Archive for the ‘San Francisco Giants’ category

Joe Panik off to a Strong Start as a Met

August 24, 2019

I don’t know if anyone has noticed, but through his first 12 games for the New York Mets, Joe Panik is hitting a lusty .343 (13 for 38), although his OPS is only .796 as he hasn’t walked much or hit for power.  Batting near the top of the Mets’ line-up, he’s scored 10 runs, however.

There is still plenty of time for Joe to go cold before the 2019 season ends, and it’s likely the Mets will non-tender him after the season either way.   The Mets are still on the hook for a pile of money to Robinson Cano through 2023, and Panik is arbitration eligible and would get a raise from his current $3.8 million salary through the salary arbitration process.

Assuming that Panik continues to hit well as a Met, it’s possible he just needed a change of scenery.  Panik is from the greater New York metro area and played college ball at St. John’s, so perhaps signing with the Mets is a dream come true for Joe.

I’m kind of at a loss to understand why Panik stopped hitting as a Giant the last two seasons, when he’d hit well enough three of the prior four seasons.  If the Mets do non-tender Panik, he may be able to command a $2.5M to $4M one-year deal for 2020, as he tries to rebuild value for his free agency after the 2020 season.

I’m disappointed Panik ran out of steam as a Giant, but I wish him the best going forward, and I hope he can put his career back together.  It’s likely that the Marlins will elect to pay Starlin Castro a $1M buyout rather than pay his $16M option.  If so, the Fish will be in need of an affordable 2Bman, and Panik would fit the bill.

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Steven Duggar Avoids Surgery

August 21, 2019

mlbtraderumors.com reports that Steven Duggar will not have to undergo surgery on his left shoulder.  Good news, so long as his shoulder finally heals properly.

Duggar didn’t hit as a Giant (.239 BA/.619 OPS), but he sure hit for AAA Sacramento after he was sent down on July 3rd, coming off the injured list.  He hit .337/1.003, but, alas, in only 23 games before the Giants re-called him, so there’s the small sample-size issue on the AAA performance; and Duggar was only 3-12 with a double and a walk in the six games after returned to the Show.

If Duggar is entirely healthy in 2020 and his 2019 AAA performance wasn’t a fluke, he should be a useful major league outfielder next season at age 26, not least because his fielding is well above average.

In short, there is still room to hope for Duggar’s career as a Giant.  But I won’t be getting my hopes up too much either.

Lose Weight, Vlad Jr.

August 18, 2019

Vlad Jr. came out of today’s game with left knee “discomfort.”  He’s listed at 6’2″ and 250 lbs at age 20.

Work out harder in the off-season, and eat better, or risk becoming the next Pablo Sandoval.  Pablo has had his moments, but when you have that kind of talent, you have to be thinking of the Hall of Fame.

San Francisco Giants Promote Logan Webb

August 17, 2019

Well, it sure doesn’t seem like an 80-game PED suspension earlier this season did much to slow Logan Webb‘s move up the ladder as a prospect.  He’s being called-up to a start tomorrow’s Giants’ game.  After serving the suspension, Webb pitched well at AA Richmond and looked good in exactly one AAA start.

I think it’s most likely that the 22 year old right-hander will look raw in his first start, but we’ll see.  Webb’s 80-game suspension may punish him most in the short term because of the lost experience.  He’s only pitched 302.1 minor league innings, and if he’d pitched all year and remained healthy, he’d better poised for the jump to the Show.  14 high minors starts sure isn’t many before facing the truly big boys.

In the long term, the 80-game suspension doesn’t look particularly punitive and certainly not punitive enough to prevent Webb from again bending the rules if he believes the ‘roids helped his performance or development.

San Francisco Giants Dump Joe Panik

August 7, 2019

The Giants designated Joe Panik for assignment today, which effectively means he’s about to become a free agent.  It’s highly unlikely anyone will claim him off waivers, but once he clears, he will almost certainly choose free agency, at which point anyone can sign him for a pro-rated portion of the major league minimum.

Joe Panik’s time as a Giant was pretty much a textbook case of promise unfulfilled.  Even so, I’m a little sad to see him go when he could potentially have helped the Giants for the rest of this season, before his inevitable non-tender in the next off-season.

Scooter Gennett is no sure thing, nor is Mauricio Dubon.  Gennett is off to a 3-for-14 start (but a .714 OPS) as a Giant, and Dubon has gone 4-for 21 in six games since joining the AAA Sacramento River Cats.  I assume that Dubon will probably remain at AAA until September call-ups or until he gets hot, whichever comes first.

Panik’s .627 OPS was poor, but his .310 on-base percentage could have been worse.  I wouldn’t have dumped him until I was certain Dubon is ready to take his roster space.

Instead, the Giants decided they’d go with a platoon Donovan Solano and Gennett and call up an additional pitcher.  Connor Menez and Williams Jerez were called up today, and Sam Selman was sent down after four unimpressive major league appearances.  If nothing else, it will good to see Connor Menez get another major league start sooner rather than later.

Busy Trade Deadline Day for San Francisco Giants

August 1, 2019

After being up in the air about how they were going to go into the trade deadline, the Giants made a flury of moves that kind of split the difference.  The Giants sent away relievers Sam Dyson, Mark Melancon, Drew Pomeranz and Ray Black, held onto Madison Bumgarner and Will Smith, and added 2Bmen Scooter Gennett and Mauricio Dubon and a bunch of B and C-grade prospects.

