Thursday, July 23, 2009

The Sky is Falling: Again for Your 2009 Giants

Amazing how calm (relatively) everyone is when the Giants are winning and how the sky is falling when they are losing. Same thing happened when the team lost all those close games in May. Chillax and enjoy the games.

Sure, the offense has sucked since the All-Star break. But no team is good all the time, let's see how it unfolds before we decide to storm the castle with pitchforks. It has only been 6 games.

The team is fine, the management is fine. I hope Neukom signs Sabean up for another two years plus an option. He rebuilt this team and the farm system, and yet no one seems to want to acknowledge it.

Well, I will: Sabean has done a great job and deserves to get a new contract now, based on the results thus far. Even if the team does collapse now and fall flat on their face, I really like the team he has put together in 2009, without panic and taking on judicious salaries and veterans during the offseason, particularly Johnson and Affeldt.

People like to carp on mistakes made in the past, but that's being too anal and living too much in the past: just look at what the Giants are today, and think about whether you are happy with the team and farm system, without consideration for any alledged mistakes made. I do, I like the team, I like what Sabean has done.

And I think 2010 should be even better. Lincecum and Cain would have another year under their belts. Sanchez should finally start to consistently doing everything he needs to do in order to keep the team in the game consistently. I think Zito should be fine in the #4 spot in 2010. And either Johnson returns and do well enough, or one of the guys in the minors among Martinez, Pucetas, Sadowski, Sosa, Snyder, will be taking the #5 spot.

Sure, we could use more offense. But we should have Posey catching and hitting in the middle with Sandoval. I think that will be a good combination, leading to more offense, plus we would have Schierholtz, Bowker, and Ishikawa being adequate, along with Rowand, and I think that will be an improvement over 2009 because Schierholtz should be able to do better than Winn in RF offensively plus hold his own defensively, Bowker should be better than the .660 OPS from LF this season, he was better than that last year while he struggled and had less experience, and Posey should be better than the low .700 OPS Molina has been delivering, and at minimum be no worse.

Some don't think much about the Giants, then rush to say that they would keep Lincecum, Cain, Sandoval. Well, Sabean was the one guiding the organization when we acquired all those players. Plus we have four other plus prospects rising through the system in Bumgarner, Posey, Alderson, and Villalona. And I really like the bullpen and Sanchez. All GMed by Sabean.

And he is doing it the right way. BP and THT research says teams do better in the playoffs with pitching and defense and a great closer. Sabean has built all that already.

Now it is a matter of adding on offensive pieces that will allow that combination of pitching and defense to win enough games to make the playoffs. He has found a good hitter in Sandoval and Posey looks to be good too. They could be a two-headed monster in the lineup for years to come. Then we don't need good hitters in the rest of the lineup, heck, based on what they have been doing this year, they don't even need average hitters in the rest of the lineup to be successful.

Go Giants!


  1. "And he is doing it the right way. BP and THT research says teams do better in the playoffs with pitching and defense and a great closer."

    One problem. You have to get to the playoffs first.

  2. Maybe you don't care, but when the Giants next make the playoffs, I want them capable of going deep into the playoffs AND I want them capable of doing that year in and year out. I think we have the makings of that, but the scenario is still in a precarious state.

    Given the difficulties of sustaining a team's competitiveness when you are winning - due to the much worse 1st round draft pick that you get - you probably have a window of 5-10 years to win it all, depending on your luck in selecting players who happen to work out, since it is basically a crapshoot once you get past the first 5-10 picks of the draft.

    So, rather than be an adolescent teenage boy who is, to put it in a PC way, "prematurely" excited over his first time, I would rather be in it for this 5-10 year long haul, which probably started this year.

    Trading off our future, as many suggest we should do, would shrink this window greatly. And prematurely shrink our chances long-term.

    As many people aptly note, maybe Lincecum or Cain suddenly isn't as good anymore. That is why you don't want to go trading off Bumgarner and Alderson, or any of our other starters who are talented, as we will need them to come up and take their places if necessary.

    Trading away Posey or Villalona, who could be a mainstay in the middle of our lineup for the next 6-10 years, just so that we could maybe grab the ring this season, is excessive too.

