Giants

Which Giants starter might Sabean swap?

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Which Giants starter might Sabean swap?

Giants general manager Brian Sabean was kind enough to take some time out of his busy offseason schedule -- he's in Arizona for a third round of organizational meetings -- on Wednesday to give CSNBayArea.com a one-on-one interview, and in typically understated Sabean style, he said a few things that beg a close look between the lines. The biggest bombshell seemed to come when Sabean, who has often mentioned that trying to find a way to keep his pitching staff intact would be an offseason priority, was offered an opportunity to take that vow a step further and rule out trading one of his starters.He did not jump at the offer. He did not rule out trading a starter.What does that mean, though?

Well, in conjunction with Sabean suggesting that adding a big-name hitter might not be financially feasible through free agency -- the Giants have 13 arbitration-eligible players and eight free agents, and though not all of them will return, those who do will get nice raises -- it means the only way to improve the offense could be by tapping into the rotation.But which member? Ooooh, the head spins with possibilities. If you're one who leans toward panic, you start thinking about the Matt Cain-to-the-Yankees "rumors" you've heard. Fine, but remember Cain's loyalty. He might be the easiest starter to sign to a long-term deal.If you're one who leans toward setting your hair on fire and stabbing your eyeballs with fireplace tools, you remember Tim Lincecum's plan to take things year-by-year until he's eligible for free agency after the 2013 season.Fine, but think about the likelihood of getting equal value for Lincecum in a trade. Is there such a thing? It'd be like the Cardinals trading Albert Pujols; you can't possibly get fair value for the man. Same deal with The Freak, and he's locked down for another two years. Plenty of time to make him want to stay longer.If you're one who leans toward pragmatism, you start thinking about Jonathan Sanchez. After all, he's been traded in your mind about 34,016 times already.Fine, but isn't it a year too late to deal Sanchez? Hasn't his value dipped considerably? Of course it has. No way he fetches much of an impact bat. But remember the nameBrett Pill. Might Sanchez and Pill fetch a legit stick? The call here is yes.(You think I'm crazy? You did when I threw out Thomas Neal's name last summer, too.)
If you're one who leans toward sitting in your basement, distractedly flipping through your shoebox of old baseball cards and wondering whatever happened to Russ Ortiz and Matt Morris, you think of Madison Bumgarner.Fine, but there's really not a lot of hope for someone like you, gravitating to the relative safety of going with salty vets because you just don't trust kids today. Good luck in that Strat-O-Matic league, champ. And finally, if you're one who leans toward sheer fantasy, you imagine a world in which Barry Zito is sent far, far away, with some bottomless-pockets owner happily picking up what's left on that contract and sending his best three players Sabean's way because his daughter thinks Z's dreamy and wants him to teach her how to play guitar and surf.Fine. Light some scented candles while you're at it. But it ain't gonna happen and we all know it.So who does that leave? Ryan Vogelsong?Come on. For one thing, you don't trade the reigning recipient of the Willie Mac award. For a second thing, you're not going to get much for a 34-year-old who just had his first good full season.Sanchez and Pill, people. Or Sanchez and someone.
It has to be that, no?

Good news, bad news for Chris Shaw's first week in the Arizona Fall League

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MiLB/Sacramento River Cats

Good news, bad news for Chris Shaw's first week in the Arizona Fall League

Every time the Journey song “Lights” plays throughout AT&T Park, the lyrics When the lights go down in the City ring too true for the Giants’ offense. There’s a power outage in San Francisco. 

The savior to this issue can soon be prospect Chris Shaw, who turns 24 years old on Oct. 20. Shaw, along with five other Giants prospects, is continuing his 2017 season among a multitude of baseball’s best young up-and-comers in the Arizona Fall League. As he takes the field for the Scottsdale Scorpions, Shaw’s bat is far from the top focus for the Giants. 

After playing right and left field at Boston College, the Giants turned Shaw into a first baseman once they selected the 6-foot-4, 235-pound lefty in 2015. This year, the Giants’ front office decided to make a change. As the big league team continued to look for their own answers, Shaw saw himself in left field in 94 of the 125 games he played between Double-A and Triple-A this season. 

“I saw improvements through the course of the year,” Brian Sabean said about Shaw’s outfield defense on The Giants Insider Podcast. “The problem is playing left field in our left field isn’t necessarily the easiest thing to do.” 

The AFL is all about reps in left field for Shaw as the Giants have already said he will get a long look in spring training. He earned that right after a breakout year at the plate.

One week into the AFL though, Shaw’s bat is way behind. Through four games, Shaw is batting a pedestrian .133 (2-for-15), both hits being singles. But even in such a slow start there are positives. 

Shaw has walked three times to only two strikeouts. His only downfall at the plate once he reached Triple-A Sacramento was his on-base percentage fell from .390 in Double-A to .328 at the higher level. With the River Cats, Shaw struck out 106 times, leading the team, while taking his base 20 times.

One week in the desert, Shaw is showing more patience and putting the ball into play more often. The ball simply isn’t finding grass.

In the outfield, every ball Shaw sees -- practice or game -- during the AFL is a step in the right direction for he and the Giants. He is yet to make an error in his short time at the AFL. The big lefty will never be a guy to make the spectacular play, but if he improves his instincts with the glove and improves his eye at the plate, the Giants can finally have their left fielder of the future. 

Former Giants infielder replaces Dodgers' star shortstop on NLCS roster

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USATSI

Former Giants infielder replaces Dodgers' star shortstop on NLCS roster

LOS ANGELES — Shortstop Corey Seager has been left off the Los Angeles Dodgers' roster for the NL Championship Series against the Chicago Cubs.

The Dodgers announced Seager's surprise omission due to a back injury on Saturday, several hours before Game 1 at Dodger Stadium.

Los Angeles also dropped reliever Pedro Baez from its roster. Infielder Charlie Culberson and outfielder Joc Pederson were added.

Chicago made only one change from the last playoff round, adding reliever Hector Rondon and removing reliever Justin Wilson.

Seager complained of back soreness during the Dodgers' NL Division Series clincher in Arizona on Monday, and 2016 NL Rookie of the Year didn't participate in team workouts this week. Still, manager Dave Roberts said Friday that he was very optimistic that Seager would play in the NLCS.

Seager was an All-Star selection this season while batting .295 with 22 homers and 77 RBIs as a key part of the top of the Dodgers' lineup.

Kike Hernandez, Chris Taylor and Culberson all worked out at shortstop Friday for the Dodgers. The versatile Taylor was the Dodgers' center fielder during the NLDS, but he made 96 appearances in the outfield this season and 44 in the infield, including 14 games at shortstop.

Pederson is batting .071 with no homers since July, but the Dodgers could need him in center field if Taylor plays shortstop.

Culberson famously homered to clinch the Dodgers' NL West title in announcer Vin Scully's final home game last season, but the infielder spent most of this season at Triple-A, appearing in only 14 games for the Dodgers.

Rondon was the Cubs' closer in 2014 and 2015, but moved to a setup role last season after Aroldis Chapman's arrival. He appeared in 61 regular-season games this year, going 4-1 with a 4.24 ERA in an up-and-down campaign.

Chicago acquired Wilson in a trade with Detroit on July 31, adding a veteran left-handed reliever who had 13 saves for the Tigers this season. The Southern California native wasn't great in his two months with the Cubs, posting a 5.09 ERA with 19 walks in 23 appearances.

Manager Joe Maddon chose Wilson for the NLDS over Rondon, only to switch it up against the Dodgers.