Posted tagged ‘San Francisco Giants’

Carlos Beltran traded to San Francisco

July 28, 2011

More big news from yesterday was the trade of Carlos Beltran for Zach Wheeler. The Mets will also pay $4mil of the $6mil remaining on Beltran’s contract for 2011.

Beltran has already produced 4.0 fWAR this season, and going out on a limb, let’s say he produces another 2 WAR down the stretch. That will be $9mil in value- minus the $2mil the Giants will pay and he will give them $7mil in value. However, they traded their top pitching prospect and one of the games top prospects in Zach Wheeler. As a top 25 pitching prospect, Wheeler is worth $15.9mil. So in return for two months of Carlos Beltran, the Giants are parting with a top prospect who has more than double the value of Carlos Beltran.

This is a bad deal for the Giants. Yes, I understand the Giants will probably make the postseason and they need to add offense. Beltran is a good hitter and will help. So they should be, and are willing to give up some value to make another World Series run. But I feel like they gave up too much. I think the deal could  have been done without giving up your best pitching prospect. Moreover, because of the disparity in value, the Giants will need to win the World Series again to justify this deal.

Man, I can’t believe the Mets actually made a good move.

 

Divisional Previews: NL West

March 17, 2011

Despite being one of the weaker divisions in baseball for the past couple seasons, the 2010 World Champions, the San Francisco Giants, called the NL West home. Moreover, the NL West was one of three divisions that had 2 90+ win teams, and only one team had a win total below 80. What can we expect from the division in 2011?

1) San Francisco Giants (87-75)

In 2010, the Giants strength by far was its pitching and pitching should be its strong point again in 2011. The staff will be led by ace Tim Lincecum, who had himself a “down year” in 2010. With him and Cain, the Giants have a 1-2 punch that could be the best duo in baseball, up there with Philadelphia, and both LA teams. But their rotation doesn’t end there. Their aces are backed up by Jonathon Sanchez, who is an effective starter despite a bad BB rate and Madison Bumgarner. Last year the Giants only got 18 starts from Bumgarner, who was my favorite rookie entering the past season. The dood is really good at limiting the free passes and keeps the ball on the ground. In 18 starts he had a 3.66 FIP and solid 2.0 WAR. With a “rebound” year from Timmy and a full season from Bumgarner, I think the Giants pitching will be even better in 2011.

On offense though…I’m not impressed. While Aubrey Huff was a beast in 2010, I think it’s safe to assume he will regress considerably. He may not put up 2009 numbers, but he won’t be nearly the contributor that he was in 2010. The same goes for the aging Pat Burrell, whose legs won’t be doing any favors for the Giants in the outfield either. A big question mark will be Pablo Sandoval and Andres Torres. Whether or not Sandoval can overcome a terrible plate discipline could be the difference in whether SF can field a reasonable offense to score runs for their dominant staff. Moreover, was 2010 a fluke year for Torres? If the answer is yes, SF will be a lot more pedestrian than people might expect. Especially with the ancient Miguel Tejada manning shortstop. The one bright spot, in my estimation, is obviously Buster Posey. Whether or not anyone else on the team will care to hit alongside him remains to be seen. Also, the possible emergence of prospect Brandon Belt could go a long ways for an average offensive team.

Players to watch: Brandon Belt, Madison Bumgarner.

2) Colorado Rockies (83-79)

I am a big Rockies fan. I am always on their bandwagon. But I don’t think 2011 is their year. The offense should be better than San Francisco’s, with players like Troy Tulowitzski and Carlos Gonzalez. But their offense isn’t as potent as I thought it was. I am a big Seth Smith believer, but the team will be giving PAs to the likes of Jose Lopez, Ian Stewart, and a past his prime Todd Helton. So while the bats are decent, they aren’t good enough to carry a team past any other flaws.

The rotation is led by Ubaldo Jiminez who had a stellar 2010 and after him is Jhoulys Chacin, a pitcher I really like. But after those two, the rotation goes downhill. Jorge De La Rosa is okay, but nothing special. Huston Street is a real good closer, and there are some okay options out of the pen, but as a whole, the pitching isn’t spectacular- it’s okay.

That’s why I think the Rockies will be just an okay team- 83 wins. They have the potential to hit 90+ wins if players like Dexter Fowler breakout, but that’s asking a lot.

