Posted on: December 19, 2011 9:55 am
Edited on: December 20, 2011 12:17 am
By Matt Snyder
What if players were only permitted to stay with the team that originally made them a professional? No trades, no Rule-5 Draft, no minor or major league free agency ... once you are a professional baseball player, you stay in that organization. This series shows how all 30 teams would look. We give you: Homegrown teams. To view the schedule/past entries of this feature, click here.
On the strength of an incredible -- and mostly homegrown -- pitching staff, the San Francisco Giants won their first World Series in 2010 (yes, the Giants had won the World Series before, but that was as the New York Giants). So when you picture how the Giants would fare in this just-for-fun series, you might think these Giants will be pretty good. If so, you'd be wrong. You'll find a similarity to the real Giants in terms of pitching and offense, but the bad is much, much worse. In fact, it's awful. Don't say we didn't warn you ...
1. Brandon Belt, RF
2. Pablo Sandoval, 3B
3. Buster Posey, 1B
4. Nate Schierholtz, CF
5. Yorvit Torrealba, C
6. Brett Pill, LF
7. Matt Downs, 2B
8. Brandon Crawford, SS
1. Tim Lincecum
2. Matt Cain
3. Madison Bumgarner
4. Ryan Vogelsong
5. Francisco Liriano
Closer - Brian Wilson
Set up - Joe Nathan, David Aardsma, Sergio Romo, Scott Linebrink, Jason Grilli
Long - Jonathan Sanchez, Kevin Correia
Notable Bench Players
Hector Sanchez, Emmanuel Burriss and Conor Gillaspie.
The pitching staff could be even better than the real-life lock-down staff because you add the upside of Liriano, along with Nathan and Aardsma as setup men for Wilson. Of course, Nathan had a down year while recovering from Tommy John surgery, Liriano was pretty bad and Aardsma missed the entire season with his own injury. But since we're living in a dream world anyway, just picture this staff with everyone at his best. It's amazing, top to bottom.
Pretty much everything else. There is no bench depth at all, which is bad because Torrealba, Pill, Downs and Crawford don't have any business being everyday big-league starters. The Belt-Sandoval-Posey start to the lineup isn't bad, but after that the lineup is brutal. Schierholtz is fine for a six or seven hitter, but definitely not cleanup on a team that wants to be in playoff contention. The presence of Sandoval and Posey probably prevents this from being the worst Homegrown offense, but it's really, really bad. The team speed is lacking, too, so the offense can't exactly hope to put pressure on the defense that way. Oh yeah, the defense. Due to having one true outfielder (I still count Belt as a true first baseman) on the entire roster in addition to that guy being a corner outfielder having to play center, and we have four guys playing out of position. The outfield's range in particular would be crippling to the elite pitching staff in that spacious outfield.
Comparison to real 2011
It's similar in that the pitching is great and the offense is a big problem, but this offense is far worse than the real-life Giants' was -- and that wasn't good enough to make the playoffs. The actual 2011 Giants went 86-76 and were quite fortunate to get there with such a bad offense. This group couldn't possibly get to .500, even with the one of the best pitching staffs in this exercise -- and, again, the defense would make the pitchers look worse. I think it looks like a 75-win team, based purely on the pitching staff, Sandoval and Posey.
Up next: Oakland Athletics
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Tags: Brandon Belt, Brandon Crawford, Brett Pill, Brian Wilson, Buster Posey, Conor Gillaspie, David Aardsma, Emmanuel Burriss, Francisco Liriano, Giants, Hector Sanchez, Homegrown, Jason Grilli, Joe Nathan, Jonathan Sanchez, Kevin Correia, Madison Bumgarner, Matt Cain, Matt Downs, Matt Snyder, Nate Schierholtz, NL West, Pablo Sandoval, Ryan Vogelsong, Scott Linebrink, Sergio Romo, Tim Lincecum, Yorvit Torrealba
Posted on: July 19, 2011 6:52 pm
Edited on: July 20, 2011 5:34 pm
By Evan Brunell
The Giants acquired middle infielder Jeff Keppinger in an attempt to shore up the infield, which has been a point of contention for the defending World Series champions, Houston announced.
In return for giving up Keppinger, the 'Stros received relievers Henry Sosa and Jason Stoffel, while also tabbing infielder Jose Altuve as Keppinger's replacement.
Shortstop has been an issue in San Francisco all season long with the artist formerly known as Miguel Tejada passing the time at short with a .242/.274/.334 line in 322 plate appearances. To his credit, he's run up a .902 OPS in July but 45 plate appearances hardly means much. Rookie Brandon Crawford has also received playing time on the value of his glove as he's hitting an unimpressive .197/.281/.277 in 154 PA. Emmanuel Burriss and Mike Fontenot have also seen some time at short although they're occupied these days will playing second base as Freddy Sanchez is lost to injury.
