Giants notes: All Star Game appearances, Hicks to Fresno, another draft pick signs

Less than a couple hours until game time in Minnesota, and we know who the Giants will be having in the dugout: Madison Bumgarner, Tim Hudson, and Hunter Pence. Bumgarner pitched Sunday, so he will not be throwing today, which leaves room for Hudson to be in the game. However, with guys like Adam Wainwright and Clayton Kershaw due up first, that probably takes out the first three to four innings. Then you throw in Zack Greinke, and Julio Teheran, those guys could eat up another two to three innings, you figure Greinke more if things get bad for Wainwright or Kershaw. With seven innings hopefully logged by those four studs, you likely will see the bullpen come into play in the form of Francisco Rodriguez, Aroldis Chapman, and Craig Kimbrel, probably leaving guys like Tim Hudson, Tony Watson, and Tyler Clippard on the outside looking in for some action (among others). Maybe Alfredo Simon and Huston Street get some time if the score is lopsided and/or the NL starts getting situational. With all that in mind, John Shea confirming things like that makes sense:

Wouldn’t bother me at all to have Bumgarner and Hudson just soak in another All Star Game. Not one bit. In not-so-All Star news, Brandon Hicks was out-righted to Triple-A Fresno this morning, per multiple sources. No other team thought Hicks could help their squad, so with the Giants he remains.

In Draft news, Kendall Rogers of Perfect Game broke that the Giants and their second round pick have an agreement.

You can find a gathering of notes on Aramis Garcia in this post I did the day of the Draft.

Tonight’s All Star Game’s coverage will begin at 4:30PM PST on FOX, with the first pitch probably beginning closer to 5:00PM PST.

News around the league: Selig press conference (Derby, smokeless tobacco, A’s, Wahoo, MiLB pay), Billy Bean, tonight’s lineups

Plenty going on in the last twenty-four hours to write about, and let’s start with Commissioner Bud Selig taking the spotlight, talking to the media about some of the many issues baseball has on its mind these days.

The Home Run Derby went a long, long time last night, and a lot of the reaction that came across my timeline were complaints and jokes about how long the event was. Nevertheless:

So, maybe we get another three-hour show in 2015 when the All Star Game is in Cincinnati, but after that? Perhaps there is some potential for change. Tony Gwynn‘s losing battle with cancer  has moved players like Stephen Strasburg and Addison Reed to quit dipping, and while MLB has reportedly pushed hard to ban it from the game, the MLBPA has pushed right back.   

The football team in Washington got some press for their logo, and some have wondered what comes next for the Cleveland baseball team, which has been seen more with a red block “C” on their caps than Chief Wahoo these days. Selig says that the team will have to eliminate the logo themselves.

Hopefully they are already making an effort to phase it out, nobody needs that logo for a sporting team. Another huge issue that hasn’t been going away is the pay of Minor League baseball players. If you have a Baseball Prospectus subscription, Russell Carlton throws out some numbers and ideas to consider. Bud Selig, however, is playing the role of the owner’s ambassador here:  

I am hoping MLB will decide to, or will be told to, raise the pay for MiLB players or provide food and a place to live for their players. After reading the recent material that’s out there, it isn’t right what those boys are going through.

Here’s something else that owners will love: saving money on players from outside the country!

Of course baseball’s owners will love the idea of saving money, and the MLBPA can sell it as more money focused towards the players they represent. I feel an international draft is inevitable, and that is too bad for the players and their families that are out there that will be subject to this.    

That has been going on for a while, and Adam Kilgore appeared to be a little surprised at the tone of optimism from Selig. Speaking of problems:

How about if the A’s were going to move out?   

Well, at least Montreal gets some love here, after they hosted some exhibitions in March:

More A’s Coliseum plans:   

That would be interesting, because I would imagine they would need a place to play in the mean time a new place were to be built, same as the Oakland Raiders. Might AT&T Park and Levi’s Stadium be considered for a one-season use?

Great concerns:   

I feel really bad for fans that can’t watch their team, and the Dodger faithful are no exception. I’m not putting blame on one side or another in this fiasco, but it’s ridiculous. Sports Net LA went on a little rant yesterday spitting out facts about their negotiations, but they still leave questions on the table about what the numbers are.

