Monday, March 11, 2019

Los Gigantes!

The Giants say they want to be more active in the international market

Nice story by mlb.com's Maria Guardado:

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- In 2010, the Giants signed Reyes Moronta as an international free agent out of the Dominican Republic for $15,000. It was a modest investment in a teenage pitcher that has already paid off in a big way for the Giants.
Moronta debuted with the Giants in 2017 and became a key cog in the bullpen last year, posting a 2.49 ERA over 69 appearances. With an upper-90s fastball, sweeping slider and improving changeup, he has the potential to become the club's closer of the future.
"I had been talking to other teams like Kansas City and the Chicago Cubs, but the Giants had never seen me," Moronta said in Spanish. "Once they saw me, they signed me that same day. I never felt bad about the bonus they gave me. I felt grateful because it was an opportunity, and thank God, I'm here now."


But Moronta has been one of the Giants' rare success stories on the international market in recent years. According to research from Grant Brisbee of The Athletic, Moronta is one of only four homegrown international pitchers to appear for the Giants since 2000. The others? Right-handers Osiris Matos and Waldis Joaquin and third baseman Pablo Sandoval, who pitched one inning of relief in a blowout loss against the Dodgers last April.
Sandoval, who signed with the Giants out of Venezuela in 2003, also has the distinction of being the club's last homegrown international All-Star.
The Giants' recent struggles to mine the international market for impact talent is especially surprising given their rich history of developing Latin American icons like Juan Marichal, Ozzie Virgil and the Alou brothers -- Felipe, Matty and Jesus.
"I was surprised by it," president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi said. "It’s interesting because it wouldn't match your perception. It feels like there's always a Moronta or someone like a Moronta in the 'pen. I guess you don't always think about whether that was a homegrown player or not. But it's certainly an area we'd like to be better in."

Wednesday, March 06, 2019

Shark sharp

Jeff Samardzija looked decent against the Dodgers. He was OK in 2017 and too banged up to do much last year

Here's Maria Guardado of mlb.com

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- After an offseason of rehabbing, Giants right-hander Jeff Samardzija has enjoyed a smooth start to the spring, clearing every hurdle he’s faced while working his way back from the nagging shoulder injury that wrecked his 2018 campaign.
The latest encouraging milestone came Monday, when the 34-year-old veteran threw three scoreless innings in the Giants’ 8-2 loss to the Dodgers at Scottsdale Stadium.
Facing a Dodgers lineup stacked with regulars, Samardzija yielded just one hit while walking two and striking out four in his second Cactus League outing. He consistently hit 94 mph and said he was pleased with the movement of his fastball and cutter.

Monday, March 04, 2019

Bumgarner sharp

After a lousy couple of days -- Bryce Harper signs with Philly and Larry Baer tussles with his wife -- there's decent news on the Giants web site --

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Giants ace left-hander Madison Bumgarner rebounded from a rough Cactus League debut and delivered a solid performance against the Reds in the Giants’ 5-3 win over the Reds at Scottsdale Stadium on Friday night, striking out five and giving up one run over three innings.
Bumgarner yielded a leadoff home run to Jesse Winker to open the game, but he settled in and gave up only two singles over the rest of his outing. It was a step forward from his first exhibition start against the Cubs on Sunday, when he surrendered six runs on five hits over one-plus inning.

Monday, February 18, 2019

Bochy retiring

Bruce Bochy is retiring at the end of this season -- 5 years after winning his third World Series. He's one of 10 managers to get three Series titles. The other nine are in the Hall of Fame

I'm going to miss Bruce Bochy. My favorite game of Bochy managing came on Oct. 23, 2010 -- Game 6 of the MLCS at Philadelphia. In the bottom of the 3rd with the score 2-2, Jonathan Sanchez walks Polanco and hits Cheating Chase Utley and gets replaced by Affeldt for 2 innings, 2 by Lopez, 2 by Madbum, i/3 by Timmy and the final 5 outs by Wilson. Phils do not score, Giants win and go to the Series. 

Sunday, February 10, 2019

'We're giving it a shot" -- Larry Baer on Bryce Harper

The Giants are making a run at Bryce Harper, a year after having one of the worst outfields in the MLB.

Here is the top of Maria Guardado's story for mlb.com ---

SAN FRANCISCO -- Twenty-seven years after signing Barry Bonds to a then-record free-agent contract, the Giants are in the market for yet another superstar outfielder.
San Francisco's interest in Bryce Harper remained a prominent topic of conversation during Saturday's FanFest at Oracle Park, with CEO Larry Baer weighing in on the potential franchise-altering benefits of landing a marquee player.
"The thing that I'm very proud of with the Giants -- and it's not always successful, like it was in '92 with Barry -- we want to be in the deal flow, so to speak," Baer said during a Q&A session under a tent in Seals Plaza. "We want to be able to pursue players to bring championships back to the Giants' fans. Bryce Harper is an amazing player. It's very hard, and these are competitions. I can't handicap it. I don't know where we are, but we're giving it a shot, and that's all we can do."
Baer, president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi and manager Bruce Bochy traveled to Las Vegas for a face-to-face meeting with Harper on Monday. Baer said the meeting lasted four hours, far longer than both sides had initially anticipated.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

RIP Peter Magowan

He was the man who prevented the San Francisco Giants from becoming the Tampa Giants in 1993. And he was instrumental in getting the new ballpark -- now called Oracle Park -- opened in 2000.

This story on the team's official site indicates that he had a lot of affection for the role.

Monday, January 21, 2019

Joey Bart in the Orange and Black

MLB.com reports that the Giants' Joey Bart is the top catching prospect in baseball with potential power of 25 HRs a year.

Here's their recap --

The No. 2 overall pick in last June's Draft, Bart not only has a strong college power resume, with double-digit home runs as a sophomore and a junior, but he showed that it would translate immediately in the pro game when he hit 13 home runs in just 45 Northwest League games during his pro debut. He has the potential to hit at least 25 homers annually.