Saturday, December 31, 2016

Your 2017 Giants: Odds and Ends at New Years

Happy New Year!  Wanted to cover some moves the Giants have made to add to their bench position player options for the 2017 season.

The biggest move was signing Jimmy Rollins to a minor league contract, with a $1M MLB base contract, if he makes the roster.  He grew up an A's fan, but started going to Giants games as a teenager, and became a fan during the Will Clark, Matt Williams, Royce Clayton era.  He seems excited and energized to be with the Giants.

He could have signed with the Giants last season, who pursued him with a similar contract, but he wanted to start so he ended up with the ChiSox.  However, getting dropped early in the season, and not getting any interest made him realize that it's time to be a reserve, and so he took up the Giants offer from last season for this season.  Oddly, they did not discuss his role for this season when he signed, he stated in an interview that he assumes that the Giants intentions must be the same as it was last season, when they tried to sign him, which was to provide a veteran presence off the bench in the infield.

Other significant major leaguer signings included:
  • Mike Morse:  After missing most of the past two seasons - due to injury in 2015, due to being DFA and not picked up in 2016 - he reached out to the Giants and signed a minor league deal with them.  
  • Justin Ruggiano:  Good hitter against LHP, he's strictly a platoon player.  Also hasn't played much in the past few seasons, hardly at all last season.  
  • Tim Federowicz:  Will be battling for the backup catcher position with a minor league contract.  He spent most of his MLB career playing backup for the Dodgers, but last season played for the Cubs briefly.  He's been mostly a good defensive player, poor hitter, though per Baseball-Reference.com, last season he was not good defensively.  He's the youngest of this group at 29 YO next season, Ruggiano is 35 YO, Morse is also 35 YO, Rollins is 38 YO.  

Monday, December 19, 2016

Your 2017 Giants: Mac Attack!

Interesting The Hardball Times study on metrics related to MLB flyball length, and therefore, homerun power.  He looked for predictive signals within batted ball data and hope to uncover a couple of otherwise unknown potential power hitters. The data was sourced from the MiLB pitch-by-pitch gameday files and are subject to recording bias and human error. He did not attempt to clean the data (probably a huge job, and this was a first effort at looking at what the data said; if the data analysis ends up being predictive, future efforts undoubtedly will look to clean the data as well).

It ended with a projection table of AA and AAA hitters who has not had extensive experience in the majors yet, and Mac Williamson was 21st on the list.  His MLB projection was nearly 300 feet, based on his MiLB pitch-by-pitch stats.  He was nearly 18 feet behind the leader, but a much closer eleven and a half feet behind the second player, and only four feet away from a top ten placing.  There was no indication of what the standard deviation was, but four feet out of 300 seems like it would be within range of error.

However, he was one of the oldest players on the list, one of three (out of 26) born in 1990, and power comes with age, so if adjustments were made by age, he would fall further down the list relative to his younger colleagues on the list.  Still, he made a list of possible upper minor's power hitters.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Your 2017 Giants: Arbitration-Eligible Players Offered

Here is the news as reported by Pavlovic:
The Giants tendered contracts to all six arbitration-eligible players on Friday, agreeing to one-year contracts with two of them. 
Right-hander Cory Gearrin will get $1.05 million and infielder Ehire Adrianza will receive $600,000, per Jon Heyman of MLB Network. 
The Giants will exchange figures with George Kontos, Will Smith, Eduardo Nunez and Conor Gillaspie. They traditionally have avoided going to actual arbitration hearings. 
Gearrin, Kontos and Smith will make up a chunk of the bullpen next season, while Nunez is expected to start at third base. Gillaspie, the postseason hero, should see more playing time and Adrianza is currently slated to return in his familiar bench role.
MLBTR published again their annual estimates of arbitration salaries for all eligible players:
  • Adrianza:  $508K (actual:  $600K)
  • Gearrin:  $1.1M (actual:  $1.05M)
  • Gillaspie:  $900K
  • Kontos:  $1.7M
  • Nunez:  $4.4M
  • Smith:  $2.3M

As this illustrates, their estimates are pretty close and the estimated overall so far ($1.608M) is close to the actual overall ($1.65M).  Errors in estimation tend to be random, and cancel each other out in the final summation.

