Saturday, July 28, 2012

Your 2012 Giants: Trade for Marco Scutaro

It has been reported by Schulman and Baggs that the Giants acquired Marco Scutaro from the Rockies for Charlie Culberson.  They also get some cash to offset Marco's salary, which is roughly $2M for the rest of the season from what I read.


Giants Thoughts


This makes a lot of sense.  Neither Arias nor Burriss have provided any offense to the team since April.  Ryan Theriot has been great, but he was expected to be the bat off the bench with Sanchez recovering by the start of the season.  With Freddy's setbacks, his Giants career appears over unless he takes a minor league deal to be the backup with a chance to compete, and Theriot has been great for us playing 2B.  Though, as noted by one of the above, Scutaro is hitting pretty poorly on the road.

Scutaro is having a bad year on the road this season, but if you look at his road numbers for his career, low 700 OPS appears to be his career mean that he regresses to, and he has had good contact rate on the road.   2012 has been bad for him for OPS, but his strikeout rate is still very good, meaning he has a good contact rate;  it is his BABIP that is bad.  I wonder if the thin air in Colorado caused him to monkey with his mechanics - or worse, let him get into a bad habit that works, sort of, at home, but not on the road.  Whatever the reason, his power numbers on the road is almost non-existent.

Hard to tell from stats, since he is 36, if the poor BABIP is bad luck or old age finally catching up with him.  He is actually striking out within the rate he normally has during his career, but the main difference is that his walks have dried up, it is usually up there with the number of walks, but is half this season.  Of course, when you aren't hitting for much, pitchers are going to challenge you more with strikes.

So the good news is that his eye is as good as ever, he's not striking out more.  However, his poor hitting has resulted in him getting less walks, as pitchers are not afraid of him putting the bat on a pitch, as he has not been doing anything with the pitches, at least on the road.

The silver lining is that after two months of trying to figure things out, he had a great June, and since May 30th, he has hit .293/.343/.393/.736, with 22 K's in 191 AB, plus 14 walks, making for good contact and good on-base ability.  As noted, much of that was in June (and all the good hitting was in Colorado), he has had a bad July, so presumably the Giants scouts thought that he had figured things out but was just in a bad funk right now, but that he's swinging well despite the poor results.  But that silver lining is looking pretty tarnished, after all, his good hitting was only in Coors in June from what I can see, so that good hitting has a huge asterisk since it was all driven by his Coors hitting.  The only good thing was that his road hitting was better than his overall seasonal batting line, in the low to mid 600 OPS range, but that is not even average for a SS.

I fear a Orlando Cabrera redux, except that I expect Brandon Crawford to hold the SS job for the foreseeable future.  I mainly see Scutaro as an extra bat off the bench - as poorly has he has hit, he is still much better than Arias or Burriss - plus is insurance if one of the starters should not be available at 2B, SS, or 3B for an extended period.  He's a much better option than either Burriss or Arias right now, offensively.

If Scutaro is taking starts away from Arias at SS, that's probably good, but if he's taking starts away from Crawford, I think that is bad.  Crawford should get all the starts against RHP, period, plus the occasional against LHP.   He has made progress this season, and the scuttlebutt from the media is that the Giants realized that getting Cabrera last season and replacing Crawford was a mistake, so hopefully that means that Brandon continues to be the main starter.  Given how poorly Scutaro has played, I think that is a safe bet, that Brandon is the starter and Scutaro mainly takes away opportunities from Arias (I would say Burriss, but he hasn't played much at all lately, making me think that he's the one being DFAed to bring in Scutaro on the 25 man roster).


From our side of the deal, as nicely as Charlie did two years ago in the minors, he has not hit at all at either AA or AAA.  AA is understandable, but AAA is a hitters league.  Then again, he's still only 23 YO and he has 10 HRs in 379 AB in AAA, so that is good power for MI who can play SS and 2B.  That has to be the hook that got the Rockies interested.  That plus getting rid of a big chunk of Scutaro's salary.

I wouldn't have minded holding on to him still, but I'm OK with giving him up.  With Crawford playing well enough, SS looks set, plus Charlie looked like he was being set up to start at 2B.  And with Noonan playing well in AAA and capable of playing 2B, plus Panik is around as well, and Gillaspie could conceivably play some there, Charlie was expendable, even if he was a nice enough prospect due to his power.  I can see him  being like Matt Downs, staying in the majors due to his power and ability to play MI (but not that great defensively), but never doing enough to hold down a starting job.  Still, you never know, he's only 23 YO and playing in AAA, maybe they could fix whatever is hurting his swing and he could be a nice starter for the Rockies.

I have to think that Nick Noonan's good year so far, and now surging hitting streak, made Charlie expendable.  I also would think that this trade suggests that Conor Gillaspie might be used as a trading chip as well, as he has done better than Charlie in AAA, and the Giants have been looking for another reliever.

3 comments:

  1. Noonan! That was my thoughts exactly OGC. Good to see your boy keep plugging away. Cubersons contact rate scares me, and as much as he was a nice pr story with his pops and his hot wife, I think he will bs a utility guy.

    I have wanted the gints to grab scutaro for the utility roll for 2 years. We will see if he is done or not. And if he can hack 3b apparently...

    ReplyDelete
  2. I see Scoots as an upgrade on Burriss off the bench, not a lot more. Theriot is at least as good at 2B and Crawford is a much better fielder at SS. He might be an upgrade over Arias at 3B, but I hope Bochy sees him as strictly a bench option after Sandoval comes back.

    At this point, I don't see Culby as having a future with the Giants so it's essentially a no-cost acquisition.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Scutaro is an offensive upgrade over Arias, but not sure about defense. I think I would rather have Arias on defense. When Pablo comes back it will make for some interesting moves. No more Burriss to pinch run. Speed is needed on a team sometimes in the 24th or 25th player. I will be in Portland now for two weeks and posting from the West Coast, instead of from Florida.

    ReplyDelete

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