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Transaction Oracle
— A Timely Look at Transactions as They Happen

Monday, May 22, 2006

Giants - Recalled Frandsen, DLed Niekro

San Francisco Giants - Recalled 2B Kevin Frandsen; placed 1B Lance Niekro on the disabled list; Utilized SS Jose Vizcaino in a way to divebomb the offense.

One could say that the Giants are in a bind because they don’t have J.T. Snow.  But they’d be wrong - the problem is that no general manager should ever run an organization in a manner that could ever possibly result in J.T. Snow’s non-employment becoming a cause for regret. 

What makes this even worse is that Jose Vizcaino isn’t even a downgrade from what their starting 1B was contributing, another situation a team should never be in.  The Giants very helpfully made sure not to have good options in the minors, either - Chad Santos would be pretty bad and Travis Ishikawa is clearly not ready.

Dan Szymborski Posted: May 22, 2006 at 08:42 PM | 21 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. Brandon in MO (Yunitility Infielder) Posted: May 22, 2006 at 09:01 PM (#2032224)
Hey Giants, do you want Doug Mientkiewicz?
   2. Francoeur Sans Gages (AlouGoodbye) Posted: May 22, 2006 at 11:06 PM (#2032327)
Hold on a second. The Giants have Sweeney on the roster, and they could also shift either Durham or Frandsen to first.

But more importantly, Finley was taking groundballs at first before Alou got hurt. When Alou comes back, I expect that one of the outfielders will be moved to first.
   3. Steve Treder Posted: May 22, 2006 at 11:14 PM (#2032342)
I don't think the 5'8" in high heels Durham is likely to play much first base, and playing Frandsen there would make just about as much sense as playing Vizcaino there does.

Sweeney is probably better than Snow at this point, but the real issue is that first base for the Giants this year is proving to be just the black hole most of us predicted it would be. A few years ago, I would have anticipated Sabean to make a trade to address it, but the way he's gone kind of batty the past couple of years, at this point I think he won't. Probably it will continue to be a black hole all year long.
   4. John Reynard Posted: May 22, 2006 at 11:30 PM (#2032362)
Ishikawa went 1-2 in his limited time with the ML club. Sadly by my metrics he's been the 2nd most productive 1Bman so far for the Giants and Sweeney is playing LF right now.
   5. Francoeur Sans Gages (AlouGoodbye) Posted: May 22, 2006 at 11:49 PM (#2032393)
Sweeney is playing LF right now

That's only because Bonds was DHing in the interleague games.

the real issue is that first base for the Giants this year is proving to be just the black hole most of us predicted it would be. A few years ago, I would have anticipated Sabean to make a trade to address it, but the way he's gone kind of batty the past couple of years, at this point I think he won't. Probably it will continue to be a black hole all year long.


I agree first is a black hole, but I also think the front office is well aware of this. Why do you think they had Finley taking ground balls at first? I think we need to wait until Alou comes back before making any judgments.
   6. Brandon in MO (Yunitility Infielder) Posted: May 22, 2006 at 11:49 PM (#2032394)
The Giants could always trade for Choi..

ok.. nevermind
   7. Runscreated Posted: May 23, 2006 at 11:11 AM (#2033064)
Trade for Craig Wilson. Sean Casey is on the mend, Wilson needs to be free of Pittsburgh. Having both Niekro and Pedro Feliz in the same lineup makes the Giants weak. (Feliz has been on a tear, fields well, but is often down 0-2 before you blink).
   8. Mike Emeigh Posted: May 23, 2006 at 02:26 PM (#2033160)
Trade for Craig Wilson.


With what?

-- MWE
   9. Steve Treder Posted: May 23, 2006 at 03:51 PM (#2033234)
Why do you think they had Finley taking ground balls at first?

Look, if Finley plays first base, that doesn't represent any progress in dealing with the problem. Finley would be yet another card-carrying Black Hole first baseman. It's bad enough they have him playing center field on pretty much an everyday basis; at first base he would be the second coming of Darrin Erstad.

I think we need to wait until Alou comes back before making any judgments.

Alou coming back will be a great lift for the Giants, but unless a trade is made, it won't do anything to help the first base nightmare.
   10. KJOK Posted: May 23, 2006 at 04:33 PM (#2033279)
Why does it not make sense to move Bonds to 1B? He can hardly move in the OF now, so not sure he could actually hurt the team worse at 1B...
   11. Steve Treder Posted: May 23, 2006 at 04:37 PM (#2033284)
Why does it not make sense to move Bonds to 1B? He can hardly move in the OF now, so not sure he could actually hurt the team worse at 1B...

It makes all the sense in the world, and has done so for years, and many of us have been loudly hoping for it. But it'll never happen, because Bonds won't do it.
   12. esseff Posted: May 23, 2006 at 09:47 PM (#2033532)
For those who care about such things, Frandsen, who wore No. 8 during his first tour, will now wear No. 19. Dave Righetti, who had been wearing No. 19, switches to No. 46, perhaps to honor the major league single season saves record he held for a time in the '80s.
   13. Steve Treder Posted: May 23, 2006 at 10:01 PM (#2033543)
Dave Righetti, who had been wearing No. 19, switches to No. 46, perhaps to honor the major league single season saves record he held for a time in the '80s.

