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.

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.