Friday, August 13, 2010

Friday Baseball Post

Well, I've been unusually happy with Brian Sabean lately, mainly because he's finally learned that a team is better off if it is open to multiple sources for hitting talent.  Yes, plenty of Sabean's trademark full price Proven Major Leaguers, but suddenly there are drafted & developed guys (Posey of course, but also Sandoval, and bits and pieces from Ishikawa and Schierholtz); seemingly washed-up former regulars available at deep discount prices (Huff, Burrell, Uribe), and even a "AAAA"  type, Andres Torres.

Well, I can't really say I'm as happy about his midsummer trades.  Javier Lopez is fine; at that point there was no lefty in the bullpen, and he qualifies.  Ramon Ramirez I'm not so thrilled about...he's Just Another Arm, but if the cost was low (which it seemed to be), then I have no real problem with it.  Mike Fontenot?  Well...the Bats L is nice, and BP had a 337 OBP/412 SLG prediction line for him this year, but presumably his power won't be producing any home runs in his new home park.

Now, though, Jose Guillen?  And according to the great Giants beat writer Henry Schulman, he's going to be the regular RF.  Really?  BP's PECOTA prediction this year for Guillen was 323/406, which pretty much stinks for a regular corner outfielder.  He's right on that: designated for assignment by the Royals when hitting 314/429.   Presumably, his PAs come at the expense of some combination of Travis Ishikawa (312/390 PECOTA, actual 2010 343/442) and Schierholtz (PECOTA 326/456, actual 2010 312/361).  I don't know...I guess if the plan was to play Guillen against LHP, I couldn't really complain.  And, looking at the numbers, it's hard to say that it's anything like a clear mistake...still, I don't like it.

I guess what I really think is that the Giants hit the All Star break with a reasonable chance of getting to October, and Sabean churned a lot -- four trades -- but didn't actually seem to help the team in any obvious way.  As far as I can tell (and pending the last PTBNL) he didn't give up much, and it's hard to say that any specific move was actually a mistake...but add it all up, and it doesn't seem to amount to anything.

You know, what it really comes down to, I guess, is that my trust level with Brian Sabean remains as low as ever.  It's not as if a ton of bats moved -- Lance Berkman is the biggest name, and while I'd rather have him than Guillen, it's not really clear he's an impact bat any more.  Was there someone bigger available, for a price Sabean should have been willing to pay?  Well, Adam Dunn is the obvious big name, but we don't really know how available he was...as I said, the more I think about this the more it just seems to me that this is really about not trusting Sabean.

As for the specific move, taking on Jose Guillen: all I can say is I wouldn't have done it.   We'll see; I'm getting ready to start rooting for him to prove me wrong.

5 comments:

  1. Sorry, I know nothing about the Giants (of course I remember they were supposed to become the Toronto Giants), but I must say thanks for Fred Lewis. Thought we were getting a bench player, but turns out he is pretty good lead off hitter- 30 doubles, not sure how much of that is the tutelage of Gaston/Murphy or pitchers in the AL not knowing how to handle him. He doesn't seem to be a very good outfielder (bad routes to balls) but speed sure is a compensation. Again thanks for the gift

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  2. I like Fred Lewis (he's even on my roto team), but...we're talking about a weak fielding LF who has never come close to 400 OBP or 500 SLG, and there's no reason to think he'll ever do so. I think he's a perfectly fine 4th OFer, but really not an everyday player, and certainly not a plus everyday player.

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  3. Jonathon, I'm sure I don't need to point out to you that Lewis does have a better OBP than Guillen and their SLG % this year has been about the same. However, along with Lewis' better OBP (which was second only to Sandoval last year)was some actual speed. Guillen looked horribly slow yesterday and appears to be as good in the field as Lewis. It's been a while since Guillen was a consistent big bat. However, the Giant's opponent this week did make the good mid-season trades, bringing in the two pieces that the Giants really needed: Ludwick and Tejada. Ludwick and Tejada are clearly a superior to Fotenot and Guillen.

    Sabean certainly should get some credit for Torres, Huff, and Burrell, he has still been out-GM'd by the Padres, just as Bochy has been out-coached, and the players have been out-played.

    I'm happy that the Giants have made some strides this year, but still have no faith Sabean will make the team better in 2011, despite the successes in 2010.

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  4. OK, but picking up Guillen now doesn't make letting Lewis go a bad decision.

    I sort of subscribe to the fish-or-cut-bait school when it comes to mediocre guys like Lewis (or Bowker, or whoever). I suspect the worst thing you can do is to leave them around, never quite making a decision on them. It's not like you can't find a Fred Lewis substitute if you need one. Well, Sabean sometimes can't, but that's a different flaw.

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