- After a fantastic season of defense at third base, Pablo Sandoval is nominated for a Gold Glove award, along with Placido Polanco and Daniel Descalso. Sandoval led NL third basemen in DRS (+22), and was second in UZR (+12.3). One other Giant, Carlos Beltran, is up for a Gold Glove — though his nomination is sort of a head-scratcher. His defense wasn’t particularly impressive this season, and he didn’t really rate well by defensive metrics (-7.3 UZR, +2 DRS). On Tuesday, November 1st at 10pm ET will be the first (ever) Rawlings Gold Glove Awards Show. In addition, the Fielding Bible awards were announced today, but the Giants did not have a winner.
- Today, MLB Trade Rumors posted official Elias rankings for this offseason (see the link for a brief refresher on how Type A/B Free Agency works). Carlos Beltran projects as a Type A Free Agent, while Pat Burrell and Cody Ross project as Type B Free Agents. Beltran’s case is a little odd though, as he can’t be offered arbitration (and thus, can’t bring back compensatory draft picks for the Giants if he chooses to sign elsewhere). It’s in his contract: club agreed to not offer arbitration after 2011 season.
- Andres Torres, Pablo Sandoval, Ramon Ramirez, and Bruce Bochy are currently in Taiwan, getting set to play in the Taiwan All-Star Series. The games will be televised throughout the week on MLB Network.
- Buster Posey is continuing to do well in his recovery. Posey recently posted a 17-second video of himself catching a bullpen session. (h/t Third Street Kings)
Some brief notes…
- Pablo Sandoval and a slew of other players will head to Taiwan for a five-game All-Star series (November 1-6). The team will be managed by Bruce Bochy, and they’ll be playing the Chinese Taipei national team.
- A number of Giants prospects are currently playing in fall/winter leagues in Arizona, Venezuela, and the Dominican Republic. Among those playing in the Arizona Fall League are Joe Panik, Brandon Crawford, and Gary Brown, in addition to several intriguing arms. Brown has hit a very underwhelming .220/.278/.300 in 50 ABs thus far, and Keith Law has said that Brown is struggling to get his hands going. Crawford, on the other hand, is thriving: .353/.389/.588 in 34 ABs thus far. These are, of course, small samples — and should be taken with a grain of salt. Kevin Goldstein has raved about Gary Brown, and dubbed him the “best third outfielder in the history of the league.” He was recently clocked by Law at 3.96 seconds from home to first base, which is pretty remarkable for a right-handed hitter. Law isn’t very high on Crawford, and said today that he doesn’t see him “hitting even an empty .250 (and it would be an empty one).” Those playing in Winter Leagues include Brandon Belt, Francisco Peguero, and Ehire Adrianza. Sfgiantsgirl has been keeping track of all of this, posting daily recaps which are worth checking out.
- Ryan Vogelsong is up for a Player’s Choice Comeback Player of the Year award. This was brought up a lot when Lance Berkman was named Comeback Player of the Year, but I’m not really sure if what he did technically qualifies as a “comeback.” In any event, his story is deserving of some kind of award, whether it’s called a “comeback” or something else. In addition, Andres Torres is up for an MLBPAA Heart & Hustle Award. You can vote for him up until 5pm on November 1st.
- Tim Flannery is holding a musical benefit for Bryan Stow. It will be held on November 9th at Yoshi’s, and you check out the details here.
– An article in the San Francisco Chronicle today talks about the possible return of formerly heralded Giants prospect Angel Villalona:
Staci Slaughter, senior vice president of communications, said the Giants expect to resolve a $5 million breach-of-contract lawsuit that Villalona filed against the team in the Dominican Republic. Villalona would report to the Giants’ academy there to resume his baseball work.
Back in 2008, he was named the 33rd best prospect in baseball by Baseball America, and he came in at #44 the next year. Project Prospect wrote about Villalona in March of 2009, concluding that “largely due to his poor walk rate — 2nd-worst in the South Atlantic League last year — we see Villalona as a guy who still has some major adjustments to make if he’s ever going to find success in the big leagues.” He’s still just 21 years old.