Monday, December 05, 2016

Your 2017 Giants: Melancon signed to 4 years, $62M contract to be Closer

It has been tweeted by a number of places, here is the link to MLBTR which captures all the twists and turns, and details of the deal:  4 years, $62M.  Detail of the contract, per Jeff Passan tweets:   $17M first two years, with player opt-out after two seasons, and it is front loaded with $20M signing bonus, $12M upfront ($8M second year), and guaranteed $34M ($4M and $10M salaries) over first two years.  And if he opts into last two years, they are at $14M each (low, so if he's still closing well, he most likely will opt out).   I'll place more in the comments if there are any more.  Of course, pending his passing a physical with the Giants, but this is generally a gimme, it is generally a done deal by this point.

This easily breaks the record 4 years, $50M that Papelbon got as a closer, but will be easily beat by both Chapman and Jensen when they sign their contracts.   Also, it will put the Giants over the new $195M spending threshold, meaning a third year of overage, which equals a 50% tax on the overage.  I'll calc what my spreadsheet says about this, but this seems about right, there was not a lot of space left in the budget, hence why the Giants are talking about going with Williamson and Parker in LF.  Plus, if a good enough LF in the $1-3M range falls to them in Jan/Feb, I assume that they will take a flier, like they did with Huff in 2010.


Friday, November 25, 2016

Your 2017 Giants: 40 Man Roster Additions to Protect from Rule 5 Draft

Hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving!

Catching up on news, the Giants added five players to their 40-man roster.  Per the Giants website, they added five players to protect them from the Rule 5 draft:
  • RHP Chase Johnson
  • RHP Reyes Moronta
  • RHP Dan Slania
  • INF Miguel Gomez 
  • Infielder-outfielder Orlando Calixte, who they had recently picked up as a free agent
As reported:
Johnson, 24, was rated San Francisco's 18th-best prospect by MLBPipeline.com. He finished 1-4 with a 3.27 ERA and five saves in 24 appearances (seven starts) for Double-A Richmond last season. 
Moronta, ranked 24th among the organization's prospects, struck out 93 batters and walked 20 in 59 innings for Class A Advanced San Jose last season. The 23-year-old went 0-3 with a 2.59 ERA in 60 appearances. 
Slania, 24, performed at three classifications last season: Class A Advanced, Double-A and Triple-A Sacramento. His combined record was 11-8 with a 2.93 ERA in 34 games (16 starts), including 111 strikeouts and 35 walks in 119 2/3 innings. 
Gomez, 23, batted a combined .330 in 109 games at Class A Augusta and San Jose. He totaled 17 home runs and 67 RBIs while compiling an .882 OPS. 
Calixte, 24, performed for Texas' Double-A affiliate and Kansas City's Triple-A outpost last season before the Giants acquired him. He batted a combined .274 with 19 stolen bases in 28 attempts.
These moves filled up the Giants 40-man roster.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Your 2016 Giants: The Three Ami-Gold Glovers

