Sunday, June 11, 2006

Buc Shot

This sucks like 10-year olds at a lollipop convention.

The Giants need a shot in the arm, and they need it badly. While yesterday's game was lost primarily by the bullpen, the bullpen isn't my main concern -- a large part of what might ail the bullpen, if anything, could likely be solved by removing Tim Worn-ell. It wasn't his fault that when he came in the bases were already loaded, but: 1) Jeremy Accardo has had a pretty good season thus far, and should be allowed a bad day, and 2) giving up a run or two given the situation would've been acceptable, but Worrell decided to follow the sign that read...

DISASTER THIS WAY ----------->

When you see a sign that reads...

DISASTER THIS WAY -----------> me, you probably shouldn't follow it. At this point, that sign probably leads directly to Worrell himself. I give him about one more of these home-run laden performances within the next week, and predict the Giants give him his walking papers should that happen.

Anyhow, my concern is the offense. It's taken me some lengthy statistical analysis to figure out the problem, but I think I've put my finger on it...

...they suck.

Honestly, the problem is the same thing I wrote about at the beginning of May -- lack of power. The Giants lead the league in triples, thanks to Triples Alley, but are 2nd to last in the league in doubles and 3rd to last in the league in home runs. Add in the fact that the Giants are dead last in the league in steals and steal percentage, and the problem becomes even worse.

Being a station-to-station singles-hitting team is not a good combination. In fact, it leads to things such as leading the league in double plays hit into (which, surprise! the Giants are).

In looking at the club, it's difficult to see where any positive change would or could occur besides 1st base. The outfield won't be touched, I'm sure -- Randy Winn won't be traded, Barry Bonds and Moises Alou are fragile, but won't be traded and are productive overall, and Steven Finley can't be moved because of that contract (besides, replacing your 4th outfielder wouldn't have much impact, anyway).

The infield is largely set: I doubt if they move Pedro Feliz because he's perceived as valuable, Omar Vizquel isn't going anywhere and actually is valuable, and Ray Durham's contract probably dictates he stays.

Catcher is another one that won't be changed because of perceived value -- on a team where the offense struggles, Mike Matheny is going to hurt a bit more than he helps. Doesn't matter, though, because we all know Matheny is locked in, despite the fact that at this point, both backup catchers are hitting much, much better than he is.

But who at 1st base? In looking at the league, the only real option I see is Craig Wilson of the very same Pirates that just opened up a hermetically sealed container of whoop-ass on the Giants. He doesn't make much (listed at 3.3 mil per), isn't very young (29), is on a team with no postseason aspirations this year, and looks as if he is on a one-year contract, too.

In related news, the Cardinals have reportedly already asked the Pirates as to Wilson's availability.

I won't say anything, but I'll just hope Sabes sees that he can't keep hoping to see some consistency out of Lance Niekro (not to mention he's been injury-prone), and Mark Sweeney's swooning shows that he isn't any sort of answer, either. Hopefully, Sabean doesn't follow any signs that read...

DISASTER THIS WAY ----------->

...because that would be unfortunate.


Anonymous said...

Edgardo Alfonzo's available again.

Does it matter if Matheny, Bonds, and Niekro are injury-free? None of them were hitting much over .250.

As we saw last year, the hallmark of a bad team is... every game, a different piece breaks down. First a costly error. The next, starter gets shelled. Next, you are 5 hit by the Pirates (unfortunately, I watched that firsthand). Then, of course, a bullpen disaster. Repeat ad infinitum.

My real question is: OK Sabean, you want to get some "punch". Who is that, and why would anyone trade for any of these guys except maybe Alou or Vizquel, or Schmidt or Lowry, the only non-joke portions of the roster.

I gave up on last year's edition too early, so I'm hopeful that some of the slumbering bats (like your nemesis Niekro) wake up in July. Because, as you point out, there isn't really much to trade that another team would relish.


Daniel said...

The question for me tends to be, how much is Sabean willing to overpay? It does seem, when looking at what the Giants have, that they'll have to give another team a bunch of players just to get one good one.

Is it worth it? I think so. This is it for the Giants as we know them -- the last year, the last chance in a couple of respects. The offense has been a recurring problem, whereas the pitching has been solid for the most part.