Giants

Vogelsong 'just along for the ride' in Giants' win

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Vogelsong 'just along for the ride' in Giants' win

SAN FRANCISCO -- Ryan Vogelsong said it best: I was justalong for the ride tonight.Vogelsongs 19th consecutive start of six innings or more, datingback to his last outing of 2011, was overshadowed by a three-hit night fromBuster Posey, a cringe-inducing catch from Melky Cabrera and a crew of umpiresthat made itself a part of the game.The Giants had already pounced on the Padres for three first-inning runs whenBrandon Crawford hit a sinking line drive that San Diegos Mark Kotsay appearedto trap. Crawford and third base coach Tim Flannery, who had the best view ofthe play along with third base umpire and crew chief Dana DeMuth, were irateimmediately. Bruce Bochy trotted out of the dugout to voice his displeasurewith the call as well, and before the Padres had time to switch their fieldinggloves for batting gloves, the umpires met on the field and overturned DeMuthscall of a catch.Its a tough call, Bochy said. You run and you try and make the call. Weknew it short-hopped him. Its all about getting it right, which they did. Theydid a great job of getting together and getting it right. Thats a big call toobecause the run scores.Vogelsong, who was in the on-deck circle with Crawford atthe dish, said he never returned to the dugout despite the out call on thefield.I saw the ball hit the ground, Vogelsong said. I didntknow if they were going to overturn it or not.The four-run first inning gave Vogelsong a cushion he rarely enjoys. Cominginto Mondays game, the Giants had provided their veteran right-hander with3.16 runs of support, lowest on the teams staff and third lowest in theNational League. Though the four runs would end up being more than enough forVogelsong, the Giants werent done.Posey, who was in the middle of the Giants first inning rally, put the gameout of reach with a three-run shot into the first row of arcade seats in right.The fans above Levis Landing seemed to know off the bat it was gone, but didPosey?Not off the bat, Posey said of only the 14th home run by aright-handed Giant at AT&T Park. I knew I got the barrel on it. I sawMark Kotsay keep drifting and thought it was going to go off the wall, butwas even happier when it went over.Posey collected three hits, as did Cabrera and Ryan Theriotfor a potent 2-3-4 part of the lineup that combined for six runs and four RBIs.Multi-hit games from Cabrera have become the norm since he came to SanFrancisco in an offseason trade, but his catch in the sixth inning as he fellinto the stands was nothing short of spectacular.Even in a 7-1 game in July, Cabrera hustled to make it to the short wall nearthe Giants bullpen, then sacrificed his body as he left his feet to make thecatch. Cabrera landed on a few fans, who helped him back onto the field, thentrotted back to his position with a wide smile and chants of Melky! Melky!surfacing around the stadium.Bochy and Posey both said they did not think Cabrera had a chance to catch theball.First of all, I thought it was going to be in the seats,Posey said. He went a really long way and that was an unbelievable catch.Bochys take is nearly identical.I thought the ball was in the seats, Bochy said. Its a dangerous play. Youhate to see him go into the stands like that but hes so athletic and he landedpretty soft there. It looked like he landed in the seat. But what a grab. Ittakes great focus to catch that ball. Thats the way he plays.For Cabrera, its just part of the job.I always play hard because I like to help my team in any way I can, Cabrerasaid through a translator. Before Cabrera even had time to catch his breath, the umpires re-took centerstage. In a cruel twist of fate, Crawford went from having an out turned intoan RBI hit in the first inning to having a double turned into an out in thesixth. After splitting the right-centerfield gap, Crawford appeared to have aneasy double, but was called out when first base umpire Jordan Baker said henever touched first on his way to second. Unlike in the first inning, argumentsfrom the Giants side fell on deaf ears.When Crawford grounded out to first in the eighth, he stepped on the bag harderthan normal and tried to have a conversation with Baker. But the umpire wasntin the mood and handed the Giants young shortstop his first career ejection.I didnt think I said anything worthy of getting tossed, Crawford said. Other than the hit to Crawfords batting average, the Giants had a bannerMonday to open a 10-game homestand. The bats looked lively, the defense stepped up in big spots, and the starterthe Giants picked up off the scrap heap continues to prove that his 2011breakout season was no fluke.

