Results tagged ‘ Joaquin Arias ’

The June Small Sample Size Show: The Giants bench players that are doing well, ok, and oh my gosh what why how

We can talk about the slide the San Francisco Giants are on, or we can look at individual performances that involve sample sizes that are way too small to project anything going forward in this post. I’m going to choose the latter because the former is a tired subject that makes me want to only pay attention to soccer and how the Dodgers are doing. Due to the injuries of Marco Scutaro, Brandon Belt, and the off-and-on-ness of Angel Pagan, the Giants bench has had to do more than its fair share of work. I think the good people of the world have figured out that Juan Perez, Brandon Hicks, Ehire Adrianza, Joaquin Arias, Hector Sanchez, Tyler Colvin, and Gregor Blanco are not meant to be full-time starters, but are better suited for back-up roles when they’re at their best. The best of the bunch is probably Blanco and he can have his stable moments, but big picture, bench player. In June, each has been able to contribute to at least a few games, so while I was playing with some spreadsheets I thought I’d share some of the numbers I found on June’s offensive production for these gentlemen and divide them into good performances, acceptable for a bench player, and being in the region for many fans calling for your demotion. You likely already know about Hicks, and possibly Blanco, but what about the other four?

The Good Bench Performances in June

In eighteen plate appearances, Juan Perez has done enough to stay, collecting two doubles and even hitting a home run (proof below that it happened) that are driving up his wOBA to an acceptable .359. His 38.9% K% is more along the lines of what we’d expect from him, and he also has zero walks in his few chances.

Gregor Blanco has had the lion’s share of starts in Pagan’s absence, and this month, he’s held his own with a .380 OBP, .349 wOBA, and three extra base hits. A wRC+ of 127 is cool, too, but please come back soon, Pagan.

Ehire Adrianza in twenty-seven plate appearances has been decent this month, despite collecting only one extra base hit, his wOBA is at .343, has his OBP is at .407. His ground ball percentage is 28.6% for the month and his K% is 11.1%, so we’ll see which one of those two is less sustainable (not that the other numbers are not sustainable).

The Acceptable Bench Performances in June

Joaquin Arias, who has an overall wRC+ of five this season, Arias has a wRC+ of 94 in June, a .350 OBP, and a .302 wOBA in twenty-plate appearances. There are some good numbers that come up, but for June, I’d say this is about what you would realistically hope to get out of a bench player.

Tyler Colvin I think is on the tail end of “acceptable” here, with a .290 OBP, .282 wOBA, and an 81 wRC+ with a couple extra base hits. If you wanted to say this wasn’t good enough to be in this tier, I wouldn’t blame you. He’s a bench player, and even though he’s making seven figures (an even one million dollars, Dr. Evil), you could do worse.

The June Swooners on the Bench

As long as Andrew Susac is in the minors and Brandon Belt is on the roster, Hector Sanchez will get playing time with Buster Posey getting his occasional time at first base with Tim Lincecum on the mound. Don’t get me wrong, Sanchez is a good back-up, I’d rather have him than other back-ups that the Giants have had in the past. However, June hasn’t been kind for Sanchez in the form of a .233 OBP, .237 wOBA, 50 wRC+ and a 30% K%, along with plenty of foul tips to the mask that are undoubtedly causing concern.

Brandon Hicks. A 38% K%, the .140 AVG in June has your attention, a .226 wOBA and 42 wRC+ also have some people impatiently tapping their foot and crossing their arms waiting for a move to replace Hicks. His April was something unexpected, but then he regressed to the Hicks that teams probably knew all along about. In all likelihood, the lightning has been used up, and especially in the midst of a losing spell, Giants fans don’t want to wait around to see if there’s any more left.

For those interested, I used this chart to help me organize my thoughts. Thank you, Fangraphs.

The Giants continue their series with the Diamondbacks today at 7:10 PM PST.

#SFGiants Moves: Joaquin Gets Two, San Francisco Gets Another Huff

No. Not that Huff.

