Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Republishing My Business Plan Series

My first step during my break is to update my business plan series now that we have a new leader in Farhan Zaidi.  This project sparks joy, so I'm going with that for now, especially since Giants news have been low-key, as I've expected, as Zaidi gave the fans low expectations as to what he'll be doing "move-by-move" improvement. 

I plan on appealing to concepts he seem to support.  I've listened to a bunch of interviews with him, both after his hiring and before, and I will re-write my old series, which was directed at former Giants managing owner, Neukom, when he first took over, and shade it in terms of what Zaidi says is his preferences and guiding principles.

I'm publishing the first one tonight and using his introductory press conference date and time for that post, as a symbolic gesture, but the rest will be published one by one, real time, as I update each with Zaidi in mind, and ten years of new analytics research available and utilized.  Of course, some will probably go through with minimal changes.  Analytics has not changed everything. 

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Housecleaning: I'm Hibernating This Winter

I've decided to take a break.  Perhaps not a huge break, depending on what Zaidi does, but if he does what I think he will do, which is basically do what Sabean would have done, for the most part, making smaller impact deals, like last winter, in order to make the team competitive for 2019, I'm not going to wade into the smaller stuff like I usually do.  If a big signing happens, or anything I think significant for the long term, I'll, of course, will wade in.  Plus, I'll probably re-purpose my business plan and address it to Zaidi instead, but will retroactively date it for the date of his press conference. 

But the plan is to be relatively quiet this off-season, in spite of the excitement I feel about Zaidi.

Thursday, November 08, 2018

Dissecting LA Time's Zaidi Profile

As I mentioned in my post about the hiring of Farhan Zaidi, the LA Times biographical article by Andy McCullough is an essential read for understanding Zaidi, and what he might bring to the Giants.  I thought I would go further and pull out what I think are key bits of info that I think is applicable to him being the Giants leader.

Wednesday, November 07, 2018

Oh Henry! Farhan Zaidi is the Giants New President of Baseball Operations

As reported first by the great Hank Schulman, Farhan Zaidi is the Giants new President of Baseball Operations, the NextGen leader that Baer said that the Giants were searching slowly for.

Reportage:
Baer's released statement (direct from the e-mail I got):
“We set out to find one of the best minds in baseball and Farhan's many accomplishments and expertise exceeded our expectations.  Farhan is widely viewed as one of the top executives in our industry and we are thrilled to have him lead the next chapter of Giants Baseball.”
Zaidi's released statement (direct from the e-mail I got):
“I am delighted to return to the Bay Area and to join one of the most storied franchises in the game.  I have watched the Giants from afar and I have great respect for the organization's culture and many accomplishments. I am excited about this new opportunity and I'm looking forward to getting right to work.”
Also, Baggarly's piece discussed possible implications and questions he will face, as did this Pavlovic article.

Hey Zaidi! My Giants Business Plan

This provides easy access to my Giants business plan and captures what I've been discovering and saying are the best ways to run a baseball team for competitive advantage and, in particular, to be more successful in the playoffs, and particularly, ways that has made winning the World Series more likely.  The Giants have followed a good portion of this plan, though not all.  I'm hopeful that Zaidi will not only stay the course, but also will do more to enhance the team's opportunities, just like how the addition of John Barr improved the Giants.

As Zaidi has said in interviews, one needs to be aware of 51%/49% decisions and to understand that just because the results don't go your way, you want to stay the course of what your evidence and findings lead you, which is much like I've been trying to emphasize in my blog over the years, taking the big picture view (or as some like to call it, "trusting the process") and with this business plan. 

As much as the Giants have been losing in the past few years (yes, two and a HALF years), they have mostly stayed the course with their process of building up pitching and defense (not as much on the latter, to be frank, though, else they would have brought up Duggar sooner).  And Zaidi, with his comment about that quality elite defense is the key to low-scoring games (which implies having a great rotation and bullpen combination on the Giants going forward), appears to be on board with this process, only with his new twists that he will bring to the team.

[Note:  I've re-written the original starting post to be addressed to Farhan Zaidi, new President of Baseball Operations of the San Francisco Giants, but the original series of links were to Bill Neukom, soon after he was hired. I think that's my main thing I'll be working on during my break, is to re-examine all my prior posts, start with them as a base, re-write them giving my admittedly cursory knowledge of what Zaidi has said in his Giants interviews so far.  Like Maria Kondo advocates, it "sparks joy" for me to think about doing this.  I might do a few draft articles as well.  

