Hey all my blog did a Q and A with giants beat writer Henry Schulman.....anyway here are the results of the session.
"Jeremy from Kentfield, CA asks: Out of the four highest touted prospects in the Giants system (Bumgarner, Alderson, Posey, Villalona) who do you think is the most likely to "bust" and why and if you could pick one whom would it be?"
This is a great question. I don't think any will be a bust, but I'd have to answer Villalona. It is very difficult to look at a 16-year-old and say this is a "can't-miss guy." He has had weight issues, and there was some fear he'd eat his way out of the game, but I think he's controlled that. Still, the others you mentioned are further advanced with more easily predictable career paths.
"Henry from Tiburon CA asks: "Don't you think it's in the Organization's best interest to trade Winn and the rest of his 8.5 million contract to give substantial playing time to Nate Schierholtz? I'm under the belief that Nate, can put up better power production than Winn which we surely need and will be about eight million dollars less. He can also come close to matching Winn in all other phases of the game and figures to play a prominent roll in our future?"
It might be in the best interest of the future to let Nate play, but the Giants think they can win in '09. The only problem with your scenario is, it's hard to imagine anyone taking Winn's entire salary, so the Giants would have to eat some. I also don't think you can say Nate can match Winn in all other phases of the game. That is an unknown. Nate will get his opportunities.
Henry from Tiburon CA asks: "Do you think it's in the Giants best interest to put Henry Sosa in the bullpen for good due to the fact that he has lingering injuries and lacks the stamina and efficency to be as successful as he could be as a starter at the major league level?"
I really haven't spent enough time talking to Giants people about Sosa to answer this knowledgeably.
Henry from Tiburon CA asks "Who do you think has the inside track to win the starting second base job this spring and whom would you award it to?"
I would say Frandsen has the inside track because of his offensive potential and the Giants' possible desire to send Burriss to the minors to get more seasoning. I'd give it to Frandsen, but only if he earns it in spring training.
Henry from Tiburon CA asks " Don't you think Emmanuel Burris would be better suited playing second base full time where his range would be a plus, his arm wouldn't be exposed and the offensive expectations at second base is substantially lower. The way I see it he would be a plus defender there as opposed to being a defensively at ss?"
I think Burriss surprised the brass with his range and arm at short, but yes, I think second base is a better fit.
Henry from Tiburon CA asks " Were there any members of the oganization or the club as a whole that were split on the selection of Buster Posey as opposed to Justin Smoak. I personally prefer Smoak because at his absolute ceiling he would be reminiscent of Mark Teixeira whereas Buster Posey seems to have an offensive upside of Jason Kendall in his prime and though he may posses great physical tools is still very new to catching?"
Nobody told me, privately or otherwise, about any rift on the pick. But I do know the Giants view Villalona as their first baseman of the future while being very thin at catcher. It is easier to find a good first baseman on the market than a catcher. I think Posey's power potential -- and that includes gap power -- exceeds Kendall's.
Henry from Tiburon CA asks "Right now do you think this team as currently built can/will win the West?"
I think it can, but only if the pitching performs as well as it should on paper, Aaron Rowand has a consistent season and Pablo Sandoval becomes a middle-order threat at the plate. I don't like making predictions on who "will" win because there are so many unknown variables.
Henry from Tiburon CA asks "Being someone whom is interested in working in baseball when I get older, what does your job entail? How did you get to where you were today? Do you travel with the team occassionaly? Any interesting stories?
I need to correct you on one point. I don't work "in baseball." I work "in newspapers." There is a vast difference. I believe you mentioned you would like to be a GM someday. That is a very different career track. I am a reporter, not a talent evaluator. My background is in writing and reporting. I got a poli sci degree from Cal and worked my way up through the news ranks as a reporter and business writer before starting my baseball career in 1988 with the Oakland Tribune, eventually landing with the Chronicle 10 years later. I do not travel with the team, although I (we) used to. Nor do I stay in their hotel. I have many interesting stories, but they will be in my book someday. :-)
Michael from Greenbrae CA asks "Supposing Noah Lowry is fully recovered by Spring Training and he outperforms Sanchez for the 5th spot in the rotation what do you do with Sanchez? Many people have said that Sanchez would be better served coming out of the bullpen permanently, do you agree with that? Would you trade Sanchez mid-way through the spring if it is apparent Lowry is back to his old form from his 15 win season? With Bumgarner or Alderson dominating the minors maybe it would be a good time to trade Sanchez, as the spot that the Big Unit fills this year could very well be filled by Bumgarner or Alderson next year."
I agree Sanchez should not be whipsawed back and forth anymore, and I do believe the Giants will try to trade him in spring training if Lowry is heatlhy. But that is a big if. I'm a big believer in having six quality starters available, even if one is in the 'pen. Wouldn't shock me if the Giants decided to start Lowry in the 'pen as he builds up stamina and innings.