Players to watch: Jhoulys Chacin, Seth Smith

3) Los Angeles Dodgers (78-84)

It’s been a rough past year or so for LA, from ownership problems to Joe Torre ruining good, young players like Jon Broxton and Russell Martin. So I’ll start with what I like. I believe LA has a pretty darn underrated staff. Clayton Kershaw is already an ace in my book and he should continue to improve and get better as he matures. Chad Billingsley is another underrated arm who has been putting up excellent numbers and WARs for a few seasons now. Ted Lilly continues to be an average pitcher and Hideki Kuroda continues to be underrated as well. He is paid like an AS pitcher, but doesn’t get the hype of an AS pitcher. He continually posts FIPs in the mid 3’s and does everything well that a pitcher has some control over. The Dodgers have the starting pitching of a winning team. The pen should also be a strength with Kuo, Jansen, and Broxton- assuming he is over is arm issues which I of course am contributing to Torre overuse.

Now comes the bad. The defense. Gibbons, Kemp, and Ethier has to be one of the worst defensive outfields in baseball. That’s not a good thing since the outfield is spacious and there is a lot of ground to cover. The defensive isn’t so that bad, but it’s not good either. The offense is another weak aspect. Andre Ethier is a legitimate middle of the order bat and I still believe in Matt Kemp, but outside that, there are a bunch of below average or average hitters. Rod Barajas? Juan Uribe? Jay Gibbons? Yeah, no team that features those three as everyday players will have a winning record.

Players to watch: Matt Kemp, Clayton Kershaw

4) San Diego Padres (75-87)

Last year the Padres were the team I loved to root against, simply because they were defying the odds. Luck was on their side and it HAD to run out. In September it finally did, and I was baffled it took that long. The Padres didn’t get any better and with some regression to the mean, I think San Diego will return to being a below average team that has trouble scoring, and isn’t that effective at preventing runs.

I love Mat Latos and he should have a good campaign, but who else is on their staff? The corpse of Aaron Harang, Wade LeBlanc and the rest of the rotation are simply not talented enough or good enough to repeat their success from last season. Players like LeBlanc were aided by good fortunes and extremely high LOB%. With a return to the mean, their production will decrease from a season ago. The defense will be a strong suit again which should help the pitching staff, but I have a tough time believing the run prevention will be as good as it was in 2010.

With that said, the offense hasn’t improved. Yes, Orlando Hudson was brought in, and he is a good hitter, but he isn’t a team changing hitter and he’s played in hitter and neutral friendly parks (Arizona, Minnesota) the past few years. Moving to Petco could depress his numbers. Morever, I could make the case Hudson is the team’s best hitter. When Orlando Hudson is your best hitter, you have big problems.

Players to watch: Cameron Maybin, Mat Latos

5) Arizona Diamondbacks (71-91)

After a dreadful 2010 the D-Backs will be…well, still bad in 2011. Justin Upton took a step back in 2010, but I and many others still expect big things from him 2011 and I am expecting a 5+ WAR season. The offense should also get contributions from Chris Young, Miguel Montero, Stephen Drew, and Kelly Johnson. The offense is not a weak point, and it’s arguably the second best offense in the division. But Melvin Mora will not be a productive player at third and relying on Juan Miranda at first is a risky play that probably won’t work out.

The bullpen was historically bad last season and while JJ Putz provides a solid arm to close out games, the pen still is weak. The staff is okay, but has little potential outside Dan Hudson. I think his HR tendencies can hurt him in Arizona, but he had a great half season for them in 2011 and I expect improvement. Ian Kennedy is another solid arm, but that’s it. He is just a solid arm, not a future ace. The rest of the rotation is filled with mediocre arms like Joe Saunders. This is a team that doesn’t do anything good, and is pretty weak in several aspects. As a result, the D-Backs should be bringing up the rear once again.

Players to watch: Dan Hudson, Justin Upton

Jayson Werth is a Washington National

December 5, 2010

In what has to be the most surprising news of the off-season, the Washington Nationals have signed Jayson Werth to a 7/$126mil contract. WOW.

This is totally out of nowhere. I really thought Werth would be headed to Detroit, Boston, or stay in Philly. If you recall, I had Werth worth about $99mil over five years. When I project it out further, I think he’ll be worth about $121mil over seven years. So the Nationals are overpaying a little bit. But not by much.