Dyson was the only really important piece for the Giants in 2019, and the Giants got three prospects for his last 1.33 seasons of control.  The three prospects are Prelander Berroa, a 19 year old right-hander who has never pitched above the rookie league level; Jaylin Davis, a just turned 25 year old outfielder who is a former 24th round draft pick but is having a big year this year in the high minors; and Kei-Wei Teng, a big (6’4″, 260 lbs) Taiwanese right-hander pitching well at full season A ball this year at age 20.

After a promotion from AA, Jaylin Davis was slashing .331/.405/.708 after 41 games for AAA Rochester, and he runs well. However, his career minor league .812 OPS is probably a better reflection of his true talents.  MLB.com doesn’t rank any of the three prospects the Giants received as being in the Twins’ top 30.

The Giants got a big return from the Brewers for Drew Pomeranz and Ray Black.  Just turned 25 2Bman Mauricio Dubon was slashing .297/.333/.475 after 427 plate appearances at AAA San Antonio.  Dubon was born in Honduras and went to high school in Sacramento.  He is just the second Honduran born player in major league history — the first was Gerald Young.

The trades involving Mark Melancon and Scooter Gennett were mostly about moving salary for the selling teams.  The Braves will reportedly pay all of Melancon’s remaining contract, which is close to $19M through the end of the 2020 season.  The prospects the Giants got in return reflect it.  Righties Tristan Beck and Dan Winkler don’t impress much.

Beck is a former 4th round draft pick out of Stanford, but missed all of the 2017 season to a stress fracture in his back.  Now age 23, he has an ugly 5.65 ERA in the normally pitcher-friendly Class A+ Florida State League after eight starts this season.  After a fine major league campaign last year at age 28, Dan Winkler pitched his way out of the Braves’ bullpen this year and has had trouble throwing strikes for AAA Gwinnett.

The Giants gave the Reds “cash considerations” for Scooter Gennett, which I assume means that the Giants will be paying all of the remaining $3.25 million owed to Gennett, plus maybe another $25,000 or $50,000.  Gennett has been awful this year since coming back from an injury.  It doesn’t seem likely he’ll hit better in pitcher-friendly San Francisco than he did in hitter-friendly Cincinnati, but you never know.  One thing is for certain — the additions of Dubon and Gennett mean that Joe Panik‘s playing time will be limited going forward unless he gets hot immediately.  It also seems almost certain the Giants will non-tender Panik this off-season.

In another very minor move, the Giants swapped lefty Jacob Lopez for LF/1B Joe McCarthy.  I’m doubtful either player ever reaches the majors, but again, you never know.

The Giants promoted Derek Rodriguez, Andrew Suarez and Jandel Gustave today to replace the traded away bullpen pieces.  None of the three deserved the promotion more than Sam Selman.  However, the odds that all three of Rodriguez, Suarez and Gustave can hold their major league roster spots seem slim, so Selman may get his shot soon enough.

Atlanta Braves Acquire Reliever Chris Martin for Kolby Allard

July 31, 2019

It has been a remarkably quite trade deadline this year with no big stars yet changing teams.  However, the Texas Rangers traded right-handed reliever Chris Martin for 21 minor league starter Kolby Allard.  This move interests me for a couple of reasons.

First, Chris Martin is a pitcher who turned himself into an MLB major leaguer by going to Japan’s NPB for a couple of seasons, where he pitched great and played a higher level of competition than he’d have faced at AAA in front of major league sized crowds.  The Rangers signed Martin for a two-year contract at a modest $4 million guarantee with modest performance bonuses.  Fangraphs says that Martin’s performance as a Ranger for the last 1.65 seasons has been worth $9.2M.

Now, for the last two+ months of Martin’s contract, the Rangers have turned him into a 21 year old AAA starter who was the 14th overall selection of the 2015 Draft.  Kolby Allard was indeed a heavy price for the Choppers to pay for two months of Chris Martin.

Allard isn’t pitching as well this year as he did in 2018, when a strong AAA performance earned him a major league cup of coffee.  His ERA at AAA is a buck and half higher than it was last year, but there’s a lot more offense in the International League this year than in years past and Allard’s strikeout rate has improved — he has 98 Ks in 110 IP so far this year.

Allard is listed as 6’1″ and 190 lbs and he pitched 150 innings in 2017 at age 19, which really wasn’t a good idea.  Thus, the Braves may have concerned about his ability to stay healthy, although his improved strikeout rate in his second go-’round at AAA is a positive sign on the arm health front.

I assume we will find out in short order why the Braves were willing to give up Allard on a rental of Chris Martin.  Still, it seems like a steal for the Rangers.

An NPB pitcher I have my eye on for a return to MLB as soon as 2020 is former SF Giants’ right-handed reliever Pierce Johnson.  After 40 relief appearances this year for the Hanshin Tigers, he has 28 holds in 30 opportunities and 0.90 ERA.  His pitching line is currently 40 IP, 24 hits, zero HRs and nine BBs allowed and 57 Ks.

Johnson had an ugly 5.56 ERA for the Giants as a 27 year old rookie in 2018 but his peripheral numbers were better.  His command appears to have improved dramatically this season, and he looks like he’d be a good sign for an MLB major league team this off-season, at least if he stays healthy and can keep performing in Japan at something close to his current level.