I'm getting this out now, since I had started it before my decision to take a break, but probably won't start updating the rest until next year, as I research what else I can update for each chapter of my business plan.  I backdated it to the day of his press conference, hence it's calendar placement, but the rest will be published in real time.  I'll update the links below to the new chapters, as each gets published, so this post will change links over time, and perhaps other content, as noted below.]

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Polling My Readers: Should I Start Moderating Comments

Right now, I'm not a popular guy at The Athletic, at least among commenters.  I see the silver lining, they see Sturm und Drang.  "The sky is falling!  The sky is falling!"  And maybe they are right, but they haven't convinced me yet, I just see the same recycled crap I saw 10-15 years ago.

I'm just really tired of the name calling and lack of discussion.  They know what they know, and any facts I bring up, well, appears to be "Whoosh", over their heads, or just not being read, because I end up back to their same argument, even though they seem to understand in the beginning.  And that's fine, I'm realizing, I'm learning I should just let things go more.  Really reminds me of my time at MCC from 2007-2010 (or 11, been so long I was a regular).  To quote Lethal Weapon, mixed with The Good Place, "I'm too old for that shirt". 

I need to learn, too, as I'm just wasting my time and energy there.  So I'm pushing myself to dig into analyzing the draft again with NextGen data, courtesy of the great Baseball-Reference.com website. 

I probably made the stupid decision to note my blog, here and there.  That recent comment, probably from one of them, though in terms of what I've run into there, very mild, and thus not really what triggered this post, other than the fact that I realized that now maybe I'll be seeing more "enlightening" comments. 

So, should I start moderating?  Or keep my blog open as I had always intended?  It's not like I wouldn't post almost anything that gets commented on, I've let a lot of skeevy comments go through anyway, like Grant's.  But some things just don't represent opposing opinions, they are just name calling and other crap that I don't want to deal with, other than to delete them at my leisure.  Put your comments, if you care.

Friday, October 19, 2018

Your 2019 Giants: Thoughts On Giants GM Hunt

I've been wanting to post about the firing of Bobby Evans for a while now, but just been busy as heck at work and with life.   But I found a spot of time, and commented the below at a sports watering hole which was discussing the Giants open GM opportunity.  Plus grabbing some stuff I wrote in another post which I had started, part of which follows.  And still, a week or so later...

As you probably heard, Bobby Evans got fired from his Giants GM job, as part of the overhaul of the organization due to two (and a half insists many) years of losing.   The new GM, according to Baer, will continue to report to him, just like Evans did.  Sabean and Bochy have another year on their contract (so did Evans), and apparently will serve it out in 2019.  Evans will be re-assigned somewhere else in the organization; however, not as a special assistant, though, as Righetti was, for example.

In addition, there is going to still be a two-tier organization in the wake of Evans' termination.  As part of the changes, Sabean could be removed from his job as VP of Baseball Operations.  Thus the job search could involve both a new VP of Baseball Operations, as well as a new GM, both reporting in to  Larry Baer.  Sabean will be helping in deciding who will be the new "NextGen" GM, as Baer called the ideal candidate and apparently will stay in a yet to be determined role, should the new hire be the new VP, but appears to maybe keep the job, if the new hire is given the GM title, as I'll discuss in more details below.


Thursday, October 04, 2018

2019 Playoffs Giants Fan Rooting Guide

On the years that the Giants don't make the playoffs, I run down the list of teams as to who I'll be rooting for, ranked from most to least.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Your 2019 Giants: 6 Man Rotation

With my thoughts in my other post about the potential rotation crunch in 2019, should the Giants sign Derek Holland (as I hope that they do), I realized that perhaps there is a solution:  6-man Rotation.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Your 2018 Giants: Giants Offensive Offense

I see a lot of complaints about the Giants offense, so here's my post with my opinions on what is happening.  And, of course, other random tangential thoughts.

And, of course, it took too long to finish.  The data is as of games to September 9th.

Tuesday, September 04, 2018

2018 Giants: August PQS, newPQS, ogcPQS

This post has the Giants Pure Quality Start scores for the month of August 2018, 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, 13th year of this!) 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.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Your 2018 Giants: This Day in Giants History

On this day in Giants history, the Giants were 6 games behind the division leading Padres, and they had the most amazing finish to catch up with the Padres and win the division on the final day of the 2010 season.

