Tag: Mark DeRosa

Houston’s Randy Johnson (Wandy Rodriguez) Blanks Hapless San Francisco Giants

I think people are starting to get the idea. If you don’t get the idea yet, then you are either an exceptionally optimistic fan, or delusional.

The San Francisco Giants are not a good baseball team.

Perhaps they were at one point in the season. Perhaps they were until the acquisition of Carlos Beltran. But they certainly aren’t now.

Granted, they have extraordinary pitching. Ryan Vogelsong threw seven innings of two earned-run ball, and remains second in the league in ERA.

The key word in the previous sentence is earned. Errors by Mark DeRosa and Nate Schierholtz enabled the Houston Astros to score three unearned runs off of Vogelsong. Guillermo Mota’s bogus home run to Bogusevic extended the lead to 6-0, which turned out to be the final score of the ballgame.

Realistically, though, it wouldn’t have mattered if Vogelsong had pitched a shutout—he still would have received a no decision at best.

The San Francisco Giants were completely baffled by left hander Wandy Rodriguez, who, like so many pitchers, had his finest outing of the season against the Giants’ hapless offense.

While the Giants are still only 2.5 games out of first place behind the Arizona Diamondbacks, the deficit seems nigh insurmountable.

In fact, a more realistic goal for the Giants this season than the playoffs is to finish the season above .500. At 67-59, the Giants would need to go 14-22 to finish the season at .500. Given the way this team has been playing recently, even that goal seems lofty.

The excellent Bleacher Report sportswriter Manny Randhawa will have to search deep into his bag of tricks to justify the Giants’ “excellence” in losing 6-0 to a team that was 44 games under .500 coming into the ballgame.

“It’s only just one game.” But is it? Is it really? Or is this game just an accurate representation of a disturbing trend?

One thing is certain: People should be fired after tonight’s travesty. Or at least demoted. Or, if Bruce Bochy prefers, they should come up with a mysterious foot strain. Mark DeRosa and Aaron Rowand are two examples of this type of person who does not belong on a Major League baseball field, contract or no. It’s already a “sunk cost.”

Am I overreacting? Is this a knee jerk reaction? I don’t think so. These are calculated statements backed up by on-field performances and statistics.

The Giants need to dramatically overhaul their lineup to put a competitive team on the field, or risk seeing their attendance and reputation plummet.

Not to mention, the Giants should be interested in keeping the sole bright spot on the team (pitching) intact. With free agency looming in the not too distant future for Matt Cain and Tim Lincecum, do you think either starter would be willing to play for a team wherein they get no offensive support?

Regardless of the pitchers’ unflappable coolness in the clubhouse in the face of losing and shouldering of responsibility for each loss, you know that these pitchers want to win. Not only do they want to win, they want to win championships.

And no team ranked last in the league in offense has ever made the playoffs, let alone won a championship.

In conclusion, if the Giants come out and score seven runs tomorrow, please save your “I Told You So’s.” After scoring seven runs against the Braves in game three of their series, they have been shut out twice consecutively.

For those keeping track, that is an average of 2.33 runs per game.

Even the lowly Giants are capable of scoring seven runs once in a while. A playoff caliber professional baseball club, however, will perform on a regular basis and demonstrate at least a modicum of consistency.

Madison Bumgarner (7-11, 3.49ERA) pitches next against Jordan Lyles (1-7, 5.31ERA). The ingredients are in place for a 5-3 Giants victory, if each pitcher pitches to their potential. Something tells me, however, that Bumgarner will lower his ERA once again, and loss number twelve will materialize as he is out-dueled by Roger Clemens…er…Jordan Lyles. 

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Uribe, DeRosa, and the San Francisco Giants Water Buffalo Defense in 2011

Henry Schulman, who covers the Giants beat for the San Francisco Chronicle, published this via Twitter last night. 
Mmmm…candy bar.
It reminded me of a word that has been thrown around Giants camp for the last few years, really since Pablo Sandoval came onto the scene. 

1. Used, serving, or working in several capacities as needed, especially

a. Prepared to play any of the smaller theatrical roles on short notice: a utility cast member.
b. Capable of playing as a substitute in any of several positions: a utility infielder.

Look at that. It’s in the dictionary!


a. Exceeding a norm: supersaturate.
b. Excessive in degree or intensity: supersubtle.
c. Containing a specified ingredient in an unusually high proportion: superphosphate.

That one’s in the dictionary, too.