Let’s go chronologically through the moves, though. First, you have Joaquin Arias, 29 year old utility infielder that debuted eight years ago when he put up a .545/.583/.636 line (in twelve plate appearances). That guy got two years and two-point-six million dollars from the Giants. Let that be a lesson to you, kids. If you can play defense all over the infield and hit a little bit, you can still be a millionaire. If Arias had put up another year like he did in 2013, he probably would have been due for a raise again, and so in the end, the Giants probably saved some hundreds of thousands of dollars. Which may help them afford the reliever they pay millions later. Potentially good move.

Kobe Bryant also got two years from his team recently. Coincidence? Yes. Coincidence.

Then there was this late Friday afternoon:

Cue all your Aubrey Huff jokes. Go ahead, get them out of your system.

Ok, now that you’re done, here’s a video of David Huff pitching against the Astros:

Can throw a fastball in the low-90’s, so he’s got that going for him. He’s started fifty-four games in his career, while pitching in sixty-nine games, pitching in the bigs since 2009. Began his career with the Indians, was with the Yankees for a little bit, the Yanks designated Huff for assignment on Wednesday, and then the Giants made a move for him. You’ll remember that in 2013 it was quite obvious the Giants had no depth at the starting pitching position. If everybody’s healthy in 2014, they’ll have Huff and Yusmeiro Petit waiting in the wings to spot start. Assuming Mike Kickham gets better, he’ll be in line as well.

Also, Jose Mijares signed with the Red Sox, so he gets to watch another ring ceremony at the beginning of the season if he breaks camp with them. Just doesn’t get a ring this time. Best of luck to you, Mijares.

Per @JeffPassan, Brandon Belt and #SFGiants $1.6MM apart

Arbitration deals have reportedly been done for Tony Abreu, Gregor Blanco, and Yusmeiro Petit. Meanwhile, in the other two realms of San Francisco Giants and arbitration:

Settling on the mid-point for $1.3MM doesn’t seem like the worst compromise for the penny-pinching now money-saving Giants. Arias has been a good utility guy for the Giants, but the clock may be running out on him, both for offensive ability reasons and if Joe Panik can be a useful utility infielder, perhaps Arias becomes less relevant. One of the bigger differences in the arbitration number swap comes courtesy of Brandon Belt and the San Francisco Giants:

As a proud member of Team Not My Money, either of those numbers for Belt are great, and would set up nicely for a multi-year deal to buy out his arbitration years, and maybe even a free agent year. Imagine the possibilities with $3MM in 2014, and then maybe somewhere around $25MM for the next three. With $2.05MM as the base in 2014, that sets it up for even cheaper, and that’s nice, also.

We’ll see if the Giants go to arbitration with Belt (I’m going to assume they work something out with the other guy, Arias), but if they’re $1.6MM apart, maybe they can use this as fuel for the multi-year deal. I remember when the Giants did this when they were millions apart with Tim Lincecum back in 2012. It was kind of sweet how they did it, even if it did eat up a large chunk of the payroll, which Brandon Belt will not.

Is Belt the greediest guy in the arbitration playhouse? Absolutely

not. We shall see how this all plays out in the coming weeks.

#SFGiants Non-Tender Rosario and Peguero, Keep On Board Everybody Else

Monday provided the good times for teams to decide whether they would hold on to players on their 25-man roster, essentially tendering them a one-year deal that could go through the arbitration process, or non-tendering them, making them a free agent. Beat writer Hank Schulman gave a one-tweet rundown of whom you needed to get ready for: 

So, with that said, let it be known that the Giants decided to tender Brandon Belt, Gregor Blanco, Tony Abreu, Yusmeiro Petit, and Joaquin Arias, while saying ta-ta officially to Sandy Rosario and Francisco Peguero. Some thoughts on the tenders (mmm… tenders…):

Belt: The most divisive first baseman on the planet because some thought he was going to be the second coming of Buster Posey and hasn’t been that (yet). Still, being an above-average MLB 1B with above-average MLB numbers make him a no-brainer to keep around. Plus, there have been rumors going around that the Giants would like to get a multi-year deal done with Belt, presumably to buy out his arbitration years through 2017.