Today, the Giants are 6 games behind the division leader, but this time they are the Rockies and D-bancks, and the Dodgers are only a game behind them, giving them three obstacles to get around, which is much much harder to do, as they need all three teams ahead of them to start scuffling while the Giants need to dazzle and show some magic.  Can they do it?

Thursday, August 16, 2018

2018 Giants: July PQS, newPQS, ogcPQS

This post has the Giants Pure Quality Start scores for the month of July 2018, 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, 13th year of this!) 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.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

What is a Dynasty in the MLB?

This post was triggered by the fact that there are still people who are vehemently against crediting the Giants with being a dynastic team, when they won 3 of 5.  So I decided to approach this topic, from an objective viewpoint, and see if I (and many others) are wrong to call that era a dynasty.

Friday, July 27, 2018

Your 2018 Giants: Bochy's Bad Offense

I frequent The Athletic's Giants articles a lot now for comments.  Lots of people are complaining about the offense.  Rightfully, per my 4 or more runs Win/Loss metric, the offense is barely above .500 in providing 4 runs or more in a game.  So I dug into the stats, here are the results.

Tuesday, July 03, 2018

2018 Giants: June PQS, newPQS, ogcPQS

This post has the Giants Pure Quality Start scores for the month of June 2018, 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, 13th year of this!) 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.

Monday, July 02, 2018

2018 Giants: May PQS, newPQS, ogcPQS

This post has the Giants Pure Quality Start scores for the month of May 2018, 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, 13th year of this!) 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.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Just for the Heliot: Ramos' Bad Bad Terrible 7 Games

I was trying to think up a prospect question for Jim Callis on Twitter, when I decided to dig into Heliot Ramos' numbers.  Here's what I found.


Friday, June 22, 2018

The Conundrum of Draft Picks: Joey Bart and Sean Hjelle

Now that Joey Bart has been signed, for a reported $7.025M, which is the highest largest upfront bonus given, ever, to a position player in the draft (Posey was also a highest bonus given when he was signed, though Boras had to manipulate his player's contract to squeak past Posey and gain that press release; that guy just got released, having never amounted to much, but was still worth the money, given 6.4 WAR produced and roughly $9-11M per WAR produced in recent years.  ), I thought I would take a look at Joey Bart and Sean Hjelle, to illustrate the high odds against either becoming a good player in the majors, and ended up looking at Andy Suarez as well.

I have been wanting to re-do my draft study but the work necessary to gather up that information has been too much for me to handle (I was going to use R to pull down the data last season, but then BB-Ref changed their URL from http to https, and then I was unable to use R anymore to pull the data; I was that close...).  Still, it is instructive to see how bad the odds are in the draft so that one can set their expectations for the prospect properly.  So I'll looking at how other teams have done in finding good players with the #2 and #45 picks during the history of the draft.

Wednesday, June 06, 2018

Giants 2018 Second Round Draft Pick: Sean Hjelle, RHP

The Giants selected University of Kentucky's Sean Hjelle, with their second round draft pick of 2018, second overall.  He's 6' 11" and there has been only one other pitcher that tall to pitch in major league history.

Looking over the drafted players, this is probably the first draft under Sabean where their first four picks were all around where they were ranked, at least ranked by MLB Pipeline in 2018 (I've usually used Baseball America, but everything is behind a paywall now).  Per Fangraphs, the first three picks.

  • Joey Bart:  selected 2nd, ranked 6th Pipeline/3rd Fangraphs
  • Sean Hjelle:  selected 45th, ranked 44th/53rd FG
  • Jake Wong:  selected 80th, ranked 72nd/93rd FG
  • Blake/Jake Rivera:  selected 106th, ranked 111th/worse than 130th overall FG 
Generally, the Giants select amateurs who are ranked far behind where they selected him in the draft, usually at least one round (30 picks) ahead of where he is ranked by talent.  

Monday, June 04, 2018

Your 2018 Giants Draft: Final Thoughts

Thought I would give my final thoughts, with the draft on Monday, June 4.   Woke up early today so that I could leave work early and finish up this post before the draft.