Now, if we combine the two, we get super-utility, which, in the past couple years, has been a label applied to Sandoval (1B/3B/C), Mark DeRosa (1B/3B/SS/2B/LF), Juan Uribe (2B/3B/SS), and even Eugenio Velez (2B/OF/PH/really?).

We’ve seen how it worked out with Uribe (beautifully), especially last season. In Spring Training last year, Uribe didn’t even have a regular starting position, but it was known that he was going to be playing a lot.

Then Freddy Sanchez wasn’t ready for Opening Day, so Uribe played the first 14 games at second base, hitting .320 and driving in 11 runs. Then Edgar Renteria missed the month of May (and June), and Uribe took over at shortstop.

Then Pablo Sandoval decided that he didn’t like hitting anymore, and Uribe stepped in at third for awhile before going back to hitting homeruns from the shortstop position. In the playoffs, Uribe played third, paving the way for Renteria to win the World Series.

Read more »

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San Francisco Giants: The Competition In Left Field

It’s not a bad problem to have, but Bruce Bochy has admitted it, the San Francisco Giants have a competition for the starting spot in left field.

This is something the Giants haven’t experienced in some time, what with Barry Bonds being the left fielder in the past.

But the Giants should be happy with this. Bonds is gone and they have three viable contenders to start in left field with each bringing their own unique pros and cons to the lineup.

For the sake of the argument, I am going to eliminate the Brandon Belt possibility from the equation.

No matter how hard he tears up spring training the rest of the way, all signs point to the Giants starting Belt in AAA-Fresno and not San Francisco, just like they did with Buster Posey, Madison Bumgarner, Pablo Sandoval and the rest of the gang.

The system has proven to work. So why change it?

Come midseason, or whenever the Giants decide to call up Belt, this argument never happened.

Aubrey Huff moves to left field and Belt starts at first base. It’s a done deal.

Until then, we may have a game of musical chairs going on in left field.

Here are the three main players to be considered for the left field starting job.

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MLB Preview 2011: Handicapping the San Francisco Giants’ Left-Field Battle

Major League Baseball’s Spring Training is already underway and that means it’s officially time for the World Champion San Francisco Giants to put away the champagne (or Bud Lite), confetti and late-night talk show laurels.

The thong can stay, though (Aubrey’s, not the Machine’s).

Down in Arizona, the first PFP drills have been run so you know two things.

First, someone has already embarrassed himself.

Most pitchers aren’t Tim Lincecum-type athletes anyway, so asking them to field their position is a dicey proposition. Then you toss in set-up men and specialty relievers? Look out, here comes the circus. Although in truth, the Gents have a pretty athletic stable from top to bottom so maybe it’s a muted show.

Second, and more importantly, our long nightmare is over and BASEBALL is right around the corner.

With all due respect, the NFL is slowly becoming a 20-week episode of Hard Knocks so part of me is rooting for a work stoppage simply for the peace and quiet. At least the League’s tug-o’-war over the fan’s last dollar is easy to process and tune out.

Forget both sides in that nonsense—we all know it will end with each pampered posse getting richer while the fans foot the bill so who really cares? Let the greedy S.O.B.’s shoot themselves in the feet until they realize it hurts.

Like baseball did.

As for the NBA, well, it’s heading into the stretch run and teams are starting to play hard every night so I’ve got no beef with the Association at the moment. Nevertheless, all the coasting up to this point still leaves a sour note in the air.

C’mon, I can’t get 82 games at full throttle for $4 mil a year?

Consequently, it’s the pearl to the rescue.

Before that can happen, however, the exhibition season must play out and each team must answer a few lingering questions. In the Giants’ neck of the woods, there’s only one major unknown and it looms over left field.

And it’s a pretty big one; as in, who will play there?

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The 10 Biggest Questions Facing The Giants Heading Into Spring Training

As February dawns here in 2011, that can only mean one thing for baseball fans, here comes spring training. And with the breath of fresh air and the feeling that only a beginning can supply comes a time when all the questions are going to be tackled. For three months us Giants fans have been basking in the glow of a World Series victory, the first for the city. And now, the Giants must begin their first title defense in the history of San Francisco.

For a team that did relatively little in the offseason (besides locking players up), this spring training will still be phenomenally interesting, mostly due to the tumultuous nature of last season. Now, we know that spring training can be nothing more than a small exercise, and that none of our questions may be answered. Heck, just look at the lineup changes that went on during the season in 2010. However, it is still an incredibly important time of year, a time to review last year, but mostly preview the coming year and address the questions heading in.