As reported by various news outlets (Haft, Pavlovic, Schulman; I would include Baggarly, but since the SJ Mercury changed to no RSS feed, it's not easy to grab, as these three were), three Giants won Gold Gloves:  Buster Posey, Brandon Crawford, and Joe Panik.
  • Schulman reported:  "The winners were announced on ESPN on Tuesday afternoon. Posey, Crawford and Panik were selected in a vote of National League managers and coaches who could not choose their own players, in combination with a defensive index created by the Society for American Baseball Research."
  • As Pavlovic reported, this is the first time since 1994 that the Giants won 3 Gold Gloves in a season.  Bonds, Lewis, and Williams won it that year.   As Haft noted, this is the most since 4 Giants won gold gloves in 1993:  Bonds, Manwaring, Williams, Thompson.  And Schulman noted that the Giants and Rangers were the only teams to win three in 2016, and that 1993, 1994, and 2016 are the only seasons the Giants won 3 or more Gold Gloves.
  • This is Posey's and Panik's first Gold Gloves.  Posey's win broke Yadier Molina's eight year streak and he was the first Giants catcher to win it since Matheny won it in 2005.   Panik won in spite of only playing 127 games (and starting only 118, per Schulman), which suggests that, with health, he could put up a streak at 2B.  However, one of the guys he beat out, DJ LeMahieu, had won in 2014 and, per Schulman, is "widely viewed as the best defensive second baseman in the league."  He and Robby Thompson are the only Giants secondbasemen to win a Gold Glove (no Tito?).  
  • This was Crawford's second Gold Glove, which was made easier when his top competitor, Andrelton Simmons, was traded to the AL, but he got a new strong competitor in Addison Russell, who the A's stupidly traded away to the Cubs.  Pavlovic:  "This season he had to hold off Cubs rookie Addison Russell, who tied Crawford with 19 Defensive Runs Saved and led in SDI. Crawford had the support of opposing coaches and managers who have spent years watching him pull outs from thin air. "
  • Schulman noted:  "Crawford and Panik compose the first double-play combo to win in the NL since the Cardinals’ Edgar Renteria and Fernando ViƱa in 2002."
  • Pavlovic provided numbers that backed Posey:   "He led all catchers with 12 Defensive Runs Saved and was a runaway winner in the SABR Defensive Index, which makes up about a quarter of the vote. Posey finished with 15.2 SDI, far ahead of second-ranked Yasmani Grandal (5.9) and Molina (0.7)."  He noted that the Giants were disappointed that Posey did not win last season, but it has historically been hard to unseat the incumbent, especially someone like Molina, who won for so many years.  These numbers could no longer deny the breakthrough for Posey.  
  • Similarly for Panik:  "Panik got a boost from SDI, finishing at 8.5, two points ahead of the next best second baseman."
  • This adds to the trophy case for Posey and Crawford, and starts one for Panik:
    • Pavlovic:  "The award is the first major one for Panik and gave Crawford two to go along with his 2015 Silver Slugger Award. Crawford said he was happy to hear Posey added another item to an overflowing trophy case. “I think it was the one award that he hadn’t won,” he said. Through eight big league seasons, Posey has an MVP, three Silver Slugger Awards and a Rookie of the Year Award. Like Panik, he finally has that coveted Gold Glove, too. "
  • All three noted that they had always focused on defense, from their earliest days.  Which is not surprising given that they all three started out as SS, which is a position that most coaches drill into their heads to be good defensively.  

Sunday, November 06, 2016

Your 2017 Giants: Post Cubs World Series Championship

Wow, the Cubs ended 108 years of misery, winning their first championship in most likely all of their current fans' lifetimes (unless there is a 115 year old or so fan out there).  Congrats to the new Champs!

With that comes the first rush of business that the Giants took in the post season.  They signed three players to minor league contracts, two oldies, one newbie:  Kyle Blanks, Ricky Romero, and Jason Johnson (the newbie).  Romero and Johnson had been All-Stars not that long ago, but are recovered from injuries and hoping to return to their careers.  In particular, Johnson is being viewed as a potential reliever (Schulman).  Plus, they released Tony Sanchez, outrighting him to AAA, freeing up a 40-man spot.

There currently are 35 spots taken, assuming all the free agents on the list leaves:  Casilla, Lopez, Romo, Nathan, Beckham (I think he's a free agent), Blanco, Pagan.  I believe we still control Suarez and Hernandez.  I'm not sure who are the five players who will be added out of the prospects, but the Rule 5 draft happens in early December, at the Winter Meetings, if I remember right, so the news will be out in a couple of weeks.

More importantly, they quickly picked up Matt Moore's option for 2017 at $7M (Pavlovic; Schulman; SFGiants).  We still have options for 2018 at $9M and 2019 at $10M.   He will be 28 YO for the 2017 season (Bumgarner is 27).

Lastly, Greg Holland, who had been amazing as a closer for the Royals from 2011-2014, until TJS at the end of the 2015 season knocked him out for the 2016 season.  He's having a showcase soon, in time for free agency (unlike Lincecum's long delayed showcase), and Evans said that the Giants are interested and attending, as will other teams (Pavlovic).  He's 31 YO.  Evans also noted that closer is his major goal for the off-season (Haft) and that it is great that the Giants have so many options available, both in terms of free agents, as well as one-year and two-year trade options available.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Your 2016 Giants: Post-Season Presser

