Giants

Add a 'Robo-Bochy' to Giants' long list of offseason needs

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AP

Add a 'Robo-Bochy' to Giants' long list of offseason needs

The San Francisco Giants need an outfielder and maybe two, a third baseman, some reliable relievers, another mid-rotation starter and now something else.

A Robo-Bochy.

Manager Bruce, the Bochy in question, told reporters Tuesday that he was going to undergo another heart procedure soon, making it an even four episodes/procedures in three years. That’s a lot of transmission work for one car.

But Bochy also said he planned to rest and recreate a bit and then get back to the business of managing the 2018 Giants reclamation project, a stress turbine that is only going to rev hotter in the immediate future.

His wife, Kim, must be thrilled.

But that’s an area in which we are unskilled to speculate, just as his health is. Presumably if his doctor told him his ticker was not going to stand any more pitching changes, he would have the good sense to announce that he intended to fish competitively – if you can call baiting a hook and waiting for something to bite it competitive.

Still, as we have seen this before, the Giants must surely have a succession plan in place, even if sharing it even with him is considered

Unseemly. Bochy has more than earned his own say on his own way out, and if his health has the deciding vote (or, more likely, shares the deciding voter with his life), he will do the right thing.

Put another way, unless he’s taken to regard his heart health as something he deals with by clapping his hands over his ears and singing at the top of his lungs to drown out the noise, he will announce one day that he has plans for the rest of his life that can no longer include managing a baseball team.

And he will go out with the gratitude of a franchise and its fans who would never known the heights it knew without him.

Dave Righetti is the face of the Giants' rebuild so far

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AP

Dave Righetti is the face of the Giants' rebuild so far

There was something almost disturbingly surreptitious about the Giants’ decision to announce Dave Righetti’s removal as pitching coach (for a front office job) Saturday. Saturday, after all, is the day you typically bury sports news that isn’t football, or related to football in some way.

But that could just be us being needlessly conspiratorial. We’re willing to bestow, if not the benefit of the doubt, at least the lack of doubt.

Still, Righetti’s reassignment, and those of bullpen coach Mark Gardner and assistant hitting coach Steve Decker, makes it clear that however the Giants want to avoid the use of the word “rebuilding,” they are indeed rebuilding – just not in the traditional new-players-for-old way.

General manager Bobby Evans made it clear without saying the words that Righetti’s messaging had lost its efficacy with the younger pitchers, who for the most part had not been part of the franchise’s most glorious times. And since the only pitchers still on the 40-man roster who had been with the club for its last World Series parade are Madison Bumgarner and Hunter Strickland, Evans clearly concluded that the message to the new staff needed to come from elsewhere.

Now this assumes that the problem with the Giants’ pitching was not the talent level or the execution, of course. Typically, it takes a lot for a manager or coach to screw up his job so profoundly that he needs to be replaced – mostly it’s considered an environmental matter that a new voice saying the old stuff is sufficient. It’s really more alchemy than science, and alchemy is fairly hit-or-miss.

But it is change where the Giants feel they can change; their four starters (Bumgarner, Johnny Cueto, Jeff Samardzija and Matt Moore) and closer (Mark Melancon) are in for $70.8 million this coming year, so a full-on demolition is not cost effective, and the young’uns (Chris Stratton, Strickland, Cory Gearrin, Derek Law, et. al.) remain in that tenuous middle ground between dependable and disposable. In other words, there aren’t a lot of options for dramatic player change, and the Giants don’t look to be aggressive buyers in the off-season, crackpot Giancarlo Stanton rumors notwithstanding.

So this is the face of the Giants’ rebuild so far – Dave Righetti, Mark Gardner and Steve Decker. Make of the act and the circumstances of the release of the information what you will, but as it is neither the manager (Bruce Bochy is golden) or the players (who with only a few exceptions are decidedly meh, with a side of feh), it will have to do as the first answer to the question, “What do they intend to do about 64-98?"

I mean other than keeping a low profile about it.

Report: Two Giants hitters elect free agency

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USATSI

Report: Two Giants hitters elect free agency

With free agency set to begin five days after the World Series ends, two hitters that played for the Giants during the 2017 season have put their names on the open market.

Veteran third baseman Conor Gillaspie and longtime minor league outfielder Carlos Moncrief have both elected for free agency, according to Baseball America.

The 30-year-old Gillaspie appeared in 44 games for the Giants this past season. He hit just .168/.218/.288 with four doubles, two home runs and eight RBI. He was designated for assignment on August 3 and outrighted to Triple-A Sacramento on August 5. With the River Cats, Gillaspie hit .375 with four doubles in 15 games in August.

Prior to the 2017 season, Gillaspie signed a one-year, $1.4 million deal with the Giants.

As for Moncrief, the soon-to-be 29-year-old finally got his first call-up the majors this past season after eight and a half seasons in the minors. He debuted for the Giants on July 29. In 28 games, he hit .211/.256/.237 with one double and five RBI. While he didn't do much with the bat, Moncrief showed off a cannon for an arm when he patrolled right field.