For Washington, I love the move, but hate the contract details. They are relatively close to contending so I like that they are trying to make a splash and bring in a quality player. It keeps the fans happy and makes the current team better as they wait for Strasburg to get healthy and Bryce Harper to develop. BUT, seven years is a long time. By the time the Nationals young talent is ready to aim for a playoff spot, Werth figures to be done as a high impact player. Once those days are over, he will be vastly overpaid for his talent and the contract will handcuff the franchise.

So I give the contract a C+ for the team. They do get better and bring excitement back to the ball club, but by binding themselves to Werth for so long, it could hinder their ability to make moves in the future, which is when they are going to want to make moves as their young talent will be ready for lift-off.Moreover, this seemingly takes them out of the running for Cliff Lee so it appears that FA battle will be a showdown between the Yankees and Rangers.

As for Werth…I’m surprised. I would have thought he would want to go to a team where he could win the World Series. Boston, Philly, or even Los Angeles and San Francisco. But money speaks and more importantly, I take it he likes the security of seven years. But where is the loyalty these days? Juan Uribe went to Los Angeles just weeks after winning in San Fran and now a Phillies favorite is going to a divisional foe. I remember the story of Jackie Robinson retiring because he was traded to the Giants from the Dodgers. Nowadays, players would welcome the trade with open arms.

 

Victor Martinez and Aubrey Huff sign

November 24, 2010

Victor Martinez agreed to a 4/$50mil deal with the Detroit Tigers while Aubrey Huff signed a 2/$22mil deal (that includes an option) with the San Francisco Giants.

Here is what I said regarding Victor Martinez:

Quote: So I think it’s fair to project him as a 4.5 WAR player in 2011 with a decrease of 0.5 WAR moving forward each season. Without adjusting for inflation and using an estimated market rate of $4.4mil per win, over a four year deal he would be worth about $66mil.

Yikes, I thought he’d get away more than $50mil. If I were to project him again, I would start him at 4.0 WAR, not 4.5. The reason being he may just be a DH who catches once in a while, which really zaps his value. Either way, if I start him at 4 WAR and start at $4.5mil per year and go up from there, I still get around 4/$66mil for him. So the Tigers got a steal. But it might be wasted money either way. The Tigers are more a .500 team than a contender, and Martinez probably won’t be catching in four years. This money could have been better spent.

Moreover, if Martinez mainly DH’s over the length of his deal, I would start his WAR estimates at 3.0 in 2011. If that is the case, over four years he’d be worth 4/$44.5mil. So yeah. It’s a relatively fair price for Martinez, but in Detroit’s case I do not think it’s money well spent.

As for Huff, I said:

Quote: At the end of the day, I expect Huff to sign a two year deal worth around $10-$13mil a year with inflated salaries in the current market thus far.

Well, he signed for $11mil per year. That’s fair value and makes sense for San Francisco.

 

What the World Series needs

November 4, 2010

With the Giants only needing five games to win the World Series, baseball has had another lackluster World Series. The last Series to go the full seven games was in 2002. Since 2002, only two World Series have even made it to six games (2003 and 2009). There have been three sweeps and three five game series.

In other words, the World Series has been one-sided and boring. A dramatic seven game Series won’t do as much for the ratings as big markets will, but it will help. Lets hope next year the season really does go down to the last possible game.

Congratulations to the San Francisco Giants

November 3, 2010

Once the Yankees were eliminated, I was pulling for a San Fran victory. Normally I root for the team that beats my team so I can “take solace” in the fact the Yankees lost to the champions and not just another team in the playoffs, but for some reason I just wanted the city of San Fran to see a baseball winner. It’s a beautiful city with a good history of players.

And Brian Wilson my new favorite.

Rage on Brian, rage on.

To walk Edgar Renteria or not to walk Edgar Renteria?

November 3, 2010

 

Today the media has been going crazy debating whether Cliff Lee should have walked Edgar Renteria to face Aaron Rowand. At first I was going crazy as well. To me it should not have even been a question- PITCH TO EDGAR RENTERIA! I mean, it’s Cliff Lee v. Edgar freakin’ Renteria!

