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Sunday, March 17, 2019

San Francisco Giants host game between Paradise High, Corning Union High to lift spirits of those affected by devastating Camp Fire

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO)—It was no ordinary day. And it was no ordinary baseball game. The Paradise High School Bobcats played Corning Union High School at the San Francisco Giants’ Oracle Park on Saturday.

The deadly and devastating Camp Fire took Paradise High’s field, many homes of the players and much of their town.

That’s what made this day so special.

 

 

QLE Posted: March 17, 2019 at 07:23 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: camp fire, china basin, giants, high school baseball, paradise

Friday, March 15, 2019

Farhan Zaidi believes Giants bullpen can be one of baseball’s best

SAN FRANCISCO—The belief throughout much of the offseason was that Farhan Zaidi would trade his best relievers in order to get pieces that could help the Giants win in future years. Recently, Zaidi put his own twist on that plan when asked if he could still swing deals centered around bullpen arms.

“It definitely is a position of depth for us,” he said. “We’ll kind of continue to listen because I think it’s a relative position of depth, but I think for us to be successful with the composition of this club, we’ll have to have one of the best bullpens in baseball.”

The Giants are not on anybody’s list of contenders, and they haven’t significantly upgraded a club that’s lost 187 games the past two seasons. But that also doesn’t mean they’re raising the white flag in March, especially not Bruce Bochy’s last one with the club, and Zaidi believes the bullpen can help keep this team in the race.

Ah, spring- when hope springs eternal….

 

QLE Posted: March 15, 2019 at 07:24 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: bullpens, farhan zaidi, giants

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Giants’ Posey Catching More In Spring Than Expected

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) — On Saturday, San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey played in his fifth spring training game and made his fourth start behind the plate.

Told that it seems as if he’s catching more than expected coming off hip surgery, Posey agreed.

“Which is a good thing,” Posey said. “I didn’t really have expectations coming in. I would say so, too. That’s a positive.”

Going to be interesting to see if this lasts- it’s likely that how he recovers will be telling about the future trajectory of his career.

 

QLE Posted: March 10, 2019 at 07:32 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: buster posey, catching, giants

Thursday, March 07, 2019

Where Giants players who are out of options stand in spring training

SAN FRANCISCO—The Giants had the day off Tuesday, which gave the staff a chance to step back and evaluate what’s been seen so far. Roster decisions won’t purely be made based on performance, though.

As always this time of year, it’s important to pay attention to the options game. The players certainly know all about it, and they talk about it often. Young players who are on the bubble and have minor league options remaining know they’re likely headed for Sacramento no matter what they do.

Those who have no options left know that they could be in for anything over the next three weeks.

A consideration of players on the verge of who-knows-what.

 

QLE Posted: March 07, 2019 at 04:09 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: alen hanson, chris stratton, giants, mac williamson, options, steven okert, trevor gott

2019 San Francisco Giants Season Preview: How far has Madison Bumgarner fallen?

The San Francisco Giants are stuck between two competing ideas — embracing the rebuild and spinning off any valuable members of their championship core or trying to keep up with the Los Angeles Dodgers, Colorado Rockies and San Diego Padres in the NL West.

It seemed pretty obvious what the Giants should do after their 89-loss season in 2018. Without a bright farm system, this Giants team screams tear down. They did bring in a new president of baseball operations in ex-Dodgers general manager Farhan Zaidi. And then they chased Bryce Harper. But as opening day approaches, they’re not in tremendously better than shape than when last season ended. They only thing they got was more healthy.

While Giants fans can make a compelling case for adding Harper, it still would have seemed a bit like their last couple offseasons, where they’ve acted boldly in an effort to keep their winning tradition going. These Giants are now saddled with unfortunate contracts and/or injured players.

I don’t know- it seems offensive somehow for the dominant team in one of the richest markets in baseball to have to engage in the tear-down strategy.

 

QLE Posted: March 07, 2019 at 03:42 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: giants, madison bumgarner, preview

Friday, March 01, 2019

Inside the Giants’ serious but unsuccessful pursuit of Bryce Harper, with Farhan Zaidi leading the way – The Athletic

Inside the Giants thought process.

