Monday, May 15, 2006

Waiting to Exhale

Anticipation can be great for a little while, then it starts to suck.

So while I've been waiting for Barry Bonds to make some more history, I've tried not to dwell on it. Instead, I've waited for a few other things.

I've been waiting for Mike Matheny, Ray Durham, and Pedro Feliz to start hitting. I've been waiting for Mike Morris to start pitching. I've been waiting for Brian Sabean to awake from this slumber and realize Jose Vizcaino doesn't belong on a major league roster anymore. I've been waiting for interleague so that the Giants can DH Barry, and run a decent defensive outfield in Jason Ellison, Steve Finley, and Randy Winn. I've also been waiting for interleague so that Finley can get some regular at-bats to see if he's really as good of a pickup as he's looking right now.

A little of what I've been waiting for has come to pass. Matheny is hitting well now...check that. Matheny is hitting to his ability, which will have to suffice. This is about as good of a hitter as he is capable of being.

Feliz is hitting to his ability as well, and that will have to suffice as well. Heck, take one look at Adrian Beltre's numbers from last year and so far this year, and Feliz's pedestrian production looks absolutely svelte.

That being said, I am plenty happy to see him at least being himself. Being that we're about at the 25% mark of the season, multiplying Feliz's stats by four would yield us 28 home runs and 108 RBI, which does have some value -- I just wish he could scrape together something higher than a .761 OPS to do it, but with nobody behind him and no prospects coming up the Giants in the near future at 3rd base, it'll do.

Small note: I wrote bad things about Feliz on April 27th, and he's improved on all of the things I pointed out expect for his ISO discipline number. His ISO SLG is way up from a forgettable .122 to a much more palatable .197, and I think some of that can be trace to two other numbers: his pitcher per plate appearance rose from a nasty, impatient 3.18 to a still-nasty-and-impatient-yet-better 3.27 (he's taking a few more pitches here and there), and his ground ball to fly ball ratio went from 1.27 to 1.13 -- for Feliz, I think hitting more fly balls is a good sign, because it could mean he's not getting caught trying to pull those offspeed and breaking pitches on the outside as much.

I'm hoping, as I'm sure we all are, that Brian Wilson comes back to pitch just like he did in his debut. Not only am I hoping for that just for the sake of a young Giant doing well, but also for the addition in the makeup of the team that it will continue:

Jeremy Accardo, Kevin Correia, Brad Hennessey, Brian Wilson, Noah Lowry, and Matt Cain are all young, with Hennessey being the oldest at 26. At this point it's hard to not see those guys sticking with the big club for a while (although it's obviously shaky with Cain at the moment), and that is a refreshing thing to see some Accardos and Correias pitching in some important late-game situations rather than a Jeff Fassero or a Tim Worrell.

And with the allowable exception of Hennessey they all have live arms with the ability to miss bats. Pretty nice, I think.

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