    Since when is there a limit on comments? :^)

  3. The problem, which nobody wants to address is that the Giants could get that one middle of lineup bat, and he Pierzynski's on us, killing our chemistry and doesn't hit what he hit before, so maybe he's not that middle of the lineup bat for us. And we traded away the future for him, and we don't even make the playoffs this year because he doesn't hit.

    Or, even if he hits like he is suppose to do, say we get Holliday and he actually hits .850 for us, our offense is now about average, around 4.5 (based on the lineup calculator), but if you didn't notice in the mirror, Colorado has gone 34-15 under Tracy and they haven't slowed down much at all. If they continue at that rate for the rest of the season, they end up 98-64. We would have to go 48-21 to do that.

    Or they have gone 11-7 in July. Continuing at that rate, they end up 93-69. We would have to go 43-26 to tie that.

    The Giants runs allowed per game right now is 3.77. To win 48 games the rest of the season, we need to average 5.7 runs scored per game. To win 43 games, we need to averageg 4.85 runs scored per game. Now do you see the problem?

    We would have traded off the prospects who could boost us up in the next few years, and get us actually to that point where we can make the playoffs regularly, and instead get to draft picks that are no where close to the value of the players we gave up for Holliday plus we don't make the playoffs to boot.

  4. There is no guarantee that blowing off our prospects will get us enough middle of lineup hitters to ensure that we make the playoffs this year. We can make all the trades any of you want, and Colorado (or maybe another team) could just have that great sprint to the finish line (like the Marlins in 2003) that just overwhelms every other team in their wake.

    If any of you can guarantee that trading would mean that we win the World Series, I would sign on immediately. I admit it, I'm stupid sometimes, prove to me how foolproof it is to trade off our best prospects and how that would guarantee winning the World Series this season.

    I suspect, however, that most of you did not think of the consequences of trading is, nor thought about how the competition could just blow your trade scenario into dust.

    There is no trade, even somehow prying Albert Pujols out the Cards cold, dead hands, that would guarantee that we win the World Series. We could get Johan Santana and still, no World Series. Because, as Anon aptly noted, if you don't make the playoffs, you cannot win the World Series. And the way the Rockies are playing, you don't know if they can't do this.

    And I think they can. Their problems the first two months was pitching, not offense. They were giving up around 5+ runs per game. Since June started, however, their pitching has been just as good as the Giants, allowing around 3.76 runs per game, while their hitting continued to score 5+ runs per game.

    That's over 46 games, so I don't see why they can't continue doing that. Only Jason Marquis is pitching over his head; the rest of the rotation is doing about as well as can be expected, and Franklin Morales just rejoined the team, and could jump in easily without missing a beat, into the rotation. And their rotation is basically young, so they can be good for years, the way they are.

    Meanwhile, their offense has been consistently scoring 5+ runs per game. Coors Field at its best!

    I don't think any moves on our part, short to mortgaging our whole farm system (which is what some have been advocating), would help us beat that. So I would rather see how things work out with our prospects and prepare for the future, a future that I think will be nice.

    If the Rockies do falter, and we are still in contention for something in August, then maybe we can make a move or something. As long as we are not giving up our future, meaning our top 10 prospects.

    And it is not like I'm philosophically against trading. I think it's too early in our rebuilding phase to be blowing off talent in search of the playoffs. And I'm OK with trading Sanchez for what I think is equivalent talent. But for some, they think Cantu is equivalent talent for Sanchez, and I don't agree at all.

    I think Sanchez can be ace of rotation material, which he basically was in early 2008. That can get us a barrel full of prospects akin to Dan Haren, but short of that since Sanchez isn't proven. The no-hitter is the tip of the iceberg if he put everything together. I am willing to trade off that potential for equal potential.

    But if Sanchez keeps developing, and proving consistent, at that point, I might be inclined, depending on the situation, to just keep him and have a great rotation get even greater.

    Because you can never have too many starting pitchers who are dominating. As someone noted, you never know when you could lose one of them, for whatever reason. So I would prefer to be well stocked at all times, in case one does falter.

    Meanwhile, keep on tinkering and buying hitting talent that supports the pitching staff.



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