Blanco: A joy to watch in the outfield and has decent enough splits against RHP to warrant him being in the lineup against them. Paying a couple mill to someone that can hit RHP and provide you with speed seems worth the money to me.

Abreu: A journeyman that played with four teams at the MLB level in five seasons. Defense isn’t rated as anything positive, and his offense is good against LHP, so while the Giants have no platoon going on with Marco Scutaro or Pablo Sandoval, Abreu’s bat can give some reason to give one of them a day off. For those that want to argue against Abreu’s ’13, his career numbers don’t suggest the 29-year old can keep it consistent.

Petit: He was one pitch away from a perfect game, but let us not forget he also had six outings of six or more strikeouts. In three outings he offered zero walks. In his eight outings, only one time did he not go five innings, and that was in his last start of the season. I do not mind the Giants taking a gamble on Petit to see how much longer he can mystify hitters, but I will admit, I’m not expecting much.

Arias: His value is with the glove, and his ability to play multiple infield positions, and not with the stick. You expect his .346 BABIP against RHP to stick when it’s been a career .298? Me neither. The Giants would be paying probably a little over a million if they held on to him to be depth on their bench. Pinching pennies, but you can get someone younger to do that for half the price. Looks like the Giants have their middle infield bench set as long as nobody else beats out Arias and Abreu for those spots.

To be frank I thought Sandy Rosario and Francisco Peguero were already gone so that’s why this move came as kind of odd to me. That’s what you get when you don’t go on your phone from 10pm-5pm every week day.

Even before series starts, the breaks are going the way of the Cardinals

Even after the Cardinals lose a game that didn’t finish until after 1:00AM PST, the Giants are limping into St. Louis and have rolled into the underdog role even more, and it’s hard to say that we expected this to happen:

Ok, so Pablo Sandoval‘s out for a bit, that should give Joaquin Arias some more starts. He hasn’t looked as great this year as he did last year in his limited role, but as long as he’s doing well defensively that should be cool, right?

Angel Pagan coming back may make the defense better in that Andres Torres will get a break to get all the demons out of his head, although I wonder if Andres doing well in the outfield is the only way to exorcise those thoughts.

Sad face.

So if Marco Scutaro‘s sick, that would make three regulars in Pagan, Sandoval, and Scutaro out and Nick Noonan would be getting the start(s) depending on how Marco’s feeling, but this flu bug has really been running amuck in the Giants clubhouse. Whomever gave this to them owes us. I don’t know what they owe us, but they owe us. Lineups for the Giants:

and for the Cardinals:

Normally a blatantly obvious “key to the game” but this is especially true against the Cardinals: If the Giants can get to the bullpen of the Cards early on, there will be much rejoicing. The rotation and the lineup for the Cardinals is scary good, while their bullpen wasn’t as great as it was in the beginning of the season. No reports of game start being delayed from what I’ve seen yet. 5:15PM PST scheduled start since they’re two hours ahead of the west coast party peoples.

Joaquin Arias at 1B tonight for #SFGiants

Lineups have been posted for tonight’s Giants-Dodgers game, and Brandon Belt is still a little sick, so…

That’s right, Joaquin Arias is really playing first base tonight — for the first time since July 9th, 2010 when he was with the Rangers!… and with LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu toeing the mound tonight, Andres Torres will continue to be that platoon guy in LF. The Dodgers roll out their vs. LHP lineup

Speculation is that Carl Crawford’s out since there is a LHP on the mound, yet Andre Ethier is still out there… but you wouldn’t want to bench two guys right off the bat like that, even against a lefty… I mean, are the options on the bench really that much better than Ethier?

