Archive for July, 2010
Joe Mauer is having a pretty down season after last year’s MVP campaign, and there’s a reason why:
…. the reigning American League MVP looks little like his 2009 self, even after gorging the last two days on Kansas City pitching. His power output is unplugged, with only six home runs after mashing 28 last season. His on-base percentage is the lowest since his rookie season. He’s catching a quarter of opposing basestealers, far below his career average. And at 27, Mauer is feeling the sort of wear that builds in men who spent half their professional lives squatting in cumbersome gear and taking ball after inadvertent ball off all 206 of their bones.
Mauer’s left heel nags him. His right shoulder aches. Two other injuries – his back and his hip, for which the St. Paul Pioneer Press reported he receives treatment – are something neither he nor the organization will address publicly. Because while the heel and shoulder are more pesky, anything having to do with a back or hip, let alone both, inspires a great deal of fear.
It should inspire fear, because catchers simply do not have the same career longevity and health that, say, a first basemen does. In fact, it wouldn’t be a stretch to say that a team loses at least 25% of a catchers hitting production over his career if they leave him behind the plate. This should be common knowledge, but it isn’t. Many players have played at least 1500 games. Quite a few have played 2000 games. But now too many catchers have. In fact, in the list of career games played, the top fifty is bereft of even one catcher. Carlton Fisk is at 52, with 2499 games played.
When a team has a catcher who can post an All Star caliber line of .300/.400/.500, there is no question that that player should be moved out from behind the plate. None. A player of Posey’s hitting ability comes along once in a generation. If you look at a great catchers career stats, you will see MVP-caliber years followed by one, or even two years of missed games, huge swings in production, and overall, a much shorter career than that player would’ve had otherwise. And that’s in the case of a great catcher. A catcher who can play 135 or 140 games a year, year after year, is rare, regardless of his production.
I’d also mention that, in the case of this Giants team, we don’t even have a real, full-time first basemen to displace. Sabean should let him finish the year behind the dish, and then in the off-season, go get him a first baseman’s glove.
Otherwise, this is your future, Buster. You can be the best catcher in the world. You will be hurt all the time, and you will never reach your potential as a hitter.
As you all know, Buster Posey now has a 20-game hitting streak, so I looked up the rookie hitting streak record. It belongs to –surprise– a catcher, Benito Santiago, who raked for 34 games in 1987. He finished that season with a nice .290/.308/.468 line. He played in 146 games that season. He ended up playing in over 1900 games, which is a lot for catcher. But his career games played list looks exactly like I’m talking about. He played in 17, 146, 139, 129, 100, 152, 106, 139, 101, 81, 136, 97, 15, 109, 89, 133, 126, 108, 49, 6 games.
Look at the kind of hitter Posey is. Is that the kind of career you want to see for him? Is that the kind of career he wants? If you are running a team, and you invest as much in Posey as the Giants have, and will have to if he remains a Giant, isn’t it imperative that you avoid cheapest propecia uk that result? It is to me.
As a sidenote:
Does anyone know why Sandoval isn’t playing? I haven’t heard an announcer mention a reason these last two games. Anybody?
Hat tip to David Pinto.
The Giants surged into the Wild Card lead with last night’s 7-4 win over the D’backs. Even without the red-hot Buster Posey, the offense continued to make me look like an idiot. Aubrey Huff hit two home runs, and Andres Torres got yet another big hit. All in all, the team is Generic levitra online playing as well as they have in years.
I had an epiphany during the ninth. Brian WIlson, who looks like he wants to rip someone’s arms out when he’s on the mound, finally rang a bell in my head. When he’s in that zone, he looks like Max Cady, the DeNiro character from the movie Cape Fear.
Back to back shutouts essentially forces me to write something, busy as I am.
First Lincecum throws a six-hit shutout:
…. Even two-time Cy Young Award winners have to adapt, and Tim Lincecum has.
The main headline from his shutout of the Mets on Thursday was his control. He threw 77 strikes and 33 balls. Beyond that, though, Lincecum delivered on his goal of being less predictable.
Lincecum’s changeup is the pitch he relies on in two-strike put-away situations. Problem is, the changeup usually lands beneath the strike zone. Some hitters who knew it was coming stopped chasing it.
