Giants

Giants notes: Posey would love to match Bonds, etc.

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Giants notes: Posey would love to match Bonds, etc.

SAN FRANCISCO Its so easy to forget that this is BusterPoseys first start-to-finish, full season in the major leagues.

Like all catchers, he has taken his share of shots and hits right through the celebratory scrum after the Giants clinched the NL Westtitle Saturday night.

Who was Posey punching in the pile?

Affeldt, Posey said, grinning. He was jabbing me in theribs so I had to get him back.

Posey is out of the lineup Sunday, along with nearly all theregulars. Giants manager Bruce Bochy said he couldnt pass up the chance togive his everyday players a 48-hour break to recharge, but he plans to havemost of his regulars back in Tuesdays lineup against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

That includes Posey, who estimated he likely would start eight of thefinal nine games of the season.

Ive never been in that position, Posey said. You want tostay sharp and at the same time, you have an opportunity to get some rest. Idthink you want to take advantage of it.

Posey usually deflects personal goals, but he offered aquick absolutely when asked if hed be motivated to get the three RBIs heneeds for 100. Hed be the first Giant to drive in 100 runs since Barry Bondsin 2004.

In fact, chasing a few carrots here and there might help theteam keep its edge.

BAGGARLY: Bochy -- 'Fair to say' Zito will be on playoff roster

Itd be nice, Posey said. We accomplished our main goal,which was to get in the playoffs. I think personally, its important to keepthat same feel youve had all year.

It isnt just Poseys reconstructed left ankle that hasposed a challenge this season. He has caught 941 innings this season; hisprevious high was 662 innings in 2010, although he also started 32 games atTriple-A Fresno that season.

Two or three times my body has not felt good at all,whether its the travel or some other reason said Posey, who had a bout ofshingles in the first half in addition to the usual aches and pains associatedwith catching. Whether its four or five days or a week, you kind of come outof it. Ive learned how to keep grinding, make sure you get your rest and eatwell.

Bochy has been in this position before. His 1998 Padresclinched in the 149th game three games earlier than these Giants.Although San Diego went 4-9 down the stretch that season, they got past theHouston Astros and Atlanta Braves to advance to the World Series.

So Bochy has a good idea how it needs to work over theselast nine games.

Im aware of that and I think this team is aware of that,he said. Thats why these guys are going to play and theyre going to pitch.Past today, were not going to shut it down.

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Angel Pagan and Marco Scutaro were in most need of a rest,Bochy said. But shortstop Brandon Crawford has been playing with a tenderhamstring, too. So he also welcomed a chance to take a break.

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Lost in the hubbub of Saturdays clincher was Brandon Beltsfirst opposite-field home run at AT&T Park.

Oh, I enjoyed that, he said.

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What did Bochy think of Pablo Sandovals diving catch intothe stands Saturday?

Its good to have a little extra cushion, the managersaid.

In the standings, too.

Projection system loves Giancarlo Stanton at AT&T Park

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AP

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'

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AP

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."