2.11.2005

Alou Gives Some of His Plans

In the Trib's article about Alou, he gives some hints as to how he sees things for the Giants in 2005. Besides the obvious - Snow sits to let Feliz hit against LH SP - he had a number of tidbits. He sees Jason Ellison being the 5th OF because of his defense (shades of Calvin Murray). He expects to hold Grissom out for 32 games (that is, he's going to play him about 130 games) plus move Moises to LF on the days Bonds takes a day off. He is looking to Jim Brower to be the primary set-up man and to Jesse Foppert to be long relief, assuming he's healthy (2 cents/2c: which is not too surprisingly, we all saw that coming). To get Feliz more AB, he plans to play Feliz at both corner OF spots. And Tucker will see play in CF too (2c: which is not surprising, he has played CF during his career).

Across the Seam's account of a season ticket holders' meeting with Alou and Sabean gave further tidbits of info. Alou feels much better about the bullpen because of better defined roles (2c: it WAS defined last year; unfortunately, Herges sucked). The rotation is set with Schmidt, Tomko, Lowry, Williams, and Rueter. Foppert, Hennessey and Cain will have chances to fill in (2c: interesting on who he didn't mention, Valdez). Alou said that Williams is a future 20-game winner (2c: not a hard thing to say after his 2003 season; despite 2004 season, I still believe in him, he is going to be an anchor of the rotation for a while). Linden's star has dimmed greatly but they still like his athleticism.

Mohr was jettisoned due to the money (2c: no surprise there, 5th OF won't get many ABs with Tucker sucking up most available AB and Feliz sucking up even more; #5 will only get mop-up duties on defense and PH and you wouldn't want to pay $1M for that. I still think they should have kept Mohr and either trade away Grissom or Tucker). Unfortunately, Alou said that Bonds is used to batting 4th now so it looks like the lineup will be pretty set at Durham, Vizquel, Snow/Feliz, Bonds, Alou, Alonzo, Grissom, Matheny, with a little juggle on the days that Tucker or Feliz subs for one of the Elderly Trio.

Lastly, they reiterated why they got Matheny over Torrealba: known quantity, not an experiment, plus got two youngsters in the rotation (2c: unsaid is that by end of 2005 we could have Hennessey or Cain in the rotation as well, depending on how Woody does in the rotation, plus Foppert in the bullpen, adding more youngsters into the mix, then next year there's Cain and Aardsma, maybe Misch or Correia too, getting ready to come up and contribute. The Giants will have a cheap pitching staff pretty soon, after Rueter's contract is up probably, with only Schmidt's contract bringing up the average massively.)

Hmm, seems like the Trib's article is an account of this meeting but they made it seem like they interviewed Alou or something...

Well, now we can see how the numbers work now that we have the exact number of games Alou plans to use Grissom. Not too surprising it is so low since Alou talked about how tired Grissom was last season while Grissom was saying "B.S. I'm not tired" but his season ending stats said otherwise. His great first month masked all the problems he had hitting the rest of the season.

Anywho, that's 32 games there. I assume Bonds and Alou will probably be in the 140 game range so that frees up another 22 games each for a total of 76 games or approximately 380 PA. Throw in the DH, that's probably another 9 games or 45 PA, which brings us to approximately 425 PA. Of course, there will be laughers that one of the reserves will come in, etc., so that probably brings us up to about 450. That is not a lot of PA to spread between Tucker, Feliz, and then Ellison. Especially if they want to get Feliz close to 600 PA.

Speaking of the devil, how will Feliz get there? Snow, assuming he plays healthy, would get all the RHP PA, leaving about 250 PA vs. LHP for Feliz. Throw in some sit-downs vs. tough RHP, that gets Feliz up to 300 PA. Alou said that Moises would get LF if Bonds sit so maybe Feliz gets RF for those 22 games for another 110 PA for 410 PA. If Alfonzo is finally fit, he'll play maybe 145 games leaving Feliz 17 games and 90 PA. Throw in 1 PH per week and that's another 25 PA. We are at 525 PA or so, a good 75 PA away still and no position to play Feliz at unless they want to try him at SS again. Feliz does not look like he will get 600 PA unless the Giants play Bonds or Alou only 130 games but Feliz, as nicely as he hits, cannot replace either player adequately, offensively or defensively, so I would prefer not to contemplate a move like this.

Looking at Mohr's stats only made me pine more for him. His stats were always odd in that he hit RHP about as well as LHP. But in 2004 he hit RHP WAY better than LHP: .899 vs. .738, 5 homers in 148 AB vs. 2 homers in 115 AB. So he could have been Grissom's platoon buddy plus be the first choice for OF when resting an OF if Tucker would have been traded.

I mean, Tucker's contract is for, what, $2M this year? Trade him plus $1M to make his salary palatable to the other team at $1M, we sign Mohr to a $1M contract, we end up still paying $2M, same as before, plus we get a minor prospect in exchange for Tucker. And I loved the way he played defense plus he could play CF if necessary and adequately for he was used there often when he was with the Twins. It will be hard not to root for him while he's in a Rockies uni and playing against the Giants.

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