1.26.2005

Bonds had arthroscopic surgery over offseason

According to sfgiants.com preview of the coming season (outfield edition), Bonds "was noticeably limping toward the end of 2004 and complained of "80-year-old knees," but offseason arthroscopic surgery has revitalized his legs."

Wow, so he could be better running on the base paths this year, better getting balls in the outfield, and, most importantly to moi, he might be willing to bat 3rd this season, in spite of the walks, since his knees should not be bothering him as much as the last couple of seasons. If he is willing to bat third, then the lineup should end up something like this:

vs. LHP/vs. RHP
1 Durham/Durham
2 Vizquel/Vizquel
3 Bonds/Bonds
4 Alou/Alou
5 Grissom/Snow
6 Alfonzo/Alfonzo
7 Snow/Grissom
8 Matheny/Matheny

Plus throw in Feliz for anyone and bat him high vs. LHP and lower vs. RHP.

The offense is better overall this year with the additions, with Vizquel hitting better vs. RHP, so he replaces the offense that Tucker provided there plus is better vs. LHP, Alou hitting well vs. RHP, so he replaces Pierzynski's offense vs. RHP (actually is better plus is even better vs. LHP), and Matheny, while bad, can provide about the same offense as the combined Neifi/Deivi combo last season, or just short since Deivi hit so well. However, Bonds, Grissom, and Snow can expect to be worse than last year, especially Snow. So that evens out.

That leaves Durham, Alfonzo, and Feliz. Durham is aces when he is playing and gives us a huge advantage at leadoff (despite missing so many games, Giants with him ranked first in OPS for batting leadoff). If his exercise regiment is able to help him play 150 games for us, that is like a 10-20% increase in offense (he played in only 120 games, with Neifi and Ransom being his main replacements; funnily enough, Neifi resigned with the Cubs and Ransom was picked up by the Cubs, presumably to replace Ramon Martinez, who used to play for the Giants).

Alfonzo went on a exercise regiment also over the offseason and lost almost 20 pounds. That should improve his offense at 3B PLUS help with his offense, so that should be a gain there offensively too.

Lastly, Feliz probably will end up contributing about as much as he did the last couple of seasons. Baseball Prospectus blasts the Giants for overpaying him but, while I agree that he is overpaid for what he produced, what is not being valued is the insurance he provides the Giants. If Snow or Alfonzo goes down, Feliz can take over without the offense or defense blinking much, like running on 87 instead of 89 or 91 octane. He could probably pitch in adequately in LF or RF, should, god forbid, anything should happen there. That is huge when such a loss would cripple most offenses.

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