Giants Win on TV

It was SoCal TV, but we’ll take it!

3/5 Box Score:

We got our first look at the 2014 Giants today (sans Buster Posey, Brandon Belt and Marco Scutaro), who picked up a 3-2 Cactus League win over the Angels (sans Mike Trout and Josh Hamilton) in Scottsdale.

We’re already seven games into the spring slate, so most of us have seen a good chunk of short highlight clips already. But it’s still wild to think this was the first live-broadcast Giants game since last September. Seems like ages ago! I was able to catch today’s action from the second inning on. Let’s discuss it, shall we?

First, the good stuff…

Matt Cain: Cainer tossed his first three innings of the year, and kept up the trend of consistent starting pitching early on. I didn’t see all of his work, but I can tell you he threw a couple of curves in the third inning that were just filthy. He looked sharp, allowing only one baserunner.

Middle Order Bats: No Posey or Belt today, but Pablo Sandoval, Hunter Pence and Mike Morse combined for four hits and three RBI out of the 3-4-5 spots. Pablo really does look great, which may seem like it’s not news since it’s been beaten mercilessly into the ground already. Honestly, it is news. Big news for the Giants. The Panda is in solid playing shape, and he swung the stick impressively against Jered Weaver this afternoon.

Morse laid a pretty mighty cut in the 5th, roping a double down the left field line and scoring Pence from first. Morse is another one who looks very good early.

Heath Hembree: Hembree had an atrocious inning in his first outing of the spring, but his second came with much less drama. Yorvit Torrealba turned one around to lead off the 9th, but Roger Kieschnick made a diving catch in the left-center field gap. After that, Hembree cruised for the final two outs, ending the game with a swinging strike 3 on an elevated fastball.

And to cap it all off, it was another two-hit day from Mark Minicozzi, aka Mr. Inspirational.

Now, the really good stuff…

Why is Jose De Paula on the 40-man roster? Because he’s nasty, that’s why. The offseason signee pitched two innings today, and was very surprising all the way around. His size, surprising. His frame, surprising. His left-handed stuff? Whoa Nellie.

Now, there’s obviously a reason this guy didn’t make it to camp with San Diego this year. He’s got age issues, he’s never pitched in AAA, and he’s pretty unknown. But he flashed some sweet control today, of both a fastball that he ran in on the hands of righties, and a sweeping back-foot breaking ball. Even Hank Schulman said it this afternoon: Remember this guy’s name. If he can continue to harness his stuff like he did today, and keeps pumping mid-90’s heat, he’s a serious threat for a roster spot come April.

Ok, it wasn’t all roses today. Here’s the bad…

Young bats: Between Roger Kieschnick, Nick Noonan and Gary Brown, I’m just not that impressed. Noonan had a hit today, and Kieschnick made that diving grab, but the offense is just looking a little 4A at the moment. Brown does have a few hits this spring, but he struck out in a big situation late in the game, and his swing just doesn’t seem like anything to write home about. I hope I’m wrong.

Younger bats: Included in the late-game substitutions were Andrew Susac, Mac Williamson and Joe Panik. While they only had one AB apiece, none of those AB’s were all that exciting. Mac had runners on the corners and nobody out, but grounded out weakly to the right side. Susac had two men in scoring position, but grounded out to short. Panik led off the 8th, but was also retired weakly.

All three of the kids looked like they were pitched backwards, and that’s something they’ll have to make some adjustments against when they get to AAA/AA respectively. Nobody’s expecting huge things from these guys in camp this year, but it would be cool to see one of them open some eyes before it’s all over.

Finally, the REALLY bad…

I didn’t get to see Ehire Adrianza (he didn’t play)! Bummer!

Overall, it was great to see the squad back in action. Now, I think I can say it officially feels like baseball season.


7 thoughts on “Giants Win on TV”

  1. Nasty is a good word for De Paula. Yeah, I’ve got to think Bochy would love to have a lefty in that long relief/spot starter role, or maybe he keeps both Petit and De Paula because it sounds like De Paula could be used in other relief roles too.

    1. Just beautiful control yesterday. And I’m pretty sure I saw two types of breaking balls. The big bender was very effective, but it seemed to me that he also snapped a hard slider in to steal strike 1 on one hitter. The camera shot was behind the catcher, so it wasn’t completely clear. I’m glad I wasn’t the only one who took notice of him!

  2. Great reportage KG. Your “scout’s eye” is very convincing. When you report it, I believe it. Bummed you didn’t have DePaula video up though. You see, first comes praise, then comes demands 😉

    Do you think Petit could make it through waivers if he has an ineffective spring?

    1. That’s funny… The only De Paula video I’ve ever been able to find is a couple years old. He was a twig in that footage. Couldn’t find any highlight clips from his outing yesterday.

      Maybe I’m overvaluing Petit, but I don’t think he’d clear waivers. I’m guessing a lot of teams took notice of that near perfecto last year. Spot starters are always in demand, in my opinion.

  3. Great reporting, I agree! Nice rundown of DePaula, not a lot is out there, good recap of what he brings to the table.

    I’m starting to feel REALLY REALLY good about the Giants bullpen future. I think I posted or commented at some point last season that our bullpen was getting long in the tooth, and that I was worried (probably was before Hembree’s September). Now Hembree’s looking good, Law looks pretty good, and now there’s DePaula, and i’ve been waiting on Osich for a long while now. Those four could be the core of our bullpen not that long from now, bringing the heat.

    1. I’m feeling the same way lately OGC. Hembree looked awesome yesterday. He’ll have his ups and downs, but he’s MLB-ready for sure. Now Alex Pavlovic is talking about Edwin Escobar as a surprise contender for the long-man job. Even if Petit can’t hold the job, there seems to be a strong contingent of lefties ready to swoop in. All of a sudden, the Giants have gone from not having enough southpaws to looking very solid in that area. The bullpen could be a very improved group this season, I believe that 100%.

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