– When Clayton Tanner was released by the Giants, Andrew Baggarly tweeted that Sabean had called it a “paper move,” and that the team was in the process of re-signing him. It appears, however, that Tanner has caught on with the Cincinnati Reds’ organization.
– Buster Posey seems to be doing well in his recovery:
More than three months after his leg injury, Buster Posey walks without a limp and says without reservation that he’ll be the Giants’ Opening Day catcher in 2012.
He’ll head to Arizona soon to continue rehab, writes John Shea.
The Giants are set to face the DBacks in several hours: it’ll be Ian Kennedy v. Tim Lincecum.
Tonight’s lineup, via @SFGiants:
Tonight’s #SFGiants lineup: Ross cf, Keppinger 2b, Beltran rf, Sandoval 3b, Burrell lf, Huff 1b, Cabrera ss, Stewart c, Lincecum p
- Jon Morosi says the Giants are among the most active teams on the trade market right now, and are looking for bullpen help and “maybe a bat.” Tim Dierkes speculates that targets for the Giants could include Jose Molina, Ryan Doumit, Melky Cabrera, Marlon Byrd, and Angel Pagan — none of whom are particularly attractive options. At this point, I just don’t think it’s worth pursuing a bat.
- Keith Law wrote about Eric Surkamp today, and doesn’t view him “as anything more than a No. 5 starter.” Law describes Surkamp as a “finesse lefty” and says that he expects him to be “a real fly-ball pitcher going forward unless he switches to a two-seamer or otherwise finds a way to get some downward movement on it.” John Sickels of Minor League Ball also profiled him recently, and seems to have a more positive take, concluding: “He doesn’t throw 90+, but he whiffs hitters at power-pitcher rates, and that makes him a good bet for future success in my view.”
- Brandon Crawford will play in the Arizona Fall League, but the Giants have not yet announced the rest of the roster. According to Hank Schulman, the Scottsdale roster lists four Giants TBA slots for pitchers, plus one each for infield and outfield.
- Jaymee Sire tweets that Brian Wilson threw on flat-ground today, and is eligible to return from the disabled list tomorrow. Bochy says that Wilson’s ready for the next step, though there’s still no timetable for his return.
- Scott Reiss tweets that Pat Burrell is taking batting practice again today, and could be activated by September 2nd. He could see “legit time” in the outfield in September, says Bochy.
- Over at Fangraphs, Marc Hulet also wrote about Eric Surkamp today, saying that “this is one prospect that has a chance to play a key role on a playoff-calibre team.” In addition, regarding Clayton Tanner — who was just released by the Giants, he writes, “it’s more than a little surprising that the organization would risk giving away the upper-level pitching depth.”
- Brian Sabean says that Gary Brown will not be a September call-up, though Brett Pill could be — if the Giants find room on the fourty-man roster.
Bruce Bochy appeared on KNBR earlier today with Murph and Mac, discussing — among other things — Jonathan Sanchez, Carlos Beltran, Pat Burrell, and Brandon Belt. You can listen to the interview here, but here are some brief notes:
- The Giants are willing to commit to Jonathan Sanchez as the fifth starter for the next start because they don’t really have another choice that is better. He’s probably going to go out there his next start, says Bochy.
- On the possibility of Carlos Beltran hitting the DL, Bochy says that there’s always a chance of that happening. After receiving a cortisone injection, Beltran is doubtful for tomorrow but Bochy said he’d put Saturday as more realistic as far as him being in the lineup. Beltran himself doesn’t feel that the injury is that serious.
- Any chance Pat Burrell returns to the scene? Bochy hasn’t heard back from Pat since he went to North Carolina to have [his foot] checked by another specialist. He’s going to talk to him today.
- Asked about why Brandon Belt was optioned back to Triple-A, Bochy said that Brandon was having his struggles too — that he was “too closed off” and “it’s not like he was tearing it up here.” “He’s not tearing it up or so to speak to where we feel that he’s going to come up here and make a huge impact.”
Some quick Giants news and notes –
- In an interview with Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times, Aaron Rowand had an odd response to a Giants-related question (Hank Schulman tweets that he’ll ask him about it tomorrow):
JC: Thing you miss most about playing for Chicago?
