The first year of Bochyball is nearing it’s end. At times Bochy has made some great moves, but at other times he’s made some real head-scratchers that almost remind me of Felipe Alou (bullpen matchups!, batting Ray Durham 3rd repeatedly, etc).
The good: I’ve been impressed with the way he’s throttled back the young guys in September. Cain and Lincecum both have been pulled early from games when they’ve ran their pitch count up by the 4th or 5th inning. But, on the flip side, Bochy ran out Jonathan Sanchez for 100+ pitches in his first start of the year. I think this has been the common theme with Bochy. There’s good Boch and bad Boch. You never know which one is going to show up.
The bad: His love for veterans is Dusty-esque. There’s no way that Klesko, Aurilia, Durham, or [insert veteran here] should be getting playing time in September when the team is this far out. September serves as a crucial evaluation time for the rookies who could play a role in the next years team. Guys like Kevin Frandsen, who has struggled this year but he’s not going to be worse than Durham and he could potentially have a future role with this team, have been cemented on the bench or jostled around between unnatural positions while the veterans get the call to start.
I also think that Bochy has ridden Cain pretty hard this year. Out of 29 games started this year, Cain has thrown over 100 pitches in 20 of those games. Part of the problem is that Cain has had control issues this year but how many times have we seen Cain throw over 100 pitches by the 6th inning and Bochy runs him back out for the 7th? Of those 20 games of 100+ pitches thrown, 6 of them have been for 115 pitches or more. Cain’s season high is 123 pitches against the Atheltics on June 10th. Cain ranks 8th on BP’s pitcher abuse metric for the entire major leagues. It’s easy to forget that Cain is only 22 but I hope the Giants exercise better judgment with his arm.
In last nights 9-4 loss against Arizona, which by-the-way mathematically eliminated the Giants, some of the good and bad popped up.
The good: Pulling Sanchez at 80 pitches through only 3 innings. Sanchez looked great to start the game but had trouble keeping the ball down, which drove up his pitch-count. He went 3 innings and struck out 7 hitters. He got bitten by the longball twice (both solo HRs) but the talent is undeniable.
The bad: This is was truly one of the most perplexing moves I’ve seen all year. Bochy lets Scott Atchison hit for himself in the bottom of the 5th. Omar was on first with 2 outs and with a bench full of hitters and a bullpen full of pitchers, Bochy lets Atchison hit? Atchison stays in the game for the 6th and gives up 3 ER. Isn’t this a basic managerial skill they teach you in managers school? Full bullpen, full bench, you pinch hit for the pitcher in a close game?
Scott Munter was also called in to try and get a double play ball in the 6th inning with the bases loaded and 1 out. But he gave up a single and a double for the D-Backs to put the game away. I’ve never seen a guy like Munter, who has to throw the ball down in the zone to have any sort of success, throw the ball above the belt repeatedly? The double to Justin Upton found a hole down the 3rd base line because the infield was playing in but the single to Conor Jackson was belt high. Jackson ripped the pitch into left center for another 2 runs. As a sinker-baller, Scott Munter, you can’t do that. You can’t do that!
LHP Erick Threets finally made his MLB debut last night. He walked his first batter on 4 straight balls. Which is very Threets-like. Threets has always struggled with control (career minor league BB/9 of 6.76) but his stuff was outstanding. He was hitting mid 90′s with great movement on his fastball. I think his fastest pitch was 96mph and he was flashing this nasty 80mph changeup that I wasn’t aware that he had. I’d love for the Giants to work Threets into more games and I think he could replace Taschner. Taschner has struggled with control too, BB/9 of over 4+ in both the minors and majors, and doesn’t have half the stuff that Threets does. When is it time to give up on Jack and let Threets get some chances?
Twins GM, Terry Ryan, is set to step down from the GM position after filling that role for 12 years. You can use BugMeNot if you don’t have a login to the Star Tribune.
Ryan, 52, is completing his 12th season as general manager. The Twins have won the Central Division title in four of the last six seasons. He was Sporting News Executive of the Year in 2006, and is regarded as one of the top talent evaluators in baseball.
Ryan was the mastermind behind the “Give us a boatload of good players for AJ Pierzynski” deal that still stings Giants fans. I’ve always thought that Ryan was a very solid GM, working well with a small payroll and being a good evaluator of talent. I’d love for the Giants to offer him a position, maybe something in the scouting department? It’s mostly wishful thinking, but Ryan has some skills.