In the meantime, we have: the current Sabean backup plan. What could have been the Sabean backup plan. The future internal options and a look ahead to the kick tire options that are either going on now or will most likely go on soon. Mainly I'm looking at the kick tire trades. Sabean loves his sideways trade where he'll throw a couple of B arms for a marginal improvement. In his head, a marginal improvement. You can end up with Orlando Cabrera with this strategy remember. That would be my guess on what will happen.
The recent news that Freddy Sanchez is playing in expedition games... at third base no less... has put the 2B position for your San Francisco Giants into high comedy or high alert, depending on whether you want to laugh or rage. When healthy, Freddy puts up some nice numbers, plays good defense and provides some intangibles here and there. While I don't want to count out a guy who's overcome a club foot and being pigeon-toed to play major league ball it definitely is looking grim, and if he does take the field Dave Dravecky has to be in the back of any aged fans mind. On the flip side, the last time he played he was hustled from the field, so there has already been a Dravecky moment in a way. Here's hoping you can make it back by the all star break Freddy!
Handy Manny Burriss: 63 PAs, 259/312/259 68 OPS+. Burriss actually has a better OPS+ than Crawford right now, but he is still in search of his first extra base hit of the season. I'll say this: he has looked good turning the double play.
The Ryan Riot: 61 PAs, 179/217/196 20 OPS+. The beauty of Theriot is he'll either get better or he'll be gone. While I might be underestimating the Giants ability to be cheap, he won't be a "have to play" option the way Miguel Tejada was. While I admire his Cajun scrap, we have a better option right now:
Joaquin Arias. 42 PAs, 308/341/410 115 OPS+. The Sabean scrap heap special! Lets see what he can do with some more ABs. Unfortunately, he has to play a lot of 3B right now due to the Sandoval injury. Musical chairs.
The could have been backup plans:
Clint Barmes: 95 PAs, 157/194/303, 37 OPS+ as the starting SS in PIT. Marco Scutaro: 128 PAs, 261/307/319, 62 OPS+ as the starting 2B in CO. Because I mentioned Scutaro, might as well throw in: Jed Lowrie: 301/387/473, 139 OPS+ as the starting SS in HOU. Mike Fontenot: 52 PAs 319/373/447 with 6 2B in Philly AAA Lehigh Valley. Alex Gonzalez: done for the year, torn ACL while playing at PacBell. And finally, Willie Bloomquist: 97 PAs, 209/258/319 for a 56 OPS+ as the starting SS with AZ. Oops, the luxury item: Jeff Keppinger 72 PAs, 309/333/441, 121 OPS+ as a utility guy in TB.
Future Internal Options: Charlie Culberson is hitting as he should in Fresno: 142 PAs, 280/319/485 with 10 2Bs, 5 HRs, 7 BBs and 26 Ks. I fear the first option will be to call him up to see what's what. I imagine short success with hacking away, followed by some brutal struggles as MLB pitchers relentlessly adjust.
Joe Panik is of course struggling, although he's heating up some and keeping his BB/K ratio very tidy. Not an option at the moment, but most likely the long term solution at 2B. There is also the familiar names Brock Bond and Nick Noonan.
So a quick peak at 2b 2013 Free Agents, courtesy of MLB Trade Rumors:
Jeff Baker (32)
Robinson Cano (30) - $15MM club option with a $2MM buyout
Mike Fontenot (33)
Bill Hall (33)
Orlando Hudson (35) - $8MM club option with a $2MM buyout
Maicer Izturis (32)
Kelly Johnson (31)
Adam Kennedy (37)
Jeff Keppinger (33)
Jose Lopez (29)
Freddy Sanchez (35)
Ryan Theriot (33)
Hey! Look at all the familiar names! Wow. That is pretty hilarious actually. So Orlando Hudson, if cut loose, could be the Bill Hall scrapheap plan for the year. The other obvious look is for Kelly Johnson.
Quick perusal of current MLB 2B, beyond the obvious lockup guys, has some interesting yet unrealistic names such as Daniel Murphy on the Mets (who are quietly contending), Jose Altuve on the Astros (looking like a good piece of a future foundation) and Darwin Barney on the Cubs (no idea if they consider him a piece of the future). All 3 would be very expensive, and that is not how our Razr toting friend works.
The next tier of guys is where the action might lie. Gordon Beckham of the WhiteSox has been a pretty big bust but is young and might benefit from a change of scenery. Kelly Johnson is hitting well, but is expensive and a free agent next year. Danny Espinosa of the Nats draws mixed reviews, and is struggling at the moment with Lambardozzi lurking. Robert Andino of the O's draws generally negative reviews and is hitting well early. Finally, the O-dog rounds out my list of early trade/scrap candidates. Did I miss somebody obvious?
Who do people like on the 2B front?