Results tagged ‘ Marco Scutaro ’

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.

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.

Bochy: Chances of Marco Scutaro Breaking Camp with #SFGiants “Way Down”

When I was scrolling through Twitter on Sunday, a lot of fans were convinced Marco Scutaro would hit the DL at the beginning of the season. They live on Twitter a lot better than I do these days, and MLB Depth Charts had their back (no pun intended) with Scutaro projecting to start on the DL. This is probably as close to an official word as we’ll get before Scutaro is announced to start on the DL:

That means Ehire Adrianza and Brandon Hicks, maybe you don’t have to compete against one-another for the time being, perhaps you will both make it on to the Opening Day roster. Manager Bruce Bochy may not know exactly at the moment which hitter might be best for the 2 spot, but you will find plenty of supporters for Brandon Belt over the likes of Joaquin Arias and Brandon Crawford. Belt may not have been the best contact hitter last year, but he sure as heck did produce offensively, so why the heck not have him in the 2 spot? We certainly know Belt can be patient, even if he has his share of strikeouts. Expect Belt’s projected run total to receive a boost and his projected RBI to take a hit if he is indeed placed behind Angel Pagan in the order.

Until then, get well soon, Marco Scutaro.

Scutaro leaves game after HBP, x-rays negative but…

…what about what George Kontos did by throwing at the Pirates three times, twice hitting a player in Pedro Alvarez and Andrew McCutchen. While the Pirates didn’t retaliate against the Giants in the top of the 9th, Andrew McCutchen had a pretty aggressive slide into Brandon Crawford on a double play in the bottom of the 8th.

All this because somebody may have thought Marco Scutaro may have been hurt really bad, with flashbacks of Ryan Vogelsong. In case you missed the Scutaro HBP:

This seemed bad. That frustration and pain was scary for all of us to watch.

Now Kontos’ plunking seems even dumber, because now the Pirates are going to retaliate against someone since McCutchen will be hit, and I’ll give you one guess as to whom they will target. What if that intentional plunking of Buster Posey gets him on the DL? That’s the danger of all this immaturity and it is simply not worth it. Hopefully this doesn’t happen and the Pirates are the better people in all this… but after seeing McCutchen fly into 2nd, I’m not so sure we’ll see the Pirates ignoring the opportunity to get even.

NL All Star Game Vote Counts Released — Posey and Panda lead the way for SF

Yesterday the counts for the American League were released, and so today the home National League’s vote count is out to the people where you can view here. Some facts and reactions:

Surprises for me are Pablo Sandoval at third, Bryce Harper gets the celebrity vote, as you could argue Carlos Gomez, Carlos Gonzalez, and Shin-Soo Choo are among those more deserving with the stats, but I’ll let that slide.

Buster Posey is the story of the day with the amount of votes he’s getting, but he’s not blowing away the competition.

It’s true, when Angel Pagan is 8th and Gregor Blanco is 11th, and neither is having an All Star caliber season, that is a fair statement. Giants fans are at it again.

Brandon Crawford is about 350,000 votes behind Troy Tulowitzki, Brandon Belt is about 500,000 behind Joey Votto, and Marco Scutaro is 200,000 behind Brandon Phillips. I really feel like Matt Carpenter needs to be getting more of a look, as he’s quietly put up a pretty valuable year.

The challenge for other clubs is can they get their fanbase to vote their one guy (for the Brewers two guys) in to out do what the Giants fans are doing for all their outfielders.

Right now, I’d say Posey is the only ASG starter I could argue that the Giants have. Yadier Molina winning that over Buster would not be a problem by me, he’s really good as well. We saw what Giants fans did last year, voting in Melky Cabrera in addition to Panda and Posey, and Matt Cain took the bump for the NL. There were many unhappy within the NL, although the NL would end up winning, with the Giants players providing plenty of production, in a shutout victory over the American League, giving the Giants of all teams home field advantage in the 2012 World Series.

The 2013 All-Star Game will be played at Citi Field, home of the New York Mets, on Tuesday, July 16.

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.

