Tuesday Morning Catch-All

**Edit: Kevin Frandsen is officially a free agent: Just how desperate ARE the Giants for a middle infielder?

Only two more Cactus League games left… wow, where is the time going?! I really don’t feel like this spring has drug on like some in the past, but maybe that’s because we haven’t actually seen the full starting lineup play together yet. The Giants seem like they’ve been on a mission from day one of camp, as they’ve trimmed their roster frequently and aggressively. We’re down to what, 29 guys now? At the moment, odd men out appear to be Law, Gutierrez, Colvin and Scutaro… with Scutaro obviously starting the season on the DL, and Brandon Hicks getting the final roster spot.

Andrew Susac gets the start behind the dish in today’s game, which happens to be Bumgarner’s final start of the spring. As Baggs tweeted out earlier, this is a great opportunity for Susac, but I also wonder if the organization isn’t trying to show the kid off a bit. Yes, Posey is playing 1B today, and Hector Sanchez is getting a day off, but the timing is a little odd in my opinion. I’m probably just reading into it more than I should. Either way, today should be a great chance for Susac to show off his spring progression.

Another note from the game today: Mike Morse is playing LF and batting #2. That’s pretty significant to me, as Morse really hasn’t spent much time in the field this spring. He swung the bat very well against the Angels yesterday, but you really have to wonder if he’s healthy enough to play every day at this point. Between Morse, Scutaro and Pagan, the Giants seem like they’ve been babying a few of these guys so far. After last year, we definitely don’t need anyone going down before the season even starts, but you have to wonder if the rust will carry over into April. In Scutaro’s case, what was even accomplished in 2 AB this spring?

Getting back to Morse… Baggs had a story up last night about options for the #2 spot in the order while Scooter is out. Belt, Morse and Crawford were a few of the names thrown around. I think he mentioned Arias as well. Morse got the nod yesterday, and they’ve penciled him in there again for this afternoon. Now I certainly don’t know everything in this world, and I would defer to Bruce Bochy’s knowledge of his players 100% of the time… but I really don’t see Morse as a good fit for #2 in a lineup. Yes, he can be a high average guy when he’s healthy, but he’s never had a great OBP. I watched quite a few Seattle games last year, and the dude is definitely a hacker. To me, Belt seems like a much better fit for the #2 spot than any of the others in consideration.

What else is on tap today? How about the “Sandoval Talks,” as I like to call them. Look, this is a very touchy subject for people. It’s a fanbase divider, without a doubt. Pablo is a fan favorite, and a genuinely likeable guy. But come on, is the organization really supposed to just give him any amount of money he wants? The comments from his agent about training 24/7 and never having weight problems again are laughable, but I guess that’s what an agent is supposed to say.

I want to make this clear: I am a big fan of the Panda, and I would be sad to see him go. But the organization has to stop shelling out major contracts at some point, especially for a player who’s been very inconsistent for the past four years. Believe me, I know there are 100 valid arguments to make in both parties’ favor at this point, but I’m not sold that Pablo Sandoval is a $100M player yet. I do have a caveat though: if the organization really has no desire to get creative in replacing Pablo at 3B (i.e. shifting Buster/Crawford/Susac), then I guess you might as well pay the man… because you’re going to have one heck of a time finding steady production from the free agent market. But, if you’re willing to explore every possible option, including the obvious internal switches, then hold your ground. If Panda wants the big money, he’ll have to earn it… and maybe, just maybe he’ll help get you back in another pennant chase while he’s earning it.

Ok, it’s probably time to wrap this thing up. Looking back, it feels like I’ve taken on a very negative tone in this post. That was not my intention, and I apologize if you’re a bit put off by it. But there have been a few things on my mind lately, so I figured it was time to share them. Believe me, I’m VERY excited for the season to get started. I’m also jacked for the minor league seasons to open as well. I want to start talking prospects again!

Just one more thing… Speaking of prospects, I do have a quick bit of news to share. Joe Ritzo was reporting on the Giants High-A squad yesterday in Arizona, and he tweeted out the lineup. Apparently Chris Stratton had a very nice outing, inducing tons of grounders in 5 solid innings. But something else caught my eye: Joe had “Chavez” listed as the Giants DH. I sure as heck couldn’t remember any Chavez from the farm system, so I asked Ritzo about it. Turns out it’s Matt Chavez, an independent league guy the Giants picked up over the winter… He’s a Burlingame kid, former USF Don, and was drafted in 2010 by the White Sox (as a pitcher). He’s 25, so definitely not a young guy. But a pretty interesting story no less. Here’s the link Joe sent me, give it a look if you have time. Could we be looking at another Daniel Nava story here?

