Tuesday, February 19, 2013

5 Things to Watch in Spring Training

All of the articles and blog posts I have seen covering this subject so far seem to cover the same stuff: Will Tim Lincecum bounce back, how will Pablo's weight affect him, and can Hunter Pence Hit like he did in 2011?  Now these are definite things to watch out for, especially considering how important these players are to the team's success, but there are definitely some other important things to watch this Spring that are being slightly overlooked:

  1. Brandon Belt- Belt could take a huge step forward this spring if he can add power and cut down strikeouts.  Brian Sabean said that he feels Belt could be a Gold Glove winner at first base, and that his power will come this season.  It'll be interesting to watch these things during spring
  2. Chris Heston- Heston put up incredible numbers at Double-A in 2012, leading the league in ERA.  With this being his first time in Spring Training, it will be his first opportunity to show how much of his minor league success will translate into success against tougher competition.  
  3. Heath Hembree- With Hembree coming back from a disappointing 2012 season, this could be his chance to show what he can do.  He battled injuries last season, so this could be a great opportunity to show that he is healthy and ready to contribute on a championship team.  
  4. Barry Zito- Barry Zito has successfully become a hero in the eyes of many Giants fans.  He had many memorable outings last season, and without him, there is a pretty good chance that we wouldn't have won the World Series, or even gotten there.  Spring Training will be his opportunity to show that he can do that again.  
  5. Brett Bochy- Although his chances of getting on the Giants out of spring training are low, this spring will be his chance to show what he's got.  With him being at least at Triple-A next season, his performance this Spring will be crucial, because he will want to be sure to make a lasting impression.  

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

3 reasons that the Giants could be better in 2013

With pitchers and catchers reporting in just two weeks, the Giants are likely done with most of their big offseason moves, meaning that they will pretty much have the same roster as last season.  Although it looks like the Giants haven't improved, there are three major factors that will drastically improve the team next season.

1. Brandon Crawford- There is a good chance that Crawford will never really be an above average hitter, but you can at least expect to see steady improvement.  I would expect to see a slight rise in both doubles and homeruns, as well as better walk rate.  After the Allstar break, Brandon went on to hit .260 with 3 hr in 181 at bats.  Although these are not stellar numbers, when you consider he does have stellar defense, and is only expected to be and 8 spot hitter, he will be much more productive than last year, and should be a great option at short stop

2. Brandon Belt- After being a very highly thought of prospect, Brandon fell off slightly in his first season, and followed that with a much improved sophomore season.  The extra experience, plus the regularity of being the everyday first baseman should be able to bump his numbers some more.  After the Allstar break, he hit .293 with a very good .362 OBP, sadly with only 3 homeruns.  I would expect a very large power increase, as well as a much more consistent approach that will enable him to be a very solid middle of the lineup guy next season.  Couple that with his great defense, and you have a very productive MLB starter.

3. Tim Lincecum- Tim Lincecum should be dramatically improved over last season.  He has been working very hard to put on a little weight, and increase arm strength.  I would anticipate him adding some speed on his fastball and improving his mechanics all around, which he was likely not able to do in the middle of a season.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Poll discussion

So for, the poll on the right is heavily in favor of Madison Bumgarner. If you disagree, or you want to discuss your reasoning, start right here!  Comment with your opinions

A Few Giants that Could Really Benefit from the WBC

If you have checked the WBC rosters, then you may have noticed how many Giants will be participating in the tournament.  Some of the more notables are Pablo Sandoval, Marco Scutaro, Ryan Vogelsong, Jeremy Affeldt, Angel Pagan, Santiago Casilla, Javier Lopez, Jose Mijares, and Sergio Romo.  Here are a list of a few Giants who could really benefit from this and why:

  1. Gary Brown, Roger Kieschnick, Francisco Peguero, and Javier Herrera- With the possibility of Angel Pagan showing up to spring training three weeks after it starts, these young players now have a golden opportunity to get extended looks in the outfield, and impress a few people in the front office.  they will obviously have to make the most of their opportunity, but this should open up a few more starts for them, especially during split squad games.  
  2. Heath Hembree, Dan Runzler, and Brett Bochy-  All of the people coming to spring training off of invitations will have been given the opportunity to compete for a spot in the bullpen no matter who was there.  Now, with tons of holes in the bullpen in the early weeks of spring, these three guys should probably get enough time to impress someone.  
  3. Nick Noonan and Conor Gillaspie-  These two guys will likely receive quite a few starts with Scutaro and Sandoval gone.  I don't see any openings on the big league team any time soon for Gillaspie, so it may benefit him if he can impress another team and get traded.  Nick Noonan is still young and would benefit from the expirience
Overall, the Giants should get some great minor league players getting extended looks early in spring.  Don't forget to comment with opinions and things I may have missed!

How to get your topic discussed on the website

If you have a question about the Giants, or baseball in general, and you would like to see it discussed on the website, then email me (email is at the top of the page under the title), and follow me on twitter (link on the right).  Don't forget to comment with your opinions and vote on the poll on the right!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

New poll

I have posted a poll on the right hand side of the page.  Be sure to vote and check back for more!

The WBC Roster

Joe Torres' Team USA roster for the World Baseball Classic was just announced this morning on MLB network and MLB.com.  The other rosters are set to be announced later this afternoon.  Here's the roster:

Joe Mauer C/1B
J.P. Arencibia C
Jonathan Lucroy C
Mark Teixeira 1B
Brandon Phillips 2B
Jimmy Rollins SS
David Wright 3B
Ben Zobrist UT
Willie Bloomquist UT

Ryan Braun OF
Adam Jones OF
Giancarlo Stanton OF
Shane Victorino OF

Left Handed Pitching:
Jeremy Affeldt
Tim Collins
Derek Holland
Glen Perkins

Right Handed Pitching:
Heath Bell
Mitchell Boggs
Steve Cishek
R.A. Dickey
Luke Gregerson
Craig Kimbrel
Kris Medlen
Chris Perez
Vinnie Pestano
Ryan Vogelsong

This is going to be a fun team to watch.  Great hitters,Great Defense, and Great pitching.  I'll be especially excited to watch the tournament this year.  This will be a great thing for baseball, as it could hopefully get people around the country to be bigger baseball fans, and ultimately create a larger global fan base, while also getting prospects from new areas of the world in the MLB.  

For all of the Giants fans out there, this is also a good thing for the team going into spring.   With Affeldt and Vogelsong being seasoned veterans, they already know what they need to do to get ready for a new season.  I think it will be good for them to be pitching meaningful innings, AND it will also open up a rotation spot, possibly for a prospect to get some good innings in in the spring.  It also will open up a bullpen spot for all of the people competing for a spot next year, which we will have a lot of them.  

All in all, this is great for baseball, and I will be really excited to see how this team does, and how the tournament grows.