Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Where Am I?

Giants vs. Marlins. Royals vs. A's.

If you told me the way these series would have the Giants and A's down two-to-zip, I'd have doubted you.

The A's, I suppose, are doing their yearly swoon, which'll inevitably be followed by their yearly tear. Guess I ought to be happy the Royals are beating a team that isn't the Cleveland Indians.

The Giants just can't be bothered to score runs. To use a couple of words I made up while watching the game and chatting on Grant's site, it's causing me a lot of frustrativocity watching the feeblenessivity of the offense.

Let's be real, here -- missing Barry Bonds and Moises Alou cannot make us feel confident that the Giants are going to pound out a 15-hit barrage, but scoring more than three runs in two games against arguably the worst team in the National League would be pretty darn cool.

Power is still the overall missing link from the offense, as the team is tied for 3rd to last in the NL in SLG percentage(again, Bonds and Alou missing so many games hurts terribly), and are tied for 2nd to last with the Padres and the Marlins for least home runs in the NL (the Cubs are their hitter's ballpark? Ouch).

Lance Niekro actually hit two bombs in the Giants 5-3 loss to the Marlins, but with somebody like Pedro "Feast or Famine" Feliz batting in front of Niekro, it comes as little surprise there were no baserunners either time Niekro went deep. See, walking more than once about every 21 plate appearances has its uses, doesn't it? Miguel Cabrera had two runners on base when he hit the only home run Florida hit all game...

A couple of Giants are slumping, among them Randy Winn (who, honestly, looks a lot like I'd thought he'd be when he first came over...very average), and Steve Finley (perhaps the super-sub role fit him better, and he's not as good playing everyday).

A very odd comment by Mike Krukow at the end of the game (and I'm definitely paraphrasing). He talked about Winn perhaps being gassed from playing everyday, and that when Alou comes off the DL Winn could get a day off.

Exactly what the heck is Jason Ellison on the team for, then? There's a few things, when take together, that show the incompetence of how this team has been built and run in regards to Ellison occupying a roster spot:
  1. Despite being the fifth outfielder and both Alou and Bonds missing 38 games between them, Ellison has started in exactly one game in the outfield this season. One. Mark Sweeney, on the other hand, has started six in the outfield despite being brought in as a 1st baseman.
  2. Ellison has somehow played in twice as many games as he has at-bats (42 to 21). Despite playing in those 42 games, Giants pitchers Matt Morris, Jason Schmidt, and Jamey Wright have more at-bats than Ellison does despite only playing in 9 to 11 games overall and not playing the entire game in the vast majority of those games.
  3. Winn has, indeed, started all 52 games so far, and hasn't gotten a single day off despite having a 5th outfielder that can play all three defensive outfield positions.
  4. Travis Ishikawa, bless his heart, was called up and immediately acquired triple the amount of starts Ellison has while being with the club the entire season.

I mean, I suppose it's a job that we'd all like to have -- to get paid well over $300k to spend some late innings playing defense, and only have to get in the batter's box in roughly 40% of the team's games...but c'mon, what did you keep the guy out of Spring for?


PEFACommish said...

Ellison is not the 5th outfielder, he's the 6th outfielder. Sweeney is the 5th outfielder.

And correct me if I'm wrong, but Oatmeal Ortmeier has the same number of starts in the outfield as Ellison. So that makes him the 6-1/2th outfielder.

With Moises on the DL, it is surprising that Ellison hasn't gotten a few spot starts, but let's get real: he isn't going to make much difference. They would still be oh for two against Florida in this series.

As for Winn, I just don't understand why anyone (including Sabean, apparently) thought that his phenomenal 2 months with the Giants last summer was the "real" Randy Winn suddenly appearing after 7-1/2 seasons as a slightly above average ball player with modest power and good speed.

Until he got to the Giants he was a career .282 hitter with a career max of 14 homers. He was hitting .275 for the Mariners with 6 homers in 102 games. He sure milked those 8 weeks for some serious scratch from the Giants front office.

Daniel said...

"Serious scratch"...oh, man, that was a good one.

There isn't any way any of us can blow the dust off of our "I told you so"s at this point, but it isn't as if the Giants can't win with Winn being average -- it just means they overpaid.

It's a bit of a theme: Morris, Matheny, Winn, Durham, Alou -- all important pieces to the Giants puzzle, all overpaid either because of underperformance to their salary or because or games lost to injury. Yet there are still those who want to call Sabean a genius.

Honestly, Winn was good enough for the two months last year and the first month or so of this year that I'm not going to call him out yet, but it certainly looks as if he's come back to Earth finally.