7.21.2005

The Giants are back in 4th and I feel fine

Well, fine enough. Despite falling back to 4th place with the D-gers two victories over the suddenly toothless Phillies, the Mets sweep of the 'Dres and the Giants are now only 8 games back, though back to 1.5 games back of the the 3rd place D-gers. And the D-gers get to face the same hot Mets and their three best starting pitchers, Victor "I'm the Other" Zambrano, Pedro "I'm YOUR Daddy" Martinez, and Kent "Penthouse Pet" Benson.

Not that the Giants will have a cakewalk with the Marlins as they get to face Dontrelle Willis, Josh Beckett, and A.J. Burnett, the Marlin's three best starting pitchers (and as a trio are light years better than the Mets trio). However, we are catching them at a good time as Dontrelle is having some problems as a starter lately (unfortunately for my fantasy team) plus has been blasted each time he has pitched at SBC, Beckett is coming off the DL having had 3 lousy starts out of his last 4 and watch his ERA jump from 2.58 to 3.35 and taking 3 losses, and Burnett has had 4 straight games of mainly poor outings (ERA from 3.14 to 3.68), though his last start was the best of the bunch, 6 IP, 6 H, 3 BB, 6 K, 3 ER. But there is also steady trade rumors concerning him so it is possible that he could be traded by then and the Giants would face a lesser pitcher.

The cold 'Dres face the cold Phillies, but two of their best starters in Tejeda and Myers so that's a positive for us.

The D-backs are trying to recreate a Giants old-timers team. They just acquired Tim Worrell and had Matt Herges earlier in the season. They also have Royce Clayton and Jose Cruz. They get to face the Braves better starters in Hudson, Hampton, and Ramirez.

So the Giants could conceivably gain another game or two on the three teams above over the weekend if they can win 2 of 3, but are relying on Tomko, Hennessey, and Correia, no sure thing among the three, so we'll see what happens.

Lastly, shocking news reported by SI columnist Ken Rosenthal. Here is the text: "The Giants apparently were willing to trade Class AA righthander Merkin Valdez for Rockies righthander Jason Jennings, but the Rockies balked at the deal. "If he stays a starter, Valdez can at least be Pedro Astacio," one scout says. "I think you might be able to put him at the back end of the bullpen. He's got the body to be an Armando Benitez." Valdez is listed at 6-3 and 220 pounds, but the scout says he could carry 250. " First, Valdez for Jason Jennings? Is Merkin that bad??? Jennings haven't shown anything as a major leaguer and his road stats stinks as bad as his home stats. Second, Merkin Valdez got the body to be Armando Benitez??? Is this the same skinny bones starter I recall when the Giants first got him? And now he's being compared to Benitez? What are they feeding him?

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Valdez for Jason Jennings?!?!?!? I sure hope this is a joke. Right now, the only Rockies pitcher I'd trade Valdez for is Jeff Francis - and if the Rockies are smart they'd nix that immediately from their perspective. But if this truly represents the Giants' thinking...we're in for a long, steep descent into sub-mediocrity, pausing occasionally for displays of utter stupidity.
Beat the rush, fire Sabean now!

Fri Jul 22, 08:19:00 AM PDT  
Blogger obsessivegiantscompulsive said...

Yeah, thanks for adding that, I too hope that this is all one horrible joke, one of those unsubstantiated rumors, perhaps leaked falsely by a Colorado insider to 1) set the targeted "bid" at a "Valdez"-type of prospect and 2) perhaps to make Sabean look stupid and hasten the end of his reign as GM.

I will admit that my faith is being tested but I still stand fully by Sabean as GM, at least until we see how this year's Top 10 prospects turn out. Unfortunately, it takes many years to find out whether the GM is good or not in drafting. And just because he suffers in comparison with his colleague across the Bay does not mean that he is bad at it. I cannot see how someone so good at seeing the talents of people he acquires in trades and waiver claims could be that equally bad at talent evaluation of prospects.

In addition, I still think you need to judge his results not at pinpoints of aggravation - because no one is perfect - but at his final results. And from 1997 to 2004, the Giants have been highly competitive with the other teams of the NL. And from the get-go, starting with a team that was buried in last place, 15 games behind the THIRD place team, let alone the division winner, the 'Dres, who were 23 games ahead of the Giants. With that team and the essentially defunct farm system with few real prospects drafted internally, he was able to cobble together a team that won the division HIS FIRST YEAR.

Yes, he could have done better in some things and he did make some mistakes along the way. Deal with it, he's only human, he's going to make mistakes along the way.

And to make clear my logic on one thing, just because Sabean takes flyers on players you think are below the crud of the earth (like Dunston and now Sanchez) does not mean that Sabean is a lousy judge of talent. The way to add talent without much cost today is to take flyers on players that are released by other teams but who once had a good to great season previously or better had a number of good seasons. It is much cheaper to take this flyer on a number of players who has had some success before than to draft and develop talent via the draft, probably exponentially cheaper.

You sift out the ones with no abilities anymore and you find the ones that can contribute. Sometimes your fishing exhibition comes up empty (like Crudale, Estrella, and Veres last year). Sometimes you find useful players, like Embree, F-Rod, Eyre, Tyler Walker, who can contribute a couple of good years or more. This is just one way of working the edge.

Blaming Sabean for injuried players would be like blaming Billy Beane for signing Jermaine Dye. Dye was unmitigated failure on the part of the A's, a failure that probably costed them from moving on further to higher rounds during the life of Dye's contract. Should Beane be fired for signing Dye for 3 injury plagued years plus poor performances during the playoffs that cost them? I don't think so.

If Sabean traded Valdez for Jennings, then I would withhold judgement until we see what happens with Valdez. Sabean has been pretty good at not letting go of prospects until they are beyond help, few traded prospects have ever contributed greatly at the MLB level.

Fri Jul 22, 10:01:00 AM PDT  

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