2012 first-round pick Chris Stratton promoted to Double-A Richmond

Per Joe Ritzo, radio broadcaster of the High-A San Jose Giants, 2012 first-round draft pick Chris Stratton has been promoted to Double-A Richmond.

MLB.com projects Stratton to be a below-average MLB player (scouting grade 45 overall) and has this on his scouting report:

“Stratton was overpowering at times at Mississippi State, where he worked at 91-93 mph, and hit 95 mph consistently. Last year, his fastball sat at 89-92 mph, though it remains effective because he can spot it on both sides of the plate and impart it with some run and sink.

Stratton uses four pitches, with his quick slider being the best of his secondary offerings. He also has a curveball he can throw for strikes and a changeup with more deception than movement. With Stratton’s stuff and command, he could become a No. 3 starter.”

The Giants picked Stratton one pick after the St. Louis Cardinals nabbed Michael Wacha, who went through the Minors quickly before helping the big club. If only the Giants could have picked before the Cardinals… although maybe Stratton develops into a solid MLB contributor. His ETA per MLB.com is next season. The California League tends to be hitter-friendly so it is possible that the ERA is a little inflated.

Monday’s lineups and notes from the beat: Belt and Pagan updates, Giants finally not facing really good pitcher

I was away from a computer for the vast majority of Thursday through Sunday, and watched about zero Giants baseball in that time. That means I missed news on Marco Scutaro and Hector Sanchez going to the DL with Andrew Susac getting the call, Tony Abreu coming back, Dan Uggla getting called up, Jake Peavy being a Giant and Edwin Escobar plus Heath Hembree changing socks colors. That’s a lot happening for a couple weeks, much less a few days. The Dodgers have a day off today before opening an eight-game homestand and a ten day LA stay. The Giants are a half-game ahead of the Cardinals for the second wild card spot and are one-and-a-half games ahead of their next series opponent, the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Bucs won a series against the Dodgers while the Giants were beating up on the Phillies but then turned around and lost a series to the Rockies with a pair of 8-1 losses. They begin their series with the Giants with the contact-able Vance Worley. Take a look at the StS, the swinging strikes that Worley gets — even if he gets hitters off-balance, he still gets his pitches hit for the most part. With a 2014 BABIP of .287 and a career average of .321, forgive that I am waiting for the Giants to get on Worley like the Cardinals did. However, his walks are down to a very acceptable level at a 4.2% ratio.

Date Opp Rslt Inngs IP H ER BB SO HR ERA BF Pit Str StL StS GB FB
Jun 15 @ MIA L,2-3 GS-7 7.0 5 0 0 5 0 0.00 26 95 68 28 5 7 14
Jun 21 @ CHC W,5-3 GS-7 6.2 5 3 1 4 1 1.98 26 89 68 14 3 8 13
Jun 26 NYM W,5-2 GS-7 7.0 7 1 2 3 1 1.74 28 100 70 18 6 12 10
July Opp Rslt Inngs IP H ER BB SO HR ERA BF Pit Str StL StS GB FB
Jul 3 ARI L,2-10 GS-7 7.0 4 3 2 6 1 2.28 27 87 59 22 5 8 11
Jul 8 @ STL L,4-5 GS-5 5.0 9 4 0 3 0 3.03 23 75 49 14 4 11 9
Jul 13 @ CIN L,3-6 6-7 2.0 4 2 0 1 1 3.38 10 38 24 8 2 5 4
Jul 22 LAD W,12-7 GS-6 6.0 7 1 2 5 0 3.10 28 98 69 22 3 9 12
40.2 41 14 7 27 4 3.10 168
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 7/28/2014.

Here are the boys that will be backing him tonight:

I still don’t know why Josh Harrison was an All-Star. Oh well. Giants don’t miss Pirates prospect Gregory Polanco this time. 

Joe Panik‘s back in the lineup and Hunter Pence is back hitting leadoff. 

Here’s what Madison Bumgarner‘s splits look like, as Madison Bumgarner looks to go against eight right-handed hitters in tonight’s Pirates lineup:     

vs RHB 449 104 24 1 10 31 98 3.16 .254 .310 .390 11
vs LHB 133 32 8 0 1 3 43 14.33 .258 .271 .347 2
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 7/28/2014.

Similar batting averages, but definitely not similar strikeout-to-walk ratios. Neil Walker the only LHH in the lineup for the Pirates tonight. Polanco is a switch-hitter. 

Other notes from the beat’s conversations with manager Bruce Bochy, starting with Angel Pagan

Next, Brandon Belt appears to be getting better, which of course, is a good sign.

