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Monday, February 24, 2020

How Giants, Farhan Zaidi might choose to use new 26th roster spot

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz.—As Giants veterans checked into camp last week, a couple of them referred to the 25-man roster in interviews. Like writing a new year on your checks, it’ll take a while for players to adjust to having a 26th man.

But on the second floor of the new facility at Scottsdale Stadium, there already have been plenty of conversations about it.

The front office has an extra roster spot to work with, and few executives will dig that more than Farhan Zaidi, who spent 2019 in an endless roster shuffle as he added depth and talent to the 40-man roster. Zaidi, general manager Scott Harris and manager Gabe Kapler have talked this spring of all the different ways they can go.

As the Giants go through their spring rotation for the first time, it’s far too early to project a full roster, especially in a camp where so many jobs are up for grabs. But we can take a look at how that roster will be impacted by the extra spot. The Giants will have 13 pitchers, that much we know. But what will they do with that 13th position player?

A story that will be of interest throughout the majors- wonder who will be getting these positions…..

QLE Posted: February 24, 2020 at 01:36 AM | 24 comment(s)
  Beats: farhan zaidi, giants, rosters

Monday, February 17, 2020

How a rookie middle infielder could be the most interesting player in Giants camp

Mauricio Dubón has never played outfield in the minor leagues, but he could be the San Francisco Giants’ primary center fielder.
Dubón could be the Giants’ Opening Day shortstop or starting second baseman, but he might move around the diamond and play left field or first base, too.
Dubón can pinch-hit, pinch-run or enter as a defensive replacement at any number of positions, but the 25-year-old Honduras native has minor league options. Opening the season at Triple-A Sacramento remains a possibility.
The Giants don’t know where Dubón will play most often this year. They just believe Dubón should play a lot.
“I keep saying, I’m a baseball player so the more chances I have to get in the lineup, it’ll be good,” Dubón said.

Coming through the Red Sox system Dubon was credited with being a guy who really helped the Latin players integrate due to his language ability.  I’m rooting for him.

Jose Is Absurdly Chatty Posted: February 17, 2020 at 09:28 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: giants

Why Giants brought in umpires for second round of bullpen sessions

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz.—When Andrew Suarez kicked at the dirt on the bullpen mound Saturday and looked in at his catcher, most of what he saw was similar to every other bullpen session of his life. There was one key difference, though: An umpire in full uniform crouched behind the catcher.

Suarez fired a fastball, and the umpire emphatically pointed a finger to his left, signaling a strike.

“It was different, but I liked it,” Suarez said. “You get a good feel for the plate.”

The Giants have made a lot of subtle changes to drills under manager Gabe Kapler and a 13-person coaching staff. Pitchers fielded pop-ups Sunday, an extreme rarity in a sport where the default move for a pitcher is to get out of the way and let an infielder take over. The outfield drills more closely resemble the NFL combine, with cones meticulously set up and coaches focusing on change-of-direction. But the biggest difference through a week of camp has been the addition of three real professional umpires to bullpen sessions.

 

 

QLE Posted: February 17, 2020 at 01:18 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: bullpen management, giants, umpires

Sunday, February 16, 2020

Bay Bridge spanned: A’s, Giants make 1st trade since 1990

MESA, Ariz. (AP) — The first baseball trade in almost 30 years between two teams separated only by a bay and a bridge happened Saturday, when the San Francisco Giants and Oakland Athletics completed a deal.

In a move to add experience to their bullpen, the A’s got right-hander Burch Smith from the Giants for cash.

The last time Oakland and San Francisco made a trade was on Dec. 4, 1990, when the Athletics acquired outfielder Ernest Riles from the Giants for outfielder Darren Lewis and minor league pitcher Pedro Pena.

“So that broke the string, huh?” Oakland manager Bob Melvin said.

Not sure what is stranger- how long it has been since those two teams have made a deal, or that the last deal they made was the year after one beat the other in the World Series…..

 

QLE Posted: February 16, 2020 at 01:00 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, giants

Saturday, February 15, 2020

SF Giants spring training: Logan Webb debuts new pitches in 2020

With help from new director of pitching Brian Bannister and the Giants’ coordinator of pitching science Matt Daniels, he’s added to his repertoire to make his fastballs more effective. Instead of throwing four-seam and two-seam fastballs that have similar action, he now has three hard pitches that work off of one another.

