Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Youth Movement Over after an unsuccessful 26 days...

Manny Burriss won the job today!!!!!!!!

Kevin Frandsen was cut today????????????????

WHAT THE FUCK!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!

Alright, so the Giants (namely Bruce Bochy & Brian Sabean) announced a few roster moves today and allowed some insight into their thinking as to the final roster shape... ... ...and in my wildest dreams, I didn't think this was possible. I thought...I mean I bought into...what i'm trying to say...


OK, i'll try to calm down a little and back up...

Kevin Frandsen & Jesus Guzman got their pink slip today, that is both are heading to AAA Fresno. Brandon Medders & Justin Miller were told today, thanks for your hard work, but even though we are likely to keep 12 pitchers instead of 11, you both aren't likely to be one of them...

Sooooo, the team's best hitter (Guzman-.412/.444/.922/1.366, 9 2B, 5 HR, 11 R, 15 RBI) didn't do well enough to make the team. Fan favorite and hardest competitor, who only suffered last year because of injury, hasn't been a minor leaguer since mid 2006 (Frandsen- .274/.333/.384/.717, 5 2B, 1 HR, 11 R, 6 RBI, incredibly solid defense with only 1 error) wasn't enough to stick as a backup, considering he can play all infield positions, and the outfield. (Hell, I bet he can catch too). So, if you have a minor league option and aren't starting, you can't stay up here huh?

How about pitching better than every other reliever in camp not named Brian Wilson? Does 12.3 innings, a 1.46 ERA, 3-1 record with 1 save, 2.5/1 K/BB ratio, 1.05 Whip, & 7.30 K/9 sound like a good enough spring to make the staff??? Not for Medders, he should have been better...Bam, go to Fresno...

No, Medders wasn't nearly good enough for you??? Well, how does this sound? In 7 games... 9 innings, give up 4 hits, NO BB's to 5 K's, 0.00 ERA... just in case you missed it, a 0.00 ERA, 0.44 Whip, & .129 OBA. Not that it's perfect or anything, I mean, I'm sure he could have thrown a few less pitches along the way. No, I think the Giants must have had better options since this wasn't good enough to get Miller into the rotation.

So, the Giants must have one hell of a team to pass on these young guys who fit perfect into A) the biggest offensive need. B) A Young and Strong clubhouse leader to lead the Giants through this Youth movement. C) Flexible movement from the bench. D) An Improved bullpen E) AN IMPROVED BULLPEN

Wait, I was just running down the list of what's left in camp and I'm a bit confused. Uribe & Aurilia are both going to make the team? What do we need two veteran utility IF's for? Velez & Torres are both going to make the team? What do we need two speedy type, pinch runner, 5th OF types? For that matter, what do we need 6 OF's for? When was the last time a team carried 6 OF's? None of this makes sense...

Obviously, right now, the Giants team should look like this: Lincecum, Johnson, Cain, Zito, Sanchez...Wilson, Howry, Affeldt, Miller, Medders, Valdez, Perdomo... Rowand, Lewis, Winn, Ishikawa, Burriss, Renteria, Sandoval, Molina... Frandsen, Torres, Guzman, Schierholtz, Holm...

But balancing roster spots is tough business. Still, it's hard to imagine that 5 of these players aren't going to be there. How does this happen? It's called Brian Sabean... After an offseason full of what I thought were good moves to put the Giants in the best possible position this spring, he then reverts back to his old self at the moment of truth. Where is the Youth Movement now?

It's not as if the youth hasn't done EVERYTHING asked of it this spring, or last season as well for that matter. Sabean still decides to go with the veteran presence. Bochy too!!! Uribe or Aurilia I could see, both played well...but both of them? NO WAY. One is on the downside of his career and the other's upside ended 4 years ago, at 26 years old.

I can only see starting off the year this way under the pretense of inevitable trades...but how likely is that. The FA market was flooded today with IF & OF alike. With guys like Sheffield, Jenkins, McPherson, Lamb, & Pena all available, many teams are going to be a little less likely to be dealt. Given the fact that many Giants had great springs, the likelihood is still there for a trade, but I wouldn't hold out hope. Velez, Uribe, & Aurilia all are probably on the block.

As for the others, it is true that everyday playing time is good for them, especially Guzman learning a new position, but there is something to be said for earning a job even if it is on the bench...

...As for the off season, how's that working out now? Renteria is hitting shitty...and blocking Frandsen....


allfrank said...

Your comments are silly and way off base. As to your apoplexia over the lost "youth movement," our starting 8 happens to feature oldsters Ishikawa, Burris, Sandoval, and Lewis. Even older players on the bench include Velez, Schierholtz, and Torres. The pitching staff (which is extremely young) includes rule 5 product Perdomo, and Hinshaw (presumably). Miller and Medders would both force the Giants to cut someone from the 40 man roster. Who do you propose to lose?
As far as the 24th and 25th guys on the roster, are you really so astute that you can go completely psychotic because Sabean didn't pick your favorites? I might be persuaded if you spent 5 weeks in Az watching these players.
I think these decisions provide the following benefits:
1) Frandsen plays every day. (I grant Kevin had a good Spring. While I was rooting for him, he clearly got beat out0
2) Hom gets regular ABs in AAA until needed (as opposed to 2 ABs as part of the 25 man roster)
3) Boche has a strong and deep bench:
a) He has 5 good pinch hitters
b) He has 1 very good and 1 good IF defensive players and 1 very good and 1 good OF
c) He has 2 potential basestealers
d) Thus, unlike most other teams, he has depth and flexibility and can substitute early and often, whcih I think is an advantage in April.
You seem to credit the great Springs of Miller, Medders, and Frandsen but ignore the great Springs of Velez and Torres. I understand there is room to question, room to disagree, but to say the Giants are stupid is silly, to say they have abandoned the youth movement just ignores the make up of the roster (especially if compared to year's past, especially last year.)