Final (or last I can find) Mocks:
  • MLB Pipeline (June 4th):  Both Callis and Mayo have the Giants selecting Joey Bart, catcher of the future, but has the Giants looking at Casey Mize, Joey Bart, Brady Singer, and Cole Winn.
  • Fangraphs 3.0 (June 1st):  Fangraphs takes a very specific view.  First, they are sure the Giants are picking Bart.  Second, should the Tigers take Bart, the Giants would not select Mize, but instead would sign Cole Winn to a reduced deal, which would enable the Giants to sign a good prospect, like Tristan Casas or Sean Hjelle, with their second round pick.   
  • Perfect Game, Version 4 (June 4th):  Got the Giants selecting Bart, but not Mize should he fall to them.  Also kicking the tires on Singer, Liberatore, and Bohm, plus the Winn if Detroit takes Bart scenario that everyone has latched onto.
  • Minor League Ball (Sickels and gang):  There is a mock draft, but done by people volunteering to be each team's GM, so I always take with grain of salt, as you don't have a lot of info about why that person chose that prospect.  He/they selected Bohm, FYI.  I provide this link more because there are profiles on most of the top prospects there, that's of more value in my eyes. 
  • Baseball America:  They no longer provide free access, someone collected all of the major ones and shared them in a Google Doc, BA Mock Draft 5.0 has, surprise, the Giants selecting Bart.
  • Keith Law (same link as BA, someone collected and shared):  Sees the Giants selecting Cole Winn, the only mock draft to do that. 

Monday, May 21, 2018

Your 2018 Giants Draft: Mock Drafts and Draft Thoughts

With the Giants holding the second pick overall in the June draft, only a couple of weeks away, I thought I would go through some mock drafts, and discuss a few possibilities.  I will probably write up on the final mocks just before the draft. 

2018 Giants: April PQS, newPQS, ogcPQS

This post has the Giants Pure Quality Start scores for the month of April 2018 (also includes March starts), 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, 13th year of this!) 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.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Your 2018 Giants: Striking Out

The Giants just set a new record for strikeouts in a series, by a lot, in the Phillies series.  I thought I would compare key Giants players contact rate and strikeout percentage between 2017 and 2018.


Wednesday, May 02, 2018

My 2018 Giants: When Will This End? Out with Cueto, In with Suarez

As I assume you all know, Cueto was placed on the DL with elbow soreness, and Suarez was brought up to pitch in Tuesday's game, replacing him, as the DH to make up the rained out Dodger's game early in April was played on Saturday, and forced the Giants to bring up someone to keep the rotation going with the normal days of rest.

Unfortunately, the Giants were mum about what this could mean for Cueto.  However, it was noted that Cueto is going to see Tommy John Surgery creator, Dr. Andrews, for a second opinion, as we speak, so it has reached that point.  Ironically, Will Smith just returned from his TJS today with a good 2-K shutout inning.

As always, thank you to Baseball-Reference.com for their data, I would not be able to do any of my work without their wonderful database.

newPQS Doesn't Work Well So I'm Creating ogcPQS

I'm still not happy with the new PQS methodology.  For me, the idea of this methodology is to separate the good from the average and the bad.  I'm going to have to go my own way with this going forward.  I will get to the April edition of PQS later this week, maybe next.

Monday, April 30, 2018

My Giants Business Plan: Core Rotation

I haven't written for my business plan in a while, but now have realized that something I've written about before could be incorporated into it.  In a previous chapter in my Giants business plan, I discussed how a successful (i.e. successful baseball playoff team) team needs at least two aces if not more.

Since then, I have discussed (and analyzed a number of times) that during the golden years for the Giants rotation, from 2009 to 2013, they had at least 3 starters who were great dominant starters, 1 starter who filled what I called the Zito role and 1 starting rotation spot that ended up rotating among some good and not so good starters.  Even with that 5th starter, which basically every team has at least one of, the Giants had Top 3-5 standing in the majors/NL during that period.   This post will be the latest entry in my Giants business plan series.

Your 2018 Giants: Sweeping the Dodgers, Sort Of

The Giants swept the weekend series with the Dodgers, as technically their one loss was the game moved from the rained out game earlier in the month, but according to official rules (per Schulman), the loss counts as part of this series, so there you go, sort of.  Still, winning a four game series is good, doing it against the Dodgers is great.  I thought I would cover some subjects (plus celebrating winning a series against the Dodgers).