This will be Ryu’s first career MLB regular season start, and the Giants did not face him during Spring Training, but I’m pretty sure they have video on him. Here’s a snapshot of what Baseball Prospectus’ scouting staff thought of him:

Screen shot 2013-04-02 at 3.21.17 PM

The Tools section say “5” which equals a MLB average pitch, while a “6+” suggests a better than MLB average pitch, and you’ll notice it’s that changeup, so keep an eye out for that tonight as we all collectively scout him. My plea to you is that if Ryu struggles, don’t seriously consider him “done” or “overrated” or whatever falls into line with that. It’s one start, and first game jitters could very well hit him, and maybe even Madison Bumgarner.

Arbitration News You’ve Probably Already Heard

For those that have been off social media or the San Francisco Giants home website, the Giants, along with a slew of other teams, have avoided salary arbitration with some of their players, all of them one-year deals announced today, for SF at least. Every year, fans go through a period of confusion as to what all this salary arbitration means. Plenty assume that avoiding salary arbitration means that a team has kept a player from signing with another team. However, avoiding salary arbitration is not the same thing as free agency. For more extensive reading on it, I’ll direct you here. If you follow Henry Schulman on Twitter, you’ve seen he’s been pretty good about being civil in educating them on the process. What you need to know is this: the players listed are due raises from what their 2012 salary was, and guys with names like Pence and Posey are probably going to see bigger raises than Mijares and Blanco, in terms of the dollars. Also consider that since Pence has been around longer as a bigger name, his salary will be more substantial. To put it in Hank’s words, with my own added emphasis: “Player$ love thi$ proce$$.” I’ll list the players, their service time, their 2012 salary, then their 2013 salary for you.

Hunter Pence — 5.156 years, $10.4MM in ’12, $13.8MM in ’13

Buster Posey — 2.161 years, $615K in ’12, $8MM in ’13

Jose Mijares — 4.024 years, $925K in ’12, $1.8MM in ’13

Gregor Blanco — 2.164 years, $516K in ’12, $1.35MM in ’13

The remaining Giants left to deal with are:

Sergio Romo — 4.097 years, $1.575MM ’12

Update: Romo and the Giants have exchanged numbers for the other side to look at. Romo’s side has filed $4.5MM, and the Giants have filed $2.675MM. 

Joaquin Arias — 3.071, ?? in ’12

This has predictably opened up a conversation about a long-term contract with Buster Posey, and there are plenty of options: year-to-year, buy out the rest of his arbitration years (through 2016), super long-term deal that buys out some of his free agent years at a high price. The Giants and Posey’s camp have expressed interest in a long-term deal, but it remains to be seen if something gets done.

As this Alden Gonzalez article mentions, the Giants and Romo+Arias have until February to get something worked out, and both sides would really rather not go to arbitration court since some not nice things can be said and feelings could get hurt. Sometimes, sides can agree on something at the last minute, like when the Giants and Tim Lincecum did right before a hearing once upon a time.

My numbers might be different than other people’s, but I have the Giants 2013 payroll commitments at $133,149,999.66 between 17 players, 16 of them active for the Giants (Huff being the odd man out). Larry Baer has said they’re looking to be closer to $140MM, and they’re on track for that.

The Seven Best #SFGiants Moves for the 2012 Season

To celebrate the seventh World Series title by the Giants — five happening in New York and two now in The City by the Bay — I thought we’d look at the best seven moves before and within the 2012 baseball season. You’ll probably have your own list, the rankings being a little different than mine, perhaps. I’ll start backwards from the honorable mentions, then from number seven and move on to what I see as move number one.