Other news out of the catching department, as Andrew Susac knows he’ll get a start soon. Hector Sanchez reportedly failed his concussion test.  

For those interested:

First pitch is scheduled for 7:15PM PST. Go Giants.

MLB.com releases midseason prospect ranking and top twenty SF Giants list

On Sunday evening, MLB.com released their midseason prospect ranking that included a top 100, as well as a top twenty for each ballclub led by former Baseball America editor Jim Callis, a respected voice in the industry. He and his team put together this list for your clicking pleasure. What is nice is that they included the 2014 draftees in this list to give fans an idea of where they believe these guys will fit into the system. As you will read the article, you’ll notice scouting grades, and an estimated time of arrival for the prospects. By ETA, here are the breakdowns that Callis’ team believes the prospects will make it to the bigs:

2014 — 3 (includes Kickham, who played for the big club in 2013)

2015 — 8

2016 — 3

2017 — 6

You’ll notice that Edwin Escobar and Heath Hembree are not in the top twenty. The list also has three position players in the top ten, with no reliever cracking that top half of the list. Here’s the list, headlined by two strong arms with control issues:

1. Kyle Crick, RHP, 2011 Draft (49th overall), MLB.com’s #51 prospect overall

2. Tyler Beede, RHP, 2014 Draft (14th overall)

3. Andrew Susac, C, 2011 Draft (2nd round)

4. Adalberto Mejia, LHP (international signee)

5. Keury Mella, RHP (international signee)

6. Ty Blach, RHP, 2012 Draft (5th round)

7. Clayton Blackburn, RHP, 2011 Draft (16th round)

8. Joe Panik, 2B/SS, 2011 Draft (1st round)

9. Chris Stratton, RHP, 2012 Draft (1st round)

10. Aramis Garcia, C, 2014 Draft (2nd round)

11. Steven Okert, LHP reliever, 2012 Draft (4th round)

12. Luis Ysla, LHP (international signee)

13. Christian Arroyo, 2B/SS, 2013 Draft (1st round)

14. Ryder Jones, SS/3B, 2013 Draft (2nd round)

15. Mac Williamson, OF, 2012 Draft (3rd round)

16. Derek Law, RHP reliever, 2011 Draft (9th round)

17. Kendry Flores, RHP (international signee)

18. Matt Duffy, 2B/SS, 2012 Draft (18th round)

19. Joan Gregorio, RHP (international signee)

20. Mike Kickham, LHP, 2010 Draft (6th round)

We’ll see how many of these names will still be here on August 1st, or even at the beginning of Spring Training in 2015. With the higher-ups not giving GM Brian Sabean a lot of support for future moneys, it’s going to put the pressure on these prospects that are projected to be there in 2015 to be there for the big club to provide the Giants with some cheap talent for at least the next four years.

Tuesday’s pre-game and day in review: Krukow, Headley in Pinstripes, a Bartolo Colon trade rumor surfaces, Pagan swinging off a tee

A busy day no doubt for fans in the NL West. First, there’s the article on Mike Krukow that came out this morning talking about his struggle with IBM, or inclusion-body myosotis. I summed it up and provided a link to the original article in the post. Chase Headley got traded to the New York Yankees today and Keith Law talks about the return the Padres got, which may not be much. “A missed opportunity,” to be sure, as I remember there being talk about whether the Padres should sell high on Headley, and instead are left with Yangervis Solarte and a low-minors reliever that does have some potential to make the bigs in Rafael de Paula. Also within the NL West, Troy Tulowitzki has hit the DL once again, the All-Star’s body just does not want to cooperate. Before we get into the lineups, there was also a rumor that surfaced today that mentioned the Giants having interest in Mets pitcher Bartolo Colon. The Giants are wary to take on money for 2015 with a heavy payroll already, so it’s no surprise the Giants would want the Mets to help off-set costs, and an additional non-shocker that the Mets aren’t keen on that. However, with Matt Cain out for an unknown amount of time, it should not be any surprise to hear the Giants name mentioned with any pitcher on the trade block. They will kick all tires, as any capable front office would do.

With Matt Cain out, Yusmeiro Petit is in, but one of yesterday’s heroes, Adam Duvall, is not. Hector Sanchez will be catching today to give Buster Posey some time off from squatting and foul tips, so Duvall gets a rest.

Roberto Hernandez opposes Petit tonight and Ben Revere gets leadoff duties tonight, moving Grady Sizemore to left and Dominic Brown gets a night off.      

