Monday, December 28, 2009

You Say DeLefty, I Say DeRosa

Most reports are stating that the Giants are signing Mark DeRosa to a 2 year, $12M contract. Hank Schulman has his blog entry on it, Yahoo has one on that plus signing Uribe, and the ever reliable MLB Trade Rumors has a post on it, chronicling the timeline.

Judging from the posts there and elsewhere, fans are not that enamored with the deal. Some say it's an overpay, others say that he's not the answer, and there are the few who like the deal.

Giants Thoughts

I don't have any problem with the signing of DeRosa. His versatility gives the Giants a lot of options around the diamand plus another power bat in the lineup, along with decent OBP. We have a lot of question marks - LF, RF, 1B, C - and he can fill 3 of those. He can also play 2B and 3B.

Thus if Bowker, Lewis, and Schierholtz all struggle, DeRosa could be a steady offensive producer in the corner OF. It looks like Ishikawa is being given another chance to start at 1B against RHP, so when there is a LHP starting, DeRosa could play either 2B or 3B, with Sanchez playing the other position, and Sandoval would move to 1B. If anybody is injured or going through a bad stretch, DeRosa could pitch in there. He's going to be our goto super-utility guy.

I'm OK with Uribe if he's not signed to too much money. People love him but he played above his head in 2009, he's not likely to repeat that performance. He's more likely to repeat his 2006, 2007, 2008 performances where he wasn't that good. And that's OK, he's out backup player at 2B, 3B, and SS plus is another power bat off the bench.

This also does not negate the possibility of the Giants signing a power hitting 1B or LF either. DeRosa is probably going to be, at minimum, the hitter getting all the ABs against LHP when Ishikawa sits. Sanchez hasn't made it through a season without some rest, and Rowand will need some more rest as well, as Bochy noted, so DeRosa could play RF for a game with Schierholtz taking over CF, which he did on occasion in the majors. Not an ideal situation long term, but for a game here and there, it's tolerable.

I think his salary is OK. $5M would have been better but $6M is fair enough for his versatility and his ability to play for significant parts of a season and performing well doing that. His age is a concern, but even with the injury, he still hit 10 HR in 239 AB, so it was not his power gone, it was his ability to get base hits and getting on base that suffered.

And as I've noted, the offense even with no other moves should be improved over 2009's and DeRosa would nudge it up a little more. And with our pitching as good as it was, it won't take much more to push us to the 90-95 win range, which should be good enough to compete for the NL West title.

5 comments:

  1. DeRosa has certainly proved himself over the years, but I still can't get the bitter taste of Garko out of my mouth and wonder if this signing will taste the same.

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  2. Sandoval will be the starting 1B. Bank on it.

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  3. There is a reason DeRosa has not held a starting job in the majors for very long. He can't hit RHP.

    As badly as Ishikawa has hit in the MLB, he has hit RHP to the tune of .264/.329/.413/.742

    Meanwhile, DeRosa has hit .265/.333/.397/.731 vs. RHP.

    Thus, Ishikawa has hit RHP better than DeRosa thus far, should continue to hit better, plus is young enough that he should improve on that over the next 3-4 years. Offensively he should be better than DeRosa over the next few years.

    Then, when you throw defense into the mix, Ishikawa totally wins out.

    Ishikawa, despite playing a little more than half the innings available, was 4th in 2009 in the Dewan Plus/Minus fielding stat with 10. Had he played a full season, he would have had about 15-17. The leader, Albert Pujols, had 12.

    DeRosa, manning 3B, had a -9, despite not playing that many games there in the season.

    DeRosa should be rotating around, taking AB when a starter is struggling, perhaps holding onto LF as a starter if one of Bowker/Schierholtz falters in grabbing a starting spot.

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  4. I like the signing of DeRosa - hey, it's not my money, plus I don't think the Giants are really truthful about that kind of thing. They have the $$.

    Two things, though - all over the bloggesphere I see these "DeRosa is good in case player X fails" - times 10. This gives me the willies about the rest of the lineup.

    The other is if one person mentions Holliday, Bay, Dye or Uggla again I'll lose my mind. NONE would be good deals - they'll get their money somewhere, and those won't be good deals for the teams either. All very overrated, sans Uggla, who will come at too high a trading price.

    Overall... I feel eh. Garko is still a puzzlement to me, and I have the same creepy feeling about anything Sabean does as 22gigantes. Alderson pans out or not, that deal ended up making no sense at all. I have more fear.

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  5. Marc, the reason people like DeRosa above others we have in the lineup is that prior to 2009, before his injury, he has hit .280/.348/.423/.772 from 2001-2008.

    Only Sandoval and Uribe hit above that over the whole season while playing significant number of AB.

    Presumably, if healthy, he can hit like he did before. Plus, he improved once he reached his 30's, hitting .287/.364/.451/.816 from 2005-2008, though that is partly from playing in a hitter's park like Texas, but he did hit well in Chicago, which is only slightly a hitter's park.

    In addition, people are too hung up over getting a good hitter. That is what I call Fan's Bias: no matter how good your team might be, they always want the best at any position that the team is lacking in. It was true when Bonds and Kent was in the lineup, it is even more true today. Just look at any of the Yankee fans, they still hunger for more and better.

    The fact is, as I showed last off-season, a team that has a superlative pitching staff, like the one the Giants have, don't need a superlative offense. In fact, they don't even need an average offense.

    The Giants last year had the worse offense in the majors. But their pitching was so good that we won 88 games, better than 22 other teams. Even if you take out pythagorean luck, there were still 21 teams with less wins. Even if you took out the luck that BP calculates, they still ended up with a record over .500, something 15 other teams failed to do.

    So people are too scared because of the offense. It's improved now with DeRosa taking AB from hitters who are not as good. And Franchez in the lineup improves greatly over Burriss et al, plus Sandoval has figured out how to hit for power, plus hopefully Renteria healthy and returned to his norms.

    Also, it was Barnes we traded away for Garko. Barnes is nice but I didn't see much upside for him, at best a middle rotation guy, but more probably back of rotation.

    I have no problem taking the risk to get Garko, Barnes would only have been a trading chip later and, frankly, given his poor K/9, he likely would flame out when he rises higher, at some point. We got to try out Garko and he wasn't worth keeping. Move on.

    ReplyDelete

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