Honorable Mention (in no particular order)

Skipping Madison Bumgarner’s NLCS start

Chris Stewart for George Kontos

Jose Mijares pickup

Finally giving Belt a chance

“Closer by committee”

Extending control of Matt Cain

——————

#7 — The Spring Training Invites

Namely, that of Gregor Blanco and Joaquin Arias, two guys that were merely names on a roster for those of us looking at the invitees, and admittedly, not taking them very seriously. This team would not have been the same though without these guys in 2012. Gregor Blanco replacing Melky Cabrera, Joaquin Arias being a decent replacement for when Pablo was out and Crawford was struggling. Both of these guys also have highlights where they have been immortalized into Matt Cain’s perfect game: Gregor Blanco’s diving catch which not many other people make, and Joaquin Arias fielding the final out with that shuffle to his right and then gunning it over to Belt for the end of that wonderful game.

#6 — Jonathan Sanchez for Melky Cabrera

So Melky Cabrera wasn’t a part of the last third of the baseball season, but maybe more importantly Jonathan Sanchez was not a part of the Giants rotation this season. How long would the Giants have put up with Dirty in the rotation or in the bullpen before possibly dumping him for nothing? Jonathan Sanchez became the problem of the Royals, then the Rockies. It wouldn’t be fair to say Dirty’s horrible performances for both squads would have been exactly the same for the Giants, but some had a feeling the intangibles would start to catch up with him. He will always have his part in 2010 lore, but like our next subject was for his old team, it was time for Jonathan Sanchez to go.

#5 — Ramon Ramirez and Andres Torres for Angel Pagan and cash considerations

Angel Pagan had worn out his welcome in New York, and to give them two 2010 heroes for someone they wanted out seemed like a fair deal for both squads. Angel Pagan with his sometimes odd routes to the ball, had his contract year, and Andres Torres played like 2011 Andres with Ramon Ramirez being much less effective than during his time with his previous three clubs. Sometimes a change of scenery can do good for a player, and for Angel Pagan, I think it’s fair to say it worked out here.

#4 — Setting of the 25-man roster at the beginning, and the end of the regular season

People worried at both the beginning and end of the season that the rosters would not utilize all the talent an MLB roster had to offer, and the Giants much to the relief of bloggers, felt the same way we did in who was the best 25. There was a feeling that the best 25 were on the roster when all was said and done at both the beginning and end of the season, with the only question mark being Melky Cabrera. If we had it my way (boy that sounds snobby), Melky would’ve been on the bench at the very least, but I’m not going to go on a criticizing spree since everything worked out.

#3 — Signing Ryan Vogelsong to an affordable 2-year contract with a 3rd year option

Two years and eight million, with a $6.5MM option for a third year to the deal or a $300K buyout for Vogey. Taking a gamble on the Rally Enchiladas has been good since 2011, and if he keeps this up, he will be an even bigger steal of a pitcher. Here are some names that had worse ERA and FIP than Ryan Vogelsong in 2012: Tim Hudson, C.J. Wilson, Yovani Gallardo, and Edwin Jackson to name a few. All four are names you’d rather not go up against, and all four are getting Paid. I guarantee Ryan Vogelsong would cost more than $5MM for 2013 if the Giants had only gone one year on him going into 2012.

#2 — Putting Tim Lincecum in the bullpen

This could be a potentially ground-breaking move for the Giants, since Timmy could not really find his stuff in 2012 but in the Postseason all of a sudden the Cy came back. The Giants unfortunately really don’t have a candidate in-house to take Timmy’s spot in the rotation right away and $22.25MM is a lot to pay for a super-reliever, but if that’s what it takes to get him back, I believe he can still have incredible value easily leading the league in games appeared.

#1 — Charlie Culberson for Marco Scutaro

Sure Jonathan Mayo loves Culberson, but most people don’t love him enough to say he will definitely be the everyday infielder for the Giants, and thus, Sabean and co. made what ended up being the trade of 2012. Dodger fans mocked the deal, thinking that Sabean reacted to the Dodgers making a blockbuster trade of their own. You don’t just do trades to do them, the Giants clearly had a hole at 2B, and Scutaro was one of those “lightning in a bottle” candidates for the Giants. For now, the crow on the plates of Dodger fans in their mouths is hot and fresh, and “Blockbuster” helped carry the Giants to their second title in three years.

