EXTRA BAGGS: Vogelsong decides not to kill Belt, etc.


EXTRA BAGGS: Vogelsong decides not to kill Belt, etc.


SEATTLE Brandon Belts friends and family have T-shirtsthat say, Keep Belt awkward.

His teammates understand just what that means.

You already know about how Belt mistakenly sat in Matt Cainsseat seven innings into a perfect game last Wednesday. Now hear the tale fromthe perspective of Ryan Vogelsong, who was witness to it all.

Oh yeah. I gave him the evil eye, said Vogelsong, afterpitching the Giants to a 4-2 victory at Seattle on Friday. I was getting readyto say something when Matt came over. I didnt want to say, Hey, get out ofhis seat.

Belt got the picture and quickly moved over. He sat next toVogelsong. The conversation from there:

What are you doing?

I have no idea.

Yeah, that wasnt the smoothest move youve ever had.

Said Vogelsong: If he hadnt gotten the perfect game, Idhave been all over him. I was razzing him pretty bad, anyway.

Belt said he thought Vogelsong would try to kill him.

I was thinking that, said Vogelsong, matter-of-factly. Butthen I thought, Well, we probably need him to play first base.

Cain was perfect, of course. And Belt got to live. Good thing forthe Giants, too, because he hit another double that led to a run Friday night.Belt has a streak of four consecutive games with an extra-base hit.

Cains phone is still ringing after Wednesdays perfectgame. He got a voicemail from San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, with a message ofcongratulations. Cain still hasnt recorded a Top Ten list for the Lettermanshow, though hes been invited to do so.

Buster Posey, asked what got the Giants going on their binge of eight home runs in four games

"I think what really got us going was Bumgarner's homer."

He said it with a smile. But it's true. Pitcher Madison Bumgarner is the guy who snapped a streak of 16 consecutive games without a homer at AT&T Park, the longest in franchise history. if the streak had gone one more day, it would've matched the longest by an NL team since the 1946 Brooklyn Dodgers.

Roberto Kelly is here with the team after getting hisappendix taken out a few days ago. But hitting coach Hensley Bam Bam Meulenscontinues to coach first base. Kelly said hes hoping he can get back to thecoaches box on Monday in Anaheim. He said he has to be able to react to a linedrive before doctors clear him. Not sure how you practice that

Tough news for outfield prospect Roger Kieschnick, who has afractured bone in his shoulder and will be out until at least mid-August.Kieschnick hurt himself at the end of May when he crashed into the wall whilechasing a fly ball at Sacramento. The ball went for a walk-off homer. Thatspretty much the definition of adding insult to injury.

Kieschnick, who has a history of back problems that derailedhis minor league career, had 14 home runs in the first 51 games for Triple-AFresno.

Projection system loves Giancarlo Stanton at AT&T Park


Projection system loves Giancarlo Stanton at AT&T Park

SAN FRANCISCO — The Giants have made a habit in recent winters of “kicking the tires,” so to speak, on as many free agents as possible. General manager Bobby Evans is committed to being thorough, but at times there is probably no need. 

Hitters have made no secret of the fact that they prefer friendlier confines, and if you’re a power hitter, you’re going to ask Evans for a significantly larger check to play 81 of your games at the harshest power park in the majors. That’s what makes Giancarlo Stanton, readily available via trade, so intriguing. But would Stanton be fully immune to the realities of AT&T Park?

The numbers, at least in a small sample, suggest he would. Stanton has played 27 games in San Francisco and taken 108 at-bats. He has nine homers, 11 doubles and a triple. His .676 slugging percentage at AT&T Park isn’t far off his mark at Coors Field (.714), and his 1.048 OPS is higher than his OPS during the 2017 season, when he hit 59 homers. 

The damage has been done in limited time, but the Giants clearly believe it’s fully sustainable, and a recent study done by ESPN’s Dan Szymborski backs that up. Szymborski ran his ZiPS projection system to estimate Stanton’s stats over the next 10 years for a variety of suitors. The numbers in orange and black are overwhelming. 

The projections have Stanton at 46.2 WAR over the next 10 seasons, including 7.1 in 2018 and 6.8 in 2019, the two seasons the organization should be focused on given Madison Bumgarner’s contract situation. ZiPS projects Stanton at 46 homers next season if he plays for the Giants, followed by 43, 42, 39, 35 over the following four years. For comparison’s sake, Brandon Belt led the Giants in homers each of the last two seasons and he has 35 total during that span. 

Any sort of projection system needs to be taken with a huge grain of salt, especially with a player who has had injury issues in the past. But ZiPS believes Stanton -- who plays in a huge park already -- is a rarity, the kind of power hitter who can keep crushing well into his 30’s and put up huge numbers even if he is limited by the realities of getting older and getting hurt. Szymborski’s projections have Stanton playing just 102 games in 2025, but he’s still projected to hit 23 homers, 20 doubles and post an OPS+ of 121. Even in the 10th year of the projections, ZiPS has Stanton down for 16 homers. 

There are no sure things in this game, but as Evans continues to chase a blockbuster deal, he can be confident that Stanton is one player who should be able to provide power for years to come, no matter what AT&T Park does to hold hitters down. 

Former A's slugger Gomes offers Ohtani scouting report: 'Big fan of the dude'


Former A's slugger Gomes offers Ohtani scouting report: 'Big fan of the dude'

Former A's left fielder/DH and Bay Area native, Jonny Gomes, last played Major League Baseball in 2015. The next year, Gomes looked to continue his career in Japan with the Rakuten Golden Eagles. 

Gomes struggled in Japan, batting just .169 in 18 games. While in Japan though, Gomes saw firsthand the two-way talent of Shohei Ohtani. 

"The dude throws 100 miles per hour consistently," Gomes said Tuesday to MLB Network Radio. "That plays."

With MLB, the Players Association, and the Nippon Professional Baseball Organization agreeing to a new posting system, Ohtani should soon be available as a free agent to MLB teams. Gomes was adamant that Ohtani will live up to the hype. 

"If you have the arm speed to throw 100 miles per hour, guess what your slider's gonna do -- yikes. And he also has a split, which is yikes with that arm speed. And he also has a changeup, and he also has a curveball. You're talking about five plus, plus, plus pitches.

"If he was in the draft, I think it would be a no-brainer right now that he'd be No. 1 overall," Gomes said. 

Since turning pro as an 18-year-old, Ohtani has been a dominant force on the mound. The 6-foot-3 right-hander owns a 42-15 career record with a 2.52 ERA and 1.076 WHIP. 

What makes Ohtani, 23, so intriguing is that he's not only the best pitcher in Japan, he may be the best hitter too. In 2017, Ohtani hit .332 with eight home runs in 65 games. The left fielder/DH owns a .286/.358/.500 career slash line with 48 home runs. 

"Now hitting wise, is it gonna transfer, is it not? I've seen the dude hit a fly ball that hit the roof of the Tokyo Dome," Gomes remembers. "So, what does that tell you? That bat speed's there, that power's there, that he's generating a lot out front.

"To be able to hit the roof of the Tokyo Dome is way more impressive than hitting any other roof in the states. It would be like hitting the roof in Seattle when it was closed, it's way up there."

Everyone knows about Ohtani off-the-charts talent. The stats are there. What we don't know as much about is his personality. Gomes does and he believes his leadership will make him be a star in the states. 

"I'm a big fan of the dude," Gomes says. "I saw his work ethic, I saw how players treated him, I saw how respectful he was. Over there it's all about seniority. Granted he was the biggest star on the field at any given moment, but still gave the utmost respect to seniority guys on his ball club."