Talking Giants Baseball: A San Francisco Giants/Baseball Blog: July 2011

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Quick Reaction: Giants Acquire Beltran

The most sought after player on the trading block in 2011 was Carlos Beltran, and there's no doubt about that. There were several teams in on the bidding of Beltran, according to reporters such as Ken Rosenthal and Jon Heyman, ranging from the Phillies, Braves, Rangers, Red Sox, and of course, the Giants.

If you like to keep it short and simple, here it is: the Giants have the worst offense among all playoff contenders after the loss of Buster Posey, and Brian Sabean has recognized the transformation his team has gone though in a short period.

The Giants are now reaching a rare point in a franchise that's outside of Boston and New York- They're selling out every game as the defending World Series Champions with extreme ease. They have also been overcoming injuries and "over-achieving," proclaimed by their own GM.

That statement alone was the main reason why I was no where near surprised when I woke up today, logged on to my Twitter account, and came to realize what was happening- Brian Sabean, yes Brian Sabean, accepted a deal for a rental player, trading away one of his top pitching prospects, Zack Wheeler.

Sabean doesn't prefer trading away top prospects as he's shown, though he seems to have quite a strong judgement on the players that he's moving- here's a list: Lorenzo Barcelo, Keith Foulke, Bobby Howry, Jim Stoops, Ken Vining, Jason Brester, Darin Blood, Mike Villano, Mike Pageler, Joe Fontenot, Nate Bump, Jason Grilli, Todd Ozias, Francisco Liriano, Tim Alderson (courtesy of
2010 20 Augusta SALL A SFG 3.99 21 13 0 0 58.2 47 27 26 0 38 70 1.449 0.0 5.8 10.7 1.84
2011 21 San Jose CALL A+ SFG 3.99 16 16 0 0 88.0 74 44 39 7 47 98 1.375 0.7 4.8 10.0 2.09
2 Seasons

3.99 37 29 0 0 146.2 121 71 65 7 85 168 1.405 0.4 5.2 10.3 1.98
Provided by View Original Table
Generated 7/27/2011.

As Adam Foster explains in his scouting report, Zack Wheeler looks like he has a bright future as a Major League starter, but "his upside, which he could still be 3-4 years from reaching, is as a very good No. 2 starter and maybe even an ace for stretches of time."

Beltran is hitting .289/.391/.513 with 15 home runs in 419 plate appearances with a wOBA of .392, OPS of .904, and wRC+ of 152, in what has already become his healthiest season since 2008. Beltran is sleighed to hit 3rd in front of Sandoval, and without a doubt, will become the Giants' best offensive player by any measure you look at outside of speed.

Beltran wasn't added to help in the NL West race. Their pitching alone combined with "enough"-- if you like to call it that-- offense will get them the NL West title for a second year in a row. What Beltran was added for was October-- the original reason the Mets signed him to that lengthy and expensive contract. If Beltran can have steady success in the 40-50 AB's he'll get in the playoffs with the Giants, that would make this deal a success in the minds of any Giants fan--and the front office.

The catch with Beltran that most people already understand is that he's a rental player in every aspect--free agent after this season, a Scott Boras client, and non-arbitration eligible (meaning the Giants will get no draft picks in return for Beltran--who without a doubt will be a Type-A free agent--at the end of the season).

I have to trust Sabean on this one despite how others may feel about him. He's come to terms with the current position his team is in and either a) has settled on the fact that Wheeler's ceiling is not very high, as he's done in the past or b) simply was willing to pay the price of a future front-of-the-rotation type pitcher to strengthen this team's chances this season.

While I believe that Wheeler was a bit much to pay for Beltran, if it works out the way that Brian Sabean has clearly forecasted, then the price was ultimately right. There's simply a difference between a Single-A prospect with "nasty" stuff and much improvement still to be made, than someone like Matt Moore of Tampa Bay's farm system--a Double-A prospect with filthy stuff, polished command, great numbers, and an overall MLB-ready demeanor.

I'm more on the side that Wheeler is "legit" and will be a "stud" some time in the future and despite feeling he's too high a price to pay, I have no issue with an exchange for another run at a World Series--because that's the ultimate goal.

I'll offer a simple conclusion with this: prospects are not guaranteed. That's why there's 50 rounds in the draft, scouts who get criticized to the ultimate degree, and many GM's who get questioned on a daily basis. To only a certain extent, can you project and predict.