Sorry I couldn’t put this in slideshow format if that’s your thing. Feel free to put your top 7 in the comments or tell me on the twitter or FB or whatever!

Series Preview: #DBacks (66-69) vs. #SFGiants (76-58)

Justin Upton and the Diamondbacks have found winning to be out of reach recently and hope to change that as they slither into AT&T

Since August 14th, the Diamondbacks have had trouble reversing trends right away, as they’ve been winning/losing in consecutive games. The results: lose 2, win 4, lose 2, win 2 (more impressively it was a double-header), lose 6, win 2, lose 2. That’s an 8-12 stretch, so it’s understandable that they’ve lost ground against the Giants, who’ve gone 13-5 over that same set of dates. Interesting that on August 14th, we go back to the days of the Giants being tied for 1st place in the NL West with the Dodgers. Even though the Diamondbacks are 10.5 back, they still have 9 games left against the Giants, and while it’s extremely unlikely the DBacks make up 9 games, they can still play spoiler. The Giants return from a roadtrip that featured some NL Central cupcakes and now the San Francisco Orange & Black begin the final stretch of the season against only NL West opponents.

Monday, September 3rd: LHP Patrick Corbin vs. LHP Barry Zito

One sentence summary: The Giants’ fourth consecutive day game features Corbin, who’s given up 5 HR in his last 3 starts, and Zito, who had his shortest outing of the season against Houston, possibly playing through some upper back pain.

Tuesday, September 4th: RHP Ian Kennedy vs. RHP Ryan Vogelsong

One sentence summary: August wasn’t the friendliest of months to either of these two starters as Kennedy saw his second worst ERA month of the season (4.54), while Vogelsong had by far his worst month of the year (6.32), as both look to change things up with the coming of September.

Wednesday, September 5th: RHP Trevor Cahill vs. LHP Madison Bumgarner

One sentence summary: Cahill also had a heightened ERA in August (5.08) but wasn’t necessarily getting dominated like Vogelsong was; meanwhile, after Madison had his worst outing of the year since the first series of the year, he faces the team that gave him that first bad outing in the Diamondbacks.

And Now, the Bats

Hard to imagine that guys like Paul Goldscmidt ever go cold, but he’s not his normal self in the past week (.223 wOBA, .368 wOBA overall — best on the team), and said unhotness also applies to names like Justin Upton (.268 wOBA L7, .327 wOBA overall), Chris Young (.232, .321), and Jason Kubel (.263, .356), despite 3 HR between Upton and Kubel in the past week, including a couple bombs against the Dodgers. Mostly-utility-infielder John McDonald (.450, .297) has been the biggest contributor recently although in only 15 PA, with Miguel Montero being the biggest regular contributor of late (.321, .362). The Diamondbacks have a total of eight guys with double-digit dingerz on their squad, led by Jason Kubel (27), and Aaron Hill (20). Three guys have 13 SB on their squad led by Lincecum-killer Paul Goldschmidt, Justin Upton, and Gerardo Parra.

The Cubs series wasn’t the sweep many fans had hoped it would be, but some guys added on to what they’d be doing in Houston. Guys like Angel Pagan (.457 wOBA L7, .340 wOBA overall), and Hunter Pence (.405, .326). Gregor Blanco (.143, .308) may see his playing time reduced as Bochy rides the X-line straight to Veteranville, and Brandon Crawford (.162, .272) may be in the midst of regressing, but I imagine he starts taking the field back over Arias since Joaquin can’t keep his August pace up forever. On a team starved for the big flies, Buster is one HR away from 20 (as is Hunter), and we’re still waiting for round-trippers from Panda and Belt. Pagan (23) and Blanco (20) both have a high number of SB, and I’m sure it’ll be watched to see if either of these rabbits can rack up 30 for the year.

Series Prediction

Get familiar with these boys, because you’re going to see a lot of them in September, and you just hope you’re playing them at the right streaky time.

