Some of the doom and gloom has washed away after I watched Zito throw 7 shutout innings against the Metropolians last night. Zito will surely never live up to his giganto contract but he threw well when the team needed him too and has looked solid over his past two starts. His effort against the Mets has also lowered his ERA to a more respectable 4.21 and evened his W/L record at 5-5. His control was good and the curveball was as advertised. Good work Mr. Zito.
Also, the other big surprise of the night was watching Aurilia go 4-4. None of his hits were practically well struck, besides the ball he hit the other way to RF, but it was good to see him do something. Watching him hit 3rd in May has been just awful. Oh, and the other big star of the night was Pedro Feliz who drove in 3 runs. Say wahh? Bizzaro Giants.
Giants fans have, in recent years, soured on Brian Sabean. I still think that Sabean can make the occasional good move but most of the time I’am semi-afraid of what he might actually do. He’s kind of like a kid playing in a submarine armed with nuclear weapons in that regard, you just pray that he doesn’t pushed the big, red, flashing button. As I was reading over the morning minor league diary posted by the awesome Steve S at McCoveyChronicles, I was reminded that on occasion Sabean still has a little game.
LHP Travis Blackley has been pitching solidly in Fresno. With his recent game of 7IP, 2H, 3BB, 5K, 0R, 0ER he’s lowered his ERA to 3.45 in the PCL, which by-the-way is a hard league to pitch in. Sabean swapped Ellison for Blackley in a trade with the Mariners before the season started. This is a smart, low risk move, that Sabean should be looking to make. Trading in a 29 year old 5th OF for a former left-handed pitching prospect, who is 24, is a move I would make 100 times out of 100.
Blackley missed all of 2005 with a torn labrum and came back to pitch decently in 2006 (4.06 ERA in 144.2 IP for AA San Antonio). Before the injury Blackley was considered a top prospect in the Mariners system and with the way the Mariners rotation has pitched this year, he probably would have made the current team.
Will Blackley ever make it to the majors in the black and orange? It’s anybody’s guess. The current rotation is solid and doesn’t have any room for Blackley at the moment. If a injury happens, then he may get a shot. If he makes it or not almost doesn’t matter at this point but what does matter is that he’s providing the Giants with some rotation insurance. It’s a smart move by Sabean and even though it may never impact the big club, it’s the sort of move that Sabean should be seeking out.
Those wondering about how Ellison is faring in Seattle shouldn’t get their hopes up too high. To this point he’s only had 19 ABs and looks to be purely a pinch runner /defensive replacement, making this trade look even better.
Of course, you could throw all this out and assume that Bill Bavasi is one of the few GMs that is even more terrible than Brian Sabean. The blind fleecing the blind, and I would probably agree with you too.