When a right-handed batter steps to the plate against Webb this season, they could see a straight four-seam fastball, a two-seamer that runs in on their hands or a cutter that breaks toward the left-handed batter’s box.

“Bannister came in and he said with my arm slot, I have the perfect arm slot for this kind of two-seam and the cutter will work right off of that,” Webb said. “So I started messing around with it on flat grounds and it’s going really well.”

Jim Furtado Posted: February 15, 2020 at 07:50 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: giants, logan webb

Saturday, February 08, 2020

Hunter Pence’s return part of series of moves for Giants

SAN FRANCISCO—Former fan favorite Hunter Pence is returning to the San Francisco Giants, signing a contract that will give the young club a veteran presence in both the outfield and the clubhouse in a season of big change ahead.

The one-year deal is worth $3 million.

....

San Francisco also announced Friday it had signed outfielder Billy Hamilton and right-hander Nick Vincent to minor league contracts with spring training invitations.

The Giants also were working to finalize a deal with versatile infielder Wilmer Flores. Zaidi said it had not been completed as of Thursday.

In certain regards, the sort of deals one has grown very familiar with seeing as a Giants fan- wonder if the results will be any different than usual…...

 

QLE Posted: February 08, 2020 at 12:49 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: billy hamilton, giants, hunter pence, nick vincent, wilmer flores

Friday, February 07, 2020

SF’s Nakken embraces role as first MLB female coach

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Alyssa Nakken stole a quick glance out a window high above the ballpark toward McCovey Cove on a picture-perfect day and grinned.

She is honored to take on the challenge — and embrace the responsibility — of being the first female major league coach, having joined new San Francisco Giants manager Gabe Kapler’s staff last month.

“I’m most comfortable at a baseball field,” she said.

It’s a good thing, since she will be spending countless hours over the coming eight months in this very setting. Nakken will be in uniform and helping the Giants with everything from cage work to infield practice.

 

QLE Posted: February 07, 2020 at 01:31 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: alyssa nakken, giants

Bruce Bochy has a role with the 2020 Giants

The manager has changed, but Bruce Bochy’s team loyalty has not.
He will not be leading another team in 2020 — apart from Team France in World Baseball Qualifying, of course — and will still be employed by the Giants as a special adviser.

Farhan Zaidi said Bochy would be around spring training in Scottsdale — not far from where qualifying will take place — and Bochy’s voice will continue to be heard despite his retirement tour and the hiring of Gabe Kapler.

Bochy sat in on interviews with Kapler, who was the candidate Bochy endorsed, and Bochy and the Giants appear on good terms. While it was termed as a retirement, Bochy has said he’s taking the year off and then will let his heart decide what he’ll do, with a 2021 return somewhere very much a possibility.

Well, this ends some speculation…..

 

QLE Posted: February 07, 2020 at 01:04 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: bruce bochy, giants

Thursday, January 16, 2020

SF Giants hire first woman MLB coach Alyssa Nakken

The San Francisco Giants made baseball history Thursday, hiring the first woman to an MLB coaching staff.

Alyssa Nakken will help round out a 13-person staff as a “major league assistant coach” under first-year manager Gabe Kapler.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 16, 2020 at 08:43 PM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: giants

Giants Place Zack Cozart On Release Waivers

The Giants have placed veteran infielder Zack Cozart on release waivers following his DFA earlier this week, tweets Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area.

Cozart never seemed particularly likely to see the field with the Giants, who have veterans Evan Longoria and Brandon Crawford locked in on the left side of the diamond and promising young Mauricio Dubon likely ticketed for regular reps at second base. San Francisco’s acquisition of the veteran Cozart, rather, was a pure means of buying 2019 first-round pick Will Wilson from the Angels. The Halos, eager to move the remaining $12.167MM on Cozart’s three-year contract, sent Wilson to the Giants as the Giants picked up the remaining tab on Cozart.

 

QLE Posted: January 16, 2020 at 12:26 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: giants, waivers, zack cozart

Thursday, January 09, 2020

Giants’ submarine pitcher Tyler Rogers explains origin of delivery

The Giants’ broadcast said they “love this guy,” upon his MLB debut. A quick inning for the pitcher with the funky movement caught their attention.