Joe Torre also said in his part of the press conference that the catcher collisions rule (rule 7.13) would not be cancelled, and of course that they are looking to speed up instant replay.

An excellent move by Major League Baseball was announced today as former baseball player Billy Bean (different from A’s GM Billy Beane) was hired by Major League Baseball to be their Ambassador For Inclusion, as he works with MLB and MiLB clubs to talk about LGBT issues, as well as race, gender, and other issues of diversity, per OutSports. Naturally, you will find people that don’t see what the big deal is and that MLB is just trying to make it look like it’s with the times, but this is an important step as Bean as a big and important challenge on his hands to combat the homophobia, racism, and misogyny that exists in the clubhouses and front offices.

Lastly, your lineups for tonight, starting with the visiting National League:

For the home American League:  

Coverage will begin on FOX at 4:30PM PST, with the game hopefully beginning at, or soon after 5:0o PM PST.

Going Cuban: My HR Derby picks

There will be much homering at Target Field in just a few hours, and the internet is already super excited about Chris Berman and John Kruk being at the mic wishing the World Cup was still going on. However, just because many are announcing their protest doesn’t mean you can’t mute your television or kick back to watch some rockets get launched. To refresh your memory, here are the participants in the Derby tonight, coverage beginning at 5:00 PM PST on ESPN:

Jose Bautista, Toronto Blue Jays

Yoenis Cespedes, Oakland Athletics

Josh Donaldson, Oakland Athletics

Brian Dozier, Minnesota Twins

Adam Jones, Baltimore Orioles

Troy Tulowitzki, Colorado Rockies

Todd Frazier, Cincinnati Reds

Yasiel Puig, Los Angeles Dodgers

Giancarlo Stanton, Miami Marlins

Justin Morneau, Colorado Rockies

The Derby will have the American League and National League players homering to see who gets the top three individual homer totals from each league, and then from there a bracket set-up will ensue with the three remaining players from each league. This set-up guarantees that there will be one American League player and one National League player in the finals. Stepping back for a moment, the round after all ten players get their chance will see the players with the number two and number three homer totals battle for the right to go up against the player that hit the most home runs in the first stage. From there, there will be the AL semi-finals and the NL semi-finals, and then after someone out-homers the other within those two separate groups, it’ll be AL vs. NL. I filled out a bracket on MLB’s site for a chance to win money and you should, too. Round-by-round, here’s how I chose:

AL Round One

#1 Adam Jones

#2 Yoenis Cespedes

#3 Jose Bautista

Brian Dozier

Josh Donaldson

NL Round One

#1 Yasiel Puig

#2 Giancarlo Stanton

#3 Troy Tulowitzki

Todd Frazier

Justin Morneau

AL Round Two

#3 Joey Bats beats #2 Yoenis

NL Round Two

#2 Giancarlo beat #3 Tulo

AL Round Three

#3 Joey Bats beats #1 Adam Jones

NL Round Three

#1 Puig beats #2 Stanton

Finals

Puig beats Bautista

Any prediction is a good prediction since really there’s no pattern between in-season performance and the Derby. All my picks will probably be wrong and Todd Frazier will beat Yoenis Cespedes or something. Who knows, we’re just hoping it’ll be lots of fun. In the end, I think another Cuban player will be hoisting the trophy in a pretty fun set of final rounds.

Yesterday’s news today: Tim Hudson, NL All-Star

Madison Bumgarner pitched on Sunday, so that opened the door for another player to be put on to the NL All Star roster so they would be available to pitch for the National League squad. Manager Bruce Bochy and all Giants players and probably all Giants fans hoped that Tim Hudson would be that player to replace Bumgarner, and so it was.

Also of note is that today is Tim Hudson’s 39th birthday. As John Shea notes, Hudson was an All Star twice with the A’s, once with the Braves, and in his first season with the Giants.  

Hudson is top-20 in MLB in ERA (2.87), top-40 in innings pitched (119.1), is 22nd in FIP (3.22), and is also fourth in the majors in ground-ball percentage among qualified starters (56.8%). Hudson started the season off so strong, whispers of a Cy Young award were being made around Giants circles, but since those first couple months, Hudson has shown his human side.

