Saturday, February 18, 2017

Romo and Casilla gone

The bullpen stalwarts became the gascanners last season. Here's a game to remind you from Sept. 17 -- Giants up 2-1 in the 9th. Romo gives up a single and Casilla blows the save.

It happened nine times last year, where the Giants had a lead in the 9th and lost the game. That's not including the final playoff game.

The bottom line -- wahtever edge these two once had is gone.

So here's hoping for more gascanning with the Dodgers for Romo and with Oakland with Casilla.







































































































Aaron Hill in the Orange and Black

The Giants are giving him a minor-league deal. 

 By Chris Haft / MLB.com | | February 17th, 2017

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Continuing to chant their mantra of depth and experience, the Giants signed free-agent infielder Aaron Hill to a Minor League deal with an invitation to big league spring camp, the club announced Friday.
The Giants' Spring Training infield contingent includes Jimmy Rollins, 38; Hill, 34; Gordon Beckham, 30; and Michael Morse, 34, who'll be tested at first base as well as left field. Each has spent at least eight years in the Majors.
The foursome will compete with returnees Kelby Tomlinson and Conor Gillaspie for backup spots.
"Each of these guys brings something different to the table," Giants general manager Bobby Evans said. "Each of them has a different level of experience or a different strength. Ultimately, we have to determine who the best fit is for the spots we have. Each guy has the potential to help us off the bench in different ways."
Hill, a 12-year veteran who has spent most of his career with Toronto and Arizona, felt wary of being caught on the outside looking in.
"I didn't want to sit around and wait for an injury," he said before participating in the Giants' initial full-squad workout Friday. "I wanted to go play and everything will take care of itself."
Hill will receive a $2 million base salary if he makes the Opening Day roster, an industry source confirmed. MLB Network insider Jon Heyman reported Hill can earn up to an additional $1.425 million in incentives and performance bonuses.
Like the other veterans the Giants have signed, Hill has an opt-out clause in his contract that will enable him to become a free agent late in Spring Training if he's not projected to make the Opening Day roster.
Hill played 125 games for the Brewers and Red Sox in 2016, recording a slash line of .262/.336/.378, with 10 home runs and 38 RBIs. Hill made the Red Sox's postseason roster but struck out in his only at-bat in their American League Division Series loss to the Indians. The right-handed batter owns a .267 career batting average with 161 home runs.
• Right fielder Hunter Pence participated in the entirety of Friday's initial full-squad workout but, due to a mild muscle pull in his right side, did not take batting practice against coaches as a precaution. Pence said he "soon" will be able to take regular batting practice.

David Hernandez in the Orange and Black


The big four are all gone -- Romo's a Dodger, Casilla is back in Oakland and Affeldt and Lopez retired.

David Hernandez is 31 and has been in the bigs for 7 seasons. Hope he has something left in the tank.

Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Adios, Javier Lopez

What a great Giant he was.

Traded for John Bowker and Joe Martinez in 2010. Maybe one of Brian Sabean's best deals. 

Here's the top of the story on the Giants web site --


SAN FRANCISCO -- Left-hander Javier Lopez, an integral part of the Giants' three World Series triumphs, announced his retirement on Wednesday.
Lopez, 39, was available in free agency but apparently did not prompt the same interest that led the Giants to offer him multiyear contracts -- twice -- to keep him in their bullpen. Lopez's ERA and WHIP rose from 1.60 and 0.890, respectively, in 2015 to 4.05 and 1.463 last season.
Lopez also had expressed interest in spending more time with his family. He and his wife, Renee, have a son and a daughter.
MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal was the first to report Lopez's retirement, which was confirmed by sources close to the pitcher.
Lopez lent respectability to the term "LOOGY," an acronym for "left-handed one-out guy." Typically summoned to face formidable left-handed batters, Lopez thrived by relying on a low release point, deception and late movement on his pitches. Left-handed batters mustered a .202 average against him during his career.

Lopez particularly excelled after joining the Giants in a 2010 Trade Deadline deal. He recorded a 2.47 ERA during his tenure with San Francisco, compared with 4.37 for the other four teams that employed him during a Major League career that spanned 14 years. Lopez pitched for four World Series winners, bolstering San Francisco's championship bullpens in 2010, 2012 and 2014 after participating with Boston's victorious 2007 squad.
Right-hander Ryan Vogelsong heaped praise upon his former teammate.
"He was always a team guy," said Vogelsong, who recently signed with Minnesota. "Everything about our team and his ability to help everybody else and try to make everyone else better seemed like it trumped what he was doing. Everybody wants to do their thing and be good -- I know he did, too -- but you would have never known by the way he interacted with and rooted for his teammates and tried to make people better.
"The reason the teams won that he was on was because that's what they were all about. And I think he's probably one of the best factors of why those teams took on those characteristics."
A graduate of the University of Virginia with a degree in psychology, Lopez logged 839 appearances, tied with Arthur Rhodes for 11th all-time among left-handed relievers.
He averaged 68 appearances per year in his six Giants seasons, receiving frequent calls from manager Bruce Bochy, and the results explain Bochy's trust. Here's a sampling of how top left-handed batters fared against Lopez:
Carlos Gonzalez, .160 (4-for-25) Chase Utley, .043 (1-for-23)
Bobby Abreu, .095 (2-for-21)
Jay Bruce, .100 (2-for-20) Adrian Gonzalez, .211 (4-for-19) Ryan Howard, .167 (3-for-18) Joey Votto, .154 (2-for-13) Robinson Cano, .100 (1-for-10)
Todd Helton, .100 (1-for-10)

Said Vogelsong: "Every time I turned around, he was facing Adrian Gonzalez or Carlos Gonzalez -- the best left-handed hitter in [the opponent's] lineup when we're winning the ballgame, sometimes three nights in a row. That's his only guy. Some people say, well, that's the easiest job in the world, because he had to get only one guy out. But nine times out of 10, the guy he had to get out was the best left-handed hitter in their lineup and the game was on the line. So it wasn't the easiest job. The success-to-failure rate was probably the slimmest and hardest one of any job you could have of any pitcher in the big leagues. And he nailed it for a long, long time."