I think that’s about all for today. Thanks for checking in. Before you know it, the Giants will be playing at AT&T this weekend. That, my friends, is a very good thing.

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10 thoughts on “Tuesday Morning Catch-All”

  1. Nice post! I didn’t think you were that negative, I think you were fine.

    I think 25 is still young, but it would be old for Advanced A-ball. But roll the dice and see what happens when you see someone with some talent. They are all lottery tickets, and there are plenty of players in each level who are organizational players who could go and wouldn’t be missed, so if Chavez showed something our scouts liked, then go for it. And if he figures it out, he could rise quickly, like Belt did, or even Sandoval once it clicked for him.

    I was always rooting for Frandsen, and if there were space I would invite him back with open arms, but right now if he joined the team, that would probably push out Adrianza, and I ain’t having that! And Hicks has played well enough to stick around some. I saw comment on Baggerly’s chat that waivers are easier to get a player through after a month, so that could be how they DFA someone when Scutaro is ready, in hopes of retaining him. I still think Adrianza would be grabbed, whereas Hicks wouldn’t. And I still think the Giants like Ehire.

    1. Ehire’s 3 hits today certainly didn’t hurt his cause! I’m guessing Arias will get the majority of time at 2B early on anyway, but his bat is not a given either. Personally, I don’t think Frandsen makes sense at this point either. But the Giants have definitely done stranger things. Last spring training game tomorrow, holy cow! We’re almost there…

      1. Yeah, like picking up that Pirates guy, don’t recall his name, Jose Batista?, at the end, due to the Frandsen heel blowout.

        Yeah, 3 hits definitely helps! :^) And you know Boch, likes to give all his bench regular play and starts, so Arias get most of them, but probably Adrianza and Hicks will get a start each per week too, including SS and 3B at times, once we are deeper into the season.

        Yeah, holy cow!

        Keep up the great work, Go Giants!

  2. Anything but negative. Honesty is what works best. You’re just speaking your mind and that is appreciated. If they want to dole out 100 million for Pablo, that’s fine, but they will have to to cut costs in other areas of the roster. The farm will someday have to produce a young outfielder. The pitching seems to be on the horizon. I think it’s great that he’s not getting paid before he puts up the numbers to show he should be paid like an elite performer.

    1. I still think Brown will come through at some point, just not as early as I was hoping. But with our offense, he probably could be carried batting 8th, providing some speed down there, and function as a secondary leadoff hitter.

      And there’s Mac too.

    2. Paying him before he performs would be a big, big mistake in my opinion as well. It’s so easy to see him looking fit out there and dream for big things, but heck, we’ve been dreaming for 5 years! Don’t get me wrong, I’m very excited about what he’s shown this spring… but that doesn’t mean it’s a guarantee… And hey, every now and then in this crazy world, we have to work for what we want. The Giants don’t owe him a dime more than they feel comfortable with at this point, to me.

  3. FYI, reports is that Frandsen signed with the Nats, same amount given up, sounds like he got more extras added over his Phillies contract. Clearly, I think his age is rearing its ugly head and he wanted to be with a team that could make the playoffs and do something, plus the Nats have a lot of young talent, so they should be good for a while.

    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2014/03/nationals-to-sign-kevin-frandsen.html

    And while it’s great making MLB money in the minors, Frandsen’s in his 30’s, I think most players would have took less money (hence his selecting free agency), if he thought there was a good chance to stick in the majors on another team. That it is a playoff contender with a young core in the same division, are all bonuses.

    1. I saw Frandsen going to the Nats. I’m ok with Arias/Adrianza/Hicks for now, and I’m sure Kevin would have went right in line with those guys… but it would have been kind of a cool story if he caught on and helped us win some games.

  4. Good article.

    I think Sandoval has an addictive personality (I’m not a doctor, by the way). He could have future problems with booze, sex drugs, you name it. On the other hand….Good third basemen are hard to come by.

    I’ glad it’s not my decision.

    1. Thanks Walter. While I’m not going to speculate on what he may do with his personal time, I wouldn’t be surprised if the weight issues follow him around for the rest of his life. To go through a total body transformation like he has, twice in only a few years, that just doesn’t seem to bode well for his future.

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