2nd_3rd 0 0.144 0.249 0.307 0.147 0.079 0.074
2nd_3rd 1 0.305 0.285 0.218 0.101 0.053 0.038
2nd_3rd 2 0.724 0.054 0.141 0.049 0.021 0.011
Loaded 0 0.128 0.255 0.211 0.143 0.134 0.13
Loaded 1 0.33 0.252 0.151 0.106 0.093 0.068
Loaded 2 0.675 0.092 0.105 0.055 0.048 0.025

That is the Run Expectancy table for bases loaded situations and 2nd and 3rd situations. The run values start at 0 on the left and incrementally go up by 1 as you move to the right.

So when Renteria came to the plate, there were men on 2nd and 3rd with two outs. If you pitch to him the chances of getting out of the inning scoreless is 72.4%. The chance of allowing 1 run is 5.4%, the chance of allowing 2 runs is 14.1%, and the chance of allowing 3 runs is 4.9%.

If you walk him to load the bases, the chance of allowing 0 runs is 67.5%, the chance of allowing of 1 run is 9.2%, the chance of allowing 2 runs is 10.5%, and the chance of allowing 3 runs is 5.5%.

The obvious move appears to be pitching to Renteria. The percentage chance of getting out of the inning clean is 4.9 higher, while the odds of giving up runs is higher when you do walk him.

HOWEVER, there are some other factors we need to take into account.

Edgar Renteria is a below average hitter. In order from 2008, his wRC+ has been 86, 69, and 95 over 1324 PA. However, he has and still can mash lefties. For his career, in 1353 PA, Renteria has a .404 OBP, .503 SLG, and 143 wRC+ against lefties. In 3793 PA against righties, he has a wRC+ of 93. That’s a sizable difference. Now I’m not going to run a platoon split regression whatever, but I’d imagine that the results would tell us Edgar’s true talent against lefties is well above average.

The batter behind Aaron Edgar Renteria is Aaron Rowand. He too has sucked the past three years, with wRC+, starting in 2008, of 97, 96, and 77 over 1514 PA. Unlike Renteria, he has no noticeable skill against lefties. In 1268 PA against lefties he has a wRC+ of 117, compared to 102 in 3050 PA against righties. So his true skill is just average against both lefties and righties, although its probably even lower than that as of today because he has not been a good hitter for a while now.

So it’s established that the hitter behind Renteria is an inferior pitcher against lefties, which Cliff Lee. Now it’s also important to remember that the more times through a lineup a pitcher goes, the higher his wOBA Against will be. When Lee faced Renteria, it was his third time through the lineup. Even an elite pitcher like Lee pitches like a league average pitcher the third or fourth time through a lineup.

In essence, at that particular moment in the game, the match-up was a slightly above pitcher versus an above average hitter. However, had Renteria been walked the match-up would have become a slightly above pitcher versus a below average hitter in Rowand.

So although the Run Expectancy table says not to walk Renteria, in this specific case, considering other factors, the smart move was to walk Renteria. “The Book” also does say that if you walk someone before the ninth, the best time to do it is with 2nd and 3rd in a tie game, as the lead runner won’t be advancing and you’re not putting the winning run on base, since they already are on base. Moreover, one of the biggest aspects of walking a better is the relative performance of the on-deck hitters. Well, we already discussed how Renteria, in that situation, has a much better skill or talent level than Rowand, so there is a talent and wOBA disparity in that match-up.

The Rangers should have walked Edgar Renteria to face Aaron Rowand. However, the whole thing could have been avoided had Texas simply brought in a fresh, righty arm from the pen.

Lee v. Lincecum: Part 1

October 28, 2010

Since tonight is Game 1 of the World Series with an epic pitching match-up, I want to do a little live blogging. Just some thought updates every so often. I’m a little late, but oh well. I wonder how Lincecum will do on three days rest, after pitching in relief during game 6 of the NLCS on just one day of rest. Lee hasn’t thrown in over a week.

And Lee just hit a double! Lincecum hasn’t looked good so far. Also, what’s up with the crowd? I’ve long felt San Fran had one of the more, if not the most underrated fan bases in the game. But they are QUIET right now. C’mon, it’s the World Series!

Day baseball is so cool. Not saying I always like the atmosphere better than night games, but it’s a nice change of pace. Yes, the game started at 8 on the east coast, but it’s still day on the west coast. Cool to see a World Series game in the day for once.