As always, thank you to Baseball-Reference.com for their data, I would not be able to do any of my work without their wonderful database.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Your 2018 Giants: Stratton Status Check

I've been writing about how Stratton is going to be a key starter for the Giants this season, of putting us back to the golden era of starters we had early on, and he has not disappointed so far, with a 2.32 ERA, which is close to his 2.42 ERA in his last 9 starts of 2017.  But there is a lot of noise in the data for both 2017 and 2018 because of SSS, and it probably still exists to a great extent if we just cover those 15 games started, but since I started the data collection, I thought I would finish up this thought.  As always, thank you to Baseball-Reference.com for their data, I would not be able to do any of my work without their wonderful database.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Your 2018 Giants: Big Mac Attack is Back

Like a lot of Giants fans, I'm excited to see Mac Williamson get to come back up and see what he can do in the majors.  Unlike a lot of Giants fans, I don't grouse about his lack of opportunities.  In this post, I'm going to see whose impression is correct.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Your 2018 Giants: Big Six Top Giants Prospect Lists

I sometimes post a Big Six Giants prospect list on my blog - as, generally, while there are a lot of interesting prospects, there are maybe 4-8 who are really interesting from the viewpoint of contributing this year or contributing in a big way in the future - but frankly have not made the time to do it before the season began.  Plus, frankly, I'm not that good deep into the Giants farm system, if you want that, DrB's website is a much better choice, and Roger Munter is also good for that too, I provided a link for him below as well.  But to add value, I break it out into two parts, basically one to cover players that should be expected in the majors this season, and the second to cover interesting players who are showing a lot of potential but perhaps not covered as much as others who are closer to reaching the show. 

One saying I've heard is that in any particular season, on average, you got two eventual starters and two eventual contributors in the farm system.  That seems to be a good adage, something to keep in mind when thinking about any farm system.

Here are some on-line links to prospect profiles (I tried to link to text below, but for some reason Blogger kept on dying on me...):
  • MLB Pipeline:  http://m.mlb.com/prospects/2018?list=sf
  • John Sickels:  https://www.minorleagueball.com/2018/2/28/17061970/san-francisco-giants-top-20-prospects-for-2018
  • Roger Munter:  http://prospects1500.com/top-50-lists/san-francisco-giants-2018-top-50-prospects/
  • DrB:  http://whenthegiantscometotown.blogspot.com/2018/01/drbs-2018-giants-top-50-prospects.html
The season has already begun, but I haven't really looked much at how the minor leagues are doing right now, so I'll write some notes regarding what I knew about the season before the season, just to get this out there.  And I thought I would get this out today since Beede is slated to pitch for the Giants.

Ignore if you don't care or it's too late for you, it's cool, I just wanted to get it out.


Friday, April 06, 2018

Your 2018 Giants: Offense Greatly Improved

After the Giants early offensive struggles (albeit, against one of the top rotations in the majors in one of the more extreme pitcher's parks in the majors), many were shouting, "The Giants Offense sucks!  The offense sucks!"  I disagree.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Your 2018 Giants: His Name is Blach, Ty Blach

Ty Blach outduels Clayton Edward Kershow, as the Giants win 1-0 on a Joe Panik homer that sneaks past the homerun side of the foul pole, and relievers save the game - with Watson, after zero strikeouts in nearly 9 innings of spring baseball, striking out the side - and Strickland, the new interim closer, until Melancon comes back (whenever that may be), getting the save.


Your 2018 Giants: Chances Are

The way I wear my silly grin, I liked the Giants chances before the injuries, but with the injuries to Bumgarner and Samardzija, it is all hands on deck, but still, I like our chances.


Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Your 2018 Giants: Opening Day Roster

The Giants Opening Day Roster was released after the last exhibition game.  NBC Sports reported who made it:
  • SP:  Blach, Cueto, Holland, Stratton (in rotation order)
  • RP:  The eight-man bullpen currently consists of Mark Melancon, Sam Dyson, Tony Watson, Hunter Strickland, Josh Osich, Cory Gearrin, Pierce Johnson and Roberto Gomez, although Melancon could open the year on the DL.
  • C:  Posey, Hundley (Sandoval is the emergency catcher)
  • IF:  Belt, Panik, Longoria, Crawford; Sandoval, Tomlinson
  • OF:  Pence, Jackson, McCutchen; Blanco, Hernandez
Pavlovic had more info on the two new guys:
Johnson and Gomez were the last two to make it, and both benefited from the fact that they can throw two to three innings for a staff that doesn’t have a designated long man. Johnson is a particularly cool story. He was part of the first round of cuts on March 12 but threw well in minor league camp and again when he was called up for spot duty with the big leaguers. In seven spring innings, he allowed just one hit.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Your 2018 Giants: And the Carnage Continues

Unbelievable:  Baggarly is tweeting about pitchers having issues.