Split ERA GS IP H ER HR BB SO HBP WP BF WHIP SO9 SO/W
April/March 2.17 6 45.2 32 11 3 2 31 1 1 170 0.745 6.1 15.50
May 1.46 4 24.2 24 4 1 4 13 2 0 101 1.135 4.7 3.25
June 3.86 6 37.1 44 16 2 10 26 2 1 164 1.446 6.3 2.60
July 5.56 2 11.1 12 7 1 3 8 0 0 47 1.324 6.4 2.67
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 7/14/2014.

While we all wish that 31/2 strikeout-to-walk ratio never would have left, we know that Hudson is more of a two-to-one K/BB pitcher than a 15.5/1. Even his June and July are a little higher than his career average, although they would not be an outlier were they to be season-to-season data points. Here’s how opposing hitters have done against Hudson so far this year (via BrooksBaseball.net):

Screen Shot 2014-07-14 at 9.25.44 AM

While his four-seam fastball may not be fooling hitters, his sinker is still doing the job and his other pitches are doing enough to fool hitters, though the BABIP on those other pitches do not suggest the same quality of the pitch that his sinker is.

Hudson joins a loaded National League rotation that includes Clayton Kershaw, Adam Wainwright, Jordan Zimmermann, Zack Greinke and a handful of solid relievers. If Kershaw and Wainwright give the NL squad two innings a piece, I’d expect Hudson to get one inning at the most. Manager Bruce Bochy has said that if Hudson doesn’t have a long outing in the All Star game, he’ll be slotted to be #2 in the rotation upon return from the All Star Break.

The All Star Game begins airing at 4:30 PM PST on FOX.

Video: Giants battery first ever to each go grand in MLB history

The Giants won their game on Sunday over the Diamondbacks 8-4, finishing the “first half” at 52-43, one game back and two wins less than the Dodgers. Sunday was not without it’s “wow” moments, as you always hope to see something you’ve never seen before in a baseball game you’re watching, be it a defensive play, a perfect game, perhaps, or a day at the plate to remember forever. For Madison Bumgarner and Buster Posey, they didn’t make history individually, but through both of their grand slams off of Diamondback fastballs, they combined for history.

The video with the call by Dave Flemming for your viewing pleasure can be seen here. Buster Posey and Madison Bumgarner both have two career grand slams, as Flemming notes in the video. Once I see the video is embeddable I will take the link off and embed it here.

There is technically currently a three-way tie for the first and second wild card spots in the National League between the Nationals, Braves, and Giants. The Nationals and Braves are tied for first in the NL East.

Roster move: Marco Scutaro reinstated off the DL, Brandon Hicks designated for assignment

Even though 2B Marco Scutaro is not in the starting lineup, he has already been reinstated off the disabled list.

Brandon Hicks came on during Spring Training and naturally, the Giants hoped they could use Hicks while he was hitting well. Hicks did contribute eight home runs for the Giants over the first two months of the season including a .368 wOBA in the first month, which is pretty good. The next two months were at .250 and .218 with high K% rates that were consistent all 2014. If no teams claim him, the Giants can outright Hicks to Triple-A Fresno, and Hicks can choose if he wants to accept that assignment or become a free agent.

In 127 games in 2013, Marco Scutaro threw up a .357 OBP and had the best contact rate among qualified hitters by more than three percent. We know Scutaro will not match the homer production that Hicks gave, but the we’re all hoping he can be close to what he gave in 2013 even while not being able to start all the time due to the back pain that’s kept him out for the first half of the 2014 season.

First pitch is at 7:15PM PST. Here’s the link to the pre-gamer.

Friday’s pre-gamer: No Scutaro yet, Colvin’s in CF, All Star second catcher named, lineups

The Giants go from facing the best in the West in the Oakland Athletics to possibly the worst team in the Arizona Diamondbacks. The Diamondbacks have boosted their muscle a little bit with the activation of Mark Trumbo and the optioning of former Giant Roger Kieschnick to Triple-A Reno. As Tim Lincecum takes the mound for the Giants, everybody knows about the unreal numbers Paul Goldschmidt has against Timmy. Even this year, Goldschmidt continues to essentially ask Lincecum, “Why are you even pitching to me?”

