Monday, February 04, 2013

Sports Illustrated gives the Giants a "C"

Jay Jaffe isn't overly impressed with the Giants' offseason. He likes the Pagan signing and the lack of a deal for Brian Wilson and he's not a fan of  Hector Sanchez -- 


Unfinished business: Backing Buster Bouncing back from a season-ending ankle injury, Posey enjoyed a remarkable season in 2012, hitting .336/.408/.549 with 24 homers in 610 PA, good enough not only for a batting title but NL MVP honors. Bochy was able to get the most out of him by giving him 29 starts at first base, which kept his bat in the lineup but cost them the services of Belt and usually subjected the team to the presence of Sanchez, who hit .280/.295/.390 with an appalling 52/5 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 227 PA. Bochy started him batting fourth, fifth or sixth in 27 of his 49 starts, creating a significant drag on the offense, and it’s not as though his defense was much to write home about, either. In addition to pitch-framing tendencies that left much to be desired, he nabbed just 23 percent of opposing base stealers (the league average was 27 percent) and ranked fourth in the majors in missed pitches (wild pitches plus passed balls) per nine innings among all catchers with at least 400 innings behind the plate at 0.55. By comparison, Posey nailed 30 percent of runners and missed just 0.26 pitches per nine.
In addition to his major league experience, the 23-year-old Sanchez had just 50 games under his belt at Double-A and Triple-A. If the Giants are serious about developing him as a longer-term alternative to Posey, he’d be better off going back to Triple-A to work on his approach at the plate and behind it on a regular basis while a more experienced catcher wiles away time on the bench waiting for Posey’s days off. At this point, that would require Sabean to make a deal given how picked over the free agent ranks are, which isn’t to say that it should be terribly difficult to do so.
Preliminary grade: C. The Giants certainly haven’t done anything radical this offseason. The money they’ve spent has been to keep together a team that just won a world championship, and while that generally doesn’t yield high dividends — no team has repeated as World Series winners since then 1998-2000 Yankees — the largest risks they took aren’t exorbitant ones. They bypassed the easy temptation of overpaying the high-profile Wilson, didn’t overcommit to Pence and don’t have any glaring weaknesses as spring training nears. Whether that will be enough to keep up with the overhauled Dodgers and Diamondbacks remains to be seen.

3 Comments:

Blogger pygalgia said...

Wow, that's harsh on Sanchez. What do you want from a 23 yo back up catcher? Hector filled his role just fine, and I expect that he'll be perfectly acceptable in the coming season. You really can't expect the bench to be filled with stars...

6:31 PM  
Blogger pygalgia said...

Dear Mr. Jaffe: Please include a list of all the back up catchers who are better and more affordable than Hector. Because anyone I see who fit that is currently called a "starting catcher". Yeah, he's not great, but he is a solid 23 yo bench player. What more do you want?

6:55 PM  
Blogger Big D said...

Thanks for writing Phygalgia. I agree that the assessmant of Hector seemed harsh. It does seem like a 23-year-old has some real potential upside in the next season

11:13 PM  

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