The Giants post-season press conference was held last Thursday after the last playoff game on Tuesday.  Reports from the beat writers:
Unfortunately, Tim Kawakami did not provide a transcript of the press conference, as he has done in prior years - sorry, memory going, not sure when is the last time he did it, I'm pretty sure he didn't do it last year.  It saved me the trouble of transcribing them myself, as, often, each would interpret what was said, and we get a Realm of the Senses reenactment of a baseball he said, no he said, situation.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Your 2016 Giants NLDS: Game 4: Lackey is Perhaps Lacking

My thoughts on Game 4 of NLDS after that miraculous Game 3.  Wow, both Gillaspie and Panik (and Crawford), Law and Blach.  Bochy's gambit of carrying Blach pays off!

Friday, October 07, 2016

Your 2016 Giants: Playoffs

I don't have a lot of time to write before the start of the playoffs with the Cubs, so I took a comment I left on baseball monk a few days ago, and repurposed here, of course, with new edits, as I was also writing in reply to the original article.

Your 2016 Playoffs: Rooting Against Order

When I remember, I rank the playoff teams in order of who to root most to win it all.  Of course, the Giants are the one up top, but how do the other teams rank, should the horrible happen and the Giants not win it all this season?  I decided to include the teams that lost the Wild Card games too.

Monday, October 03, 2016

My Current Baseball and Giants Blog Links

Intro:  this post has some of the links I used to have on the side of my blog content.

Ugh, Blogger just did something to lose all my links.  But it didn't remove the widgets that shows posts, so I'm going to post the links in this post, and widget this post.  While this is slower to get to, I don't really think that many of you are using my links anyway to get to places, I assume most of you are savvy enough to have them bookmarked somewhere so that you can get to what you want when you want.  In addition, I can't remember every link I had, so I'm going with the ones I can remember, for the most part.  But let me know if you prefer links on the side and I'll think about complying.

This was last updated October 3, 2016.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

2016 Giants: August PQS

This post has the Giants Pure Quality Start scores for the month of August 2016, PQS as defined in Ron Shandler's Baseball Forecaster annual book and they published the details here (unfortunately, they removed the article; this link gets you at least to the PQS definition, read down to middle for details). I wrote on this first in 2006 (wow, 11th year of this!  10th anniversary!) and have compiled their stats on a regular basis, so I'm continuing it this season for continuity and historical comparison (there is the "PQS" label that you can click to see the old posts on this). Regular readers can skip to the next section.

This is the Quality Start with a sabermetric DIPS twist, and it gets really easy to calculate once you get used to it. I don't think it's the end all or be all, but then nothing really is that. It is, as I like to say, another piece of the puzzle. A dominating start is scored a 4 or 5 and a disaster start is scored a 0 or 1. DOM% is the percentage of starts that are dominating, DIS% is the percentage of starts that are disasters (any start under 5.0 IP is automatically a 0, or disaster).

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

2016 Giants: July PQS

This post has the Giants Pure Quality Start scores for the month of July 2016, PQS as defined in Ron Shandler's Baseball Forecaster annual book and they published the details here (unfortunately, they removed the article; this link gets you at least to the PQS definition, read down to middle for details). I wrote on this first in 2006 (wow, 11th year of this!  10th anniversary!) and have compiled their stats on a regular basis, so I'm continuing it this season for continuity and historical comparison (there is the "PQS" label that you can click to see the old posts on this). Regular readers can skip to the next section.

This is the Quality Start with a sabermetric DIPS twist, and it gets really easy to calculate once you get used to it. I don't think it's the end all or be all, but then nothing really is that. It is, as I like to say, another piece of the puzzle. A dominating start is scored a 4 or 5 and a disaster start is scored a 0 or 1. DOM% is the percentage of starts that are dominating, DIS% is the percentage of starts that are disasters (any start under 5.0 IP is automatically a 0, or disaster).

Wednesday, August 03, 2016

Your 2016 Giants: Trade Deadline Deals: Goodbye Duffman!

(Apologies for the delay, been battling headache every afternoon since last week; I wrote most of this before it was announced that Peavy was moved to the bullpen, and finished up the Moore trade discussion today)

Wow, go on a short break and things just fall apart:  the Giants have been stumbling greatly since the ASB.  I was going to write on the decline of both Cueto and Samardzija as the season progressed, but given the trades made, to address this great decline overall for the team, I felt that took precedence.