Tuesday, February 07, 2017

Adios, Sergio Romo

Romo signed a $3 mil deal with the dodgers.

Here's hoping he like Brian Wilson was in 2014 (he SUCKED and then retired).

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Adios to Joe Nathan

CSN Bay Area is reporting that he's gone to the Nats. 

He pitched 3 games with the Cubs and seven with the Giants last season in his second go-round with the Orange and Black.

Still hard to believe -- The Giants traded Joe, Francisco Liriano and Boof Bonsor in 2003 for no-goodnick AJ Pierzitsky.

Joe finished fourth the the 2004 Cy Young voting as a Twin. Maybe Brian Sabean's worst trade, which is saying something.

Monday, January 23, 2017

The homerun suppressor -- AT&T

Fangraphs has a fascinating story about how AT&T Park suppresses home runs. No wonder the Giants were able to get Mark Melancon and Johnny Cueto to sign; no such like on home run hitters, though 

Here's part --

 Over the past four years, there have been 446 home runs hit in Giants home games. That ranks 29th out of 30. At the same time — or, I guess, not exactly at the same time — there have been 650 home runs hit in Giants road games. That ranks 13th out of 30.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Not much power for the Orange and Black

The Giants don't have much power -- only 130 HRs in 2016, third-lowest in the MLB. That's ahead only of the Braves (122) and Marlins (128). Grant Bisbee at McCovey Chronicles points out that there were 111 players who hit at least 20 HRs last year (the most ever) and not one was a Giant.

Here's the top --

 

Last season, 111 different players hit 20 home runs or more. If that seems like a lot, it’s because that’s the most 20-homer players in any season in baseball history. Not even in the steroid-fueled ‘90s, when everyone was supposed to be getting fat against expansion pitching, did more players get to 20 homers or more. In just 2014, there were only 57 players who passed that mark, so you can appreciate how special this last rabbit-ball season was. It boggles the mind. One hundred and eleven players hit 20 homers or more. That’s 45 percent of all players who got more than 300 at-bats. Man.
The San Francisco Giants had exactly zero of them.
There are some good reasons for this, of course. The ballpark, for one. Also, the Giants play in AT&T Park, which suppresses home runs. Then there’s the part where it’s hard to hit home runs in the ballpark where the Giants play 81 games every season. This is called “context,” and it matters. Don’t forget about the time missed by Hunter Pence and Brandon Belt, too. Also, the ballpark.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Kontos, Nunez, Smith signed

The Giants decided against going to arbitration with George Kontos, Eduardo Nunez and Will Smith. Two decent arms for the pen and a pretty good third baseman.

Here's the mlb.com story --

The Giants completed salary-arbitration season without a fuss Friday by agreeing to terms with left-hander Will Smith, right-hander George Kontos and infielder Eduardo Nunez on one-year contracts.
The team thus avoided potentially adversarial arbitration hearings with all six of their players eligible for the process. Third baseman Conor Gillaspie, infielder Ehire Adrianza and right-hander Cory Gearrin made one-year deals with the Giants earlier this offseason.
Smith, Kontos and Nunez were among numerous Major Leaguers who finalized agreements with their respective clubs on Friday, when clubs were due to exchange one-year proposals with arbitration-eligible players. This deadline typically hastens deal-making.
"I think that we worked long and hard on this and we were able to find common ground with all the different players involved," Giants general manager Bobby Evans said.
According to reports, Nunez earned a raise to $4.2 million from $1.475 million, while MLB Network Insider Jon Heyman reported that Smith will get $2.5 million, up from $1.475 million last year. Industry sources said Kontos will receive $1.75 million, up from $1.15 million last season.

Farewell to Santiago Casilla

M.C. O'Connor at Raising (Matt) Cain has a good post -- 

 Santiago Casilla pitched brilliantly for the San Francisco Giants for seven years and was a key part of a dominant bullpen that helped nail down three World Series titles. Check out the bWAR totals (2010-2016): 1.7, 1.4, 0.5, 1.1, 2.0, 1.1, 0.8. Not bad for a guy who pitched less than 65 innings per season. And his post-season work was also excellent: 19-2/3 IP, 15 H, 20 K, 5 BB, only three runs allowed in 25 appearances. We are left with the bitter taste of last season's failures, but closing out wins was a team-wide problem, much of it due to the end of the Core Four. Jeremy Affeldt retired and neither Sergio Romo nor Javier Lopez could conjure up the old magic in 2016.
Casilla returns to his original team, the Oakland A's, on a two-year deal. He's still an effective pitcher and I expect he'll contribute positive value to that club. But the Giants had to move on. All the bullpen roles are up for grabs (other than closer!) and we will finally get to see if the young arms can deliver. Even if Lopez and/or Romo return there's a good chance neither will play as big of a role as they once did. It's a "whole new ballgame" for the Giants relief corps. Thanks for everything, Santiago. Wear those rings proudly, you earned them.

In other news, the Giants avoid arbitration with Conor Gillaspie and sign him to a one-year deal for $1.4M. I think he'll be a useful role player in 2017. It's nice to have a veteran left-handed bat who can play the hot corner. And none of us will forget his post-season heroics!

Pitchers and catchers report in 32 days.