Baggarly reported that "Rule 5 flamethrower Julian Fernandez has a UCL" sprain and is going on the DL.  He did note the upside is that if he has Tommy John surgery, the Giants would keep him into 2019.  However, he would make the big league minimum on the DL and that would be another $545K against the CBT.  However, he is also going to get a second opinion, so we'll see what happens.

And Baggarly reported that "Something is up with Mark Melancon" as well.  Giants are not 100% confident that he will be on the active roster Thursday, and will play catch today and tomorrow.

Baggarly also noted that Evans said that the Giants are open to acquiring help but anticipate going with internal choices for the opening day roster.

He also noted that Andrew Suarez, Pierce Johnson, and Derek Law, who were all headed to Sacramento 48 hours ago, might be on the Opening Day roster.  Bochy will announce the 25-man roster after tonight's game.


Monday, March 26, 2018

Friday, March 23, 2018

Your 2018 Giants: Samardzija Not Superman: Neither is Bumgarner

News just came out about Samardzija's pectoral muscle strain.  It is unknown yet how long he will be out, but he's going on the DL to start the season.  But this is considered a good thing, per NBC Sports Alex Pavlovic, as it is not a worse issue.  The plan is to rest Samardzija for 10 days, and then ramp things up again.  Bochy says that he don't think it will take long to get him back on the team, and the latest estimates on twitter says that he'll be back in 3-4 weeks.

Of course, we don't know what will happen when he crank things up again...

Oh, It's All F'ed UP:  Bumgarner Fractured Hand

Ugh, now it looks like this is all blown to hell:  Bumgarner has been hit on his left hand by a comebacker.  One video shot looked like he got in in the palm of his hand, versus his fingers.  And that's apparently where the break is, on the outer had, between the pinky and the palm.  I'm going to leave this as is, with a few extra comments based on the Bum news, I can't believe this, but it looks like the rotation is Cueto, Holland, Stratton, and Blach, and hopefully Samardzija returns in time to take the 5th starter's role in the rotation, though they could slot him in anywhere.

According to Baggarly on Twitter, he will get pins put in, which will take 4-6 weeks to heal, at which point the pins are removed.  Baggarly says it will not be short DL but he should be back before the All-Star break.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Your 2018 Giants: Latest Spring Cuts

Here are the latest Giants spring cuts, per MLB.com:
  • Optioned out:  right-handers Tyler Beede, Roberto Gomez, and Derek Law; outfielders Austin Slater and Mac Williamson
  • Reassigned to the minors: left-hander Andrew Suarez, right-handers Joan Gregorio and Jose Valdez, catchers Justin O'Conner, Trevor Brown and Hector Sanchez, infielders Orlando Calixte, Chase d'Arnaud and Kyle Jensen and outfielder Chris Shaw

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Your 2018 Giants: Roster Battles After Player Cuts

The Giants recently re-assigned a number of players from their major league spring training camp.  With Opening Day happening in two weeks, I'll take a look at the roster battles and how the 25-man roster is shaping up.

NBC reported the following cuts:
Eight players were optioned to minor league camp, including a couple of guys who have big league experience. The optioned players are: Tyler Herb, Pierce Johnson, Chase Johnson, Reyes Moronta, Steven Okert, D.J. Snelten, Aramis Garcia and Miguel Gomez.  
The Giants also reassigned five players to minor league camp: Tyler Cyr, Jose Flores, Dereck Rodriguez, Madison Younginer and Alen Hanson.  
With the cuts, the Giants are down to 47 players in camp.


Friday, February 23, 2018

Your 2018 Giants: 6 of the SI Top 100

This should be a short one!

SI just published their SI 100 Top MLB players, and the Giants had two among 21-50 - Posey #29 and Bumgarner #36 - and four among 51-100 - Longoria #67, Crawford #79, Belt #82, Cueto #89.  The average team would have 3.33 players on the list, and the Giants had 6.

Unfortunately, the Dodgers had 3 of the Top 21 - Kershaw #7, Seager #17, Turner #21 - plus Bellinger #40, Jansen #62, and Taylor #64.

Together, the two NL West clubs had 12 out of 100.  The D-backs also had four on the list:  Goldschmidt #10; Greinke #24; Pollack #55; Ray #98.  The Rockies had 3:  Arenado #8; Blackmon #28; LeMahieu #86.

