Some bits and pieces of Giants news today:
The Giants will be shutting down Tim Lincecum for the rest of the season effective this-very-minute. Linecum has thrown 140 innings this year in the majors but he also threw another 31 innings in the minors. For all the talk about Lincecum having a rubber arm it doesn’t make sense to risk his health by trying to squeeze a couple of more starts out of him. Also, consider that Lincecum’s combined 171 innings thrown this year, will be the most innings he’s ever thrown in an entire season. In his three years at the University of Washington, he threw 112.1, 104.1, and 125.1 innings. Bochy gets some credit for this one:
“We just added it all up and said, ‘You know what, there’s just not enough to gain by throwing him out there the next couple of starts,’” Bochy said. “This guy’s too valuable to us. He’s our future, and we’ll just go ahead and rest him up and get him ready for next year.”
Good Boch. Now, lets work on your veteranitis! Lincecum ends this year with a 4.00 ERA in 146.1 IP with 150 SO’s, good for a ERA+ of 111. The last Giants rooke pitcher to pitch at least 120 innings and post an ERA under 4.00 or lower, was our old friend Jerome Williams. In his rookie season of 2003, he posted a 3.30 ERA in 131 IP. Williams should serve as a caution to us all, young pitchers can sometimes be unpredictable. At one point the “Big Three” of Williams, Ainsworth, and Foppert had Giants fans clamoring over future visions of Cy Youngs and championships. It turns out it just wasn’t in the cards for Williams, Ainsworth, and Foppert. Best of luck to Tim! Click here to see the other 12 Giants rookie pitchers to post a ERA of 4.00 or under in their initial season.
Baseball America has posted their top 20 AZL prospects. The A’s, Brewers, Rangers, Royals, Angels, Cubs, Mariners, and Padres all have teams in the AZL. The Giants had the most prospects out of any other team in the AZL with 4 making the top 20. 3B Angel Villalona topped the chart as the #1 AZL prospect and (#3) SS/2B Nick Noonan and (#6) RHP Wilber Bucardo also made the top 10. Charlie Culberson was ranked #15. While Andy D’Alessio didn’t make the list because of his age, he’s 22 after playing college ball, he did lead the league in HRs with 14 longballs. Not too bad for a 19th round pick. I like D’Alessio even though I’ve heard some rumors that he’s got a hole in his swing, I can’t knock him for hitting (.306/.376/.624) against the younger competition. He did what he was supposed to do.
I’m very interested in Wilber Bucardo who apparently has “the heaviest sinker in the league” which he runs between 90-95mph. He also has a slider that’s got potential to be a plus pitch for him. He posted a superb GO/AO rate of 3.16 which means that for every out recorded by air, roughly 3.16 outs were recorded by ground. Power-sinker pitchers like Brandon Webb and Chien-Ming Wang have found great success in the major leagues by keeping the ball on the ground. Bucardo had a 1.94 ERA in 60 innings pitched.
A little late but the AFL rosters were announced a couple of weeks ago. The Giants will be sending 2B/OF Eugenio Velez, LHP Jonathan Sanchez, OF Dan Ortmeier, OF Nate Schierholtz, RHP Scott Munter, RHP Nick Pereira, RHP Brian Anderson, and RHP Sergio Romo.
Romo had a very good year with San Jose, posting an ERA of 1.36 in 60-some innings. He’s old for his league (25 years old) and his fastball doesn’t go much past 90mph but his command and control are very, very good. I’ll also be keeping my eyes on Sanchez, hoping that he work his way into the starting rotation in ’08 and Nick Pereia, who was fast tracked last year all the way to AAA before he scuffled and was sent back to AA this season. Pereira probably doesn’t profile much more than a 5th starter but I’ll be watching him nonetheless. He bounced back this year and had himself a fine season in AA. He posted a 3.39 ERA in 143.1 innings for the Connecticut Defenders. I have no idea why Munter is heading to the AFL but I’am hoping it’s his last chance to prove himself.
The news broke after I posted today’s entry but Barry Bonds has announced that he will not be returning to the Giants in 2008.
This journal will be one of my last entries as a San Francisco Giant. Yesterday, I was told by the Giants that they will not be bringing me back for the 2008 season. During the conversation with Peter McGowan I was told that my play this year far exceeded any expectations the Giants had, but that the organization decided this year would be my last season in San Francisco. Although I am disappointed, I’ve always said baseball is a business — and I respect their decision.
Even though the Giants should be entering a period of rebuilding, one in which Bonds really shouldn’t be a part of the equation, it’s still sad to see him go. The parallels to Willie Mays are strong with this one. Mays played his last year and a half with the Mets, one in which he was a shadow of himself, hitting (.211/.303/.344) in his 1973 full season with the Mets. I’m sure that Bonds will be able to eclipse those numbers because he can still hit, and a move to the AL where he could DH might actually rejuvenate him some. Not having to play the field could be good for his bat.
But when it comes down to it, Bonds was one of my guys, wore my colors, so I was a fan. What he did on the field was nothing short of amazing, extraordinary, spectacular, any word that you’d want to use to describe his playing style just doesn’t do it justice. Barry was one of the reasons that the franchise didn’t have to move out of San Francisco, when Bonds became a Giant in 1993 he instantly made an impact. He won the MVP that year and the Giants surged to win 103 games, only to have their hearts broken and finish 2nd place to the Braves (this was before the Wild Card and if their was such a thing in that time, the Giants would have surely been the Wild Card winners). Bonds helped to make Giants baseball interesting again and ultimately was one of the factors that helped keep the team in San Francisco.
So long to Barry and good luck chasing that elusive World Series ring, I’ll be rooting hard for you to finally find it.