Sunday, March 29, 2015

Moving Day

Mike Stobe / Getty Images

It's just over a week until the San Francisco Giants open up the season in Phoenix against the Diamondbacks. There was news today of some roster moves that show the 25-man roster is taking shape.

In case you missed it, 5 players were optioned to AAA Sacramento and 6 players were reassigned to minor league camp.

Those going to Sacramento are Andrew Susac, Adam Duvall, Gary Brown, Juan Perez, and Hunter Strickland.

The 6 guys reassigned to the minors are Juan Gutierrez, Brett Bochy, Curtis Partch, Steven Okert, Guillermo Quiroz, and Brandon Hicks.

So what does this mean for the big club? Well by my count 23 of the 25 spots on the roster are filled. It looks like non-roster invitee Justin Maxwell is going to stick with the team as an extra outfielder and Travis Ishikawa has made himself into a utility player with the ability to play the outfield as well as 1st base. The Giants aren't keeping him around just for nostalgia.

Couldn't help myself there.

That leaves 1 spot in the bullpen and 1 spot as a utility infielder. The bullpen battle is down to George Kontos and Jean Machi. Heading in to play on Sunday they have very similar stats.

Machi: 11 IP 10 H 5 ER 2 BB 6 K 1.09 WHIP 4.09 ERA

Kontos: 9 IP 8 H 3 ER 1 BB 9 K 1.00 WHIP 3.00 ERA

Both players are out of options so whoever the Giants decide not to keep will have to clear waivers before staying with the organization and being sent down. If I had to guess I think they keep Machi. Bruce Bochy seems to have a lot of faith in the big guy.

As far as the last IF spot it's down to Matt Duffy and Ehire Adrianza. Duffy has been tearing it up this spring and it's going to be hard to keep him off the roster. The problem is Adrianza is out of options and the Giants may not want to lose him to another organization. Personally I think it's worth the risk. Duffy has a huge upside and can help this team right out of the gate. Plus, Adrianza has been less than impressive down in Arizona. He had his shot last year to make a lasting impression and failed to do so.

What say you Giants fans? Who do you want to see fill out the roster to start 2015?

In case you missed it we recorded a podcast last week and should have one up every week now that the season is starting. You can find our most recent one here- Episode 81: Can't Have Sissy Hands

The games count for real in 8 days. I'm ready for some baseball.

@2outhits on Twitter

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

The promise of summer

Mark J. Rebilas / USA TODAY Sports

Baseball is back. Well sort of. It's Spring Training and the boys are on the field and playing ball. If you missed it today, I don't know how you did, the San Francisco Giants played their first game of this year's Cactus League slate. They lost 9-4 to the Bay Area rival Oakland A's.

Now I'm not going to sit here and read into this, or analyze that. No, today was the first day of Spring games and just having the promise of summer is enough. There's nothing to be gained from picking apart the game.

Did Madison Bumgarner give up 4 runs and 5 hits in his 1.2 innings of work? Yes. But Spring isn't results oriented and we all know that. I was impressed by the ovation Bumgarner received after Bruce Bochy lifted him for Brett Bochy during the bottom of the 2nd inning. The accomplishments of last season are enough to tide us over for now.

I listened to the game on and off throughout the afternoon. Just hearing the voices of Jon Miller and Duane Kuiper was soothing for Giants fans everywhere.

I know, I'm delivering some hard hitting analysis here. Who cares? Baseball is back and the Giants get to defend their title.

Here's a quick list of the things I'll be watching for this March.

- The battle for the 1 open bullpen spot. Will George Kontos stay with the team? Can Jean Machi repeat his early season magic of last season?

- The backups on the bench. We know Gregor Blanco will be the 4th OF, but who's the 5th? Can Matt Duffy crack the infield behind Joaquin Arias?

- Will the Giants decide to keep 3 catchers this season? Andrew Susac has shown he belongs so will he get a shot? Can Hector Sanchez rebound from an injury filled 2014?

- Will Angel Pagan make it through Spring without injuring himself? Nah, just kidding, he waits until the regular season to do that.

So we're back. Baseball is here and we can all rejoice in its wonderful goodness. The Giants are defending champs for the 3rd time in 5 years. Enjoy everybody, I know I'm a happy man today.

Side note - I totally stole the name of this post from a Jackopierce song. Here it is below because, well, I love Jackopierce and this is my blog. So listen to it damnit! They are good if you like that sort of thing.

@2outhits on Twitter