Water Cooler Day Off Talk: My May 23rd All Star Ballot

Earlier I wrote about how you could validate voting for each Giant on the MLB All Star Ballot, now it’s probably an appropriate time to list my actual All Stars. Since voting doesn’t close until the 4th of July, there’s going to be plenty of room for hot streaks, and hot piles of slumps. As with the online ballot itself, I’ll give you my players for each position, and we’ll leave it at that for now.

American League

C — Carlos Santana (8 HR, .405 OBP, .410 wOBA, 163 wRC+, 1.7 fWAR) over Joe Mauer (2 HR, .416 OBP, .386 wOBA, 144 wRC+, 1.9 fWAR)

1B — Chris Davis (14 HR, .420 OBP, .458 wOBA, 190 wRC+, 2.3 fWAR)

2B — Dustin Pedroia (8 SB, .420 OBP, .375 wOBA, 132 wRC+, 2.0 fWAR) just over Robinson Cano (13 HR, .335 OBP, .375 wOBA, 134 wRC+, 1.6 fWAR)

SS — Jhonny Peralta (4 HR, .379 OBP, .364 wOBA, 127 wRC+, 1.7 fWAR)

3B — Miguel Cabrera (13 HR, .459 OBP, .480 wOBA, 206 wRC+, 3.0 fWAR) over Evan Longoria (9 HR, .399 OBP, .420 wOBA, 171 wRC+, 2.9 fWAR)

OF — Mike Trout (9 HR, 9 SB, .400 wOBA, 157 wRC+, 2.4 fWAR)

OF — Jose Bautista (11 HR, .408 wOBA, 158 wRC+, 1.9 fWAR)

OF — Alex Rios (10 HR, 8 SB, .372 OBP, .397 wOBA, 146 wRC+, 1.7 fWAR) just over Alex Gordon (6 HR, .387 OBP, .396 wOBA, 150 wRC+, 1.9 fWAR)

DH — David Ortiz (7 HR, .397 OBP, .429 wOBA, 168 wRC+, 1.1 fWAR)

National League

C — Buster Posey (6 HR, .395 OBP, .385 wOBA, 152 wRC+, 1.8 fWAR)

1B — Joey Votto (7 HR, .484 OBP, .438 wOBA, 182 wRC+, 2.7 fWAR) over Paul Goldschmidt (12 HR, .400 OBP, .420 wOBA, .166 wRC+, 2.1 fWAR)

2B — Matt Carpenter (3 HR, .387 OBP, .365 wOBA, 137 wRC+, 2.1 fWAR) over Marco Scutaro (1 HR, .382 OBP, .358 wOBA, 133 wRC+, 1.6 fWAR)

SS — Jean Segura (7 HR, 14 SB, .390 OBP, .407 wOBA, 2.4 fWAR) just over former Long Beach State Dirtbag Troy Tulowitzki (9 HR, .409 OBP, .427 wOBA, 163 wRC+, 2.3 fWAR). You could go either way here.

3B — David Wright (6 HR, 10 SB, .395 OBP, .385 wOBA, 151 wRC+, 2.1 fWAR) over Chase Headley (does not play on the Mets)

OF — Carlos Gonzalez (11 HR, 8 SB, .390 OBP, .413 wOBA, 154 wRC+, 2.1 fWAR)

OF — Justin Upton (14 HR, .387 OBP, .410 wOBA, 165 wRC+, 2.0 fWAR)

OF — Shin-Soo Choo (9 HR, .449 OBP, .426 wOBA, 174 wRC+, 2.0 fWAR) over Carlos Gomez (152 wRC+, 2.6 fWAR) and Ryan Braun (9 HR, .412 wOBA). Just don’t put Choo in CF.

Feel free to put your ballot or changes in the comments because I can see how you might like player B over player A. Short season so far, lots of time left before I have to decide who I’m voting in 35 times.

Validating your vote for every #SFGiants player with numbers

Every fan has their own strategy for voting for choosing whom they would like to don the All Star patches in New York in July. The strategies I know of are:

  • Voting for the statistically best on both leagues (usually that’s pretty subjective though)
  • Voting for the best in the league of the team you support, voting for the worst on the other league
  • Voting for the players you want to see play
  • Voting for only your team in one league, and then a variety of choices for the other league (e.g., just the Astros, nobody, etc.)