I'm not going completely on either side with this one--I wanted a bat, but I liked Zack Wheeler. I'll probably be second guessing myself and Brian Sabean sometime in the future, but hey, that's baseball.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Lincecum bested in duel with Dodgers' Kershaw (via

By Chris Haft

SAN FRANCISCO -- Tim Lincecum, who's widely regarded as the Giants' ace, has inadvertently strengthened his grip on a dual distinction: hard-luck pitcher.

The Giants have been shut out eight times in Lincecum's 21 starts this season. He endured this fate most recently Wednesday, when the Los Angeles Dodgers handed him his first career 1-0 defeat.

Rumor Mill: Giants have diminishing interest in Carlos Beltran (via


According to Andy Martino of the NY Daily News, the San Francisco Giants openly flirted with Carlos Beltran when the New York Mets visited San Francisco this month, and closer Brian Wilson recruited the Mets' outfielder at the All-Star Game, but the teams are experiencing difficulty matching up in a trade.

According to a person with knowledge of the Giants’ thinking, San Francisco’s current position is that it is willing to assume most or all of the $6 million owed to Beltran for the remainder of the season, but does not want to part with a high-end prospect in exchange for a half-season rental. The Mets, as we know, are holding out for talent, and are willing to pay the salary.

This is a reversal for San Francisco; earlier in the season, Giants insiders said that the team had limited in-season payroll flexibility. But due to robust attendance and other factors, the team appears more interested in spending than in diminishing its farm system, the source said Thursday.

Although the clubs’ respective positions are currently at odds, trade-season dialogue is fluid, and the source left open the possibility that the Giants could reconsider their position and ultimately send the Mets a top prospect for Beltran. At this time, however, they are opposed to that idea, according to the source.

One of many other Beltran suitors, the Phillies, are in the opposite position. Close to the luxury tax threshold, Philadelphia cannot add significant payroll, and therefore must be open to dealing a prospect to acquire Beltran. Phillies scouts have followed the Mets intermittently for at least a month.

Check out more from the Mets Chronicle.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Jose Reyes makes rehab start, on the way back to Mets tomorrow? (via; Do the San Francisco Giants Need to Make a Splash by the Trade Deadline?


Jose Reyes made the first stop today on what could be a very quick detour here, playing in a rehab game with the Brooklyn Cyclones.

The Mets shortstop was looking to prove that his left hamstring was healthy enough for him to get the call back up to Queens. Depending on how the Mets' brass evaluates his efforts today, he could removed from the disabled list and back with the big league team as early as Tuesday.

Reyes did nothing to earn any second-guessing, playing six full innings, with only one opportunity in the field.

He did show off his wheels in the bottom of the sixth inning. Reyes sent a well-hit ball off of Lowell Spinners pitcher Luis Diaz bouncing, off of the left-centerfield wall for a double. He effortlessly made his way to second base, coming in standing up. Reyes would end up scoring after a ground ball moved him over to third base, and a shallow fly ball dropped in to bring him home.

That was his only hit of the day, as he went 1-for-3 at the plate. Reyes flied out to centerfield leading off the game for the Cyclones in his first at-bat and grounded out to second in the third inning.

Source: Star Ledger 


Vince here. While there was speculation that the Giants might look to acquire Jose Reyes or Carlos Beltran to improve their offense, I believe they should do so with caution.

After tonight's 5-0 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Giants are somehow 56-41, with a team batting average of .243 and an on-base percentage of .309.

The Giants do not need to mortgage their future to win the World Series again. They just need to make their offense passable, as they are winning games and leading the division by 3 1/2 games with an abysmal offense.

If the Giants could acquire Beltran or Reyes for cash consideration, they should by all means go for it. If either one comes at the price tag of a Brandon Belt or Zack Wheeler, the Giants should be reluctant to make the deal.

The Giants are a threat even with their current roster, so why deplete the farm system when they are almost good enough as they are?

