First things first, I’ve installed some new spam-blocker software on the site. I’ve been getting bombarded with more and more spam lately and hopefully this should lighten the load. All user accounts should be unaffected but there is a chance new users might get unfairly “tagged” as spam. I seriously doubt that this will happen but if any users, new or old, run into any problems trying to post comments on the site, just shoot me an email and I’ll get it fixed.
Second, a lot of Giants news today.
Former Giant Matt Herges has indicated that he would be very open to returning to the Giants. Herges is a FA after this season and will most likely end up with a new team. I can’t see the Rockies spending money on him to bring him back when he was scooped off the garbage pile to begin with. Herges has had a productive year for the Rockies with a 2.96 ERA and a 1.007 WHIP but from 2004-2006 he wasn’t any good. He’ll turn 38 next year and shouldn’t be looked at as a bullpen option. With Brian Sabean’s comments about fixing the bullpen for next year I’m a little uneasy about seeing Herges in the orange and black again.
Baseball Think Factory has posted their ZiPS projections for the 2008 Giants. The good: The pitching is solid. The bad: The offense is worse than 2007. The team leader in HRs, according to the projection, would be Randy Winn with 13. The projection is also lukewarm on several of the Giants younger positional hitters such as Frandsen, Fred Lewis, Nate Schierholtz, and Dan Ortmeier. ZiPS is a fairly well known and respected projection system, so the numbers should be taken semi-seriously. I’ll be interested to see how some of the other systems project the Giants, PECOTA specifically.
ZiPS loves the starting rotation. It pegged Lincecum with a 3.28 ERA and Cain with a 3.63 ERA. Barry Zito snuck in under the 4 ERA mark with a projected 3.99 ERA. Future-closer Brian Wilson was projected to have a 3.43 ERA which is encouraging. ZiPS seems optimisic on Noah Lowry, who it projected with a 4.32 ERA. I’m still lukewarm on Lowry (declining K-rates, loss of command, and injury problems are all concerns for Lowry) but I would take that season from him anytime.
Mariners-centric baseball blog, USS Mariner, posted their organizational rankings today. Working on the A,B,C, D, F, grading scale the Giants earned a F mark.
Here’s the grading citeria:
This is based on management personnel and organizational cohesion, not on field talent or recent success. Essentially, this is my opinion of which organizations have laid the strongest foundation between their ownership, baseball operations department, and coaching staffs to insert a winning DNA into their baseball teams.
USS Mariner is a very solid baseball blog and I can’t argue with a F grade for the Giants. I would have preferred a D- but the Giants haven’t been doing all their homework the last few years. I do think the Giants are on a upswing with the development of the farm system and could be in a good position in 2-3 years if Sabean doesn’t go crazy during this offseason and sign his patented “Overpriced, overvalued, expensive veteran”. This offseason will be critical for the Giants. They are going to be bad next year no matter what, and if Sabean can play things smartly, it would set a new tone for the direction of the franchise.
I’m not exceptionally confident that I’ll get to hear that new tone while Sabean is the GM but I’ll keep the faith for the meantime.
Holy inflated market Batman! The Cardinals signed Joel Pineiro to a 2 year $13M deal today. The Cards are banking that Dave Duncan “fixed” Pineiro when he went 6-4 for them with a 3.96 ERA. Pineiro got progressively worse from 2004-2006 and was traded this year to the Cards for cash and a PTBNL. There is a good chance that he won’t even be a league average pitcher from 2008-2009 and the price of $6.5M per year for him seems high. I guess $13M doesn’t buy what it used to in baseball. This could be good news for Brian Sabean, as a market that’s paying Joel Pineiro $6.5M per year would surely be interested in a reasonably priced Noah Lowry.