Giants

Minimal changes to Giants' thriving minor-league staff

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Minimal changes to Giants' thriving minor-league staff

The San Francisco Giants have finalized their minor league coaching staff for the 2012 season, the team announced in a press release Wednesday.

Among the minimal changes are three new coaches to the system. Michael Couchee is the new Arizona League Giants pitching coach. Billy Horton, their hitting coach. And Nestor Rojas will be the Augusta hitting coach.

Below is the text contained in the team's press release:

San Francisco's minor league affiliates put together another successful year in 2011 with its farm system producing the third best record (411-352, .539) in all of organized baseball. In addition, the San Francisco Giants were named as Topps 2011 Organization of the Year for thriving with homegrown players in the minor leagues as well as at the Major League level. The organization also received this accolade in 2009. The Giants organization had four of their seven affiliates make the postseason. The Arizona Rookie League Giants took first place in their league for the second-consecutive season although they lost in the finals. The Augusta GreenJackets also advanced to the Championship game, but dropped a best-of-3 series. The Richmond Flying Squirrels made their first postseason appearance during their two-year franchise as they were eliminated in the Eastern League Championship series. After finishing first overall in the North Division the San Jose Giants advanced to the first round of the playoffs.

There have been minimal changes to the Giants managerial ranks as Dave Machemer (double-A Richmond), Andy Skeels (Class A Advanced San Jose), Lipso Nava (Class A Augusta), Tom Trebelhorn (short-season Salem-Keizer) and Jesus Tavarez (Dominican Summer League Giants) will remain at their managerial posts. Bob Mariano, who was the organizations Coordinator of Minor League Hitting Instruction last season, will be swapping positions with Steve Decker as he takes the helm of Triple-A Fresno and Decker becomes the new Coordinator of Minor League Hitting Instruction with the organization. The only new addition to the Giants minor league managerial ranks is Derin McMains, who will be making his managerial debut with the Arizona Rookie League Giants, after spending the previous two seasons as that teams hitting coach.

Steve Kline has been named as the pitching coach for the San Jose Giants as Mike Caldwell, who was with the Arizona League Giants last season, will replace Kline at Augusta. Hector Borg, who was a coach for the Dominican Summer League Giants last year, will serve in the same role with the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes in 2012. The three new additions to the Giants coaching ranks are Michael Couchee (Pitching Coach Arizona League Giants), Billy Horton (Hitting Coach Arizona League Giants) and Nestor Rojas (Hitting Coach Augusta).

Couchee, 54, will be embarking on his first stint within the Giants organization after spending the previous nine seasons with San Diegos minor league chain, one as triple-A Portlands pitching coach and eight as their Minor League Pitching Coordinator. Prior to his time in San Diegos minor league system, Couchee also held the same post as the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheims Minor League Pitching Coordinator for 10 seasons from 1993-2002, following several stints as a pitching coach in that organization. The former pitcher was originally selected in the 19th round of the 1980 First-Year Player Draft by the San Diego Padres and pitched briefly for the big league club in 1983.

Horton, 38, will join the Giants coaching ranks for the first time in his career as he has spent considerable time with many organizations. The former infielder and catcher worked professionally for the Arizona Diamondbacks in numerous roles in 2003 and 2006 as well as with a number of Baseball academies in the Phoenix, AZ area. Horton also played in the minor leagues with the Chicago White Sox as well as the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

Rojas, 28, will be returning to the Augusta GreenJackets for a second season as a hitting coach. The Venezuelan native played in the Giants minor league system from 2003-2010, reaching as high as triple-A. During his career, the former catcher played in 256 games, hitting .222 (164-for-739) after signing with the organization in 2003.

Roving instructors and medical staff for the upcoming season include: Fred Stanley - Director of Player Development; Shane Turner Coordinator of Instruction; Bert Bradley Coordinator of Minor League Pitching; Steve Decker Coordinator of Minor League Hitting; Joe Amalfitano Special Assistant; Jim Davenport Special Assistant; Lee Smith Roving Pitching Instructor; Jose Alguacil Roving Infield Instructor; Henry Cotto Roving Baserunning and Outfield Instructor; Kirt Manwaring Roving Catching Instructor; Shawon Dunston - Instructor; J.T. Snow - Instructor; Jay Williams Coordinator of Minor League Trainers; Tony Reale Organizational Physical Therapist; Geoff Head Coordinator of Minor League Strength and Conditioning.