The trades made:
  • Eduardo Nunez, utility infielder for the Twins, was acquired for LHP Aldaberto Mejia
  • Will Smith, LHP reliever for the Brewers, was acquired for RHP Phil Bickford and C Andrew Susac
  • Matt Moore, LHP starter for the Rays, was acquired for 3B Matt Duffy (Duffman!), SS Lucius Fox (Batman!), and RHP Michael Santos 
The Giants control Nunez until 2017 (will probably sign him to a 2-3 year deal after the season, I would bet, something like the one Blanco signed before), and Smith and Moore to 2019.  Even better, Moore is signed to an extension deal giving the Giants team options of $7M, $9M, and $10M, so he's a relatively cheap SP option for us, and rounds out our rotation.

Friday, July 15, 2016

2016 Giants: June PQS

This post has the Giants Pure Quality Start scores for the month of June 2016, PQS as defined in Ron Shandler's Baseball Forecaster annual book and they published the details here (unfortunately, they removed the article; this link gets you at least to the PQS definition, read down to middle for details). I wrote on this first in 2006 (wow, 11th year of this!  10th anniversary!) and have compiled their stats on a regular basis, so I'm continuing it this season for continuity and historical comparison (there is the "PQS" label that you can click to see the old posts on this). Regular readers can skip to the next section.

This is the Quality Start with a sabermetric DIPS twist, and it gets really easy to calculate once you get used to it. I don't think it's the end all or be all, but then nothing really is that. It is, as I like to say, another piece of the puzzle. A dominating start is scored a 4 or 5 and a disaster start is scored a 0 or 1. DOM% is the percentage of starts that are dominating, DIS% is the percentage of starts that are disasters (any start under 5.0 IP is automatically a 0, or disaster).

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Your 2016 Giants: Peavy Rough Start and Turnaround

It was just reported that Jake Peavy had something heavy on his mind throughout spring training and the season:  a crooked financial advisor stole around $15M from his investments.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

2016 Draft: Giants Make Up For Loss of First Round Pick

This is probably the first draft in a decade where I didn't prepare by capturing mock drafts, know exactly when I need to start monitoring the draft, and follow along in some way, whether radio, internet, social media, or some combination.  Part of it was the loss of the first round pick for signing Samardzija.  Part of it was just a lot of overtime for work.  Part of it was feeling pretty good about our crop of prospects.   Mostly, I guess it was too much a combination of life intruding on my blog life, just didn't really have time for it this year.

The MLB has their usual list, available here.  Tops picks are (links are to the MLB videos):

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

2016 Giants: May PQS

This post has the Giants Pure Quality Start scores for the month of May 2016, PQS as defined in Ron Shandler's Baseball Forecaster annual book and they published the details here (unfortunately, they removed the article; this link gets you at least to the PQS definition, read down to middle for details). I wrote on this first in 2006 (wow, 11th year of this!  10th anniversary!) and have compiled their stats on a regular basis, so I'm continuing it this season for continuity and historical comparison (there is the "PQS" label that you can click to see the old posts on this). Regular readers can skip to the next section.

This is the Quality Start with a sabermetric DIPS twist, and it gets really easy to calculate once you get used to it. I don't think it's the end all or be all, but then nothing really is that. It is, as I like to say, another piece of the puzzle. A dominating start is scored a 4 or 5 and a disaster start is scored a 0 or 1. DOM% is the percentage of starts that are dominating, DIS% is the percentage of starts that are disasters (any start under 5.0 IP is automatically a 0, or disaster).

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Your 2016 Giants: The Shark Fin Is Circling, Senses Blood In the Water

