Giants get no relief vs. Mets, but is some on the way?


Giants get no relief vs. Mets, but is some on the way?

SAN FRANCISCO For all the talk of Hunter Pence and theGiants need to lengthen their lineup, GM Brian Sabean has spent just as muchtime trying to bolster his bullpen ahead of Tuesdays 1 p.m. (PDT) non-waivertrade deadline.

The Giants needed relief Monday night. The bullpen brokedown several times in an 8-7, 10-inning loss to the New York Mets, and it wastheir frontline guys who got hit hard.

Sergio Romo gave up a tying, two-run home run to ScottHairston, who saved up another poison-tipped dart for Santiago Casilla with atiebreaking solo shot in the 10th.

It was Hairstons sixth multi-homer game. You might beconvinced all six came against the Giants. (Fact check: Only two of them,really.)

And if that werent enough, the Giants watched another oftheir trade targets drop off the board when the Dodgers acquired right-handerBrandon League from the Seattle Mariners.

League isnt having a good season and his strikeout-to-walkratio (27 to 19) will make you run in fear for the hills, but hes held right-handedhitters to a .224 average and no home runs. If you can keep him away fromlefties, hes a useful piece.

He certainly would have helped to take some of the strain off Romo, whois hitting a rare skid after being flawless for the better part of two seasons.

Romo allowed a tiebreaking, two-run homer to Hanley Ramirezin Fridays loss to the Dodgers. Before that, hed allowed two homers toright-handed hitters in two years.

When I dont execute, thats what happens, said Romo, whoseERA has gone from 0.60 to 2.30 in two games. Its the big leagues. You cantexpect anything else.

Its been a great ride. Im not saying its the end of theride, but Im in a rut. Thats what it is. I just need to keep on pushing.

"The team needs me to be good. Im down for that.

Romo has been good. So was Casilla while saving 19 of hisfirst 20 chances.

We had the right guys out there our setup guy andcloser, Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. The only thing you can do in thisgame is get your guys out there, and we did that.

Now its up to Sabean to get more guys on the roster.

The Dodgers already have Ramirez, who appears to have amotivation level that more closely approximates his extreme talent level. Theygot League. Theyre reportedly in on Pence and Shane Victorino, if only todrive up the price on the Giants. And its better than a coin flip that theylladd Ryan Dempster, or trade for another starting pitcher if they cant makethat deal work with the Cubs.

Oh, and Fox Sports is reporting that the ArizonaDiamondbacks, just 3 games back of the co-leaders in the NL West, are bracingto make a potentially blockbuster pitching addition. (Cliff Lee, maybe?)

Its never, ever a good idea to make a baseball decisionbased on pure marketing motives. If you dont believe me, come along for a tour of the S.S.Zito. Shes a fine, sturdy vessel. It won't do much good to make a move for the sake of making a move. (And yes, we saw the CBS Sports report that Alfonso Soriano told the Cubs he wouldn't accept a trade to the Giants. Try not to take it personally.)

But if the Giants stand pat while the Dodgers andDiamondbacks add at the deadline, its not going to be pretty around theseparts.

And that five-game losing streak is going to feel a lotworse than it already is.

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."