Year PA AB H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS SF IBB HBP GDP
2011 9 9 5 1 0 2 4 0 3 .556 .556 1.333 1.889 0 0 0 0
2012 8 5 3 0 0 3 6 2 1 .600 .625 2.400 3.025 1 0 0 0
2013 6 6 2 0 0 0 1 0 1 .333 .333 .333 .667 0 0 0 1
2014 8 6 5 1 0 2 6 1 0 .833 .750 2.000 2.750 1 0 0 0
RegSeason 31 26 15 2 0 7 17 3 5 .577 .581 1.462 2.042 2 0 0 1
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 7/11/2014.

Being outdone by just a little bit this year is Aaron Hill, who will be batting leadoff tonight for the Diamondbacks. Even though he doesn’t have the grossly high extra-base hit numbers, he still has found a way to get on base against Timmy.

Year PA AB H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS SF IBB HBP GDP
2007 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 .000 .500 .000 .500 0 0 0 0
2011 6 5 3 3 0 0 2 1 1 .600 .667 1.200 1.867 0 0 0 0
2012 8 7 4 1 0 0 0 1 1 .571 .625 .714 1.339 0 1 0 0
2013 3 1 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 .000 .667 .000 .667 0 0 0 0
2014 6 5 4 0 0 0 2 0 1 .800 .667 .800 1.467 1 0 0 0
RegSeason 25 19 11 4 0 0 4 5 4 .579 .640 .789 1.429 1 1 0 0
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 7/11/2014.

Keys to the game for Timmy is always locating that fastball, and some suggest keeping runners off base (may seem like an obvious key to the game). Eleven out of fifteen on stolen base attempts, as well as sixteen extra-base hits:

Split PA H 2B 3B HR SB CS BB SO SO/W BA OBP SLG GDP BAbip tOPS+ sOPS+
273 55 9 2 5 0 0 26 64 2.46 .224 .300 .337 0 .282 84 85
Men On 172 39 6 4 6 11 4 16 31 1.94 .257 .326 .467 8 .280 126 118
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 7/11/2014.

Lincecum also has a pretty big home/road ERA split:

Split ERA GS CG SHO IP H ER HR BB SO HBP WP BF WHIP SO9 SO/W
Home 2.81 11 1 1 67.1 49 21 6 26 63 2 4 273 1.114 8.4 2.42
Away 5.82 7 0 0 38.2 45 25 5 16 32 0 3 172 1.578 7.4 2.00
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 7/11/2014.

You can check out his game logs here. Ok, enough spreadsheets, let’s go to the lineups, starting with the Diamondbacks:

Now for the Giants, who have no Marco Scutaro, no Buster Posey (not Lincecum’s personal catcher, and should get a day off anyway), and Tyler Colvin starting in CF in the bigs for the first time since July 8th of last year with the Rockies.  

Notes on Marco Scutaro, and other items of business not Cleveland-related:

I thought that Buster Posey would be the logical choice to replace Yadier Molina on the All Star roster, but Miguel Montero is the choice, and the stats suggest they are not far from each other in terms of performance this year. The bright side is Buster Posey gets to rest for the second half of the season.

Lastly, the Giants have signed first-round pick Tyler Beede out of Vanderbilt to a deal worth $2.613MM. The rest of the unsigned draft picks that were waiting on Beede to sign should start inking their deals soon.

First pitch is scheduled for 7:15PM PST. In case you missed last night’s Dodger game, the Giants are now in second, a full game back.

Another quick pre-gamer: Adrianza recalled to the bigs, Perez optioned, Posey could be an All-Star soon

Thursday brings the series finale of the Bay Bridge Series as the Giants hope to earn a split of this four-game set, and as the Los Angeles Dodgers begin a four-game series of their own with the lowly San Diego Padres, it would be even more in the Giants interest to win today. With lefty Scott Kazmir on the mound today for the Athletics, Brandon Belt gets moved out of the #2 spot and the other starting Brandon in Brandon Crawford takes Belt’s spot. MLB Network notes that the Giants have not scored more than five runs in seventeen games. On ther other side of the Bay, Jed Lowrie of the A’s has been looking good of late:

The lineup for the A’s has a high-OBP catcher in the leadoff spot, which I like to see. Why does the lead-off runner have to be fast? At the very least, you want to make sure they can get on base.    

