5.19.2005

When will the bad news end?

It was reported on KNTV-11 on their 11PM Wednesday edition that Barry Bonds has been on IV the past two weeks, that his body has been fighting an infectious disease that entered because of his last surgery, and that he has just been removed from the IV. Basically his care has changed from recovering from surgery to bringing in infectious disease medicos in to take care of his illness.

Boy, has this been a multi-layered Russian Doll of bad news regarding Barry Bonds' right knee. First, he needs knee surgery on his other leg now, his right leg, after handling his left leg earlier in the off-season. Next, he needs to have it scoped out again because he hurt his leg and no one thought to check if there was further damage. Then he needed it scoped again because an infection has set in and antibiotics are flushed through there. Now, the disease was bad enough to bring in infectious disease experts and put him on IV for two weeks.

No wonder there's been a block on news, it just get worse and worse. I wonder how many more weeks this sets Barry's recovery and return back. This is pretty serious stuff now because (layman speaking) it seems that the question has changed from when he returns to baseball to if he will recover his health and not suffer any permanent damage. Infectious disease can cause havoc to a body, whether athlete or couch potato, and the questions are not as simple any more.

Meanwhile, congrats to the Giants for breaking their losing streak (My Mays t-shirt is now 3-0), winning 3-2 behind Brad Hennessey's great outing, at Mile Hile Stadium, no less, and after giving up 2 runs in the first inning and making it look like it will be another long night. Feliz was the hitting hero today with a homer to tie the game and coming in as the winning run later - he had 3 hits in total. It was his first homer in ages, hopefully he is starting to get out of his hitting slump, the Giants offense can use it.

Looks like the Giants have their answer now as to who will take the 5th spot in the starting rotation since Jerome Williams does not appear near to returning yet and Hennessey now 3-0. And Lowry shouldn't feel too comfortable either, if Williams gets his act together and Lowry continues to struggle, he may find himself swapping with Williams and getting time in AAA to find himself.

5 Comments:

Anonymous PeterH said...

Don't get too down about Barry.
1) He always surprises
2) We already had to prepare for most of the rest of the season without him. So this doesn't really change anything.
3) The Giants aren't really that bad, they just have to believe in themselfs a little bit.

I would like to see Felipe go with a more consistant lineup. I think that would help settle down the team, give them something to focus on.
Ellison CF
Vizquel SS
Alfonso 3B
Alou RF
Feliz LF
Niekro 1B
Cruz 2B
Matheny C

I think you need to get Niekro and Cruz in there for their hitting. Platoon Snow, but give Niekro the majority of the time. I have no idea why Cruz hasn't been playing more. He has already proven his worth.
Obviously we need pitching more than hitting, but I am optomistic about Walker and the rest of them. Lowry will come around, Schmidt as well.

All of the negativity I am seeing about the Giants is disheartening. Thanks for at least keeping an upbeat slant on things. I don't think it is time to throw in the towel by any means, I think the GMen can have a great season.
PeterH

Thu May 19, 09:39:00 AM PDT  
Blogger obsessivegiantscompulsive said...

Thanks for the comment Peter, good points.

Barry has always surprised me by recovering faster than expected and then doing well faster than expected, but this is our first experience with him providing bad surprises instead of good ones and it is disheartening, no matter how you slice it.

But I agree, the Giants are not that bad, as I've noted and still believe, the Giants should be in the thick of things all year round even without Barry.

I agree Alou should use Ellison more but not necessarily Niekro and Cruz. Grissom is in a horrible slump and he should just sit for a week, say, and relax and regroup while we see how Ellison handles full-time play. Tucker has been no better.

Niekro has only hit well against LHP, though he has decent power against RHP so far, though in few ABs. And Snow has been hitting well, though he hasn't been driving in runs much. I would still keep platooning them unless Niekro proves he can hit RHP well.

Cruz would be OK at 2B, but Durham is who makes our leadoff position the best in terms of OPS the two years he's been here, even with all the time he has missed. There's a reason why Cruz was picked up off the dump heap last year, his defense sucks and until he burst out last season for the Giants, he had three seasons worth of Neifi-ish ineptitude in the batter's box. Last season was a flashback to his best career season - in 2000 - and he has rarely had an OBP over .300 let along the low .330-ish he has done for the Giants during his career.