Jim Ellis said...

Allfrank- Thank you for your comment by the way as I am still new to this. I definitely wrote this while upset. It's kinda like shopping when you're hungry, not the best idea. I try to relay my true intentions behind my thoughts as best I can but I know things get lost in translation. I'll try to be better about relaying the sarcasm/removing my mood from the writing. I like your thoughts on the subject but disagree with you on a few things,probably because I didn't properly relay my impressions the first time.

first off, i'm not upset because my favorites didn't make it...actually, Burriss would be my favorite so i'm pretty happy about that one...i'm upset because they could have fielded a better team and after all the work put in this offseason, Bochy and Sabean reverted to their old selves when time came to make a roster decision, that is go with the veteran.

I can understand one, but not both, of Uribe/Aurilia. They is much to be said about the value a veteran can bring to a bench. But these two are virtually the same player...

Aurilia can play 1B/3B while Uribe 2B/SS/3B. I'd be willing to bet if you gave Uribe a first basemans glove, he would be adequate to fill in. Neither can play the OF, neither can catch...and neither is considered a very good defender at any position anymore.

From 2005-2007, Uribe played only SS. His fielding% compared to that ofthe league average those years were .977-.972, .977-.970, & .976-.970. His Range factor per game was a bit better those three years, compared to the league average...4.60-4.17, 4.47-4.02, & 4.59-3.97. Those numbers support he was better than average to maybe good, but they drop significantly when you look at 2008 and playing other positions.

In 2008, Uribe only played in 15 total innings at SS, so that isn't really a factor. In 57 games at 3B, he had a .960 fielding % compared to the league average of .958 and a range factor per game of 2.91 compared to 2.37, decent numbers across the boards. At 2B, he posted an amazing fielding % of .996 compared to the league average of .987 but his range factor per game was below league average at 4.38 compared to 4.51. His 1 error in 362 innings is nice, but his range factors in every category are below average, suggesting he just can't get to the ball from that side for whatever reason.

I'm just not a fan of Uribe, never have been. The Giants have been linked to him for years, and I've always thought it a mistake. When they signed him this year, I thought it was the writing on the wall for Burriss...never did I suspect Frandsen would actually get cut because of him.

The reason I bring all this up is this. He is on the team to primarily backup Sandoval, Renteria,& Burriss, except Burriss can back up Renteria & Aurilia can back up Sandoval. Kevin Frandsen can also backup all four IF positions as well as play OF, and is no worse defensively at any of them except SS than Uribe is. And then there is Velez. I don't see the point behind keeping both. Uribe also is a difficult batter. When he makes contact, he hasthe ability to hit the ball a long way, but he doesn't make contact alot. His last 4 seasons of batting look an awful lot like one Jose Castillo...
2005-481AB, 16HR, 34BB, 77K, .252BA, .712 OPS
2006-463AB, 21HR, 13BB, 82K, .235BA, .698 OPS
2007-513AB, 20HR, 34BB, 112K, .234BA, .678 OPS
2008-324AB, 7HR, 22BB, 64K, .247BA, .682 OPS
He is not exactly the kind of hitter you want to send up late in the game as a pinch hitter in a clutch situation. We already know what we get out of Aurilia and it is better than this.

As for the question of the 40 man roster, it's not really an issue at this point. The Giants currently have 36 players on the roster and are expected to open the season with Sergio Romo on the DL. That leaves 5 open spots. Both Aurilia & Uribe are not on the roster, neither is Torres, Miller, or Medders. If they want to keep all 5, they can. Subtracting Uribe wouldn't make a difference. Adding Frandsen wouldn't either, except he would make them better...which is what this is all about.

The Giants are dangerously close to being able to win their division this season and they moves they make in April have just as much influence on their final record as the moves they make in July, August, September. I don't agree with the common philosophy spreading around that the Giants are keeping their options open. The game they lose in Week 1 could be the game they are behind on October 5th. Why not go with their best team now?

The argument for getting playing time as a regular in Fresno is a legitimate one, for a guy like Jesus Guzman who needs to find a position. Not for a guy like Frandsen, who can play everywhere. There will be enough AB's to go around while spelling the likes of Renteria, Rowand, Molina, Winn, not to mention just days off for the others.

As for the Youth Movement and the likes of Torres & Velez...It's too bad my Sarcasm didn't come across better. I understand the team overall is much younger than it has been in a while, even as is. I have said for a while this spring that Torres deserves to make the team, I guess you must not have read that. And Velez...Velez is not that good. I like him for his speed and the occasional flashes of brilliance, but he is lost in the field. The Giants are trying hard to find a place for him, partially because they don't think he'll clear waivers, but he is virtually the same player as Torres just not as good. Holm isn't the ideal backup catcher at this point, but I think he would be better than Sandoval. Only because they are trying to turn him into a regular 3B, moving him to Catcher occasionally seems to me to be a potential distraction to his development.

thanks again