Tyler Rogers’ unique submarine delivery was one thing that stood out to those watching in addition to his ability to keep the ball on the ground.

“I went to junior college in southwest Kansas at Garden City—I was struggling throwing I guess, conventionally, if that’s what you want to call it—overhand,” Rogers said on KNBR. “I was throwing with command and getting hit.”

His coach approached him and suggested he drop down his arm after Rogers maintained his velocity of 88 mph on a straight ball.

A pitcher I’ve had the luck of seeing pitch many times in the minors- never a dull moment watching him.

 

QLE Posted: January 09, 2020 at 05:11 AM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: giants, submariners, tyler rogers

Wednesday, January 01, 2020

The All Decade Team

Second base: Jose Altuve, Astros

Hey, another six-time All-Star and a former MVP. But unlike Posey and Votto, who have faded of late, Altuve’s still a high-end performer. The diminutive 29-year-old’s fresh off his sixth straight outstanding season after beginning his career as a fairly non-threatening hitter. Between 2014-19, Altuve hit .327/.380/.497 with 114 dingers and helped his team to a championship. He ranked fourth in the majors in fWAR (32.4) and fifth in stolen bases (179) during that span.

Jose Is Absurdly Chatty Posted: January 01, 2020 at 10:44 PM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, astros, free agents, giants, indians, pirates, red sox, reds

Monday, December 16, 2019

Madison Bumgarner leaving shows Giants now in full-blown rebuild mode

During one of his media sessions at the Winter Meetings in San Diego, Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi was asked about the team being in a rebuild. Zaidi turned the question around, asking the reporter how he would define a rebuild.

This. This is a rebuild.

Madison Bumgarner reportedly agreeing to a contract with a division rival for $85 million at the end of a week where the only team he has ever known spent $12 million to buy a first-round pick and $9 million on a pitcher who has never had sustained big league success but might turn into a back-end starter and might turn into a trade chip in July. That’s a pretty good definition of a rebuild.

To be clear, there’s nothing wrong with this plan.

A consideration of what this signing means, with regards to the team losing the player.

 

QLE Posted: December 16, 2019 at 01:25 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: giants, madison bumgarner, rebuilding

Sunday, December 15, 2019

Madison Bumgarner reaches 5-year, $85M deal with D-backs | ESPN

Left-hander Madison Bumgarner and the Arizona Diamondbacks have agreed to a five-year, $85 million deal, sources familiar with the agreement told ESPN’s Jeff Passan.

Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: December 15, 2019 at 05:27 PM | 111 comment(s)
  Beats: diamondbacks, giants, madison bumgarner

Friday, December 13, 2019

Giants change bullpen location, move fences in at Oracle Park

The Giants announced on Thursday that some improvements have been made to their stadium, Oracle Park, for the 2020 season. New bullpens will be located behind the center field wall. They used to be in foul territory, which was a safety risk for players, particularly with the bullpen mounds when fielders attempted to catch foul balls.

The outfield fences are also being moved in. The left-center field fence is now 399 feet from home plate, in from 404 feet. Straightaway center field is now 391 feet, eight feet shorter than it was previously. Triples Alley is now 415 feet, in from 421. Additionally, the height of the center field fence has been reduced from eight feet to seven.

Can’t exactly say that this is a good idea- recently, the players likely to benefit from moving in the fences have all been on the other team….

 

QLE Posted: December 13, 2019 at 12:46 AM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: china basin, fences, giants, phone company park

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Stephen Vogt thanks Giants fans, organization in goodbye tweet

SAN FRANCISCO—It’s rare for a player to come to a new team, serve as a backup, and leave at the end of September with such a high approval rating that team employees and fans openly joke about him becoming their next manager. That’s the kind of impact Stephen Vogt had in 2019.

Vogt played 99 games for the Giants but agreed to a one-year deal with the rival Arizona Diamondbacks on Tuesday with a vesting option for a second year. Vogt was interested in returning and the Giants liked his presence alongside Buster Posey, but he told the San Francisco Chronicle that he chose the Diamondbacks over the Giants and one other suitor.