That Harper signed for a smaller AAV than Manny Machado’s new deal with the Padres (10 years, $300 million) tells you how club officials valued him in the marketplace. Harper’s $25.384 million AAV came eerily close to his value as formulated earlier in the day in a Washington Post analysis piece that utilized prediction models and dollars per win added. That might not be how you and I value players. But it is how almost every major-league front office is valuing players.

Machine learning has come for us all, kids, and there is a reason why every team is pegging the same value and making the same offers to free agents. If all major-league front offices are leaning hard on their algorithms and their artificial intelligence to make decisions, then the resulting price convergence amounts to operational collusion. It’s de facto, if not by design.

The Giants made an offer in line with their valuation for Harper. They might have been willing to stretch that valuation a smidge. They weren’t going to offer beyond that. They viewed Harper as a great player, a franchise player, but perhaps not a generational talent.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 01, 2019 at 08:24 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: bryce harper, giants, pay site

Dodgers whiff on Bryce Harper, and a chance to solidify a franchise for a decade - Los Angeles Times

The Dodgers are the smartest front office in baseball. (The Astros and Yankees are right behind them.) One area they are ahead of the curve is assessing long-term risk for free agents. Their reported offer dovetails with comments about preferring higher AAV/shorter long-term contacts which the front office talked about this off-season. The Dodgers believe the discount on today’s dollars is not worth the increased risk over the longer term. (Jon Morosi reported that the Dodgers were willing to go four years at $45M per season. Plaschke says five years at $45M.)

Scott Boras understands risk as well. That’s why Harper went for the most guaranteed dollars, which really is 10/330 spread over 13 years. Had Harper agreed to 4/$45M, he would have hit free agency again at 30 years old. At that point, he would have needed to get 6/$150M - $25M AAV (or 8 years at $18.75M AAV). That wouldn’t have been a really high bar if Harper is really the player Boras has sold. Boras and Harper didn’t think Harper betting on himself was worth the risk. I agree with them, which is one of the reasons I don’t like the contract from Philly’s end.

While Andrew Friedman and his crew have admirably built six consecutive West Division champions and two consecutive World Series teams, an organization with buckets of chips will not push them all in for a shot at one big pot.

In his five years here, Friedman has never spent more than $60 million for a free agent from outside the organization. Even when he has paid big money to retain the likes of Clayton Kershaw, Kenley Jansen and Justin Turner, he’s never paid out more than $93 million. Those are outrageous sums, of course, but in the high-priced world of baseball’s top free agents, that just doesn’t play.
...
The word is that the Dodgers might have gone as high as five years and $225 million for Harper. The guess here is that he would have taken less money to come to Los Angeles, considering it easily was his first choice. Couldn’t there have been a compromise in there somewhere?

 

 

Jim Furtado Posted: March 01, 2019 at 06:54 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: bryce harper, dodgers, free agency, giants, phillies

Potential MLB, MLBPA rule changes could impact Giants at some point

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — For weeks there have been rumors that MLB and the MLB Players Association could come to an agreement on new rules, but that hasn’t been at the forefront of conversations in the Giants clubhouse.

When asked about the possibility of changes, several veteran players have pointed out that the real issue right now is the slowdown in free agency and service time manipulation, not a universal DH or a pitch clock.

“Some of these rules seem pretty insignificant to me considering the bigger picture,” Buster Posey said earlier this month.

A discussion of rule changes being considered- of note as a summary of those apparently under active consideration.


Monday, February 25, 2019

Giants’ analytics-loving outfield prospect Drew Ferguson to get a long look - SFChronicle.com

Ferguson is a throwback — to 2003, when Michael Lewis’ “Moneyball” hit bookshelves and “on-base percentage” and “undervalued players” became baseball bywords.

“There’s a propensity to fall in love with the home runs, the flashy plays, instead of just the nuts and bolts of an offense, which is getting out less,” Ferguson said.

“In high school, I looked at the stat work people were doing online and found it really interesting, especially the disparity between how players were being evaluated and what the math seemed to say was actually valuable. I think that drove my development growing up, into college and in my professional career as well.”

