Friday, February 04, 2011

Here we go again

The Giants damn near lost the pennant in 2010, thanks to the stubbornness of the veteran-loving front office in refusing to bring up Buster Posey until May 29 -- and only then because Bengie Molina was lousy beyond belief.

Of course, there's nothing like winning World Series to make your head swell, so now we are treated to yet another proclamation by Brian Sabean that Brandon Belt will start the season in Triple A, according to Chris Haft at mlb.com. Here we have a world-class pitching staff and a very ordinary offense that could be helped measurably by Belt. What's so hard to figure out here?

3 Comments:

Blogger obsessivegiantscompulsive said...

What is hard to figure out is why fans think they know when a prospect is ready better than the baseball team.

For a really close example, Giants fans thought that Posey was ready to start the season with the Giants in 2010. But he struggled to dominate AAA hitting that April, his MLE was in the low 700 while Molina had a 1000 OPS and leading the offense.

Posey then got hot for a week or two in May, cooled for a week before getting hot again and then brought up.

He was hot initially, but then struggled to hit for three weeks in the majors, dropping to .695 OPS before figuring it out again. He wasn't fully locked in until July.

I don't see how anybody looking at that full detail could believe that Posey was fully ready with the bat when he joined the Giants, yet fans still persist in thinking that he was being held back. The Giants brought him up because they were desperate for some offense, not because they thought he was ready.

For a better example of the fans not really being as good as they think, Matt Weiters was widely viewed as being held back when he was finally brought up, yet he was totally lost with the bat all that season until 2 weeks were left when he got hot, giving hope to the next season, but he again was lost offensively for the most part in 2010. Luckily the Orioles held back, they would be even more screwed if they had started the 2009 season with Weiters up.

I think the Giants are being properly cautious with the ego of the prospect, they are going to let him compete for the job and show what he can do, but don't put the public pressure on him as a can't miss prospect, for if he does miss, then that could hurt his confidence.

In addition, people forget that just a year ago, nobody knew who Brandon Belt because nobody thought that he had the abilities to do all this.

Baseball history is littered with prospects who have a great season, out of the blue, and then return back into the blue when they regress back to their prior performance levels. I much better prefer the Giants to take the cautious route with Belt, let him prove that he can hit with the big boys before bringing him up.

And people keep on thinking the Giants nearly lost it but the main point is that they didn't. Also, if Posey was in there stinking it up in April, instead of Molina hitting great, we probably would have lost it, people don't realize that. Same with Bumgarner, he was no where ready to start the season, had he started in SF, he would have been struggling instead of focusing on getting his mechanics fixed up.

The thing is that the Giants should have won going away. The Padres were the ones lucky to almost take one away from the Giants. Their pitchers pitched WAAAY above their heads in the first half of the season. They were nearer their true talent level in the second half.

Plus, given the team stats in H2H games, the Giants should not have lost that many to the Padres either, so the Padres were lucky twice over with that. In terms of RS/RA, the Giants should have won 2 more games than they did and been 8-10 for the season and finish 6 games ahead of the Padres. And given how well the Giants played against all other teams, they should have been at least equal, 9-9, which would have made it 8 games ahead they would have been.

So people got it backwards, the Padres were the ones lucky to be there, not the Giants.

Plus, ignoring all that SD unluckiness, don't forget that if the dumb ump didn't incorrectly call out Ishikawa in the Mets game, the Giants would have won that game and would have already wrapped up the NL West division title before the weekend series.

It was bad luck that brought the Giants down to the Padres level, not that they had good luck to beat the Padres.

10:25 AM  
Blogger Big D said...

Thanks very much for your thoughtful response, Martin. We are going to have to agree to disagree on this issue. I strongly believe that front offices are far too cautious about bringing up young players who can perform above replacement level. Putting aside the Giants need for more offense last year, the sooner a player learns how to play in the MLB, the better.

7:10 PM  
Blogger Big D said...

And yes, the Ishikawa call was one of the worst ever.

7:11 PM  

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