In addition, Durham has finally started hitting, he has hit .381 the past week with 3 runs scored. It would be a shame to bench him now that he seems to be heating up.

Right now I would go with:

Durham 2B
Ellison CF
Alfonzo 3B
Alou RF
Feliz LF
Snow/Niekro 1B
Vizquel SS
Matheny C

Durham has been hot. Let's see what Ellison can do in 2 spot. Alfonzo has historically hit well in 2-3 spot. Snow and Niekro are RBI guys when given the chance. Vizquel has been scuffling lately, let him hit lower, start rallies out of the 7th position plus maybe drive in some runs.

Once Vizquel gets going again, though, I would swap him and Ellison unless Ellison is still hitting high in the atmosphere.

I have faith in the bullpen, especially since Walker has been doing OK in the closer position. Lowry I don't know about, he found the magic in his changeup last season but seem to have lost his mojo except for two games ago. I won't hold his start in Colorado against him but have to see another similar start before I start believing. He was only OK in the minors until he figured out something about his changeup last season, so whatever he learned last year, he has to relearn it this year.

Williams, however, I have much greater faith in, he has done very well everywhere he has pitched in the minors and did well in the majors his first season. Unfortunately, he let his success go to his belly (literally) last season but showed his maturity by getting into shape this season. As I've noted already, after his first good start, I think the skipping of his turn on his scheduled second start screwed with his head - he said as much in a recent interview - as well as having to relieve when he is used to starting.

Thu May 19, 11:12:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous PeterH said...

Good point about Durham (2 hits today so far)but I still think we have to get Cruz in there as much as possible. I suppose with age and injury, this is really a moot point because Cruz will get his AB's (3 hits today) If he turns into the muff king, then ok, I'm wrong and don't play him.

But I will stick up for Niekro, I think you have to give the guy a chance to hit all pitching. You can't coddle these guys too much, or they will be spoiled. They have to learn how to hit all kinds of pitching. I'm just betting Niekro turns into a really good hitter (2 hits (homer) today) but I don't want to see Felipe ruin him by limiting his playing time. I know JT is a favorite, but here we are now with a chance to groom his heir apparent... let the guy grow. Plus we need the homers since BB is "away". Give the guy a chance, imagine seeing him with the Braves or the Indians with .300 33 HR 100 RBI .... ugh

As for Ellison, I don't think he will do very good except at leadoff. Slap hitter, speedsters are just leadoff types in my eyes. I would rather put Durham 2nd and Omar 7th as you said.

Anyway, Ellison just blew his chance to be hero, GMen lose! Not a great showing in Denver, but I thought we saw some good things from the pitching. 10 hits and 1 run looks really bad, though.

Let's get it together and we can have a good season. Go Giants!

Thu May 19, 02:58:00 PM PDT  
Blogger obsessivegiantscompulsive said...

I totally agree that you cannot just pigeonhole Niekro and have to let him have the chance to fail. That was a problem with Dusty that I had with his managerial style, he never really gave the prospects much of a chance to develop. I will have to post my thoughts on this that I've written but hadn't gotten around to posting.

I also agree that I am in love with his homerun power, I've been that way since I first starting following the Giants and Bobby Bonds, then watching my first big prospect come up, Dave Kingman. With Grissom and Durham having a power shortage this season and Alfonzo never showing any while a Giant, we need that power boost that Niekro could give as only Alou and Feliz has HR power right now.

That said, he did get a chance to play full-time while Snow was out with his flu-like symptoms and I was hoping he would take hold of the position but that's when his batting average suffered. Now is not the time to experiment with playing Niekro and Ellison at the same time, especially since Snow is still hitting well, maybe once the offense gets going or Bonds come back.

However, either way, I think one or the other should be playing each game right now. Most offenses are built on either speed or power. Our offense as it currently stand has neither unless Ellison or Niekro are playing.

Thu May 19, 03:31:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous PeterH said...

I would be happy as long as one or the other is playing. I am really a die-hard "bring them up from the farm" kind of guy, and obviously that is not the kind of team the Giants prefer. I look to the A's wistfully and wonder what could be. (but I just hope for a couple of new talents, not the whole team! hehehe)
I remember Bobby, also. Still have my Camera Day photo of him from 1970.
Time to beat the A's.

Thu May 19, 06:46:00 PM PDT  

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