Jim Furtado Posted: February 25, 2019 at 06:32 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: drew ferguson, giants

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Watch Giants’ Pablo Sandoval pitch from mound in spring training practice

Giants fans, this is the moment you’ve been waiting for all winter long.

No, it is not Bryce Harper in an orange and black uniform.

But it is something just as good: Pablo Sandoval on the mound (ok maybe not quite as good, but still).

 

 

QLE Posted: February 24, 2019 at 08:49 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: giants, pablo sandoval, pitching

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Pablo Sandoval plays role of Giants’ director of recruiting in offseason

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — On the surface, it appears that the Giants are getting a bunch of old Padres together. Drew Pomeranz. Rene Rivera. Yangervis Solarte. Cameron Maybin.

Put perhaps the real link among most the free agent additions is a player who has years of experience facing the Padres.

Solarte, who checked into camp Sunday, said he spent the offseason working out with Giants infielder Pablo Sandoval at the Bommarito gym in Miami. Parra and Rivera also worked out there, along with Dereck Rodriguez, Sandoval’s prized recruit last offseason.

Mind you, he probably should start thinking about career changes, and he certainly has the build of someone in HR….

 

QLE Posted: February 23, 2019 at 03:04 PM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: giants, offseason, pablo sandoval

Friday, February 22, 2019

Buster Posey, Pablo Sandoval, more Giants will have different look at plate

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz.—After 10 days of watching him take batting practice and do catching drills, the Giants fully expect Buster Posey to be in the lineup on March 28 in San Diego. When he digs into the box, you’ll see a different look from Posey, now in his 11th big league season.

Posey is one of a dozen Giants wearing a batting helmet with a flap this spring. Last year, the Giants had just one player on their active roster—backup catcher Aramis Garcia—with a flap protecting his jaw. Posey said he plans to use the new helmet during the 2019 season.

“I thought about changing last year but I didn’t want to do it during the season,” he said. “It’s just about getting more protection.”

So, how long before they switch to motorcycle helmets?

 

QLE Posted: February 22, 2019 at 06:43 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: buster posey, giants, helmets, pablo sandoval

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Giants encouraged by Jeff Samardzija’s progress to begin spring training

Jeff Samardzija said he has eight hurdles to hit this spring: Bullpen session, “heavy” bullpen session, live BP session, and then five Cactus League starts. He got through his live BP on Tuesday and said it felt good. Samardzija threw all his pitches while facing players on a back field.

“No pain, no restrictions,” he said. “I just need more work.”

He’ll get it. Samardzija, coming off a season-ending shoulder injury, will be in the rotation when the Giants kick off spring action this weekend. The Giants are encouraged by how he feels, and anticipate Samardzija being ready to start the season.

“I thought he threw really well,” Bochy said. “He had a nice day out there.”

Assorted notes, concerning spring training for the Giants.

QLE Posted: February 20, 2019 at 04:40 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: giants, jeff samardzija, spring training

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Farm System Rankings: Pitchers (30-21) | MiLB.com News

I wish the Giants were trying a little harder to build their farm system.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 19, 2019 at 06:40 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: giants

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Giants switch-pitcher Pat Venditte draws early crowd at Spring Training

Jumping ahead to the relevant section:

Pat Venditte, the switch-pitcher, is as fascinating to many of the Giants as he is to fans. As he warmed up his right arm Saturday, a member of the staff walked up and asked him to explain how he became a switch-pitcher. He has drawn a crowd during bullpen sessions, and manager Bruce Bochy joked about how he may use Venditte.

“When I’m stuck and I don’t know which matchup I want, I’ll put him out there,” Bochy said smiling. “I can’t get questioned.”

Venditte has had more success as a lefty in his career but from both sides he gets good movement on his pitches. Bochy noted that he had a good season with the Dodgers, posting a 2.57 ERA in 15 appearances last year.

“It’s pretty impressive, really, what he’s able to do,” Bochy said.

 

QLE Posted: February 17, 2019 at 03:40 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: giants, pat venditte, switch pitchers

Friday, February 15, 2019

Giants add a ‘baseball guy’ to develop new data-driven pitching program – The Athletic

All you SABR nerds aren’t baseball people.