Against New York, Lincecum threw the changeup any time in the count. In the sixth inning, he caught Alex Cora looking at a third-strike fastball down the pipe that the Mets’ second baseman surely was not expecting. The next batter, David Wright, looked at a curve for strike three.
Let’s keep this in mind when talking about Lincecum, something’s different this year for him. His control is just off, his strikeouts are down his walks are up. His WHIP is 1.24, still among the best in the league, but a full 20% higher than last season. Maybe the league has gone to school and started to adjust, maybe he’s nursing some minor injury…. I don’t know. I just know he’s not the same. Still, 10-4, and 2.94 ERA in an off year is mighty impressive. Let’s hope his last start is the beginning of a dominant second half.
Then Barry Zito follows up with his best game of the season:
…. Zito won for the first time since June 12 and the second time in his last 11 starts. One of his best games as a Giant followed one of his most controversial.
The Giants were leading 6-1 in Milwaukee on July 8, when manager Bruce Bochy pulled Zito in the fifth inning. Zito needed one more out to qualify for a win, but he had just walked his fifth and sixth hitters to load the bases and had thrown 113 pitches in 4 2/3 innings. Compare that with Friday, when he threw 112 over eight innings.
Buster Posey continues to shine, throwing out baserunners (6 out of 15) and pounding the ball all over the ball park (15 extra base hits and .954 OPS). Aubrey Huff (17 home runs and a .939 OPS) has to be the best free agent acquisition Sabean’s pulled off in about five years. I rip the hell out of him for Sabean’s misses, I sure as hell better make note of it when he nails one. Good for him, good for the Giants.
The Giants are a half game behind the Rockie in a six team tangle for the Wild Card lead, and three and a half behind the Padres.
One generic cialis soft tabs more bat might put this team over the top. One more bat.
It would be refreshing to hear some candor from our estimable GM, but, obviously, that’s never gonna happen. You’re never gonna hear Brian Sabean admit making a mistake, or admit failure. He’s never gonna come out and say that another GM got the best of him, or that he handled a player or a situation incorrectly. He’s gonna puff out his chest, and, “Damn the torpedoes,” everyone around him until they either agree with him or shut up.
This is the trademark of an insecure, immature man.
So when Sabean trades Molina for nothing, once again demonstrating that Sabean was wrong in his evaluation of a players worth, of course we’re gonna hear his bullshit explanation of how the team needed to make this move, how the player just acquired had a lot of upside, blah blah blah.
Sabean is boring, his team is boring, his bullshit excuses are boring…. It just goes on and on.
Look at the list of trades Sabean has made in the last several years, put together by +mia:
May 31, 2007 — Traded Armando Benitez and cash to Florida Marlins in exchange for Randy Messenger.
July 31, 2007 — Traded Matt Morris to Pittsburgh Pirates in exchange for Rajai Davis
August 9, 2007 — Traded Mark Sweeney to Los Angeles Dodgers in exchange for Travis Denker
July 20, 2008 — Traded Ray Durham to Milwaukee Brewers in exchange for Darren Ford and Steve Hammond.
March 27, 2009 — Traded Jack Taschner to Philadelphia Phillies in exchange for Ronny Paulino.
March 27, 2009 — Traded Ronny Paulino to Florida Marlins in exchange for Hector Correa.
July 27, 2009 — Traded Scott Barnes to Cleveland Indians in exchange for Ryan Garko.
July 29, 2009 — Traded Tim Alderson to Pittsburgh Pirates in exchange for Freddy Sanchez.
Add to that list the endless stream of players that go straight from the Giants to the after-life, the Edgardo Alfonzo’s, the Dave Roberts’s…. And then add to the list the young players Sabean waived or traded for essentially nothing who are now performing admirably…..
At what point does this Giants team ownership group realize what the hell is going on here? At what point does performance begin to matter? When will Sabean be held accountable for the team that he has built? This is a team with one of the highest payrolls in all of baseball, how the hell can this team be so poorly constructed?
I know I was wrong when I said they were in last place the other day, but let me ask you this:
If –at the beginning of the season– I would have told you that the reason this team wasn’t going to be in last place heading into the Fourth of July weekend was gonna be Andres Torres, how many ribs would you have cracked laughing at me?
This team is a laughingstock.