For the Giants, this is what it looks like, with possible All Star Tim Hudson on the mound:

Other notes on the Giants, starting on the All Star replacements:  

The Cardinals are also having a press conference very soon, beat writers in St. Louis are speculating it’s for Yadier Molina’s thumb injury.

Important news for those hoping and waiting on Tim Hudson to be announced as an All Star. As for first round pick Tyler Beede, whom the Giants have an agreement with:

This was an announcement from after Wednesday night’s victory:

As for the plan the Giants have for Ehire Adrianza:  

Since Juan Perez is out, you might be wondering who would be backing up Gregor Blanco in CF:

Tyler Colvin the #2 CF on your San Francisco Giants. Come back soon, Angel Pagan. Speaking of coming back, no new news on Marco Scutaro being reactivated on Friday. Brandon Hicks will probably be cleaning out his locker after the game. In general news, Mark Simon of ESPN looked at BABIP vs. hard-hit rate overall… 

…and for the past month. Not surprising that the Giants are rated as a little unlucky.

First pitch is scheduled for 12:45PM PST and can be seen on MLB Network for fans that are outside the Bay Area markets.

Quick Pre-Gamer: Scutaro could be back on Friday, Giants could tie Dodgers for first with win tonight

As of now, the most intriguing story is when Marco Scutaro will return. He started his rehabilitation process with the Arizona Rookie League squad, and just a couple days ago moved on to being in Fresno to face much more advanced competition relative to the rookies, and now the beat writers are being told he may be back as early as Friday.

That Scutaro is returning before Angel Pagan, and possibly only a week after Brandon Belt is a welcome surprise to all Giants fans, and though we have heard Marco the eleventy-billion-dollar-man may not be an everyday starter again, having him being back should be a significant upgrade over Brandon Hicks and Ehire Adrianza. Since Adrianza is out of options, I’m guessing once he’s ready would mean an optioning of Joe Panik back to Fresno, and Brandon Hicks would likely be taken off the 25-man roster as well.  

The A’s are down one of their hitters tonight thanks to playing in a National League park, so maybe that will slow them down:

On the Giants side of the lineup card, Gregor Blanco is out of the leadoff spot and Hunter Pence is in.

For Jason Hammel, he has fifty strikeouts and eight walks in his last seven starts in 44.1 innings pitched, and the A’s obviously hope that kind of pitching continues as he goes against Matt Cain and the Giants. The box score on Cain’s last two starts have been encouraging, but the Oakland offense has been a challenge to deal with thus far. A win tonight would put the Giants in a tie for first place in the National League West as the Detroit Tigers finished their two-game sweep over the Dodgers. Thank you, Detroit Tigers.

First pitch is scheduled for 7:15PM PST.

While you were asleep: Giants reach agreement with first round pick Tyler Beede (@tylerbeede11)

The article on the Giants web page says it was published a little after 11:00 PM PST Monday night, and draft pick Tyler Beede tweeted  a “God is good! #Blessed” tweet around 8:42 PM PST, so it seems pretty reliable that the Giants and College World Series winner Tyler Beede have indeed reached an agreement to a deal. The deal is reportedly worth $2.65 million, which is just above the $2.61 million draft slot, so if the Giants signed the rest of their draft picks to the allotted slots, they would only have to pay a tax for going over.

The Giants have thirteen picks signed, and now five of their top ten at least agreeing to a deal, both are league lows as the rest of the Giants draft picks that look to play professionally next year have been waiting for Beede to sign so they know what they can request. As Beede has thrown more than 100 innings this year with Vanderbilt, it will be interesting to see if they shut Beede down for the remainder of the season, or let him throw some innings for the team in Arizona with the rookie league team or Salem-Keizer with their low-A squad, and where 2013 first round pick Christian Arroyo is playing.

For more quotes and scouting on Beede, I wrote up something and put together some thoughts on Beede from the scouting industry for you to look at. July 18th is the deadline for players that were picked to sign to the team that drafted them.

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