Other clubs with at least 6:
  • Astros (7):  Altuve #2; Correa #9; Verlander #19; Springer #27; Reddick #66; Bregman #69; Keuchel #71
  • Cubs (7):  Bryant #3; Rizzo #23; Darvish #53; Lester #70; Hendricks #72; Quintana #80; Contreras #91
  • Indians (6):  Kluber #11; Lindor #15; Ramirez #26; Carrasco #31; Encarncion #76; Miller #81
  • Nationals (7):  Scherzer #4; Harper #12; Strasburg #25; Rendon #33; Turner #38; Murphy #77; Gonzalez #84
  • Red Sox (6):  Betts #6; Sale #20; JD Martinez #61; Kimbrel #63; Bradley Jr #74; Price #94
  • Yankees (6):  Stanton #13; Judge #14; Sanchez #48; Gardner #56; Severino #59; Gregorius #83

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Your 2018 Giants: Sabes Back! But Not Lincecum...

Got some news to discuss on the Giants front (though I first had to post on Watson siging).

First off, Sabean is, as the title of Baggarly's exclusive interview conveys so nicely "Giants ownership directs Brian Sabean to reassume day-to-day responsibilities (subscription required)".  And that's the main message I would take from the interview.

The other is that Big Time Jimmy Tim Lincecum had a showcase the other day at the facility he's been working out at to get back into the majors.  As NBC Sports Bay Area reported, Jon Heyman reported that he pitched for 25-30 scouts, roughly 15-20 teams, throwing 90-93 MPH.  He averaged only 88.4 MPH for the Angels in 9 starts a couple of seasons ago.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Your 2018 Giants: Signs FA Tony Watson for $9M

The Giants have agreed to sign free agent Tony Watson, former teammate and buddy of closer Mark Melancon (he apparently tried hard to recruit him even when he was briefly with the Dodgers;  he pitched very well for them in the playoffs).  Two years at $9M, plus games played escalators that easily push the contract to $14M, but all in 2019, none in 2018, plus a player's option for 2020.

To stay under the CBT penalty, his agent, Scott Boras (of course, he was the sneak that cost us a Top 10 pick in Matt White, when he found a loophole that made him a free agent; I won't fully forgive him unless Bryce Harper signs with us next off-season :^) ), helped figure out a way for the Giants to sign him, given their interest in him once the news that Will Smith would miss at least the first month of the season in his recovery from TJS.  Apparently for the CBT, because it is a two year contract with a third year player option, for AAV purposes, it counts as 3 years, but because only $9M is guaranteed over the first two years of the contract, you divide the $9M by the 3 years.

Boras' financial accountant earned his salary with that move, and this might break the log jam of free agents, as other teams try to do similar contractual gymnastics to sign other free agents.


Saturday, February 10, 2018

Your 2018 Giants: State of the 2018 Giants

I thought I would take a hand at looking at the State of the San Francisco Giants.  This repeats some of what I've been saying, plus take a deeper look into what Fangraph's Depth Chart WAR projections mean and where it can go wrong, when you know how projections are done.  Also covers a lot of new stats I've run into reading my latest Bill James Annual.  And good timing, Giants FanFest was just held on Saturday, earlier today.

Saturday, February 03, 2018

Your 2018 Giants Draft Pick: Names to Dream on For Now

As we all know, the Giants have the #2 pick overall in the draft this season.  BA recently published a list of their Top 200 MLB Draft Prospects (top 30 available), so I thought it would be interesting to run through a handful or two of the names that are in play, at least right now, if we are to get a starting pitcher, which is probably our greatest need right now, prospect-wise for the the future.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Your 2018 Giants: Fantasizing on Fabian

Sandra Fabian has been showing up on Giants prospects discussions, but until the International Free Agents show up in full-season leagues, I have no idea how good they are, because I haven't figured out a good way to analyze their stats when they are down that low.  I haven't paid a lot of attention down that low.

But he has been considered a good prospect.  He was #8 among Giants prospects per Baseball America for 2017, and 9th in 2018.  He was also 9th for DrB in 2018, 7th for Wrenzie (after Reynolds was traded), 7th for MLB.com Pipeline and 5th for Baseball Prospectus (after trades).

Someone on Twitter brought to my attention that Fabian had a great second half, so I thought I would look into him further, now that I have data.  As long time readers are aware, I really like prospects who outperform the league significantly when very young for the league.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Your 2018 Giants: Pensive on Pence

I keep on seeing comments about trading away Pence to save salary, and I've mentioned that he wasn't so bad after his injury, and especially after he worked himself back into playing shape, as he struggled early on in his return.  So I thought I would dig more into it.  Of course, with the trades for McCutchen and Longoria, the need for Pence to return to his norms are lessened, though still obviously better if he did.

