The Giants and Left Field

It's all fun and games until you realize he's secreting a sticky, sugary substance that doesn't just come out in the wash.

There isn't a lot of funny surrounding the Melky Cabrera nonsense. I'm still bitter. You're still bitter. It's obvious that Melky was framed, just like the time I accidentally substituted a few letters when searching for "Hitchcock" and ended up ordering The Man Who Grew Too Much on Blu-Ray. That was not the movie I thought I was getting! No one believed me! It took me weeks to talk my way out of that one.

But the one funny thing has been to watch people follow their instincts and ask the natural questions after a team loses a player for the season.

Fan: What will the Giants do?

Fan: /looks on the Internet for an hour

Fan: Like, maybe, dunno, get Alfonso Soriano from the Cubs if they eat $900 million of his contract?

Alfonso Soriano: No.

Fan: /looks on the Internet for another hour

Fan: My god, that sure looks like Pat Burrell on that cover of The 39 Preps

There is no answer. There is no solution. Nothing makes sense. The deadline is over, and the only players passing through waivers are players that no one wants. Even if you decided the Giants needed Scott Hairston, scales and all, another team would claim him first. The only option is Soriano, and he doesn't want to play in a pitchers' park because it'll hurt his value when he's a free agent in 2038.

First, the completely miserable options:

Brandon Belt in left, Buster Posey at first, and Hector Sanchez catching
This would make the defense worse, which would only make sense if Sanchez were a really good hitter. He is not. You might as well put Joaquin Arias at third, Pablo at first, and Belt in the outfield. At least the defense wouldn't take such a hit.

In 2015, of course, I'm still predicting Sanchez to be a good hitter. I'm not giving up that crazy idea. But he probably isn't going to be a decent hitter in the next month.

Gary Brown
Like Sanchez, I still have a substantial amount of hope that Brown can be an average hitter for his position. But not in September. Not after he struggled to adjust to Double-A.

In a make-the-team-better sense, Brown might be one of the Giants' best options off the bench. He's historically been a monster against left-handed pitching, so a strict platoon with Gregor Blanco would probably be better than just Blanco, especially when you consider that Brown's speed and defense would already make him a good fifth outfielder.

But the advantage between Brown/Blanco and Christian/Blanco? Negligible, at best. Almost impossible to measure over the next 40 games, yet it would come at a cost of starting Brown's service clock and futzing with his development. Certainly not worth it.

Brett Pill
Pill kind of fields left like Melky Cabrera's trying to hold him back in a fight. You'd put up with it if he could hit like Pat Burrell -- or even if he could match his Fresno numbers -- but not if he hits like Brett Pill.

And that leaves the only sensible option:

Status quo
Gregor Blanco, with a dash of Justin Christian. I know that people around here want to feed him to the lions* because he's hitting worse than Matt Cain and Madison Bumgarner, but Christian isn't this bad. No one is. He's a reasonable fifth outfielder who can spot Blanco against the tough lefties.

Year Tm AB HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
2011 Fresno 237 10 41 36 3 35 31 .338 .428 .574 1.002
2012 Fresno 303 7 35 12 5 28 32 .343 .409 .508 .918


You can't just take those numbers and say, "¡Santa Maria! A star is born!", but they do hint at a player capable of more than a .300 OPS. Add in his decent speed and defense, and he's perfectly acceptable.

Blanco and Christian are a downgrade from what the Giants were getting, but, welp, shouldn't have done them drugs, Melky. Or maybe more of them while you had that chance. Either/or. The Giants can't get Melky's production back. They can't even come close. But of the awful options, the status quo is almost palatable.

Don't do anything stupid, Giants.

* Super high-brow joke

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