Rowand: Wearing the road uniform. And you know why? Because it said ‘Chicago’ across the front. I got goose bumps every time I would put it on.
JC: Not so with San Francisco?
Rowand: [Pause] Let’s talk about the Bears again.
- Carlos Beltran has a strain in his hand/wrist area, tweets Carl Steward; he could return as early as tomorrow.
- Barry Zito made his first rehab start with the San Jose Giants this evening. He struck out seven over 7.2 innings, allowing three runs on seven hits and two walks.
- As you’ve probably heard by now, no Giants were suspended for the Phillies-Giants brawl the other night. Ramon Ramirez and Eli Whiteside received fines, as did Placido Polanco; Shane Victorino, on the other hand, will serve a three-game suspension.
- Bruce Bochy and some others on the Giants staff were able to overcome their tobacco habits through hypnotherapy. (This may or not be directly related to Brandon Belt’s lack of playing time).
- Bryan Stow continues to make progress in his recovery.
Some quick morning news and notes…
- Barry Zito is set to begin his rehab assignment on Sunday, making a start with the San Jose Giants.
- Henry Schulman writes that “any Giants attempt to deal for a catcher this month probably will die with a blocking claim by another team.” The question, he says, is whether or Eli Whiteside or Chris Stewart will start more games. As Bochy commneted, “But if I had a tough decision on a certain day, I’d lean on Eli.“
- Buster Posey is close to getting rid of his crutches.
- With Jose Casilla’s release, Waldis Joaquin was placed back on the 40-man roster. Schulman tweets that the Giants could re-sign Casilla to a minor-league deal.
- There’s speculation that Barry Zito and Pat Burrell will receive suspensions for their particpation in last night’s brawl, based on MLB Rule 3.17: “Disabled players are not allowed to enter the playing surface at any time or for any purpose during the game.” Shane Victorino and Eli Whiteside will also likely receive suspensions.
Some quick pregame news and notes…
- Freddy Sanchez will undergo season-ending surgery tomorrow.
- Jonathan Sanchez will start in Barry Zito‘s place on Friday. John Shea tweets that Bruce Bochy will probably meet with Zito about his future tonight.
- Jeff Fletcher speculates that Zito will accept an assignment to Triple-A Fresno.
- Didn’t get a series preview up, but McCovey Chronicles has one as usual.
- Andrew Baggarly tweets that management’s confidence in Andres Torres is eroding.
- Buster Olney tweeted yesterday that he seriously doubts Ramon Hernandez would get through waivers to the San Francisco Giants.
I figured I’d catch up on the news and notes from today, as Carlos Beltran gets set to make his San Francisco Giants debut…
- In order to clear a spot on the 40-man roster for Beltran, Bill Hall was activated from the 15-day DL and designated for assignment.
- In order to clear a spot on the 25-man roster, the Giants optioned Emmanuel Burriss back to Triple-A Fresno.
- Miguel Tejada says he feels great, and should be ready to return from his injury (ab strain) next week.
- Per Andrew Baggarly: Sabean hopes to use the $4 million in savings to help the club in other areas, but the market for a catcher or shortstop has not gotten any riper. He notes that if they do end up addressing those needs, it’s more likely in August via waivers.
- Similarly, Jon Heyman tweets that the Giants “still wouldn’t mind” a catcher, and suggest Ramon Hernandez could be a trade target. I looked at the Giants’ catcher trade options earlier today.
- Also via Baggs, VP Dick Tidrow assured Brian Sabean “that the farm system has enough power arms to absorb the loss” of Zack Wheeler.
- Based on conversations he’s had with people, Henry Schulman listed the reasons why Aubrey Huff is starting at first base over Brandon Belt: Bochy trusts his veterans more down the stretch; he has faith that Huff will start hitting; Huff’s making $22MM; Bochy prefers the team chemistry with Huff starting and Belt off the bench; and Belt struggled when he played every day.
- Barry Zito‘s start on Sunday is now listed as “TBA.” According to Schulman, “Bochy confirms Sunday is TBA. Not saying much else. Said Zito is healthy.“
- Baggs is speculating that it’s possible that Eric Surkamp could make his major-league debut on Sunday, and that a trade could be in the works.