Actually I thought the deal with Righetti taking #46 was that it was Rueter's number, and everybody likes Rueter. Righetti let Frandsen take #19 because that was Frandsen's brother's number, who died of cancer. Righetti is a family friend of the Frandsens; he and Frandsen's dad grew up together in the South San Jose/Los Gatos area.
   14. Mefisto Posted: May 23, 2006 at 10:33 PM (#2033568)
With what?

Lance Niekro? Hey, a guy can dream....
   15. Francoeur Sans Gages (AlouGoodbye) Posted: May 23, 2006 at 10:43 PM (#2033581)
Why does it not make sense to move Bonds to 1B? He can hardly move in the OF now, so not sure he could actually hurt the team worse at 1B...

Bonds's problem isn't so much lack of speed as lack of mobility. When he gets going, he can go fairly fast, but he has huge problems stopping and starting. A classic example of this was the game - I think against the Cubs - where he charged after a flyball that dropped foul and ended up doing a handstand in the crowd. And it seems that it's the stopping and starting that hurts his knee more than the running. As such, left field - little activity, with the occasional gallop - seems to be a better fit than first, which has much more stopping, starting and bending. I wouldn't like him to have to scoop balls out of the dirt or stretch for short throws. I think he's a better left fielder than he would be at first, and I think he'll stay healthier as a left fielder than he would at first.

On Righetti/Frandsen, there's an article here.
   16. Steve Treder Posted: May 23, 2006 at 10:56 PM (#2033594)
As such, left field - little activity, with the occasional gallop - seems to be a better fit than first, which has much more stopping, starting and bending. I wouldn't like him to have to scoop balls out of the dirt or stretch for short throws. I think he's a better left fielder than he would be at first, and I think he'll stay healthier as a left fielder than he would at first.

Perhaps. Willie Stargell, like Bonds a great big upper-body guy with very bad knees, said essentially this when he moved back to left field in 1973 after having been moved in to play first, hopefully to ease the strain on his knees, in 1972.

But it wasn't more than a couple of years before Stargell was back at first base, this time to stay. The list of big, aging outfielders who've moved to first base in their twilight years is very, very long, and suggests that many teams have found it to be the best choice, all things considered. Bonds might be less bad in left field than he would be at first base (though he's terrible in left field right now), but the defensive gain alone the Giants would get in left field would likely outweigh that, and it is simply the case that a first baseman takes fewer steps than a left fielder does.

I think the left-field-is-less-stressful-on-the-knees explanation is simply a rationalization. The real reason is far less complicated: Bonds doesn't want to do it, has never wanted to do it, and hitters this great get to decide where they want to play, regardless of whether that's in their team's best interest. In this dynamic, Bonds is following almost exactly in the footsteps of both Ted Williams and Joe DiMaggio, two equally headstrong, egotistical superstars who refused to play first base in their declining years.
   17. Francoeur Sans Gages (AlouGoodbye) Posted: May 23, 2006 at 11:14 PM (#2033623)
You make good points, Steve, but it seems to me that Bonds is still feeling his way back into baseball. I think that he's only just now getting comfortable with what he can and can't do. I don't think asking him to learn a new position at the same time is reasonable. If he stays healthy for the year, and he feels more comfortable on the knee, and he decides to come back next year - then I think there needs to be discussion about moving him to first. But right now it's just not fair to ask him to move.

On Finley - he's hitting .272/.347/.432 which is fine for CF. I think the reason they had him taking grounders at first is because he's the low man on the outfield totem pole, but it makes most sense to move Moises to first base, barring a trade.
   18. Steve Treder Posted: May 23, 2006 at 11:23 PM (#2033652)
I don't think asking him to learn a new position at the same time is reasonable. If he stays healthy for the year, and he feels more comfortable on the knee, and he decides to come back next year - then I think there needs to be discussion about moving him to first. But right now it's just not fair to ask him to move.

I agree with this. But the real issue is that this shouldn't be the year he should have been moving to first base anyway; ideally the move would have occurred three or four years ago.

On Finley - he's hitting .272/.347/.432 which is fine for CF.

It isn't bad, though the SLG is a bit inflated by that amazing run of early-season triples he hit, that he certainly won't sustain. But his range out in CF is pretty dismal; the Giants' broadcasters try to convince us he's wonderful out there, and I sure don't see it. Winn ought to be in CF, and Finley in RF when they're in the lineup together, and Ellison should be taking the starts in CF against LHPs that Finley has been getting.

But I'd sure rather have Finley on the roster than Alfonzo. By process of elimination, this is becoming a great trade.

You're right; Alou should be the OF moving to 1B at this point. Maybe he will, but I really doubt it, once again because of the deference everyone (including even his dad, interestingly) pays to Alou because he's such a stud hitter.
   19. John Reynard Posted: May 28, 2006 at 06:57 AM (#2040770)
Until Ishikawa cools off, nobody needs to go to 1B. Of course, I expect his hot streak to end anytime....though you never know.
   20. Russ Posted: May 29, 2006 at 01:42 AM (#2041799)
With what?

Like it takes that much for Littlefield to give up a bad body hitter with questionable fielding cred?
   21. charlie Posted: May 29, 2006 at 02:17 AM (#2041826)
As a proven, MLB-ready hitter, Niekro should be right up the Pirates' alley, too. Littlefield insisted on major-league ready players at the 2005 deadline and ended up with Jody Gerut. He traded the most sought-after starter in the 2004 deadline market for Ty Wigginton. Lance Niekro is exactly the kind of player he's looking for.

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