Philadelphia’s ballyard can play large, so Petit’s low ground-ball percentage may play alright tonight. Keeping the K/9 above nine and BB/9 below two would also be advised. Hernandez has a FIP in the high-4’s and a BB/9 over four, so that seems promising for the Giants, who were very aggressive early on against Cliff Lee on Monday. It is not beyond Hernandez to keep the hits allowed low, though, as he has allowed three hits in each of four of his last six outings. Only note from the beat writers to note is that on Angel Pagan:

First pitch, like Monday, and like tomorrow, is scheduled for 4:05PM PST. The Dodgers will continue their series in Pittsburgh and hopefully the Pirates will be a little more helpful today.

Tuesday morning’s breaking news via @cwnevius: Mike Krukow battling a degenerative muscle disease

San Francisco Giants fans will certainly take great interest in this morning’s article from C.W. Nevius that is no doubt spreading like wildfire throughout the baseball and Giants community. The article goes into detail talking about inclusion-body myosotis, IBM, the generative muscle disease that Giants broadcaster Mike Krukow was diagnosed with eight years ago. Nevius relays that “IBM causes progressive weakness in the muscles of the wrist and fingers, the front of the thigh, and the muscles that lift the front of the foot. There’s no cure and no solid theory for what causes it.” Krukow said he noticed something might be going on when his drives while golfing weren’t what they used to be. His doctor told him that he would have to use a cane, then a walker, then would need a cart to get around, and currently will use a golf cart to get around the stadium as even a nudge could send Krukow for a spill. In April, as the article notes, Krukow stumbled off the team bus in Colorado that resulted in a torn rotator cuff. Broadcast partner Duane Kuiper says Kruk’s the same guy, and partner Dave Flemming shares similar sentiments:

Another question Giants fans would probably have is if this will affect the desire of Krukow to continue his broadcasting career.

“Kuip says he wants to do this until he is 80,” Krukow said. “So do I.”

Wife of Mike, Jennifer, says the best thing for Giants fans to do to support Mike is to “treat him like you normally would.”

We are all shocked and surprised to hear about this, and we hope this disease does no more to Krukow and that soon a cure is found for IBM.

Monday’s lineups and scribbles: Dan Uggla in, Tony Abreu out of Fresno; Cain’s timetable (or lack thereof) to return

Less than thirty minutes to game time at Citizens Bank Park, so let’s make this quick. Check out any of the beat writer’s timelines for the information that I’m relaying to you that isn’t the lineups:

  • Dan Uggla‘s deal with the Giants starts with him reporting to Fresno. Uggla, of course, was a former teammate of Tim Hudson and manager Bruce Bochy suggests that perhaps a change of scenery will do the trick for Uggla.
  • Tony Abreu has opted out of his contract with the Giants and is now a free agent
  • There is no timetable for Matt Cain to be back, so it doesn’t sound like he’ll be back for the home series against the Dodgers. Yusmeiro Petit will get the spot starts as Cain rests. We’ll see how bad Cain’s absence hurts the Giants as George Kontos gets plugged into the bullpen.
  • Adam Duvall is in the lineup today after Brandon Belt went on the seven-day disabled list. Belt will be resting at the team hotel tonight.

The lineups for the Giants, tied for the NL West division lead, have Marco Scutaro in for the second game in a row:

The lineups for the Philadelphia Phillies, last place in the NL East and 6-4 in their last ten games, have Grady Sizemore at the very top of their lineup:

First pitch is scheduled for 4:05PM PST with Ryan Vogelsong opposing Cliff Lee and the Phillies. This is Lee’s first start back from being on the 60-day disabled list.

Monday roster moves: Cain and Belt to the DL, welcome back Kontos and Duvall

We knew yesterday that Brandon Belt was going to go on the DL with a concussion, but we didn’t know for how long. We had also heard Matt Cain was feeling some discomfort in his elbow from the elbow chips floating around. The Giants account decided to give us all a hearty good morning with some injury announcements. First, answering the question of how long Belt’s DL stay could be:

The important question with Matt Cain is “when will he be back,” and the answer appears to be, “when the Giants finish their series against the Dodgers.”   

There have been no indications that Cain will look to remove the bone chips in-season, so this will probably be a lingering problem for the rest of the season for him.

George Kontos was incorrectly included on the lineup card yesterday, but now he can walk out the door with those bags and head on over to Philly.

Yusmeiro Petit will go against Roberto Hernandez in what is scheduled to be the most underwhelming matchup of pitchers in the four-game series between the Giants and Phillies. Therefore, both pitchers will probably go eight innings before both bullpens implode.    

Petit’s last outing was July 18th when he threw one inning, second to last outing on July 10th. Hopefully by the beginning of August everybody will be back.