A couple of good recent articles on Samardzija.  One was a Beyond the Box Score analysis of how he has been able to pitch so well this season after last season's abomination, pointing out that he was returning to his prior form, using the pitches that are his best pitches, his sinker and his cutter:
That cutter and sinker are back up to where they need to be to induce more grounders. The sinker, in particular, returning back to where it was in previous years represents an encouraging trend. And as such, his groundballs per ball in play are back to looking like exactly what they should look like... 
This return to form, although not necessarily a "resurrection", is taking place across the board. He hasn't experienced any sort of real velocity change, but the fact that he's able to utilize all of his pitches is allowing those strikeout numbers to creep back up. After a 6.86 K/9 season last year, he's currently at 7.69 in 2016, with a swinging strike rate up a touch (9.8 to 10.4) from last year. His walks are also down, at 1.82 per nine thus far. The rest of his statistics across the board feature a 2.66 ERA, a 2.77 FIP, and a WHIP down at 1.03. Not only are these numbers vastly improved from last year, but these are some of the best figures that Shark has posted in his career. As a veteran pitcher,, and having spent a previous year in baseball purgatory, Samardzija appears to have the look of a guy who knows exactly what works for him and what doesn't and the Giants are allowing him to roll with it. 
What might seem like a simple, and perhaps even obvious, change for him has led him down the path to not only earning that $90 million contract, but perhaps even justifying it as a bargain at some point.
This is matched up with professional observation by Mike Krukow, from his KNBR show, as reported by CSNBA:
"He's simplifying things," Krukow started. "A lot of times, guys have four or five things they can do with the ball. They feel compelled that they have to throw all of them. 
And I think what (Dave) Righetti and (Mark) Gardner have done with this guy, is they've simplified it, and said 'Wait a second. Let's take a look at what your true strengths are. 
"Your true strengths are your fastball ... and your cut ... so you've got two different types of movement, one going away from the other. And it's late movement. Why not let's focus on being able to corner pitch with it. To locate. 
"We'll introduce a slider, we'll throw it out there, and we'll work on an offspeed pitch to give you an eventual third speed.' That's what they've done." 
"His mechanics are impeccable and he's got great finish with the crack of the whip," Krukow added. "He's in command so that maximizes velocity, movement and location capabilities. He's got all that going. 
"And I think because of his athleticism he's able to repeat this stroke of the arm with great consistency." 
"It gets back to Dave Righetti. If you're a pitcher, and you've got abilities, whatever type of athlete you are, you're going to get better around him," Krukow declared. "You're going to get better around Mark Gardner. They're the best at what they do. This is just another example of it." 
Krukow closed the topic by making a bold prediction. 
Samardzija's "not a finished product. He is a work in progress. I think when he masters that third speed, that changeup, you're gonna see a guy who's gonna be a perennial All-Star and he'll challenge for the Cy Young. I do believe he has that type of ceiling."

Friday, May 27, 2016

Dodgers Calling Up Uber Prospect Urias

The news is LA Dodgers uber prospect Julio Urias is being brought up (already started at the time I'm writing this, getting hit a bit, not the reason I'm writing this, and could make this post moot).


Thursday, May 26, 2016

Your 2015 Giants: Pagan Putting uP Pain Pagain

Once again, Pagan hits the 15-day DL, re-injuring his left hamstring again, which had costed him (and especially us) 11 games previously.

Sunday, May 08, 2016

Your 2016 Giants: Is Lincecumming Here?

Lincecum had his long awaited showcase.  Baggarly and Pavlovic had nice accounts, plus Pavlovic provided the video of the whole session on Facebook.  A reported 23 teams attended, with many sending multiple representatives to view him live.

The Giants reiterated their interest in him as a long reliever.  Jeremy Shelley represented the Giants at the showcase, but, interestingly, it was reported that Lincecum gave a private viewing to Bobby Evans and Dick Tidrow ten days earlier.  Both Javier Lopez and Bruce Bochy were interviewed for their reaction to the video of the showcase, and both were happy for Lincecum, they saw him back healthy,

ESPN's Eric Longenhagen wrote up his thoughts on Lincecum, read it here.
I think there's still a big leaguer here, albeit in a limited role as a relief option. While he doesn't have the mid-90s fastball and wipeout slider that is typical of today's bullpen arm, Lincecum's repertoire would be uniquely deep for a reliever. 
If he can find a way to keep hitters off of his fastball -- either through some of the natural deception created by his delivery, by throwing his curveball for strikes early in counts, by finding changeup consistency or through some combination of these things -- I believe get outs at a rate that befits a big league reliever. 
If Lincecum were to work as a starter, he'd need better fastball command than was evident in this workout and much better command than he has displayed in his recent healthy seasons.

