Saturday, November 20, 2010

40 Man Changes: 3 Spots Left

The Giants just announced a few 40 man roster moves in anticipation of the Rule 5 Draft that will happen soon, here are the changes:
  • RHP Jose Casilla was added.
  • RHP Steve Edlefsen was added.
  • LHP Clayton Tanner was added.
  • 1B Brett Pill was outrighted to Triple-A Fresno
  • RHP Waldis Joaquin was placed on release waivers.
That left the team with 37 players on the 40 man roster, leaving space for 3 players. Given that the Giants are clearly pursuing Huff and Uribe, if they should achieve what they hope for, that would leave only one spot left, meaning that they would only be able to add Burrell or Renteria but not both, without needing to clear a spot on the roster if they want both players.

This last spot could also be for someone they hope to snag in the Rule 5 draft themselves.  They have been relatively active in that arena in recent seasons, though no one has stuck so far.  Some have looked good enough that other teams then snagged them, but the only one who appears to have some MLB hope is the pitcher the Giants drafted then returned, only for San Diego to pick him up and keep him on their roster, I think in 2009.  And still, the hope is not that great.

Still, this is very much like the amateur draft after the first couple of rounds.  Not very many of the players drafted via this process ever make the majors and stick, let alone be a regular starter.  But successful pickups like Johan Santana and Josh Hamilton (pick someone whose first name starts with a J?) means that teams will continue to participate and hope they find the right guy ready to take the big leap.  Kind of like the regular amateur draft.

When I find out who might be drafted away from us via the Rule 5 Draft, I'll post it.  If you know it, please post the link in the comments.

Here is what the linked article above mentioned on each player, I'll add comments:
  • Casilla, the younger brother of Giants reliever Santiago Casilla, finished 4-1 with a 1.16 ERA and 14 saves in 46 appearances. The 21-year-old made the South Atlantic League's midseason All-Star team.  
    • OGC:  from what I've read, he's even better than his older brother.  He did extremely well, despite being much younger than most players in the league.  He could be being groomed in case the Giants might have to let go of Wilson, depending on how much money he wants beyond arbitration.
  • Edlefsen, 25, was 7-2 with a 2.38 ERA and six saves in 49 relief appearances in his second season at Triple-A Fresno and was named a Pacific Coast League midseason All-Star.  
    • OGC:  If I recall right, he was named by BA as having the best slider in the system for a number of years now.  He hasn't risen as fast as I was hoping given his early hype when he turned pro, but he did very well in AAA in 2010.  Unfortunately for him, the Giants are currently full up on relievers, he'll probably be among the first choices the Giants consider if anyone is injured or need to be replaced due to poor performance in 2011 and probably will get a chance in 2012, I think a number of relievers are eligible for free agency then or arbitration.  
  • Tanner, 22, went 9-9 with a 3.68 ERA in 27 starts for Double-A Richmond in 2010. The graduate of De La Salle High School in Concord, Calif., made the Eastern League midseason All-Star team and finished ninth in the league in ERA. 
    •  OGC:  I have been rooting for Tanner but he's the crafty lefty type of pitchers and those types of pitchers need to prove themselves at every level.  He'll have to prove himself in 2011 in AAA, then eventually the majors.  But he's done pretty well at each level and he's still prospect young, so there is plenty of hope.  But with the low K-rate, the odds will be long.  And we saw how Pucetas flamed out in AAA.  But I always have a soft spot for prospects with local ties.  Go Clayton!
  • Joaquin, 23, appeared in four games with the Giants this season, allowing six runs (five earned) in 4 2/3 innings. He spent most of the year with Triple-A Fresno and posted a 1-2 mark with a 4.93 ERA in 23 games, including five starts. He underwent lower back surgery on Nov. 10.  
    • OGC:  I was pretty shocked to see him being dropped until I saw the lower back surgery mentioned.  They took a calculated risk, dropping him off the 40-man to open up a spot, hoping nobody will want to take him while he's recovering from major surgery, and then they can tuck him back into the farm system while he recovers. He's still young and got a lot of speed and stuff, so there's still a chance. 
  • Pill, 26, batted .275 (143-for-520) with 34 doubles, 16 home runs and 84 RBIs at Fresno. 
    • OGC:  Some people were really clamoring for him after his good AA season in 2009, but they failed to account for the fact that he did it at age 25.  It was a nice season but Ishikawa had a much better season than Pill did in AA, it wasn't even close and he did it at a younger age, and yet did not get the hype I saw with Pill among fans.  I don't know if it was because Ishikawa started out with a lot of hope/hype due to his high bonus but then was a disappointment, then did finally broke out of it, while Pill wasn't on anyone's radar and suddenly had one good season, but I don't understand the difference in interest, particularly since Ishikawa has shown a lot more power, particularly HR power, and their fielding is probably equal.  It appears I was correct, Pill had a nondescript 2010 and was dropped.


