Giants Do the Right Thing

Here’s a link to the Giants’ apparent opening day roster, at least according to the San Francisco Chronicle’s John Shea.

The Gints kept most of the guys who played well this Spring including Brandon Belt, Dan Otero, Hector Sanchez, Gregor Blanco and Brett Pill.  I’m not really sold on Pill — he doesn’t walk enough.  Gregor Blanco is no great hitter, but he gets on base (.358 career major league OPS in more than 800 plate appearances and .367 minor league career OPS in more than 4,000 plate appearances), and he runs well.  If his Spring Training isn’t a complete fluke, he could be the next Andres Torres.

Of course, the Giants cut Mike Fontenot, who actually played pretty well this Spring and deserved better, and they held on to Barry Zito, who was terrible, but you can’t have everything.  My understanding is that even though Fontenot played better this Spring, Ryan Theriot had more guaranteed money coming to him if they cut him (about $750,000 more than the Giants had to pay Fontenot, if my information is good), and the Giants wanted another right-handed bat on the bench.

As for Zito, it’s hard for the Giants to let go when they’re still on the hook for $46 million of his horrendous contract.  Besides, the Giants are currently short on starters with Ryan Vogelsong and Eric Surkamp starting the season on the DL.  Zito will be given every opportunity to prove that he has nothing less, and then some.

And mirabile dictu (miraculous to say), the Giants traded Chris Stewart and actually got something in return.  Admittedly, at age 27 this year RHP George Kontos is only marginally a prospect.  However, he really pitched well last year, posting a 2.62 ERA in 89.1 innings as a reliever and spot starter at AAA Scranton/Wilkes Barre and a 3.00 ERA in seven late season relief appearances (6 IP) for the Bombers.

More impressively, in 95.1 total innings pitched last year, Kontos gave up only 76 hits and 29 walks, while striking out 97 batters.  That’s terrific.  The biggest knock on Kontos is that he also gave up 13 dingers in those 95.1 IP.

At least Kontos has the kind of arm where the Giants could potentially get some useful major league service out of him in the next year or two.  At the end of the day, Chris Stewart is a 30 year old catcher with a career major league OPS of .563 and a career minor league OPS of .689 — getting anything more than a box of crackerjack for a player who hits like that is gravy.

It’s also good to see the Giants valuing players like Gregor Blanco and George Kontos, who do things like get on base and put up great ratios.  The Giants generally aren’t known for signing money-ball players, instead preferring veterans and toolsy players over those who look better according to statistical analysis.  I hope its not just a coincidence.

Explore posts in the same categories: New York Yankees, San Francisco Giants

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