In that case, let’s count down the 10 biggest questions facing the World Series Champion San Francisco Giants (feels good don’t it!) as the head into spring training.

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San Francisco Giants: 10 Biggest Surprises of 2010

2010 has been a year packed with surprises, from the success of unsung heroes to the struggles of previous years’ stars. Let’s take a look at the Giants’ 10 biggest surprises. 

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Who Told You So? Burrell, Posey Help; Bowker & Co. Could Not

Offering opinions in print, particularly on the Internet, curses the writer to be haunted by his opinions forever.

Oh, it must be nice to be in the electronic media where you can offer an opinion and have it just disappear into thin air.

It’s hard to deny having opined that the San Francisco Giants would finish 75-87 once the opinion appears in print. Say it on TV or radio and … “Well, I mentioned that they COULD potentially finish 75-87, but I think I made a bit larger point and, really, I’m not surprised to see them in the thick of the NL West race.”

When a writer offers a suggestion that might help the club or offers an opinion of how the club operates, it mostly comes back to haunt the writer.

Here’s to the suggestions and opinions mentioned here that turned out to be on the money. It’s rare to predict what will happen, then see it actually take place.

It’s time to celebrate.

To the folks who threw metrics and Bruce Bochy’s unwillingness to stick with young players at me—note that John Bowker is back in the minor leagues, and that Nate Schierholtz lost his right field job to Aubrey Huff.

It was written here that the Giants had to sell the importance of playing defense in AT&T Park, when Randy Winn wasn’t hitting and the club needed to justify keeping him in the lineup. Huff hasn’t done anything wrong in right field and, frankly, how many games have turned on misplaying a carom in right field over the last 10 years?

So, yeah, Bowker’s back tearing up Triple-A and Schierholtz is batting barely .100 in his last 40 at-bats or so. He’s a pinch-runner and late-inning defender. The hitter got the gig in right field—Huff.

I’m not the type guy to say, “I told you so,” but …

And, is that Pat Burrell in left field? The guy who was too old (at 33) and a complete defensive liability? The guy who flopped in Tampa Bay in the American League, who was supposed to be the single worst free agent signing the Giants could make with all those promising young outfielders?

Wait, I am that type of guy!

I told you so!

Burrell’s hitting .341 entering Wednesday’s game for the Giants. He’s slugging .614 with three home runs. He’s the big, strong guy who works the count and, apparently, doesn’t play left fielder as though he has two left feet.

Well, after I was run from my suggestion that Eugenio Velez play full-time, people were insisting that there was no reason to claim Burrell off the scrap heap. Velez and Andres Torres—and Bowker—deserved a shot in left with Mark De Rosa out.

Oh, it’s fun being right!

The first piece that I wrote here mentioned that Bowker, Kevin Frandsen, and Fred Lewis were completely without value.

Frandsen’s bounced from the Red Sox to the Angels. He’s doing well for the Halos, but there’s no place for him in the Giants lineup anyway.

Lewis had those who blame Brian Sabean for the sun rising in the east chirping when he was hitting and doing some things for the Blue Jays. Then, he misplayed a gapper and dropped a fly ball that killed Toronto when San Francisco was up there over the weekend.

Did I mention that Bowker took his .200 big league batting average to go rip up Pacific Coast League pitching?

Being me isn’t bad. Not bad at all. (Until I call for Eric Hacker to get the No. 5 rotation spot and he gets shelled).

And, it seems as though I mentioned that the Giants would benefit from recalling Buster Posey and putting him at first base…or anywhere that his bat would be a benefit to a struggling attack. He started with a bang in San Francisco, has fallen off some—but, clearly, people who got the vapors over the notion of the Giants catcher of the future not catching everyday in the minors have realized—they were wrong.

That would make me…right. Right?

Tim Linecum’s dead arm isn’t dead. The symptoms indicating Tommy John Surgery might be in order have disappeared. Lincecum’s winning, pitching well, like he will win and pitch well for as long as he’s in the big leagues. And, for the dead-arm theorists, he hit 94 mph on the radar gun on Tuesday.

Who told you so?

Oh, right…I did!

In lieu of laughing out loud at know-nothings who called second baseman Freddy Sanchez a malingerer, I’ll be kind and admit that I was as right about him returning to star as I was wrong about whether the Giants could win with Juan “Big Poppa” Uribe at shortstop.

