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 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.

Sunday, January 08, 2017

Gregor Blanco gone?

The SF Giants web site says he probaby won't be back.

Nobody mentioned by Chris Haft gets me excited. Here's the top of the story --

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants' recent outfield additions may have dashed Gregor Blanco's hopes of returning to the ballclub.
Blanco appeared in 649 games for the Giants from 2012-16 as a part-time starter and top outfield reserve. Though he's a free agent, he openly declared his loyalty to the Giants after last season ended. "This is my home," he said.
Giants general manager Bobby Evans declined to comment on Blanco's status. However, logic dictates that Blanco likely has been displaced, despite his extensive experience at all three outfield spots.
In left, the Giants appear poised to hold a Spring Training tryout featuring Jarrett Parker and Mac Williamson. Veterans Michael Morse and Justin Ruggiano, who recently agreed to Minor League deals, are expected to provide competition.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Welcome back, Michael Morse

MLB Trade Rumors reported that he's signed a minor league deal with the Orange and Black.

Here's most of the story. The author seems to believe there's not much chance he'll get playing time. He did drive in the very last run of 2014.... --

The Giants have struck minor-league deals with veteran slugger Michael Morse and outfielder Justin Ruggiano, according to Matt Eddy of Baseball America (via Twitter). Details of their arrangements are not yet known.
It’s particularly interesting that the Giants have brought back the 34-year-old Morse, whose last productive, full-season stint came with the San Francisco organization. Since wrapping up a 2014 season in which he slashed .279/.336/.475 and hit 16 home runs over 482 plate appearances, Morse has taken just 264 total trips to the plate.
After helping the Giants to a World Series title, Morse joined the Marlins on a two-year, $16MM pact that didn’t work out for either party. He bounced from the Dodgers (without suiting up) and then on to the Pirates in 2015, and did provide Pittsburgh with 45 games of useful offense — driven, out of his usual character, but a high-OBP/low-power blend (.275/.390/.391).
Morse didn’t last long with the Bucs in 2016, however, appearing in just six contests before being designated and then released. He never ended up signing with another organization over the rest of the season, leaving an open question as to whether he’d attempt a return.
It remains to be seen just how much of a chance Morse will have at cracking the roster. He’s listed by Eddy as a first baseman, which doesn’t seem to be a terribly likely route to playing time with the Giants, who utilize Brandon Belt there and may also use the position to rest catcher Buster Posey while keeping his bat in the lineup. But Morse could conceivably function as a bench bat and still see time in the outfield, where he is among the game’s worst fielders.
As things stand, San Francisco looks to be in search of a solution in left field, where Morse last played. Unproven but well-regarded youngsters Mac Williamson and Jarrett Parker could be first in line, with Gorkys Hernandez also presenting an option. The club has already added Kyle Blanks and Chris Marrero on minor-league pacts as well, suggesting that some camp competition may be in order.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Jimmy Rollins in the Orange and Black

The SF Giants site says he's signed a minor league deal 

Here's the story by Chris Haft, who's usually right  --

SAN FRANCISCO -- Hoping to add infield depth, the Giants agreed to a Minor League deal with Jimmy Rollins, the highly accomplished shortstop who's striving to extend his big league career to an 18th season.
Sources confirmed the Giants' accord with Rollins, who will compete with Kelby Tomlinson, Ehire Adrianza and Conor Gillaspie, among others, for a reserve infield spot. This could require some adjustment from Rollins, 38. Except for one-third of an inning at second base in 2002, Rollins has played exclusively shortstop -- which, on San Francisco's roster, belongs to two-time Gold Glove Award winner Brandon Crawford.
Since Rollins had not yet officially signed his contract, Giants general manager Bobby Evans declined to comment on the move.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

SF Giants luxury tax = $3.4 million

Associated Press has the story 

 The SF Giants have to pay $3.4 million in luxury tax for the 2016 season on a $181 million payroll; one of six teams to do so, according to AP's story. Typical of sloppy AP reporting, it does not say anything about how much will go to the teams with the lowest payrolls

Monday, December 12, 2016

Matt Reynolds Stays with the Orange and Black