I guess $126M doesn’t buy you what it used to. The Chronicle reports …
The Giants this morning will announce a Division Series roster that does not include pitcher Barry Zito, the team’s highest-paid player, a source said Wednesday night, several hours after manager Bruce Bochy said either Madison Bumgarner or Tim Lincecum would start a potential Game 4 in Atlanta.
Zito has been on fire — as in crashing and burning — since August and the Giants can’t afford to let him figure things out when it matters the most. The Giants are set to announce their final roster sometime this morning, but the other interesting tidbit of information was this:
Bochy said he discussed some roster decisions with players. Publicly, he confirmed only that outfielder Aaron Rowand will be one of the 25.
My hard-hitting analysis will tell you that Rowand has not been good this year. His approach against anything that breaks down and away from him is reminiscent of a blind Pedro Feliz covered in fire ants. And outside of series against Florida way back in May, he’s been hard to watch. So, why does his roster inclusion fill me with joy? It’s most likely a good sign that Jose Guillen won’t be on the team for the NLDS. It also means that Cody Ross or Nate Schierholtz should start in RF with Rowand taking on the role of 5th outfielder. There really isn’t a good reason why both Rowand and Guillen should make the postseason roster and Rowand is a much better defender than Guillen.
If I wore the skipper hat I would most likely run Cody Ross out for most of the series in RF. He started slow with the Giants, but has been hot lately and he can defend in RF. It makes too much sense to play him in RF over Guillen. Let’s see if the Giants can make sense.
Here’s a quick breakdown of the Giants and Braves by UZR (fielding, runs above average), SP FIP (starting pitching FIP), RP FIP (relievers FIP), Batting Runs (park-adjusted, runs above average), wOBA (weight on-base average), and EQBRR (BP’s baserunning metric, runs above average). The numbers in brackets represent overall MLB rank.
|UZR||54.4 (2)||-34.4 (27)|
|SP FIP||3.89 (8)||3.88 (7)|
|RP FIP||3.41 (3)||3.18 (2)|
|Batting Runs||-14.6 (17)||39.9 (8)|
|wOBA||.318 (18)||.328 (13)|
|EQBRR||-8.4 (23)||-5.5 (18)|
The Giants get the nod on defense. The Braves have a better offense, but they will be missing Chipper Jones and Martin Prado — which hurts their overall batting — and that should close the gap a little. The pitching is remarkably similar. We know that the Giants staff has been extremely good this season. I get the sense that, heading into this series, people are undervaluing the Braves’ staff. Neither team is really strong on the basepaths.
It should be a competitive, and close, series.