennessey (5) Brad Penny (2) Brandon Bednar (1) Brandon Belt (38) Brandon Crawford (18) Brandon Hicks (1) Braves (5) breakout (1) Brett Bochy (3) Brett Pill (9) Brian Anderson (1) Brian Bocock (2) Brian Cooper (1) Brian Horwitz (3) Brian Ragira (2) Brian Sabean (41) Brian Wilson (14) Bridegrooms (2) Bruce Bochy (22) Bucky Showalter (1) bulllpen (1) Bullpen (21) Bumgarner (1) Business Plan (13) Buster Posey (91) Byung-Hyun Kim (1) Cained (4) call-ups (3) Candlestick Park (1) Cards (8) Career Prospects (3) Carl Hubbell (1) Carlos Beltran (4) Carlos Gomez (1) Carney Lansford (2) Carter Jurica (1) catcher injury (4) catching (1) CC Sabathia (1) censorship (2) CEO (2) Chad Gaudin (5) Charles Culberson (5) Charlie Culberson (3) Chase Johnson (2) Chillax (1) Chris Brown (1) Chris Gloor (1) Chris Heston (3) Chris Lincecum (1) Chris O'Leary (1) Chris Ray (4) Chris Stewart (4) Chris Stratton (8) Christian Arroyo (3) Christmas (1) Christopher Dominguez (4) Christy Mathewson (1) Chuckie Jones (2) Clay Hensley (3) Clayton Blackburn (5) Clayton Tanner (3) Closer (7) closer by committee (3) Coaches (3) Cody Hall (1) Cody Ross (8) Col (1) Comeback Award (1) Commissioner (1) competitiveness (1) Conor Gillaspie (22) contender (1) contract negotiations (2) contract signing (4) Cory Hart (1) Craig Whitaker (2) cuts (1) Cy Young Award (5) D-backs (14) D-gers (31) D-Rocks (3) D-Rox (16) Dallas McPherson (1) Dan Ortmeier (11) Dan Otero (2) Dan Runzler (6) Dan Uggla (1) Daniel Slania (2) Darren Ford (1) Dave Roberts (11) David Aardsma (1) David Huff (2) David Loewenstein (1) Decade of the Giants (10) decline (1) Defense (8) Deferred Money (1) deleted comment (1) Derek Law (4) Detroit Tigers (1) DFA (3) DH (2) Dick Tidrow (1) Dirty (1) DL (1) dodgers (6) Donald Snelten (1) Draft (3) Draft Analysis (8) Draft Bonus (7) draft list (1) draft signing (3) Draft Strategy (11) Draft Study (2) Draft Success (2) drafting (1) Dres (16) DRS (1) Edgar Renteria (13) Edwin Escobar (5) Ehire Adrianza (14) Eli Whiteside (4) Elimination game (1) EME (2) Emmanuel Burriss (18) epic season (6) Eric Byrnes (1) Eric Surkamp (6) Erik Cordier (1) Eugenio Velez (12) extension (6) fanfest (1) Fielding (4) Fielding Stats (4) finger injury (1) first post-season press conference (2) Francisco Peguero (4) Fred Lewis (3) Freddie Lewis (17) Freddie Sanchez (4) Freddy Sanchez (7) Free Agency (4) Free agent possibilities (17) Free agent signing (4) Free agent signings (21) gamer-tude (1) Gary Brown (23) Geno Espinelli (1) George Kontos (3) Ghosts of Giants Drafts (1) Giants (1) Giants blogs (2) Giants Chat (3) Giants Draft (7) Giants Drafts (2) Giants Farm System (29) Giants Franchise record (2) Giants Future (62) Giants GM (4) Giants Greats (2) Giants hitting manual (1) Giants No-Hitter (4) Giants Offense (21) Giants Offseason (21) Giants Strategy (34) GiDar (1) Gino Espinelli (1) glossary (1) good will (1) Graphical Player (1) Gregor Blanco (12) Gregor Moscoso (1) Guillermo Moscoso (2) Guillermo Mota (2) Guillermo Quiroz (1) Gustavo Cabrera (3) Hall of Fame (7) Hall of Shame (3) Hank Aaron (5) Happy Holidays (2) Hate mail (1) heart-warming (1) Heath Hembree (8) Hector Correa (1) Hector Sanchez (9) Henry Sosa (8) HGH (1) high expectations (1) high school focus in draft (1) Hitter's League (1) Hitting (15) Hitting Coach (1) hitting mechanics (3) hitting pitchers (2) hitting streak (1) Hitting; (1) Home Run Career Record (7) Home Run Hitting Contest (1) Hunter Pence (19) Hunter Stickland (1) Hunter Strickland (1) Idea (4) improvement (1) Indictment (1) injury (2) instant replay (2) instructor (1) Interesting Question (1) International Free Agent Pursuits (3) International Signings (5) interview (3) Investment (1) Ivan Ochoa (2) Jack Taschner (4) Jackson Williams (2) Jacob Dunnington (1) Jacob McCasland (1) Jake Dunning (1) Jake Peavy (6) Japanese Starters (1) Jarrett Parker (5) Jason Heyward (1) Jason Stoffel (1) Javier Lopez (5) JC Gutierrez (2) Jeff Kent (1) Jeff Suppan (1) Jeremy Affeldt (10) Jeremy Shelley (1) Jerome Williams (1) Jesse English (2) Jesse Foppert (1) Jesus Guzman (4) Joaquin Arias (9) Joe Panik (10) Joe Torre (1) Joey Martinez (2) Johan Santana (1) John Bowker (22) Johneshwy Fargas (2) Johnny Bench (1) Johnny Monell (1) Johnny Rucker (1) Jonah Arenado (1) Jonathan Mayo (1) Jonathan Sanchez (48) Jose Canseco (1) Jose Casilla (1) Jose Guillen (3) Jose Mijares (3) Jose Uribe (2) Josh Osich (3) JT Snow (1) Juan Perez (5) Juan Uribe (9) Juggling Monkey (1) Just Say No (1) Kendry Flores (1) Keury Mella (1) Kevin Correia (2) Kevin Frandsen (22) Kevin Pucetas (10) Kung Fu Panda (30) Kyle Crick (10) Larry Baer (2) Larry Ellison (1) Lead-off (2) left-handed (1) Lew Wolff (1) LHP (1) Lineup (17) lineup construction (1) Lineup position (1) Long-Term Contract (21) long-term planning (3) luck (1) Luis Angel Mateo (2) Mac Williamson (5) Madison Bumgarner (127) Mailbox (1) Malcolm Gladwell (1) management change (3) management issues (5) managerial value (2) Manny (1) Marc Kroon (2) Marco Scutaro (11) Mark DeRosa (8) Martin Agosta (6) Marvin Miller (1) Masahiro Tanaka (1) Mason McVay (1) Matsuzaka (1) Matt Cain (127) Matt Downs (2) Matt Graham (1) Matt Holliday (1) Matt Morris (2) Mechanics (4) Media (15) Media Bias (17) Media Trade Idea (3) Medical (1) Mediocy (10) Mediots (4) Melk-Gone (1) Melky Cabrera (14) memories (1) mental (1) Merkin Valdez (8) Message in a Bottle (1) Michael Main (1) Michael Trout (1) Miguel Cabrera (2) Miguel Tejada (5) Mike Fontenot (3) Mike Ivie (1) Mike Kickham (9) Mike Matheny (1) Mike Morse (6) milestone (1) minor league (1) minor league contract (1) minors (11) mismanagement (1) misnomer (1) mistakes (2) MLB (2) MLB stupidity (2) MLB Success (6) MLB Trade Rumors (1) MLBAM (1) MLBTR (1) MLE (1) Mock Draft analysis (4) MVP (1) Natanael Javier (1) Nate Schierholtz (45) Nathanael Javier (1) Naysayers (1) Negotiations (1) Nick Noonan (26) Nick Pereira (1) Nick Vander Tuig (2) NL Champions (2) NL West (21) NL West Division Title (16) NL West Future (1) NLCS (15) NLCS MVP (1) NLDS (7) Noah Lowry (14) non-roster invitees (1) non-tenders (1) NPB (1) Oakland A's (4) OBP (1) oddities (1) Offense (3) offensive era (1) Omar Vizquel (3) one-run games (1) Opening Day (4) opening day pitcher (1) opening day roster (3) Optimism (1) Osiris Matos (2) Outfield (1) Ownership (7) Pablo Sandoval (88) Panda (6) Pandoval (1) passing (1) Pat Burrell (15) Pat Misch (5) Payroll (8) Pedro Feliz (12) PEDS (10) Perfect Game (2) perjury trial (1) Personal Reminiscence (2) Pessimism (1) Pete Rose (3) Peter Magowan (2) Phillies (7) Phoenix Theory of Rebuilding (1) Pitch Count (3) pitch value (1) Pitchers League (1) Pitching (14) Pitching Rotation (57) pitching staff (1) plate discipline (1) Play Ball (1) player budget (2) player development (2) playoff (2) playoff hopes (25) playoff roster (1) playoff rotation (3) Playoff Success (18) Playoffs (26) postmortem (1) PQS (69) press conference (1) pressure (2) priorities (1) Projected Record (4) projection (2) promotion (1) prospect (2) prospect analysis (1) Prospect of Note (3) prospect study (1) Prospects (42) questions (1) Rafael Rodriquez (8) Rajai Davis (2) Ralph Barbieri (1) Ramon Ramirez (3) Randy Johnson (9) Randy Messenger (2) Randy Winn (14) Rangers (5) Ranking (4) raspberry (1) Ray Durham (5) re-sign (2) Rebuilding (4) Rebuilding Myths series (1) rebuttal (1) Reds (5) Relocation Concession (2) Research (2) resource scarcity (1) Retired (3) Retirement (1) return (1) RHP (1) Rich Aurilia (7) Rick Peterson (1) Rickie Weeks (1) Ricky Oropesa (3) right-handed (1) risk mitigation (2) risk profile (1) Rod Beck (1) Roger Kieschnick (13) Roger Metzger (1) Ron Shandler (2) Rookie of the Year (1) Roster (4) ROY (2) Rule 5 Draft Pick (3) rumors (9) runs support (1) Russ Ortiz (11) Ryan Garko (2) Ryan Klesko (4) Ryan Rohlinger (2) Ryan Theriot (3) Ryan Vogelsong (70) Ryder Jones (2) Sabean Naysayers (4) Sabermetric Thoughts (5) sabermetrics (3) Salary speculation (3) SALLY (1) San Jose Giants (1) San Jose Relocation (3) Sandy Rosario (1) Santiago Casilla (8) Scott McClain (2) Scott Shuman (1) Scouting (1) Sergio Romo (13) SF Giants (2) Shilo McCall (1) Shooter (1) shutouts (1) Signature Song (1) signing (12) Silly-Ball (3) South Atlantic League (1) South Bay Rights (1) Spring Training (15) standings (1) starting lineup (14) starting pitching (51) statistics (2) STATS (1) Steroids (5) Steve Edlefsen (4) Steve Johnson (3) Steve Okert (1) Sue Burns (1) sunk costs (1) superstition (1) Team Speed (1) Team Support (1) The Giants Way (1) The Hey Series (15) Thomas Joseph (3) Thomas Neal (9) Tigers (4) Tim Alderson (17) Tim Hudson (21) Tim Lincecum (163) Todd Linden (3) Todd Wellemeyer (6) Tommy Joseph (3) top prospect list (4) Trade (9) Trade Analysis (15) Trade Idea (7) Trade PTBNL (2) Trade Rumors (28) trading (1) training staff (2) Training Tool (1) Travis Blackley (1) Travis Ishikawa (40) turning point (1) Ty Blach (2) Tyler Beede (2) Tyler Horan (1) Tyler Rogers (1) Tyler Walker (2) umpire mistake (3) Umpires (3) USA Today (1) Voros McCracken (1) Waldis Joaquin (5) walks (1) WAR (1) Warrior Spirit (1) Wendell Fairley (10) What-If Scenario (3) wild card (1) wild card race (1) Will Clark (1) Willie Mac Award (1) Willie Mays (1) Winter League (1) World Series (18) World Series Champions (10) WS Ring Bling (1) Yusmeiro Petit (24) Zack Wheeler (9)