 

QLE Posted: November 26, 2019 at 10:46 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: giants, goodbyes, stephen vogt

Monday, November 25, 2019

MLB free agency: How post-Will Smith bullpen market looks for Giants

SAN FRANCISCO—The best reliever on the market came very close to being a Giant in 2020.

Will Smith told teams that he would sign the one-year qualifying offer and return to San Francisco if they did not come up with better offers, and he came pretty close to holding true to that statement. Ultimately the Atlanta Braves stepped in, giving Smith a three-year deal just before the deadline to accept the qualifying offer.

That move left the Giants with a massive hole in the ninth inning, but the bullpen issues go beyond the closer role.

The Giants had one of the National League’s best bullpens in the first half last season, but Sam Dyson, Mark Melancon and Drew Pomeranz were traded and Trevor Gott and Reyes Moronta got hurt. Of the six Giants who made at least 40 appearances out of the bullpen last year, only Gott and Tony Watson will be on the active roster on Opening Day.

Mind you, given that Will Smith basically came out of nowhere, is there a reason the Giants couldn’t do well just pulling in relievers from out of nowhere?

 

QLE Posted: November 25, 2019 at 04:22 PM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: bullpens, free agency, giants, relievers are inherently fungible, will smith

Baseball owners approve Johnson as Giants’ control person

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Greg Johnson was approved by the major league clubs as the new controlling owner of the San Francisco Giants.

Following the decision Thursday at the owners meetings in Arlington, Texas, Giants president and CEO Larry Baer still will represent the club at the meetings, along with Johnson and Rob Dean, who had been handling leadership duties since March. Baer was suspended without pay from March 4 through July 1 after a video showed him in a physical altercation with his wife.

Johnson is the son of Charles Johnson, part of the group including late managing partner Peter Magowan that bought the Giants in 1993 and kept them from relocating to Florida. Greg Johnson will be chairman and Dean the vice chairman, and both will be managing members, the team said in a statement.

Baer and president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi will report to Johnson and Dean.

A reminder that, under current conditions, not all ownership changes involving selling a team.

 

QLE Posted: November 25, 2019 at 02:30 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: giants, greg johnson, owners

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Giants pick ousted Phillies manager Gabe Kapler to succeed Bruce Bochy

SAN FRANCISCO — The Giants have found Bruce Bochy’s successor.

The club agreed to terms on a three-year contract with former Philadelphia Phillies manager Gabe Kapler, who is set to become the team’s next manager. Kapler will be officially introduced at a press conference on Wednesday at Oracle Park.

Kapler emerged from a pool of at least nine candidates and was one of three who received at least two interviews for the chance to hold a job last manned by Bochy, a three-time World Series champion. The other finalists were current Astros bench coach Joe Espada and Tampa Bay Rays bench coach Matt Quatraro.

“Probably the key thing that we were looking for and the most important trait if we could summarize it in one sentence for the next manager was somebody who was capable of building trust and relationships with both players and the front office,” Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi said on a conference call with beat writers.

Ever feel like the transit commissioner on SimCity 2000?

 

QLE Posted: November 13, 2019 at 12:07 AM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: gabe kapler, giants, managerial search

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

MLB free agency: Pros, cons for Giants signing pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu

The Giants have their new general manager in Scott Harris, and are expected to announce their next manager this week. Their next move will be reshaping the roster.

San Francisco refuses to use the word “rebuild,” often leaning on a “reload” instead. Harris, who was an essential part to the Cubs becoming contenders again, said at his introductory press conference Monday that the Giants’ goal is to soon be competitive again after three straight losing seasons.

But how soon? The Giants’ farm system is on the rise, and they have seen the effects of having an aging roster the past few seasons. In free agency, however, they could hold onto their top prospects while also adding proven talent.

One free agent that MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand recently pegged to the Giants is a name president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi is well familiar with. Should the Giants pursue Dodgers free-agent pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu?

 

QLE Posted: November 12, 2019 at 01:01 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: giants, hyun-jin ryu, rumors

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Giants name Scott Harris General Manager

Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: November 10, 2019 at 05:22 PM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: giants, scott harris

Saturday, November 09, 2019

Giants won’t have any tax concerns as they dive into free agency

SAN FRANCISCO—You almost needed an accounting degree to fully understand all the offseason moves the Giants made two years ago.