Of course, every team wants you to vote for their players, so now for Giants fans that want to justify their all-Giants ballot, how will you do that from a statistical point of view? All stats are within the context of their position within the National League:

  • Buster Posey: tied for the NL lead in fWAR (1.8), leads in OBP, wOBA, wRC+. Possibly the easiest vote for the ballot within the Champs’ roster.
  • Brandon Belt: According to Fangraphs fielding value, is the very best. Also, number of baby giraffe hats to other headgear of NL 1B very much in favor of Belt.
  • Marco Scutaro: Leads in highest BABIP, lowest K%, AVG, Contact% (making contact with the pitch — 95.3), lowest rate of swinging strikes (1.4%)
  • Brandon Crawford: Tied for having the highest positional value on Fangraphs. Most handsome.
  • Pablo Sandoval: T-most HR (8), leads in RBI (see if you can sneak this one past somebody), AVG, WPA all despite seeing the lowest ratio of pitches in the strike zone.
  • Gregor Blanco: Because he makes great catches in the outfield to save the game, that’s why you vote him in. You may also use the fact that he’s been much better than replacement level overall this year
  • Angel Pagan: Makes the highest rate of contact on balls outside of the strike zone. Also could have the best hair of all NL center fielders.
  • Hunter Pence: T-most SB (8), has seven dingers, and his defense hasn’t been all that bad.

I’m just glad I did this with the Giants and not some really awful team. Pitchers get selected by people that wear the uniform, except for that Final Vote stage. Even if you’re not voting for the Giants, and voting for the best in the NL, they still have some pretty good options to choose from. Maybe I’ll do a blog post on that someday.

Lots of Future in MLB settling in, but for #SFGiants, their “Future” is very much now

With Spring Training happening now, prospect lists are coming out, from Baseball America and MLB most notably, fans start to compare farm systems and search within themselves how much that farm system matters to how they feel about their team. If you’re the Cardinals, you take pride in knowing the club you have at the major league level is of very good quality, and your farm provides plenty of promise. If you’re the Padres, you hold out hope for the future, because your farm has been good for some time while fans in San Diego have been left with a 2010 rush but not much else recently. If you’re a fan of the Giants, you’ve been given proof in postseasons and parades that the team at the major league level is worthy of being taken seriously, while the system may not be as top-heavy as it has been in the past, so you wonder how long the current MLB club can hold on until you will need reinforcements from the farm, not just on journeymen AAAA players.

While many of the Top 10 prospects of national lists have an estimated time of arrival in 2013, the MLB should expect to see plenty of new, highly-touted arms and bats before the end of the season, we’re not sure who from the Top 10 lists (or really any list) of San Francisco Giants minor leaguers that haven’t had their shot will crack the 2013 rosters AND be a useful piece.

The Outfield

Sure, Francisco Peguero could be useful here and there if one of the corner outfielders find the disabled list, but I haven’t seen a recent report that suggests he has the profile for an everyday spot. Gary Brown, the former number one prospect of the Giants could be that guy, especially with his strong second half he put up in Double-A Richmond. Roger Kieschnick‘s name got whispered last year by some fans, and he’s on the 40-man.

The Infield

Conor Gillaspie has 48 PA across three different seasons, and you just hope he’ll be a good backup when the time comes, and you hope the same for the featured Fanfest kid Nick Noonan. All we’ve heard about Kensuke Tanaka is from Marty and his “Japanese feet.” Brock Bond has a cool name. That’s pretty much it when it comes to Giants prospects and who makes their living on the dirt.

The Rotation

The big names are all years away, although Chris Heston could be of use if one of the five go down. If he’s no good, then the Giants will probably draw from the AAA well, none of the others being prospects, mmmmaybe before checking in on Michael Kickham. Eric Surkamp is the wild card in all this, who says he’ll start resuming activities in July. Keep all this in mind as you consider whose contracts and service time with the Champs could be coming to a close after 2013.

