It's time for the McCovey Chronicles Mailbag! This is a new feature, possibly a regular one, depending on how non-horribly this turns out. I get a lot of questions on Twitter and email, and while I do my best to answer them, sometimes I forget and Twitter speeds past me. This makes the person asking the question resentful and angry, and eventually they complain about me somewhere else on the Internet. It's the cycle of life, and I deserve it.
Maybe this will be a better forum, then, to answer your Giants-related questions. For future installments, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject "MAILBAG" or tweet me @mccoveychron with the hashtag #McCoveyChroniclesquestionsforthenextmailbagwhichwillprobablyrunonFridaysthoughthatisntsetinstoneyet. Or, fine, if that's too long, you can use #mccmailbag.
In your delicately crafted opinion, who will be playing the most games at 3B for the #sfgiants in 2015?
Generic, pulled-from-the-butt breakdown:
Free agent: 58%
In-house option: 20%
That in-house option is probably either Matt Duffy or Joaquin Arias, which is absolutely terrifying. Adam Duvall's defense is reportedly iffy enough to remove him from consideration altogether. The Giants were okay testing out a pudgy catcher at third when they weren't contending, but they're not going to play that game when they're expecting to reach the postseason again.
If you're looking for specific players, here's my five best guesses, in order:
- Chris Johnson
- Joaquin Arias
- Chase Headley
- Matt Duffy
- Casey McGehee
Johnson is probably pretty lousy, but he has Sabean written all over him. I'm assuming the Braves are eating money in this scenario, but it's still a gross idea. Poor defense, miserable plate discipline, and his good seasons were buoyed by batting average -- a big red flag.
Arias would likely be the worst starting position player in either league, and McGehee's defense completely negates his offense, and that's if you believe he can hit .300 or better again.
That's why there's rising support for Headley at too much money. I'm cool with Duffy, though, if only because I'm a sucker for his Eastern League stats. Also, he's a mystery player! Why, he might hit .330 for the next 10 years. He hasn't not done that yet, so you can't say he won't.
Grant, any chance the Giants' lineup for next year has Pagan in LF and Blanco in CF? Or, would Pagan play CF no matter what?
I remember the last time the Giants basically yoinked a veteran out of center -- Dave Roberts -- and it had to get so bad before that happened. Aaron Rowand kept getting starts over Andres Torres in 2009 and 2010, even though Torres was one of the better defenders in recent memory. Gregor Blanco started in center during the World Series over Juan Perez, even though the latter is clearly superior. That one only cost the Giants the entire World Series.
So, no, there's no chance that Blanco plays center until Pagan is so, so, so very bad that the move is more of a mission of mercy.
Of course, there's no way that Pagan plays a full season, so don't worry too much about it. Love the guy, but he's clearly a 100-game player now, and that's if you're super optimistic.
what do you think of the Giants signing Kris Medlen? Cheap flier on a guy who could return to dominance ...
Medley (and Brandon Beachy) were so incredible when they were healthy. All 30 teams would want them on a minor league deal. About half of them would offer a major league deal, I'll guess. Most teams don't have a Yusmeiro Petit in the bullpen, a designated mop-up man/emergency savior, and more than a few teams would reserve that role for Medlen or Beachy.
At least a couple teams would be in a better position to try one of them in their starting rotation and pay for the privilege. I want them in a glass case, too, but other teams will have better offers and opportunities.
Also worth noting: The Braves know as much about their medical history and current status as anyone, and even though they pitched like All-Stars for them when healthy, the Braves still cut them because they were going to be too expensive.
Cody Ross for a bag of baseballs? He's been a lefty masher as recently as the season before last.
I'm for it. Except the Diamondbacks have to eat at least half of his salary ($8 million). And I have no idea if he can still play center, which is a fairly important qualification for the fifth outfielder to have. But I'll always love Cody Ross, and I'll rarely need convincing to bring him back. Dude can hit lefties.
If the offseason ends up being something like Alex Rios, Brandon McCarthy, Romo, & Juan Francisco, what grade would you give?
Let's average them out.
McCarthy is a white whale of mine, someone the Giants should pounce on if they miss out on Lester. He's also someone who would make sense if the Giants sign Headley and don't have as much money for the rotation. That would be an A move, assuming the money is spent elsewhere..
Rios can't field, and he's been an average bat over the last couple years, mostly. He'll be 34. He hit four home runs last year, despite paying for the Rangers. I could hit four home runs at Arlington, and I get winded opening a jar of pickles. That would be a D move. Maybe Blanco could spot him, which was the hope when the Giants signed Morse. It didn't work out that way, but it didn't matter because Morse was better than expected. Guess that could happen with Rios, too, but I wouldn't want to waste the money/effort/roster spot trying to find out.
Romo is the best and there's a need. A++ move. miss u romo.
Francisco has one skill -- power -- and it isn't even that impressive of a skill. His glove is dreadful, and he strikes out about six times as much as he walks. He's a left-hander, which means his new home park would treat him even more unfairly. That's an F move -- try harder, Giants.
That's a 2.75 GPA, which was good enough to get me into Southern Oregon, so it can't be that bad. But when you weight for the true awfulness of the Rios and Francisco ideas, it comes out to a 0.5. I don't want the Giants messing with either of those guys. Though if I had to choose between Rios on the roster or Lincecum, I'd probably have to go with Ri
Where's Dan Uggla?
In a house that's much nicer than mine, thinking about accomplishments and memories that my sad brain is incapable of processing, disappointed with how his career ended, but satisfied that he went places and did things that most of the world will never understand, even if they're desperate to.
Whenever I make fun of him, I remember all of that and feel worse about myself. I'm okay with that bargain.