I don’t know everything. In fact, I know very little. When I manage to write down things in advance that turn out later to be true, well, a guy likes to crow sometimes.


Ted Sillanpaa is a Northern California sports writer and columnist. Contact Ted at: tsillanpaa1956@gmail.com.

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Is Mark DeRosa Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Fodder?

The San Francisco Giants offense is anemic. It’s not a shocking revelation or something that we didn’t see coming. The Giants moved people all across the diamond yesterday, just hoping that it would help spark something. 

Pablo Sandoval moved to first base. Aubrey Huff played left field. Juan Uribe started at third base.

It’s nice that their players have flexibility, but what did the big rearrangement really accomplish? No matter how you set things up, when Freddy Sanchez is slotted in the three hole, your lineup has major issues.

Is there a savior coming? 

People want to believe that Buster Posey will step in and make an impact, but at this point that does not appear on the horizon. The Giants want him to continue developing as a catcher, and bringing him up to play first base would stunt that growth. 

Eventually, possibly rather sooner than later, the pressure to get offense will force their hand, but for now they are standing pat.

However, there is a player on his way back that could potentially make an impact. 

There’s a chance Mark DeRosa returns either over the weekend or early next week.  While he’s not the feared middle of the order bat the Giants lust for, he certainly can make an impact.

I’ve seen him dropped in many leagues thanks to his horrific start.  Let’s be honest, he has a long enough track record to consider his .194, 1 HR, 10 RBI line a little bit of a fluke.

Granted, with his wrist problems, there is a chance that he is not going to have the power that he’s shown over the past two years. Maybe 20+ HR is a pipe dream (his HR/FB is at 3.6%), but you can be sure that his production is going to be better then what it was early on. Injury or not, a .224 BABIP is not likely to be repeated.

The Giants signed him to help boost an offensive desperately in need of some punch. He should slide right into the middle of the order, giving him an opportunity to drive in some runs. He has also tremendous position flexibility that allows him to play at second base, third base, and the outfield. Don’t underestimate that.

No, he’s not going to be a must use option, especially with the fear of his power not fully coming back. Still, he’s worth owning. I’ve snatched him up as quickly as possible in my five-outfielders leagues I saw him dropped in.  Even if he is just 80% of what he was in 2009 (.250, 23 HR, 78 RBI, 78 R), he’ll have value.

What are your thoughts on DeRosa?  Will he rebound or is he a bust for 2010?


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Roy Oswalt Attempts Prison Break: Giants to Drive Get Away Car?

Written: 4 pm, 21 May 2010

With the recent trade request of Roy Oswalt, the maximum security prison that is the Houston Astros may soon have a break. Since Oswalt has been one of the most consistent aces over the last ten years, there should be plenty of teams willing to drive the getaway car. But due to his no trade clause and wish to play for a contender, jalopies need not apply.

The SF Giants aren’t exactly a Ferrari, but hovering near first for most of the year they are at least a 2006 BMW 330i.

The Giants most glaring deficiency is fifth starter Todd Wellemeyer, whose road numbers of 0-3, 9.35 ERA, and 17 walks in 17 innings are deplorable. Most of the talk in the Bay Area has focused on calling up either Eric Hacker or Madison Bumgarner from AAA Fresno.

But neither one has proven they can get it done at the highest level. Assuming or projecting they would is simply wishful thinking masquerading as reason.

Meanwhile, Oswalt’s putting up some of the best numbers of his heralded career, 2.66 ERA, 1.07 WHIP, 8.85 SO/9. Plus, he offers serious playoff experience having won the 2005 NLCS MVP.

Replacing Wellemeyer with Oswalt would be like finding a cooler of Fiji water in the desert.

If the Giants want to be a playoff team they need to act like it and keep working to improve the team.

Moreover, the Oswalt request could be the opportunity the Giants need to cut ties with some of their iffy signings the last few years, specifically Edgar Renteria, Freddie Sanchez, and Mark DeRosa. None of them has really got it going in San Francisco, so maybe a change of scenery would be best.

Furthermore, with Matt Downs looking like an everyday player lately, putting him on the bench to make room for Sanchez’s paycheck, I mean Sanchez had to be painful . He comes up with the key hit versus the Giants’ Kryptonite, San Diego, then scores the winning run on a clutch hit by Eugenio Velez. His reward, hit the bench, kid.