Friday, January 26, 2018

Your 2018 Giants: NRI to Spring Training

As reported by the media, the Giants invited a number of players (commonly called NRI or "non-roster invitees") to spring training.  If you subscribe, Melissa Lockard wrote a good account of the players at The Athletic (suggest you try anyway, the tweet that I got this link from noted the unlock symbol on it).  Here is the list of players (via Alex Pavlovic):
  • Tyler Cyr, RHP
  • Jose Flores, RHP
  • Dereck Rodriguez, RHP
  • Jose Valdez, RHP
  • Madison Younginer, RHP
  • Andrew Suarez, LHP
  • Hector Sanchez, C
  • Trevor Brown, C
  • Justin O'Connor
  • Orlando Calixte, SS
  • Chase D'Arnaud, IF
  • Alen Hanson, IF
  • Kyle Jensen, IF
  • Josh Rutledge, IF
  • Chris Shaw, LF/1B
  • Steven Duggar, CF
As I noted, I suggest you try the link for Melissa's article, she goes over their history very nicely.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Your 2018 Giants: Your Leaders in Non-Aggressive Hitting?

As you may or may not know, my mind tends to wander, and when I read things on the internet, one thing leads to another, generally.  I found through Twitter that The Hardball Times published its 2018 Annual online this year, and I guess the author of one of the chapters interested me so I clicked on his links to his prior articles, and I found one that he wrote on Hitter Aggressive Visualization.


Monday, January 22, 2018

Your 2018 Giants: Austin Jackson, Starting CF

Per many sources (here's CBS), the Giants have signed Austin Jackson to a two-year deal at $6M (which adds AAV of $3M, leaving the Giants maybe $1-2M under the CBT Penalty Threshold of $197M), with escalators that could push to $8.5M.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Your 2018 Giants: Arbitration Signings All Done (as usual)

Been meaning to write but then the McCutchen trade went through:  the Giants signed all five of their arbitration eligible players.  That is what the Giants have mostly done in the Sabean era, avoid arbitration.  Only he who must not be named has ever took the Giants to arbitration under Sabean (he who left, really blew everything there), though Lincecum and Belt were close to it twice, before a deal was struck before the actual meeting, the scheduled day.

Here are the contracts along with the estimates made by Matt Swartz:
  • Will Smith:  $2.5M ($2.5M; exact)
  • Cory Gearrin:  $1.675M ($1.6M;  above by $75K)
  • Sam Dyson:  $4.425M ($4.6M; below by $175K)
  • Joe Panik:  $3.45M ($3.5M;  below by $50K)
  • Hunter Strickland:  $1.55M ($1.7M; below by $150K)
Total was $13.6M, which was $300K lower than the estimates.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Giants Ways of Winning in the Playoffs

I ran across an article that captures some of what the Giants did to win 3 of 5.   I commented there and wanted to capture that here.  Below is my comment, plus additional stuff, as I am wont to do.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Your 2018 Giants: Heavy Lifting Done: McCutchen Trade

As reported all over Twitter (see my timeline for retweets of the details from Pavlovic, Baggarly, and others), the Giants traded Kyle Crick and Bryan McReynolds for Andrew McCutchen.  There was also some cash involved, but the amount has not yet been revealed, but probably soon.


Friday, January 12, 2018

NewPQS: PQS is Dead, Long Live PQS

Regular readers will know that my main long term research project has been the recording and analysis of the Giants pitching staff with regards to their PQS performance.  Well, BaseballHQ, the creator of the PQS methodology, announced in their 2017 book that they had revised the system in early 2016, changing their secret sauce, but I missed it, not reading the book until now.

Their new system, which they called NewPQS in their book, but will refer to as PQS going forward:
  • Innings Pitched:  > 6 IP
  • Hits Allowed:  H < IP
  • Strikeouts:  K >= 5
  • Command:  K/BB >= 3 (or if BB=0, K>=3)
  • Home runs:  HR=0
Subtle differences, most of which were done to bring a more standard distribution to the PQS scores than had morphed with the rise in strikeouts over the years since PQS was first devised.  Plus, even with the HR explosion, 86% of starts could fall under the HR=1 rule, hence that change.  Also, the automatic PQS-0 for any start under 5 IP has been removed.

What this does is make PQS DOM starts much harder to achieve.  It also gives a name to the mid-tier PQS (2-3) which I've been calling MID but they are now using the term DEC for "decent".  


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