Just call Vogelsong the Giants' staff ace


Just call Vogelsong the Giants' staff ace


MIAMI To understand the stuff thats inside RyanVogelsong, you only need to understand what went through his mind after Marlinsslugger Giancarlo Stanton went all Cape Canaveral on him with a 434-foot boosterrocket in the second inning Thursday night.

Hes a good hitter. Hes strong, Vogelsong said. Ichallenged him. He hit it. Next time up, I challenged him again.

Vogelsong competes with no slack on his line. So he did notshrink when Stanton destroyed a two-seamer that was supposed to run on hishands.

The next at-bat, I threw him four or five in a row, saidVogelsong, who ended up dusting him on a changeup.

Then in the fifth, Stanton came up with the bases loaded. Itwas the games biggest moment. Vogelsong had to play Press Your Luck with ahitter who owned two grand slams in four at-bats with the bags juiced thisseason.

He threw a called, first-pitch fastball. Then an offspeedpitch for a ball. Then another fastball that stayed off the barrel. Stantonnearly scraped the roof on his foul pop, but it ended up in first basemanBrandon Belts glove.

No slammies.

And right there, you begin to understand why Vogelsong canbe rightly called the ace of the Giants staff.

Hes matched up against Anibal Sanchez, whos virtuallyowned the Giants, and Clayton Kershaw, who practically had the carbon paper toprove it stuffed in a filing cabinet somewhere.

After Thursdays 14-7 victory, Vogelsong can say hes beatenthem both.

Thats what aces do. And its been such a vitalcontribution, since the Giants remain in wait-and-hope mode that their erstwhileace, Tim Lincecum, will find his inner freak.

Lincecum has one quality start in nine outings. Vogelsonghas seven in eight.

Vogelsong would have a 2.17 ERA after Thursday, but theGiants bullpen allowed his two inherited runners to score in the seventhinning. So he stands at 2.50, which still ranks as the lowest among the Giantsstarting five.

Vogelsong is doing it despite a reduced strikeout rate (6.33per nine innings, down from 7.0), a higher walk rate (3.83, up from 3.1) and a shorterfastball (89.4 mph entering Thursday, down from 91.6) from last year. Hesdoing it by making confident yet smart pitches to get out of jams. Hes doing it by not coweringfrom big situations against dangerous hitters.

He's doing it because the stuff inside counts, too.

Vogelsong keeps insisting that his lower back is not an issue.Maybe it is. Maybe it isnt. Or maybe hes simply refusing to let it be one.

Either way, if he keeps it up, hell streak toward another All-Starappearance. And he won't need his own manager to pick him this time. Aces seldom get snubbed.

Report: Giants make trade offer for Giancarlo Stanton


Report: Giants make trade offer for Giancarlo Stanton

The hot stove is heating up. 

Giancarlo Stanton is the biggest name swirling in trade rumors and the Giants are reportedly pushing forward in their attempt to acquire the slugger. San Francisco's front office has proposed a trade to Miami for Stanton, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic

Details of what the Giants offered have not been reported yet. 

Stanton, who recently turned 28, is guaranteed $295 million over the next 10 seasons. His contract includes a full no-trade clause and an opt-out after 2020. 

On Thursday, Stanton was named the National League MVP after hitting .281 with a league-leading 59 home runs and 132 RBI. The last MVP to be traded in the offseason after winning the award was Alex Rodriguez from the Rangers to the Yankees before the 2004 season. 

How seven Giants prospects performed in the 2017 Arizona Fall League


How seven Giants prospects performed in the 2017 Arizona Fall League

The Arizona Fall League came to an end for seven Giants prospects on Thursday as the Scottsdale Scorpions (12-17-1) came up short from playing in Saturday's championship game. 

Let's take a look at how these seven names fared against some of the top young talent in all of baseball. 

The Hitters

As the Giants are linked to trade targets in center field like Billy Hamilton and Jackie Bradley Jr., a young in-house option only helped his case in the desert.

Steven Duggar likely would have seen the AT&T outfield this season, but his season was hindered by injuries, keeping him to only 44 games between three levels. With the Scorpions, Duggar took advantage of his opportunity with more at-bats. 

Duggar left Arizona with a .263/.367/.421 slash line over 20 games. The speedy lefty also stole nine bases and hit three home runs. Even if the Giants go for an experienced glove in center field this offseason and keep Duggar, the 24-year-old has also played 135 games in right field during his minor league career. 

For the second straight year, the Giants sent catcher Aramis Garcia to the AFL. And he's sure to be coming home much happier this go around with an up-and-down campaign.

Splitting time behind the plate with three other catchers, Garcia appeared in 13 games and slashed .259/.293/.333 and hit one home run. Garcia struggled to get one base with only one walk to 10 strikeouts, but showed his natural ability to drive runs in with 10 RBI. 

Rounding out the Giants' trio of bats they sent to Arizona is arguably their top prospect, but his time in the AFL was cut short. Chris Shaw only played in five games and hit .158. He dealt with a sore shoulder.

The Pitchers

The Giants sent two starting pitchers (Tyler Beede and Joan Gregorio) and two relievers (Tyler Cyr and D.J. Snelten) to the AFL. 

Pitching for the first time in nearly three months, Beede showed exactly why he's the Giants' top pitching prospect. Beede went 0-1 with a 4.50 ERA in four starts, but his final three show the potential he's full of -- 14 innings pitched, three earned runs, a 1.93 ERA, 10 strikeouts and only one walk. 

Gregorio, who was suspended this season for Performance Enhancing Drugs, pitched in eight games (three starts) for Scottsdale. He left with a 1-0 record and 5.87 ERA. In Triple-A, Gregorio went 4-4 with a 3.04 ERA this year over 13 starts. The 25-year-old presents an interesting arm that can help sooner than later in the bullpen. 

Cyr's stats don't look pretty (0-1, 5.63 ERA, 8 IP), but he's catching some attention. The right-hander was named to the Fall Stars Game and is most likely to start 2018 in Triple-A after converting 18 saves at Double-A in 2017. 

Snelten, a 6-foot-7 lefty, impressed in eight appearances out of the bullpen. He didn't allow an earned run until his final outing of the fall, bringing his ERA from a perfect 0.00 to 2.25 in 12 innings pitched.

After combining for a 2.20 ERA to go with an 8-1 record between Double-A and Triple-A in 2017, Snelten is a name to know as the Giants look to find more lefties for their bullpen.