Maybe if the “internal civil war” doesn’t need to exist, we should stop classifying ourselves so much.

“I’m not a mathematician or a SABR nerd,” Daniels told The Athletic this week. “I’ve read all that stuff but at heart I’m a baseball guy that knows data, not the other way around.”

It’s an important distinction.

“There’s an internal civil war that exists and doesn’t need to exist,” Daniels admitted.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 15, 2019 at 07:56 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: giants, pay site

Hunter Pence reflects on his time with the Giants in a heartfelt essay

During his last game at AT&T Park, Hunter Pence exited in a way only he could—on a motorized scooter. It was the appearance of a young soul who wanted to soak up as much of the atmosphere as possible.

At the time, it was presumed that was going to be his last game as a member of the Giants. But nobody knew for sure, including Pence.

With the three-time All-Star recently agreeing to a minor league deal with the Rangers, he reflected on the seven seasons he spent as a member of the Giants in a touching essay entitled “Gr8ful” to The Player’s Tribune.

A player’s farewell- we’ll always have 2014.

 

QLE Posted: February 15, 2019 at 06:19 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: farewell, giants, hunter pence

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Posey is healthy and hopeful of handling full catching load

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) — One day in early November, Buster Posey felt his body respond more normally again as he rehabilitated from season-ending hip surgery. Working out his lower half with a 15-pound dumbbell in his left hand he leaned forward for a one-legged Russian Dead Lift. Posey felt the muscles in his right buttocks being used exactly the way they should.

“This might be TMI,” San Francisco’s star catcher noted of perhaps providing too much information. “I could really feel the right side of my gluteus maximus engage — hadn’t really felt that in a while. With all leg exercises I feel like things have been more symmetrical, so hopefully that’s a good sign.”

San Francisco pitchers and catchers report this week and Posey plans to be a full participant from Day 1 of spring training Wednesday, pulling on the catcher’s gear and squatting behind the plate for his part in pitchers’ bullpens early in camp. He understands there likely will be some modifications to his workload at the beginning just to be safe.

At the rate it’s going, I’m afraid this article might get seized in Customs.

 

QLE Posted: February 13, 2019 at 04:53 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: buster posey, catching, giants

Giants have been talking with Cameron Maybin

ESPN’s Buster Olney reports that the Giants have had contract discussions with free agent outfielder Cameron Maybin. Olney notes that adding Maybin would give the Giants a safety net in center field and would pair well with the left-handed-hitting Steven Duggar.

Exactly the sort of free agent the Giants have historically grossly overpaid for!

 

 

QLE Posted: February 13, 2019 at 04:42 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: cameron maybin, giants

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Giants’ turmoil ahead with Madison Bumgarner, Jeff Samardzija? - SFChronicle.com

Jeff Samardzija needs to worry about getting outs first otherwise the only action he’ll be getting is mop up duty.

When Giants starter Jeff Samardzija recently called the concept of openers “a load of crap,” and Madison Bumgarner seemed of a like mind, it looked like the team could be heading for friction and turmoil this season.

But it’s spring training, for goodness’ sake, a time to be positive.

So, the Giants are perfectly positioned to help major-league baseball ease into the new creative use of pitchers era.

Samardzija told The Chronicle’s John Shea that pitchers who accept the “opener” concept — a normal relief pitcher pitching the first inning — are like sheep. Wimpy sheep.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 12, 2019 at 01:43 PM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: giants, jeff samardzija, madison bumgarner, opener

Monday, February 11, 2019

Opinion: Giants serious about Bryce Harper as late entrants into free-agent frenzy

The Philadelphia Phillies, who have been the favorites to land free-agent outfielder Bryce Harper all winter, suddenly have serious competition in the San Francisco Giants.

One high-ranking rival executive boldly predicts the Giants will ultimately sign the 26-year star.

The Giants indeed plan to offer Harper a lucrative short-term deal, but have no desire to provide a long-term contract approaching the 10-year, $300 million contract Harper rejected from the Washington Nationals in September.