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Carlos Beltran is one step closer to San Francisco? (via

By Dom DiFucci

Carlos Beltran could be on the move..
The Mets lost to the first place Philadelphia Phillies Friday night 7-2 moving them back to the .500 mark at 46-46, 12 games off the pace in the NL East and 8.5 games back of the Atlanta Braves in the NL Wild Card race. With five teams in front of them, unless the Mets close out the last two weeks in July with a flurry and also close the gap in the Wild Card, you can be certain that the Mets will be sellers at the MLB Trading Deadline. Even if the Mets finish the month well above .500, if the teams ahead of them do well and they can meaningfully close the Wild Card gap, the Mets will still be sellers.

Bruce Bochy already has Beltran’s name written onto a lineup card playing right field and hitting clean-up for the San Francisco Giants. He’s just waiting to find out what date to put on the lineup card. That match between Beltran and the Giants is a perfect one for all sides. Beltran is a double’s machine, a perfect fit for the Giants anemic offense and San Francisco definitely has the prospects to give in return.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

My interview with the San Francisco Giants' 2009 Number 1 Draft Pick Zack Wheeler

I had the pleasure of interviewing the San Francisco Giants' first draft pick of 2009, Zack Wheeler. He is a good, young pitcher and would be a great addition to the Giants' stellar rotation.

The interview will tell you all you need to know about Mr. Wheeler. Be sure to leave a comment and tell me what you think.

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Friday, July 1, 2011

San Francisco Giants Notes: Pat Burrell sratched from lineup vs. Tigers

Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

San Francisco Giants' slugger Pat Burrell was scratched from the lineup with right-foot soreness during Friday night's game versus the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park.

Burrell was originally supposed to hit sixth in the Giants' Friday lineup as the designated hitter, but he was scratched just before the game. The news came via Jim Moorehead from the Giants' public relations department.

Bill Hall replaced Burrell as the designated hitter, hitting in the seventh spot.

Burrell is hitting .236 with seven home runs and 20 RBIs this season.


Is this do or die time for Bill Hall? The Giants have Brandon Belt and Mike Fontenot coming back soon, and someone will have to go. The consequence could be a left-out Bill Hall.

Hall is hitting just .223 with two home runs and 14 RBIs this season.

2011 Santa Clara Sports Law Symposium/

Here is a nice event that is free for college students. Apparently, Bill Neukom and some ESPN people are going to be there. This is a great opportunity to network and discuss a topic especially salient since the Buster Posey injury--concussions in sports. Let me know if you're attending in a comment below.


By Sports Agent Blog

What: Santa Clara Law 2011 Sports Law Symposium

When: September 8, 2011 (9 a.m. – 5 p.m.)

Where: Locatelli Center, Santa Clara University (map)

Topics: Concussions (Keynote: DeMaurice Smith, Executive Director, NFLPA), Steroids (Keynote: Mark Fainaru-Wada, ESPN Investigative Reporter), Labor Strife (Keynote: William B. Gould, IV, former Chairman of the National Labor Relations Board), and the Use of Player Images (Keynote: Sonny Vaccaro, Former Director of Basketball Programs at Nike, Adidas and Reebok).

The Reception speaker will be William Neukom, Managing Partner, San Francisco Giants, and Jim Brown will be an honored special guest at the event.

Other speakers include:
  • Dan Coonan, Santa Clara University Athletic Director
  • Bill Duffy, CEO of BDA Sports Management
  • Dan Rascher, University of San Francisco Sports Management Professor
  • Retired NFL players Ben Lynch and Shawn Stuckey
  • Mike Gilleran, Former WCC Commissioner
  • Don Gralnek, General Counsel of San Jose Sharks
  • Paul Haagen, Co-Director of the Duke Law School Center for Sports Law and Policy
  • Andy Schwarz, Sports Economist
  • Professors Kevin Greene, Lateef Mtima and Tyler Ochoa
Cost: Early registration (before July 1, 2011) = $125.  Regular registration = $175.  Deadline to register = August 25, 2011.  Free entry for all college students.  Register here.

2011 Santa Clara Sports Law Symposium from Sports Agent Blog - Sports Agent News, Sports Business, Sports Law, Sports Contract Negotiations, NCAA Rules and Regulations.


Baseball’s Halfway Questions/

By Max Frankel, Sean Morash

This time, I thought we would have a little fun since today is the official half-way point of the year for 15-out-of-30 teams (the Giants being one of them). Here is another Feed Crossing article from two writers who made some insightful midyear predictions.