ESPN's Dave Schoenfield wrote up his ideas for five teams he might end up with, starting with the Giants:  "1. San Francisco Giants: The obvious favorite for several reasons. "


Thursday, May 05, 2016

Your 2016 Giants: Belt Finally Putting Things Together

As reported by the media (great account and interview by Baggarly here, and I pulled out some of it below), Brandon Belt figured out the last major piece to his mechanics to enable him to be the hitter he was in the minors:  power hitter (high SLG/ISO) with good contact (low K's) and eye (high BB/K).   He actually figured it out last year, but got concussed in the same series.  Fortunately, he was able to remember what that was and thought hard about it during the off-season:
It was against the Reds at AT&T Park last September when Belt finally found a stance and a feeling at the plate that allowed him to see the ball deeper, allowing him to react to the pitch rather than keep falling back on guesswork. It was the comfort zone he had spent his entire big league life searching to find. 
“Basically, yeah, I found an approach that I liked and then got concussed,” Belt said. “But fortunately, I still remembered it.” 
He is putting it into practice this season, and even in a small sample, the difference is striking. 
“I thought about it a lot in the offseason, and honestly, it came down to the last series I played against the Reds,” Belt said. 
“I thought about that often, about how I can put the ball in play more. 
“It was more approach than anything, and it was something I had to contemplate a lot in the offseason. I beat it into my head over and over. It’s something I held onto, and it’ll make me be more consistent in the long run.” 
What is it, exactly? “It’s getting back to seeing the ball and not guessing, which I still do at times,” said Belt, who signed a five-year, $79 million extension in April. "The results aren’t good when I do that. I tried to find a place where I felt more square with the plate. I stuck with that feeling.” 
Giants manager Bruce Bochy sees a hitter who continues to emerge. “He’s being a little more selective and he’s looking for his pitch,” Bochy said.  
“Honestly, that’s what excites me, that my strikeouts are down,” Belt said. “I wanted to put the ball in play more, because stuff can happen. I think that’s what makes us so tough as a lineup. There’s not an easy out.” 
“For a few years, I was searching for something and, yeah, I had some good years,” Belt said. “But I was still looking for something I could hold onto. And I think I found it.”

Tuesday, May 03, 2016

2016 Giants: April PQS

This post has the Giants Pure Quality Start scores for the month of April 2016, PQS as defined in Ron Shandler's Baseball Forecaster annual book and they published the details here (unfortunately, they removed the article; this link gets you at least to the PQS definition, read down to middle for details). I wrote on this first in 2006 (wow, 11th year of this!  10th anniversary!) and have compiled their stats on a regular basis, so I'm continuing it this season for continuity and historical comparison (there is the "PQS" label that you can click to see the old posts on this). Regular readers can skip to the next section.

This is the Quality Start with a sabermetric DIPS twist, and it gets really easy to calculate once you get used to it. I don't think it's the end all or be all, but then nothing really is that. It is, as I like to say, another piece of the puzzle. A dominating start is scored a 4 or 5 and a disaster start is scored a 0 or 1. DOM% is the percentage of starts that are dominating, DIS% is the percentage of starts that are disasters (any start under 5.0 IP is automatically a 0, or disaster).

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Your 2016 Giants: They're Down, They're Really Down

(oops, had wrote this on 4/21, intending for it to publish late that night, but for some reason still had it open and unpublished until now).

The Giants just lost their fifth straight game, and 8 of the last 9 games, sinking to 7-10.  Giants fans are moaning everywhere.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Your 2016 Giants: Cueto Fatigue

Continuing my series of posts on Cueto.  As I have been finding out, Cueto have splits, both by home vs. road, and first half vs. second half.  And those splits hold even when taking the two splits into account, both home and road gets worse in the second half.  The mysteries are two-fold:  why is he so much better in Cincinnati and why is he that much worse in the second half?

I don't think we can ever answer the former (my best guess is that there is something in the background of the stadium that works well with his deceptive pitching motion; there was an analysis long ago of why San Jose Municipal Stadium has a much higher strikeout rate and Giants hitters (including Bowker), noted that there were mountains in the background in CF that hid the ball in some visual haze plus also the sun would set in CF in the second half of the season and the hitter would be looking into the sun, so there was no hitter's eye, making it harder for the hitters to see the ball) but let's take a look at his monthly stats and see what's there.