One solution solves many problems: trade De Rosa, Sanchez, Renteria, and their high salaries to Houston for Oswalt and his high salary.

The salaries are comparable with Oswalt owed 33M over the next two years and 34.5M going to Sanchez, Renteria, and DeRosa.

The trade is actually a win win since Houston just released 2B Kaz Matsui and starting SS Tommy Manzella is hitting .190. Insert Sanchez and Renteria and juggle them with 2B/SS Jeff Keppinger and the Astros’ infield just got a lot better. Once DeRosa comes back from the DL he would provide some pop as a utility player.

Furthermore, the Giants get better by subtraction. Juan Uribe has just about been their best hitter going back to the second half of last year, yet he’s behind Renteria and Sanchez on the depth chart.

Since Houston needs to rebuild and Oswalt is the prize jewel in the trade, the Giants would have to offer some respectable prospects.

Fortunately, their farm system has a plethora of them.

The AAA Fresno Grizzlies are so stacked with talent they boast a MILB best record of 28-12 and could probably beat the Astros in a best of seven series. Hacker, Bumgarner, Velez, Waldis Joaquin, Brett Pill, Tyler Graham, and Brock Bond stand out. 

Barring Buster Posey, the Giants could trade anyone on the farm.

Brandon Belt, .381BA, 1.051OPS, 10SB, is destroying Class A Advanced for San Jose, and at 22 years of age is an intriguing prospect.

Despite Astros GM Ed Wade’s obstinate attitude, “Roy’s contract has a no-trade clause, not a trade-me clause,” the Astros are likely going to have to make a move.

They might prefer packaging Oswalt with Carlos Lee and Lance Berkman who make an inflated 19M and 14.5M this year, respectively. But with both players underperforming that seems unlikely.

ESPN’s Jayson Stark originally reported Oswalt was most interested in St. Louis, Atlanta, and Texas, but as the situation has escalated he’s presumably open to more teams now.

Realistically, the Giants are a dark horse, thanks to their sometimes fangless lineup. But should that keep them from trying?

After all, with one of the most potent rotations around, adding Oswalt would surely upgrade the team from being a 2006 BMW 330i to a

2010 BMW M6 Convertible , and make it possible to execute Oswalt’s prison break smoothly.

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San Francisco Giants’ Pitchers Need To Improve

Do the Giants really need pitching to overtake the pesky Padres?  


It appears so, because I saw Lincecum struggle through his second start in a row, and the bullpen blow another lead that would have given him six wins.  

Sure, Lincecum struggled, but the entire staff needs improvement.  

My main point of emphasis is the wild pitches.  

The Giants let another game get away with another WP thrown to give the Dbacks the lead. It’s happened too many times already this season, and not just a few are at fault.  

Guillermo Mota and Barry Zito have both thrown four.

Jeremy Affeldt and Todd Wellemeyer have both thrown three.

Waldis Joaquin is at fault for two.

Matt Cain, Dan Runzler, Tim Lincecum, and Jonathon Sanchez have all thrown one.

Twenty wild pitches in 40 games?  

That’s ridiculous for a staff that (on paper) looks to be the best in the NL.  

This means every other game, there’s a good chance Zito or Affeldt will throw one past Molina and give the go-ahead run away.  

Not all 20 have yielded runs, but it does present cause for concern. Starting with Zito, I love watching him throw the curve, and I understand that it can get wild.  But it’s up to him and the catcher to realize what the count is, what the situation is, and how confident he is with that pitch on a given day.  

Lincecum and Sanchez we’ve seen can be wild youngsters, Sanchez more often than the former.  

With Lincecum winning back-to-back Cy Youngs, I’m not going to tell him what he needs to do, but someone should talk to them and get them more focused and committed on each pitch.  

Jeremy Affeldt is having all sorts of problems this year. In just 17 innings, he’s given up 15 hits and five earned runs. On top of his three wild pitches, he’s also hit two batters.

The Giants’ woes are not solely on the offense (believe it or not).  

The bullpen has blown four wins for Lincecum—and the game three other times.  

There’s a lot of frustration when the team can only put up a couple runs every day, but the pitching staff must re-focus and concentrate on the remaining month and a half until the break.  

With Sanchez coming back, Renteria and DeRosa coming back soon, and Pablo Sandoval getting healthy, the pitchers should get a renewed confidence with some spark adding to the lineup.  

Because the hitters and fans are always thankful for the fantastic pitching. 


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