Sunday, March 29, 2009

More Spring Cuts...and a couple of callups???

...And then there were 32...

With 3 games left in the Cactus league season, the Giants are having to make some tough decisions. Today they trimmed the roster down so that there are only 7 excess players in camp. A few positions are still up for grabs and wide open.

Buster Posey, John Bowker, & Osiris Matos were reassigned to minor league camp. While expected all along, it's still sad to see Posey go. He has been such a refreshing reminder of what is to come and outperformed everyone's expectation except maybe his own. Posey will head to Single A San Jose where he will work with a pitching staff full of exceptional talent including Madison Bumgarner & Tim Alderson. I find it hard to imagine that the Giants won't accelerate Posey this year. One indication the Giants are thinking about him as next years everyday catcher would be a promotion to AA Connecticut where he can learn under the tutelage of ex-catcher and current manager, Steve Decker.

Bowker more or less was caught in a numbers game as somany young players are excelling this spring, he needed to tear the cover off the ball to make opening day...He didn't... He still has been showing his power upside, but needs to work on his overall approach to hitting before making the jump for good. He should end up in AAA and have a chance to play everyday. Look for a midseason call up or two if there are a few injuries in the outfield or to Ishikawa.

Matos showed a lot of promise but was outperformed by a few not on the 40 man roster who deserve to make the staff, as well as the act the Giants only plan to carry 6 relievers. Matos should pitch in AA to start the season, but could find himself in AAA. Expect him to be the first right handed short reliever called up once someone inevitably gets hurt. Also, if the 11 man staff falters early, he could be the 12th man.

Another interesting move was the recalling of both Keiichi Yabu & Ramon Ortiz to compete for the long reliever spot out of the pen. Both had been horrible earlier this spring and were sent to minor league camp to work on their skills. Both had been pitching fairly well since the demotion so this call up may be in part on merit. I don't see either as a good option at this point nor do I think the Giants are actually intending on using them, but a second look never hurt anyone.

More over, this shows the Giants are probably failing in their attempts to acquire the long reliever the are after (for their price) via trade and are trying to show they have other options. They are also probably trying to push Justin Miller & Brandon Medders just a little more to see if they can muster another inning of stamina.

Expect one of two things in the next few days: A trade, or the announcement of a 7 man rotation to open the season. Ideally, the Giants would trade a few players for a quality long reliever & a minor leaguer or two. Look for Luis Perdomo, Merkin Valdez, Justin Miller, Brandon Medders, maybe Billy Sadler or Pat Misch, Eugenio Velez, & Juan Uribe to be a potential trading piece. Ideally the first four all make the team, but it is not likely unless they expand.

A 7 man bullpen makes sense to start out as it gives the starters a few extra weeks to build stamina and the team more time to find a trade partner. By late April, I fully expect to see a 6 man rotation. For now, it's hard to select who doesn't deserve to be part of the 6 out of this: Brian Wilson, Jeremy Affeldt, Bobby Howry, Merkin Valdez, Brandon Medders, Justin Miller, Sergio Romo, Alex Hinshaw, Luis Perdomo... and don't rule out Will Ohman in the next few days...

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