It’s the unofficial halfway point of the MLB season.   How many of you knew that after tonight 15 of the league’s 30 teams will have played at least their 81st game, remember that 81 is half of 162?  That means its time for the typical midseason questions (surprises etc).

Most Surprising Team? 

Sean:  For me this has to be the Twins.  I know we think about surprises as generally positive things but I’m most surprised by the total ineptitude of the Twins thus far this year.  If you had told me at the beginning of the year that the Twins would be in fourth place, and have a 34-45 record at the halfway point, I would have called you an idiot.  They have to win 11 straight games just to pull within a half game of the slightly less surprising Pirates!

Max: It’s got to be the Pittsburgh Pirates. They’re a game over .500 and only three out in the NL Central. That’s pretty good for a team that hasn’t had a winning season since the Hoover Administration. Charlie Morton has 5 more wins than he did all of last season, Jeff Karstens’ ERA is below three, and Kevin Corriea has 10 wins. That’s surprising. (Honorable Mention: Seattle Mariners)

Most Surprising Player?

Sean:  Lance Berkman.  Berkman looked old, fat, and washed up at times last year when

he hit .248 with a career low 14 homers. This year? He’s been one of the best hitters in the game. On pace for 36 homers, and a .295 batting average, .404 OBP, and he’s playing a serviceable outfield.

Max: David Ortiz. I know it’s strange that we both picked resurgent veterans but I’m truly surprised by Ortiz. I honestly thought he was washed up. After the starts he’s had to the last two seasons and the the general mediocrity of last year as a whole, I though this year would be obvious evidence of a decline. Instead, Ortiz looks rejuvenated. His swing is back and pitchers just can’t get him out. He’s batting .307 with 17 HRs and even has his first stolen base since 2008.

Most Suprising Move:

Sean:  Cardinals release Opening Day closer Ryan Franklin.  Franklin played his way out of the closer’s role and then out of total usage for St Louis. He had an 8.36 ERA over his past 10 appearances (spanning 48 days) and really was bad, but to completely release a guy who was an All-Star closer in the past and has racked up some 92 saves over the past three years seems like the wrong roster move.

Max: The San Francisco Giants sending Brandon Belt Back to the minor leagues. It’s not surprising that they did it, it’s surprising that they had to. A lot of people thought Belt would be an impact player for San Francisco this season and really bolster the team. The Giants believed that so much they forced their top power hitter to change positions. Belt will be back, but early this season just wasn’t the right time for him.

Most Surprising Surprise?

Sean: The Year of the Dominant Pitcher.   We knew offense was down last year and we knew that was a trend we may see going forward, but the difference has been astounding.  Run scoring is down over a half a run per game from last year and over a run per game from 2009.

Max: I don’t know what to say. I don’t even understand the question.

Most Awesome Thing?

Sean:  Logan Morrison calling out Brian Sabean for Scott Cousins.  Part of the quote:  “It’s ignorant, it’s inappropriate and he has no idea what the hell he’s talking about.”  LoMo silenced most of the criticism and baseball nonsense that surrounded Cousins’ hard-nosed play that unfortunately ended in the Posey injury.  We had no-no’s and three home run games, but we have that every year.  Not every year do we have scandal like this.

Max: On June 20, Tim Hudson of the Atlanta Braves pitched 8 innings of shutout, two-hit baseball and whacked a two-run home run in route to a 2-0 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays. For some reason, that reminds me of the story about Sandy Koufax waving in his outfielders and then infielders before striking a batter out to end an inning. Awesome.

Favorite Stat: 

Sean:   Cliff Lee had more RBI (2)  in June than runs allowed (1) and he had 42.0 IP.

Max: The Yankees are 2.5 games up in the AL East (Yeah!! Woooo!)

Lamest Thing

Sean:  The Phillies are in first.  Count me among those who root against the Phillies.  I make no bones about it and I was kinda hoping that the Phillies would get the Miami Heat treatment this year but they’re treated like
 everyone else and still have the best record in baseball.

Max: Josh Hamilton, Josh Johnson, Buster Posey, Albert Pujols, Shin Soo Choo, Derek Jeter, and Carl Crawford, have missed or are missing extended time this season. Those guys are so much fun to watch that baseball is slightly worse without them in it. Get well soon guys, if not, for your teams than for the fans.

Be sure to visit Off The Bench for more great baseball articles.

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