The trade for Evan Longoria included nearly $15 million coming back from the Rays. The Pirates covered $2.5 million of Andrew McCutchen’s salary. When Tony Watson walked into the Scottsdale Stadium clubhouse a few days into spring training, he did so on a complicated contract that was structured to keep the Giants under the competitive balance tax line.

The CBT was mentioned often by team officials for a couple of years and was constantly lingering in the background, a penalty that colored many of the organization’s moves. That’s still the case for several teams around baseball—most notably the Red Sox, who might trade superstar Mookie Betts because of payroll concerns—but as the Giants enter Farhan Zaidi’s first full offseason in charge, they at least know they don’t have payroll concerns.

After paying the tax for three consecutive seasons, the Giants dipped just under in 2018 and didn’t come close last year. While exact numbers are not available to the public, the Giants were estimated to have a tax number of about $177 million, according to Cot’s Contracts, putting them well below the $206 million threshold. They’ll open this offseason with even more breathing room.

Mind you, if both the players they made qualifying offers to accept them, that breathing room will go away rather quickly…..

 

QLE Posted: November 09, 2019 at 12:31 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: free agency, giants, luxury tax

Thursday, November 07, 2019

Giants pare list of managerial candidates to Gabe Kapler, two bench coaches

The Giants’ managerial search is down to three candidates, and though the club hopes to make the hire soon, team officials do not feel bound by a deadline, The Chronicle has learned.

The finalists are former Phillies manager and Dodgers farm director Gabe Kapler, Astros bench coach Joe Espada and Rays bench coach Matt Quatraro. Royals quality-control coach Pedro Grifol, one of the first to interview, is no longer under consideration.

Six of the eight teams that had managerial openings have filled them, leaving only the Giants and the Pirates. The Pittsburgh search has been delayed by the hiring of a general manager and team president.

So, does that give them time for another round of interviews, or two?

QLE Posted: November 07, 2019 at 12:51 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: gabe kapler, giants, joe espada, managerial search, matt quatraro

Friday, November 01, 2019

Sources: Giants down to three candidates in search for new manager

SAN FRANCISCO—A year ago, Larry Baer and the Giants ownership group had to wait until the end of the World Series to get a chance to hire their man. This time around, it’s Farhan Zaidi, last offseason’s big hire, who has had to be patient.

But Zaidi and the Giants appear to be zeroing in on a new manager.

According to league sources, the Giants are believed to have narrowed their search to former Phillies manager Gabe Kapler, Royals quality control coach Pedro Grifol and Astros bench coach Joe Espada, who is coming in for a second in-person interview now that Houston’s bid for a title is over.

The Giants talked to Espada on the phone early in a search process that kicked into gear in the week after Bruce Bochy’s final game. Before Game 3 of the World Series, he flew from Houston to San Francisco for several hours of interviews before catching a late afternoon flight to Washington D.C.

Wait a minute- “quality control coach”?

QLE Posted: November 01, 2019 at 01:29 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: gabe kapler, giants, joe espada, managerial search, pedro grifol

Thursday, October 31, 2019

AP Sources: Dodgers bench coach Geren interviewed by Giants

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Los Angeles Dodgers bench coach Bob Geren is among those who have interviewed for the San Francisco Giants managerial position that was left vacant when Bruce Bochy retired following the season.

Geren met with the team last week, and former Phillies manager Gape Kapler and Astros bench coach Joe Espada also are under consideration. Two people with direct knowledge of the search, speaking on condition of anonymity because the names weren’t made public, confirmed those men had been considered. In addition, Giants coaches Ron Wotus and Hensley Meulens received interviews and so did Oakland Athletics coach Mark Kotsay.

The 44-year-old Kapler was fired Oct. 10 after two seasons in Philadelphia and a 161-163 record. With Bryce Harper their blockbuster acquisition, the Phillies finished 81-81 for their first non-losing season since 2012.

With the World Series over, let the mad rush of hires for open positions begin!

 

 

QLE Posted: October 31, 2019 at 12:49 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: bob geren, giants, managerial search

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