  1. Forgot to mention that the Giants had already added two other players to the 40 man, Ehire Adrianza and Thomas Neal.

    Ehire is known for his defense - Omar said that he could play SS in majors - but his hitting has been MIA and his only limiting factor. Many are down on him but forget that he is a very young player still, only 21, he will struggle against much older competition. Good move to keep him.

    Neal had a break out year in 2009 but had a regression to his prior mean in 2010 in AA. Still only 23, so he is not that old for AA, but unfortunately, not that young either. Still had a nice season and he's not that old, so it was a good move to keep him from the Rule 5 draft too.

    Looking over the current 40-man, probably Fontenot is gone if Renteria is re-signed and the Giants need the space. Hinshaw is another on the bubble, and it is possible they might trade Chris Ray to open a spot since he did not make any of the playoff rosters. Darren Ford is another candidate to be dropped as well. Rohlinger is a possibility as well, they might want to see someone else in the utility role in AAA, he's been in this position for a number of years now, and particularly if they re-sign Renteria to be the utility MI or even keep Fontenot for utility MI.

  2. I wouldn't count too heavily on Renteria or Burrell being back next year. I just don't see it happening for either of them.

  3. Yes, good point. I agree with you on that. Just wanted to point this out, since they were mentioned as possibilities by Sabean.

    I think Renteria is the longer shot. He has not been productive over a full season. He could be a late season add-on though, for bench strength, if he keeps himself in shape.

    Burrell however was a very productive hitter for us all season. And he's willing to sign on as a bench player, which was what he was originally when we signed him in 2010. As a home boy, he's willing to take whatever spot in order to get to play on his boyhood team.

    In addition, while we have quite a jam in the OF, we don't really have any for sure starter for 2011. Torres is the most likely, but like everyone else, one has to wonder if the other shoe will fall off finally. Even if not, he's already 32, his time might be over right after it began (though most experts seem to feel that players with his body type tend to last longer). As well as Ross hit for us in the playoffs, he had a poor sesason, a down one from his prior years, that is why the Marlins gave him up for nothing. Then there is Rowand, Schierholtz, and DeRosa, and we all know none of them are necessarily sure starters either.

    That's why I think eventually they will get Burrell. I think the uncertainty right now is that they want to explore the trade market and see what is available, plus see which hitters are non-tendered, then see who is left standing in January. I don't think that there is a better upgrade coming, unless we somehow sign Carl Crawford, which is a very unlikely scenario, but they did allude to pursuing him if his interest is genuine, and that is another possibility, however remote.

    So they'll sign Burrell and let the fighting begin on who will become the starter.

    Oh yeah, and there is also the possibility that they might play Huff in LF and start Belt at 1B, or at least want to consider that eventuality during the season, and that would be a reason why they don't get Burrell.