Thursday, April 14, 2016

Your 2016 Giants: Cueto Home and Road, First Half and Second Half, Splits

I had discussed Cueto's stats regarding first and second half previously.  When he had his first start for us in Milwaukee, much was made about his much better results at home vs. on the road.  So I thought I would look into that as well.


Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Saturday, April 09, 2016

Your 2016 Giants: Belt Signs Five Year Extension for Total 6 years, $79M

News per Pavlovic (who appears to be the one who broke the news, saw his Tweet first) and Baggarly.

  • Extends the $6.2M contract he signed to avoid arbitration this season.  At that time, Giants FO said it was a springboard to a longer term deal.
  • Sets 2017 salary at $8.8M, covering his last arbitration year.  $6M gets paid beginning of year as signing bonus (does anyone know what accounting advantage teams get from doing this?)
  • Then from 2018 to 2021, four years at $16M each
  • Total:  6 years, $79M, just edging his Brandon buddy's $75M 
  • Limited no-trade clause specifying 10 teams that he can't be traded to
Covers him to his 33 YO season.  He's says he's happy to be able to stay here with the rest of the core of the team.  Gave the team all the credit for his maturation as a ballplayer, and stated his appreciation for the organization.  

Evans also noted the fan and media speculation of Posey playing at 1B eventually.  He stated that there has not been any internal discussions of that, that Posey is considered the quarterback behind the plate and a major reason why pitchers like pitching for the Giants.  And thus no internal talk about moving Belt to another position.  

Wednesday, April 06, 2016

Giants RAA Per Statcorner: 2009 to 2015

Statcorner is an online resource that I've been aware of for a while now, but don't always have time to peruse.  Something drew me to it recently, and I discovered their Team RAA report.  It allows you to look at their RAA stats by the various components of baseball performance that could be measured:  batting, fielding-gb, fielding-fb, SP, RP, and Total.  And one can do this by year as well.  I thought I would look at the stats from 2009 to 2015.

Tuesday, April 05, 2016

2016: Dodger's SP Depth Takes a Hit

Ran across a few articles regarding LA's starting pitching problems:
Thought I would continue my previous thoughts on the Dodgers.  Was trying to get this out before the season started, so apologies if this post isn't the best, but I just want to get it out.


Sunday, April 03, 2016

Your 2016 Giants: Opening Day Roster

As released by the Giants, this is your 2016 Giants on opening day:




Pitchers

#NameB/THtWtDOB
40Madison BumgarnerR/L6'5"250lbs8/1/89
18Matt CainR/R6'3"230lbs10/1/84
46Santiago CasillaR/R6'0"210lbs7/25/80
47Johnny CuetoR/R5'11"220lbs2/15/86
62Cory GearrinR/R6'3"200lbs4/14/86
53Chris HestonR/R6'3"195lbs4/10/88
70George KontosR/R6'3"215lbs6/12/85
49Javier LopezL/L6'4"220lbs7/11/77
61Josh OsichL/L6'2"230lbs9/3/88
22Jake PeavyR/R6'1"195lbs5/31/81
54Sergio RomoR/R5'11"185lbs3/4/83
29Jeff SamardzijaR/R6'5"225lbs1/23/85
60Hunter StricklandR/R6'4"220lbs9/24/88

Catchers

#NameB/THtWtDOB
14Trevor BrownR/R6'2"195lbs11/15/91
28Buster PoseyR/R6'1"215lbs3/27/87

Infield

#NameB/THtWtDOB
13Ehire AdrianzaS/R6'1"170lbs8/21/89
9Brandon BeltL/L6'5"220lbs4/20/88
35Brandon CrawfordL/R6'2"215lbs1/21/87
5Matt DuffyR/R6'2"170lbs1/15/91
12Joe PanikL/R6'1"190lbs10/30/90
37Kelby TomlinsonR/R6'3"180lbs6/16/90

Outfield

#NameB/THtWtDOB
7Gregor BlancoL/L5'11"175lbs12/24/83
16Angel PaganS/R6'2"200lbs7/2/81
8Hunter PenceR/R6'4"220lbs4/13/83
2Denard SpanL/L6'0"210lbs2/27/84


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