2-0 Texas right now. That could be all they need with Lee on the mound.

Update 8:59: See New York, is it really that hard to score runs off Cliff Lee?

Game tied 2-2 now. Hopefully the back and forth continues. This may not be a pitchers duel, but it can still be a very exciting game.

Update 9:58: Wow, what an inning! I don’t even care that the pitching duel just exploded. That inning was awesome. Six runs on five hits. Now the fans are into the game. I’m going crazy in my dorm room and I don’t even have a rooting interest.

Update 11:07: LOL at Vladimir Guerrero right now. Just play Francouer or Murphy tomorrow. Vlad’s negative defensive value is going to outweigh his offensive contribution.

Update 11:49: What a very sloppy game. Six errors? This ended up not being a good game at all. Also, nice bullpen management in the ninth Bruce Bochy. A seven run lead and you used how many relievers? I’m speechless.

Is anyone surprised by the Padres losing streak?

September 6, 2010

If so, please raise your hand because you shouldn’t be.

After only losing three games in a row once all season (this happened in May) the San Diego Padres are riding a ten game losing streak. And it’s about time.

Don’t get me wrong, the Padres are still a good team and proved a lot of people wrong who picked them to finish last in the NL West. But the offense is putrid. Their team .308 wOBA is beyond poor. I know their road numbers are a lot better than their home numbers, but the offense still is not good. Adrian Gonzalez is a monster and Ryan Ludwick isn’t so bad himself, but this is a team that lets Will Venable and David Eckstein bat. No matter how good a team is in other facets of the game, it’s tough to maintain the best record in the league when you offense is miserable.

What has carried the Padres has been pitching and defense. Mainly defense though. While the Padres have a fantastic team FIP, the bulk of that is carried by the bullpen. Most of their starters have ERA’s better than their periphs indicate because of Petco Park and an amazing defense that catches everything put in play. Like almost literally you need to get a home run to score in Petco, and hitting a home run is near impossible. While the Padres starters have a fantastic 3.65 ERA, their FIP is 4.11, which is just middle of the pack in baseball. In fact, it’s only the fourth best FIP in their own division. So their starters, outside Mat Latos who is a Beast, are not that good. Their flaws are just minimized by a fantastic defense. I mean, their K/9, BB/9, and HR/9 are average. But they have one of the better BABIP’s and a league leading LOB% of 76.8%. So for the first five months of the season the starters were being saved by the defense. Over the past two weeks that has not been a case and their true talent level has emerged.

The Padres all season have won close, low scoring games. The games are low scoring before the Padres can’t score and their defense prevents a ton of runs even though the starters allow quite a few base runners. The Padres win those games because of a legit, dominant bullpen which is a strength. The bullpen by far has the best FIP of 2.88 (the only under 3.00) and by far have the best bullpen xFIP of 3.16. However, it’s tough to expect a bullpen, no matter how good, to hold the lead in every close game. The breaks are finally going against San Diego.

The Padres regression is finally recurring and it should make for an interesting September race unless San Francisco, and even Colorado for that matter, don’t feel like winning.

Kerry Wood is your newest New York Yankee

July 31, 2010

Reports Joel Sherman. I don’t like it.

I know Cleveland is eating money so Wood is practically free and I don’t know who we gave up yet, but I do not see Wood as an addition. Our pen could use some help, but I wouldn’t call Wood “help”. He has sucked this year and been hurt. Moreover, the past two years he’s had a high HR rate and that will not play well in NYS. Hopefully his big name will not get him big innings. I’d much rather see Joba Chamberlain or D-Rob in the eighth.

And the move wasn’t even needed. Just call up Jon Albeladajao- the dood is bossing AAA. And if not him, than Ivan Nova.

The right move is to DFA and call up Alby.

Well, whatever. Just don’t suck Kerry.

UPDATE: In a “non-move” the Giants pick up lefty specialist Javier Lopez for Joe Martinez. Who cares, to be honest.

UPDATE II: Pirates also receive outfielder John Bowker. He’s more of a fourth outfielder, but he’s raking AAA and many thought he should have been given a big chance in the Bay.

Giants also pick up reliever Ramon Ramirez from Boston. No word on who Boston gets, but it should be someone of no impact.