RUMORS! Get your red-hot rumors here! RUMORS!

 

QLE Posted: February 11, 2019 at 05:25 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: bryce harper, giants, hot stove

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Madison Bumgarner: ‘I’m walking right out of the ballpark’ if Giants use opener with ace

Madison Bumgarner’s thoughts on the opener movement that hit MLB during the 2018 season are about what you would expect: he is extremely not a fan.

During an appearance at the San Francisco Giants FanFest on Saturday, manager Bruce Bochy mentioned that he received a text from the team’s ace after new president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi said the team might make use of an opener. The contents of the text were basically a threat.

The good news for Bumgarner and whoever would have to tell Bumgarner the team is using an opener is that the Giants are probably not going to be using an opener in front of Bumgarner.

Mind you, given his luck with injuries the last couple of seasons, his leverage on this subject is fairly minimal….

 

QLE Posted: February 10, 2019 at 04:07 AM | 25 comment(s)
  Beats: giants, madison bumgarner, opener

Saturday, February 09, 2019

Buster Posey’s praise for Giants ‘win-now’ approach comes at awkward time

San Francisco Giants star Buster Posey isn’t the most outspoken athlete you’ll find on social media, but he certainly had an interesting, if not awkwardly-timed thought to share on Friday.

The post that caught everyone’s attention was a response to a tweet quoting Philadelphia Phillies manager Gabe Kapler. In said tweet, Kapler discussed how Philadelphia’s trade for All-Star catcher J.T. Realmuto cemented that they’re going all-in to win in 2019 and beyond.

Posey, who’s been part of three championship teams with the Giants during his career, but has also played on three losing teams since 2013, chimed in by praising his organization for never straying from “win-now” mode.

Mind you, when you’re the dominant team in one of the largest and richest markets in the United States, one kind of would hope that you wouldn’t be engaged in any other approach….

 

QLE Posted: February 09, 2019 at 04:20 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: buster posey, giants

Friday, February 08, 2019

What types of players has Farhan Zaidi added to the Giants organization so far? – The Athletic

He’s looking for versatile low-risk value players with some demonstrated upside.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 08, 2019 at 06:25 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: farhan zaidi, giants, pay site

Thursday, February 07, 2019

WBAL: Frank Robinson, Baseball Lifer And Orioles Legend, Has Died

Sad news on the eve of spring training. RIP.

A right fielder, Robinson played for five teams in his 21-season career and remains the only player to be named the most valuable player in both leagues. A Triple Crown winner, he was a member of two World Series champion Orioles squads. He hit 586 career home runs, 179 of them as an Oriole.

A first-ballot entry into Cooperstown, Robinson was also the first black manager in baseball, becoming player-manager of the Cleveland Indians in 1975 and staying on as manager a year after he hung up his cleats in 1977. Robinson’s No. 20 was the first to be retired by the Orioles, and was also retired by the Indians and the Cincinnati Reds, with whom he debuted. He is one of just two players, the other being Nolan Ryan, to have their number retired by three different clubs.

Robinson was born Aug. 31, 1935 in Beaumont, Texas. After parents Ruth and Frank Sr. separated, a young Robinson followed his mother to Oakland. He played baseball and basketball at McClymonds High School and, after graduation, signed with the Reds organization in 1953 for a $3,500 signing bonus. Only several years removed from Jackie Robinson’s major league debut, Robinson was the target of ugly racist taunts and wasn’t able to eat with or room with his white teammates as he was coming up through the minors.

Robinson came to Baltimore in one of baseball’s most lopsided trades. The Cincinnati Reds traded Robinson before the 1966 season for pitchers Milt Pappas and Jack Baldschun and outfielder Dick Simpson. Reds owner Bill DeWitt defended the trade by calling Robinson “not a young 30.” The following season, Robinson won the Triple Crown. He hit 49 home runs, one of which famously left Memorial Stadium. Until the Orioles left for Camden Yards, a flag labeled “HERE” was flown where the ball landed 541 feet away.

AndrewJ Posted: February 07, 2019 at 02:43 PM | 68 comment(s)
  Beats: giants, hall of fame, indians, obituary, orioles, reds

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