The first three games of this series are scheduled to begin at 4:05PM PST, while Thursday’s game is set for a 10:05 AM PST first pitch.


Roster move to be made: Brandon Belt has a concussion, Adam Duvall going to Philly

I watched a Giants game today and it was the only game they have lost since the All Star Break. Tim Lincecum threw one wild pitch too many, and the bottom of the Giants lineup was the embodiment of June. Tests confirmed Brandon Belt has a concussion and will be out for at least a week.

Belt had a .167/.262/.278 with ten strikeouts and five walks in forty-two plate appearances since coming off the DL on July 4th. In eighteen plate appearances with the Giants, Adam Duvall had a .167/.167/.389 with four strikeouts in eighteen plate appearances. Since he returned to Fresno, Duvall was throwing up a .340/.367/.660 with a .435 wOBA including three home runs and six doubles in forty-eight plate appearances. Triple-A appears to be a little easy for him, so hopefully playing against Philadelphia and the Dodgers will be good times for him. Then again, he might have to go against Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels, Zack Greinke, Hyun-jin Ryu, and Clayton Kershaw, so, good luck with that.

Sunday lineups: Miscommunication could land Belt on DL, Scutaro starts as Giants go for sweep

The San Francisco Giants have first place in the NL West all by themselves, a full game over the Los Angeles Dodgers. Life should be good, we should be getting ahead of ourselves, but instead, the Giants are forced to continue worrying about the depth of their roster. Brandon Belt told the media that during batting practice before Saturday’s game he was looking at shortstop for a throw when a ball was thrown from second base and hit him in the face. Belt said he was fine at the time of his RBI double, but ultimately Belt’s reports of headaches, nausea, and dizziness caused manager Bruce Bochy to pull the plug on Belt for Saturday. There was a lineup card posted earlier on Sunday that had George Kontos‘ name on it, but that was taken down, reported to be another miscommunication that Kontos was getting called up when no official decision has been made. As I write this, the results from Belt’s concussion test have not been in yet, and the Belt and Giants are waiting for the results on it. All the arm-chair doctors probably won’t be surprised if Belt lands on the 7-day DL given his current condition and the fact that a baseball hit him in the face. Hope he feels better soon.

Sunday’s lineup features a Marco Scutaro, and Hector Sanchez is behind the plate today as Tim Lincecum toes the rubber. Brandon Crawford gets a day off and Buster Posey takes Belt’s spot at first for the day.

Giancarlo Stanton is starting so the Marlins will score at least one run today.        

Two straight games of scoring five or more runs for the Giants, and that should be enough for Lincecum as he looks to continue his recent dominance on the mound. The Dodgers have Clayton Kershaw on the mound tonight in St. Louis as the Dodgers try to avoid being swept to start the second half against the Cardinals. Can’t say I’d be mad with a two game lead going into Philadelphia.

First pitch is scheduled for 10:10AM PST.

Saturday’s Lineups: O Scutaro, Where Art Thou (plus today’s trade rumors for the NL West)

Marco Scutaro has started one game in the five games he has been eligible to be in the lineup, and since you remember the one game he was in, you have figured out he’s not in Saturday’s lineup. It was reported yesterday that Scutaro is dealing with a stiff neck, this probably in addition to his imperfect back is making it too difficult for Scutaro to play. While the Giants try to figure out if they need to deal for a second baseman, Scutaro in this very small sample size of games is making the case that he is an upgraded Freddy Sanchez. He has the chance to use another small sample size of games upcoming to prove he’s better that.

Tim Hudson‘s on the mound today as he goes up against another pitcher named to the All Star team in Henderson Alvarez. The lineups:

The trade deadline is approaching, so there will be plenty to think about as the 31st comes around. Cleveland is one game over-.500 and only two-and-a-half games back of the second Wild Card spot, so this may be a bit unlikely for July. Certainly “a big if.”

Asdrubal Cabrera and Mike Aviles would come with much different price tags, Cabrera being the more valuable.

I wrote about the Huston Street trade very quickly. Street isn’t the only Padre that was being looked at, as Chase Headley, Ian Kennedy, Chris Denorfia, and Joaquin Benoit‘s names been floated around from the media regards to other teams being interested in the last twenty-four hours.

Meanwhile, from Arizona, the Diamondbacks reportedly think holding on to a reliever with another year and at least $6.5 million owed to him is a fantastic idea instead of getting back some help for the farm.

Perhaps when the D-Backs heard what the Tigers would be offering they felt the return wouldn’t match what Ziegler has produced.

First pitch in Miami is scheduled for 4:10 PM PST.


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