Keppinger won't lack for playing time between second and shortstop, but could also spell Pablo Sandoval at third. That's the value of Keppinger: he can play all over the infield and has even made appearances in left and right field despite not being an exceptional fielder. He's hitting .307/.320/.436 on the season, racking up 169 PA for Houston, missing the first two months of the year due to left foot surgery. Last season, as a full-time player, he hit .288/.351/.393, so there's offense to be had.
The Giants also called up first baseman Brandon Belt and put him in the lineup for Tuesday night's game at first base. Belt lost his active-roster spot earlier when he went on the disabled list and was then optioned to Triple-A after starting the year with a .211/.328/.281 line in 67 PA. He's back after knocking seven home runs in 43 games for Triple-A, hitting a cool .324/.462/.549, with third catcher Hector Sanchez losing his roster spot. CBSSports.com's Danny Knobler reports that the Giants may wait to see how Keppinger and Belt help the offense before deciding what price to pay for Carlos Beltran of the Mets, who could immediately inject a bopper into the middle of the lineup. Belt could be that bopper with the ability to move around from first base to left and right field, but won't get much time before July 31 to deliver.
From Houston's end, the deal made sense. Keppinger is appealing to San Francisco because of his $2.3 million contract plus the ability to retain him during the player's final year of arbitration in 2012. But Keppinger wasn't a vital part of the rebuilding process underway, while Jose Altuve, 5-foot-7 (that's listed height, so knock two-to-three inches off for real height) offers a brighter future. Altuve impressed many with his turn at the Futures Game during the All-Star festivities and will immediately start at second base in lieu of Keppinger after hitting .361/.388/.569 for Double-A. at age 21. He has 10 homers combined between Double-A and high-Class A. He still needs to refine his basestealing as he's been caught 14 times already but does have a set of wheels, with 24 stolen bases on the season.
The return for Keppinger was solid -- they acquire Henry Sosa, a live-armed 25-year-old who had recently been promoted to Triple-A and enjoyed a rude awakening. He did punch out 36 batters in 40 1/3 innings at Double-A and 21 in 23 1/3 Triple-A innings, so there is some potential there. Stoffel is the more impressive catch, as the 22-year-old has a future as a setup man. He's currently in Double-A, where he's posted a 3.98 ERA in 31 2/3 innings.
For such a marginal trade, there are quite a few ramifications here for each teams, which could signal a selling process for Houston, represents a gambit by San Francisco and takes some chess pieces off the board.
For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed. Also, check out Danny Knobler's trade deadline news and rumors.
Posted on: June 20, 2011 9:00 pm
Edited on: June 21, 2011 4:13 pm
By Evan Brunell
The Milwaukee Brewers have made catcher George Kottaras available, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
Simply by virtue of being available, Kottaras will attract the Giants' attention. The Giants continue to reel from the loss of Buster Posey and are looking for someone, anyone, to take over behind the plate.
Their new starting catcher, Eli Whiteside, has had both offensive and defensive struggles; backup Chris Stewart is a 29-year-old who entered the season with 54 total plate appearances in the majors.
Kottaras, for his part, was just recalled from the minors to serve as Jonathan Lucroy's backup. While Kottaras, 28, struggles to make regular contact with the ball, he has fantastic plate discipline as evidenced by his .220 career average and .306 OBP, generated on the strength of a .213/.306/.393 line the last two seasons with the Red Sox and Brewers, amassing 90 percent of his career plate appearances.
This season, over 34 PA, Kottaras has flashed power with two home runs and has collected nine hits for a .290/.324/.516 line. It's a very small sample size to draw conclusions from, but Kottaras has always been thought to have some home-run power in his bat. He knocked 22 balls out of the park for the Triple-A Red Sox club back in 2007, following that up with 18 long balls the next season. Kottaras hasn't gotten a chance to play much this season, but if he continues to hit, the Giants will come calling. Kottaras won't cost much in a trade as well, given how he seems to have fallen out of favor in Milwaukee.
The Giants could opt to stay internal, however.
They recently promoted catcher Hector Sanchez, 21, all the way from high-Class A to Triple-A. In eight games at Triple-A, Sanchez is hitting .310/.375/.448 and, if he keeps that up, will earn a promotion as the Giants are high on him.
Even with a Sanchez promotion, the Giants could still strike for Kottaras as the club has been rumored to be looking for two catchers.
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