    Perhaps a sign that Sabean is not planning on signing Burrell is his outing of Burrell on the radio as the Machine. He just said it matter-of-factly, kind of like the nerdy kid having a cool secret and wanted everyone to know. If he really wanted that known, I think he or someone would have mentioned that already in an interview, particularly on the Tonight Show when Wilson was on it.

  4. OGC,

    The Giants did not just outright Joaquin to AAA like they did with Pill, they put him on release waivers which means if another team does not claim him he becomes a free agent. There is always a chance they will re-sign him to a minor league deal but the odds have to favor him now going to another team on a minor league deal.

  5. OGC,

    I agree that the first two of the currently available three 40 man roster spots are clearly targeted for Huff and Uribe or replacements if they sign elsewhere. I think the most likely target for the 3rd spot is another SS as it makes little sense to plan on Fontenot as the backup SS as his not really a SS.

    Therefore, I think the Giants are more likely to re-sign Renteria then they are to re-sign Burrell.

  6. GRM, I did realize the difference, hence why I noted that the Giants took a risk in releasing him in that he could be claimed but that it was a calculated risk because he's recovering from back surgery, pretty serious surgery, and most teams should be scared away by that. But you never know, as you aptly note, he might also want to find another team and I didn't account for that possibility.

    I guess I just think "why would anyone want to leave the Giants?" :^)

    But seriously, didn't think of that, good point.

  7. I saw Jose Casilla pitch in the Cal League playoffs. Going by the stadium gun, Jose was topping out at 90 MPH with a sinking fastball. He did appear to have a sharp breaking ball that had the Rancho Cucamonga hitters flailing. Looking at his extreme groundball rates, it seems like he is probably more of a sinker-slider type than Santiago. I know Santiago was bragging on him and saying Jose's velocity was up to 96 MPH. Maybe it was down at the end of the season, or the stadium gun was not accurate. The same gun had Ryan Verdugo at 91 and Jason Stoffel at 92, so I don't think it was more than 2 MPH off.

    My non-professional scouting opinion after seeing him is that Jose is more of a future setup man than future closer.

  8. My Giants fan side of my personality thinks that Burrell will wait for the Giants to turn him down before he moves on. I think they will just wait a long while to deal with him, waiting to see how things work out. Deep down, my guts say that he signs whether or not Huff signs, but particularly if Huff does not sign.

    Realistically, I think that he'll only wait so long before moving on. I have to think that the Uribe/Huff re-signs that the Giants are focused on has to be the gating point on whether to pick up Burrell again, else why take so long to decide on Burrell? And if that is so, then for him to be re-signed, it seems that he is the backup signing in case we can not get the power from Uribe and Huff.

    I agree that Renteria would make some sense as the backup, but if they really wanted him to play that role, he would have been included as one of the players they were looking to re-sign.

    But what good is a backup who is injured half the time? I think Burrell is much more likely to be re-signed than Renteria.

    I agree that Fontenot is not a SS, I think that DeRosa is the backup SS because he started out as a SS and thus could play on a one day basis, same as Fonenot.

    In any case, I just don't see the Giants keeping Fontenot at $1-2M when Burriss probably provides the same at a lower price with upside if he figures out how to hit with power plus he plays great defense at 2B. And Burriss could play SS for 2 weeks if starting SS is on DL; if longer, Giants could start looking for trade replacement.

    And that's if the Giants don't pick up somebody off the scrapheap pile in January much like they did with Uribe a couple of years ago, to be a legit SS utility guy. I recall someone mentioning Theriot - I would like him - but don't know how he would be available.

  9. Thanks DrB.

    BA noted that he usually pitches at 92-94 MPH, so what you saw him pitching at makes sense given it being end of season. They also note that for young relievers, their velocity tends to vary from day to day.

    They also mentioned his dominating for S-K with devastating slider, and how he gets a lot groundballs (2.8 GO for every FO) which is why I was thinking closer. But a good setup man is always a good asset to have too, but yeah, maybe I'm pushing it on future closer. I just like that combo of skills, that's all.



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