Monday: Giants win (Giants ride homer — like an actual home run — to victory)

Tuesday: DBacks win (Ian Kennedy out-pitched Kershaw, will out-pitch Vogelsong)

Wednesday: Giants win (Madison takes his revenge out on Arizona)

Thursday is a day off before the Giants and Dodgers get going for their second to last series of the year, and the last one at AT&T.

Series Preview: #SFGiants (74-57) vs. #Cubs (50-80)

As the Giants are 3-0 since their last off day, and the Dodgers are 1-3 in their last 4, fans of both franchises have seen a separation starting to form with 30-31 games left to go. Nothing is done by any means, but the Giants now square off in a weekend series against the Cubbies who are 4-10 since their last off day, but had a nice comeback win over the Brewers in yesterday’s game, with the final score of 12-11. These are still games the Giants need to win, but beat writer Alex Pavlovic was noting on Twitter (above), the team is tired, since they got to their hotel rooms around 3:15 AM, I’m guessing local time, and they’re already in the locker room. Travel is a part of professional sports and it wouldn’t be the first time a team’s played lower on energy. They should still be able to get the job done against a rebuilding Chicago squad.

Friday, August 31st: LHP Madison Bumgarner vs. RHP Chris Volstad

One sentence summary: Volstad’s last start was his first of the year where he allowed less than 4 hits, and had no ER attached to his line, and MadBum would like to put his last start behind him, but he has allowed 15/19 of his HRA on the road this year.

Saturday, September 1st: RHP Tim Lincecum vs. RHP Justin Germano

One sentence summary: Germano hasn’t had many starts with the Cubs, but he has allowed a HR in four straight starts while never walking more than two in 2012; Lincecum hasn’t struck out more than 5 since July, but has also been able to keep the walks relatively down (6 in 4 starts).

Sunday, September 2nd: RHP Matt Cain vs. LHP Travis Wood

One sentence summary: Wood’s gone 7 IP in three of his last four starts, along with only two walks allowed in the last four; Matt Cain has done what’s expected against his last four opponents of HOU, LA, SD, and COL, so look for that to continue against the ChiCubs.

The Bats

Another series preview, another one where Joaquin Arias has barely over 10 PA and leads the last seven for the team in wOBA (.623, .315 wOBA overall). There’s no one contributing to that level on the Giants, but after a series in Houston, you will have some guys that have inflated numbers like Pence (.437 wOBA L7, .327 overall), Pagan (.420, .338), and Belt (.406, .337), and will have a chance to improve upon those numbers against a group of pitchers that are a couple notches below the quality of pitchers more competitive teams might throw out there. Brandon Crawford (.117, .270), and Pablo Sandoval (.195, .335) have not really had their bats heard from in the past week, although Pablo did contribute to the win last night.

Former Top 100 prospect Brett Jackson (.603 wOBA L7, .346 wOBA overall) is lighting the way for the Cubs of late, with 3 HR in the past week, and having 4 in his 88 PA overall, but I believe the book on him was about him hitting enough, as the power and speed will be there. No one else on the squad is quite as hot right now, but Starlin Castro (.366 wOBA L7, .313 wOBA overall), and Luis Valbuena (.352, .303) have been healthy contributors of late as well. The slack has come from guys like Josh Vitters (.098, .139), and Darwin Barney (.133, .289), but at least with Barney, you don’t expect that to keep happening. Guys with more than 20 SB are Starlin Castro and Tony Campana, while you can look from their power to come from guys like Alfonso Soriano (23 HR), Starlin Castro (12), and Anthony Rizzo (9 in 236 PA).

Series Prediction

Gotta say, I’m feeling pretty good about these Giants, so that probably means these predictions will be not be 100% correct.

Friday: Giants win (Chris Volstad, pretty much)

Saturday: Giants win (The bats relieve Tim Lincecum)

Sunday: Giants win (Matt Cain toys with the lesser competition)

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