San Francisco Giants Should Claim Cody Ransom

In a move that puzzles me, the Arizona Diamondbacks designated Cody Ransom for assignment yesterday.  Since he is a veteran player, he’ll have to pass through waivers.  The Giants should claim him to solve their current problem at third base if another team doesn’t do so first.

Actually, Ransom’s dumping is not entirely puzzling.  Ransom is 36 years old, D’Backs manager Kirk Gibson apparently doesn’t like something about Ransom’s game, and the Diamondbacks called up 25 year old 3Bman Josh Bell, who was hitting .381 with a .1047 OPS in 26 games at AAA Reno.

What is surprising is that D’Backs dumped Ransom even though he was hitting .269 with a .922 OPS in 58 major league plate appearances.  Meanwhile, the D’Backs’ “regular” 3Bman Ryan Roberts came into today’s game hitting .227 with a .609 OPS in more than twice as many plate appearances.  It’s not like the D’backs are trying to develop Roberts — he turns 32 in September.

Roberts presumably plays better defense at the hot corner.  At least, that’s the only way I can understand Kirk Gibson’s refusal to give Ransom more opportunities — if Ransom didn’t get a hit, he didn’t start the next game.

As I’ve written before, Ransom is one of those extremely rare players who significantly improved as a hitter after age 30.  After five seasons at AAA in which he never had an OPS higher than .762 (his next highest was .735), starting in 2006 at age 30, he’s had AAA OPS numbers of .824, .830, .820, .794 (he was hurt), .800 and 1.034 last year at Reno (a terrific place to hit).  That’s the reason he’s still around at age 36, even though he’s never managed to accumulate even 100 plate appearances in any of the nine different major league seasons in which he has participated prior to 2012.

Ransom has played so little in the major leagues that his major league numbers show great swings from great to awful year to year since 2007.  However, the AAA numbers show that he can hit, at least for a 3Bman, and he’s hit extremely well in limited major league playing time so far in 2012.

Meanwhile, with Pablo “Panda” Sandoval out for another month with another broken hamate bone, the Giants have run Joaquin Arias, Connor Gillaspie and Manny Burriss out to third base, and none of them have hit worth a damn.  After his home run tonight, Arias is hitting .237 with a .632 OPS, the best of anyone currently playing 2nd, 3rd or SS for the Gints.

If the Giants sign Ransom and send Charlie Culberson back to AAA Fresno, what’s the worst that could happen?  Ransom doesn’t hit in San Fran, the Giants cut him loose when Panda is ready to come off the DL and all that Ransom cost the team was the pro-rated portion of Ransom’s major league salary, which is probably in the $650,000 to $700,000 per year range.  A small price to pay for a guy who has hit with power at the major league level this year.  Culberson isn’t likely to match Ransom’s four doubles and 4 home runs this year, even if the Giants keep on the major league roster the rest of the season.

I would also advise that you don’t immediately pencil in Josh Bell as the D’Backs’ regular 3Bman for the remainder of the season.  Reno is such a ridiculously good place to hit, there’s no guarantee that he’ll hit in Phoenix, even though Chase Field is also a hitters’ park.  Reno led the hit-happy Pacific Coast League in runs scored last year, and none of the six pitchers who made at least 15 starts for the ill-named Aces had an ERA lower than 5.21.

In fact, Bell started the season at Norfolk in the International League and hit so poorly through nine games (3 for 32), the Tides (Orioles) designated him for assignment, where he was obviously claimed off waivers by the D’Backs and assigned to Reno.

Meanwhile, an infielder that can hit would be a revelation in San Francisco, at least until Pablo comes back off the disabled list.

Explore posts in the same categories: Arizona Diamond Backs, Baltimore Orioles, San Francisco Giants

One Comment on “San Francisco Giants Should Claim Cody Ransom”

  1. Burly Says:

    Cody was snapped up by the Brewers today, who based on their worse record could make a claim before the Giants

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