The Bullpen

If there’s anything we’ve seen with Sabean in the last few years, it’s that he’s got this, and this year he may not have to even trade any fringe major leaguers to shore up the ‘pen. Prospect Heath Hembree, still thought by Jonathan Mayo to be a potential closer, could start the year in Fresno and then force the issue after the first month of the season if someone in the bullpen goes down or gets consistently lit up. Perhaps Bochy sees that the front office calls up son Bret Bochy. Jason Martinez of MLBDepthCharts (who also wrote a “window of opportunity” article for ESPN that you should read) also has minor leaguers Jake Dunning and Fabio Castillo as other names to watch that haven’t had a taste of the Major League coffee yet.

Whose Swan Song Might 2013 Be

The Giants have about $70MM of their nearly $140MM budget committed to their rotation this year, but this could be the last year San Francisco pays to have two guys in Tim Lincecum and Barry Zito on their roster. Unless Ryan Vogelsong magically disappears this year, his $6.5MM option will be picked up, and the Giants will still be left wondering who to fill in to the 4th and 5th spots of the rotation with Matt Cain and Madison Bumgarner still leading a formidable 1-2 punch out of the gates. Do they commit the money that comes off the books to pitching? Posey? (<–the right answer. your argument is invalid.) Other offense?

The Giants got Hunter Pence for his bat, but his price tag is also very high, but one wonders how much it goes down if he continues what he did as a Giant in the regular season in 2013. If it doesn’t, though, do the Giants put out? Andres Torres, Javier Lopez, and Jose Mijares might also be tipping their caps to SF when the last game ends.

The Future is, and has been, now

Since the Giants have had a stable of young arms (plus Zito), people wondered what would happen if a team drew San Francisco in a best-of-series. 2010 was pretty much what some thought could happen, even if it did with a group of misfits. 2012 was a different set of happenings because the Giants went from three guys they could rely on with Jonathan Sanchez either walking everyone or finding his release point in ’10 to now in three guys and omg what about Lincecum and Zito? Still though, if you have a good to great rotation, and a strong top three for the playoffs, life might not be so bad for you (part of the reason why teams like the Nationals and Tigers should scare you). After this year, the questions arise: Who will be that #4? #5? Who will pick up the offense for an aging Marco Scutaro? (I’m pretty certain he isn’t going to be hitting what he did from acquisition & playoffs throughout his contract time.) Can Gary Brown be an answer?

This doesn’t mean that this is the very last year the Giants will compete in forever, but I believe if Lincecum is let go (which could be the right move in the long-term), and another offensive piece is not found/brought on, 2014 will be a difficult year with some of the top prospects starting to knock on the door for 2015. Therefore, if any big injuries happen to the rotation, or to the offense in 2013, Giants fans could find themselves grumbling for a couple of years before they can realistically start dreaming of parades again. Hopefully, health will be on their side, and everyone’s side, for that matter.

Report: Marco Scutaro and #SFGiants Stay Together

Bruce Bochy hinted that if anything were to get done with NLCS MVP, it would be tonight, and Ken Rosenthal is reporting from a source that it has happened: for three years and twenty million dollars, the Giants have retained the now 37 year old Venezuelan to be their 2B for the next three years.

Much discussion on social media from others as well as myself suggested that the Giants would willing to go for that third year because of the in-house options they had down in the minors and what they saw in the free agent market to come. Earlier in the day we were hearing that the Giants were holding strong to a two year offer and Scutaro’s team wanted that third year, and obviously the Giants blinked. The Giants were suspected to be in competition with the Cardinals and the Yankees for his services.

Scutaro batted an unconscious .362/.385/.473 line with the Giants in the regular season and gathered twenty-one postseason hits in his first run in October since 2006 with Oakland.

If Marco Scutaro can continue to be a 2-wins above replacement player, he will make this contract worthwhile, even when he turns 40 at the end of his last contract. I think this deal will be OK for the Giants in the end, of course less money and less years would have been favorable for the team, but as Henry Schulman noted, the Giants were on a mission to keep the band together, and this was the price of doing it.

Your Opening Day Lineup, assuming good health:

Pagan

Scutaro

Panda

Posey

Pence

Belt

Blanco/RHH OF

Crawford

Pitcher (Cain, I’m guessing)

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