Offseason can be tense on other side of Giancarlo Stanton rumors

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USATI

Offseason can be tense on other side of Giancarlo Stanton rumors

SAN FRANCISCO — Just around dinner time on Monday, Tyler Beede got a call he had been waiting for. General manager Bobby Evans informed Beede, the Giants’ top pitching prospect, that he was being added to the 40-man roster, a significant step toward making his big league debut. Earlier that day, however, Beede’s phone brought him some unwanted news. 

Like most Giants fans, Beede woke up to a report out of South Florida that he was one of several names the Giants and Marlins had discussed in Giancarlo Stanton trade talks. For fans or team employees, it would be painful to give up a Beede or a Chris Shaw or a Joe Panik, but images of Stanton taking aim at the Coke bottle at AT&T Park would soon wash away most concerns. 

For players, the reality this time of year is much different. The Giants are the only organization that all of the rumored pieces have ever known. Panik is a New Yorker, but he and his wife have grown to love San Francisco. Beede and Shaw have spent years dreaming of debuting at AT&T Park and playing in front of sellout crowds. That makes the Hot Stove Season a particularly tense time of year. 

“I try to be a guy who doesn’t look those kinds of things up too frequently, but obviously I’m a normal guy, so I tend to dig into it a little bit more and see what’s going on and see what people are saying,” Beede said on this week’s Giants Insider Podcast. “It’s funny. I don't really know how to handle it. It’s my third year going through the trade deadline and trade talk. I’ve just go to keep telling myself it’s a realistic possibility and not to be shocked if anything were to come out or a trade were to be made.”

The rumor mill is nothing new for these players. Panik acknowledged several times during the season that he could be the odd man out. Shaw actually already once thought he got traded to Florida. For a few minutes at the 2016 deadline, Twitter had him as a key piece in the Matt Moore deal. The outfielder came out of a hotel bathroom right after the deadline to see two teammates staring at him in disbelief as Twitter rumors flew. 

Five minutes later, he got a call from Bobby Evans. “You’re still a Giant,” Evans told him. “Don’t take your jersey off.”

“It’s a little tense for sure,” Shaw said earlier this year. “It’s not something you can try to predict. You can have a feeling but that means nothing.”

Evans has always communicated to players and their agents that they can reach out any time they have a question or concern about what they might be hearing, but when it comes to getting on the phone himself, he treats the trade deadline and offseason differently. There’s more urgency to clear the air in July when players might have to take at-bats or throw pitches with rumors weighing on their minds. In the offseason, Evans will wait to reach out until deals are closer to being agreed upon. He tries not to worry as much about “hot stove banter,” he said. 

“In the offseason I think it’s a little less of an issue because a lot of things get thrown out there that don’t have validity,” he said. “We certainly don’t try to respond to every single rumor with an update because there are new rumors every hour, so it’s hard to keep up. A lot more names are mentioned this time of year.”

Players try to find different ways to get away from it all. Every year, several Giants prospects talk of playing golf during the trade deadline to stay away from MLB Network and their phones. For veterans, it’s often easiest to just take offseason vacations, and Panik planned to visit Europe with his wife. 

Beede has a somewhat unique distraction as rumors trickle out. He’s getting married on Saturday, which along with the holiday, has kept him busy all week. Still, he knows the rumors will be out there. 

“After a couple of days I start to just understand that (my) name is going to be in rumors or there may be things that people say or speculate,” he said. “(If) Bobby tells me something, or my agent says something, then I can start to maybe engage in it a little bit more. But as of right now, I’m just trying to go about my preparation and I’ll continue to enjoy being a San Francisco Giant.”

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.