San Francisco Giants media services contributed to this report

Awards season reminds us how far Giants fell in 2017

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USATSI

Awards season reminds us how far Giants fell in 2017

SAN FRANCISCO — It was revealed Thursday night that Giancarlo Stanton is this year’s National League Most Valuable Player. The rest of the MVP ballot shows why the Giants are chasing Stanton so hard this offseason. 

Led by Stanton, 22 different players were listed on NL MVP ballots, which have 10 spots. Two of the top five finishers — Nolan Arenado and Charlie Blackmon — were Rockies. Four different Diamondbacks got votes, led by third-place finisher Paul Goldschmidt. The Dodgers had five players listed on ballots, including rookie Cody Bellinger, who arrived a couple of days after Christian Arroyo and finished ninth in MVP voting. 

The Giants? They didn't have a single player receive an MVP vote, continuing a theme during awards season. 

The team built around pitching did not have any players listed on the five-person Cy Young Award ballots (full disclosure: I had a vote). There were no Rookie of the Year candidates, either, and Bruce Bochy was out of the Manager of the Year running sometime in early May. The 2017 season was the first since 2007 in which the Giants didn’t have a single player listed for any of the four major awards voted on by the Baseball Writers Association of America. 

The lack of award-season love is a reminder of how deep the hole is, but it’s also a sign of how much help the Giants need from their stars in order to dig out of this hole. This isn’t as simple as fixing the center field defense and upgrading the bullpen. 

Buster Posey had a good season, but his 12 homers, 67 RBI, .861 OPS and 4.3 WAR (ranked 17th in the NL) didn’t get any love at the end of a 98-loss year. Posey had been listed on at least one MVP ballot every season since 2012, when he won the award. This is the first year since 2007 that the Giants did not have a player listed on an MVP ballot. 

The organization has had similar success in the Cy Young balloting, with Tim Lincecum winning twice and Madison Bumgarner finishing in the top 10 in each of the previous four seasons. A dirt bike accident cost Bumgarner any shot of getting votes this year, and also likely cost him a third Silver Slugger Award in a season that started with two homers on Opening Day. Bumgarner and Johnny Cueto finished fourth and sixth in the Cy Young voting last season, but Cueto had a similarly forgettable season. 

Altuve, Stanton named MVPs

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AP

Altuve, Stanton named MVPs

Houston Astros dynamo Jose Altuve won the American League MVP award on Thursday, towering over New York Yankees slugger Aaron Judge by a wide margin.

The 5-foot-6 Altuve drew 27 of the 30 first-place votes in balloting by members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America.

Altuve batted a major league-best .346. He hit 24 home runs with 81 RBIs, scored 112 times, stole 32 bases and showed a sharp glove at second base.

The 6-foot-7 Judge won the AL Rookie of the Year award Monday. He set a rookie record with 52 home runs.

Jose Ramirez of the Cleveland Indians finished third.

Altuve helped lead the Astros to their first World Series championship. Voting for these honors was completed before the postseason began.

Altuve was the second Houston player to win an MVP — Jeff Bagwell earned the 1994 NL award.

Miami Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton won the NL MVP, barely edging Joey Votto of the Cincinnati Reds.

In the closest MVP vote since 1979, Stanton became only the sixth player to win from a losing team.

Stanton led the big leagues with 59 home runs and 132 RBIs. His highlight-reel homer total was the most in the majors since 2001, when Barry Bonds hit a record 73 and Sammy Sosa had 64.

Stanton got 10 first-place votes and 302 points. Votto, who led the majors with a .454 on-base percentage, also got 10 firsts and had 300 points. Arizona's Paul Goldschmidt was third.

The last time an MVP race was so close, Willie Stargell and Keith Hernandez tied for the NL prize in 1979. Stanton became the first Marlins player to win the award.

The Marlins went 77-85 this season, and new team executive Derek Jeter says the club is listening to trade offers for Stanton. The 28-year-old outfielder is owed $295 million over the final decade of his record $325 million, 13-year contract.