Spring training doesn't mean anything. Or ... does it? The Economist has an article suggesting spring stats matter, at least in the aggregate. They were the ones who correctly pegged the Dodgers as near shoo-ins for the playoffs in 2012, so there might be something to this. When it comes to Yusmeiro Petit throwing two shutout innings on Friday, I'm choosing to believe that spring stats matter.
All of the other pitchers so far don't matter. The sun was in their eyes and Dave Righetti told them to practice only their shuutos. I have it on good authority. So only Petit matters.
It's at this point, a few days into spring training, that it's fair to concern-troll and wonder if the Giants' third- or fourth-best starting pitcher is seventh on the depth chart. Considering the out-of-option brigade in the bullpen and the statistical evidence supporting Petit, the decision to re-sign Ryan Vogelsong looks like it will have some unintended consequences. Maybe for the best if Vogelsong takes to the role, but his presence makes it much less likely that Petit will start a game in 2015, and that's something of a shame.
Apropos of nothing, because we've had championship fever around here, it's been too long since we appreciated this game:
I was so sure at the time that would be Petit's only moment of glory in the majors. Turns out I was dumb and horrible at my job, and look at you, you're still here.
Gary Brown hit a long home run, which proves my theory: Gary Brown is a member of the San Francisco Giants organization. With Pence out, I've read a few tweets and comments on the Internet that suggest Brown might be the answer. He's on the 40-man roster, so it's not out of the question. But allow me to introduce the Gary Brown Theorem, which posits:
The Giants have such little trust in Gary Brown, they were willing to put Travis Ishikawa on several postseason rosters as an outfielder.
That written, dunno, it's not like Gregor Blanco or Angel Pagan had minor league careers filled with uninterrupted success on a fast track to the majors. There's no sense pooh-poohing a guy who just hit a dinger, and I'm still eager to see what Brown does in Sacramento. He's still seventh or so on the Giants' outfield depth chart, though, so let's not get crazy over a dinger.
Jarrett Parker just punished a ball off top of CF wall for a two-run double. Let's not leave him out of the discussion re:replacing Pence.— Andrew Baggarly (@extrabaggs) March 6, 2015
Let's not go crazy over a double, either. EVERYBODY REMAIN CALM.
Bullpen-battle update: George Kontos pitched an inning, struck out two, and gave up a homer. Let's call that pitching line a SparkNotes outing when Kontos does it. It's very, very Kontos. His slider is like a punch card that gives you a free sandwich after paying for 10 of them, except we're talking about dingers and whiffs instead of sandwiches and money. He should still be in a bullpen somewhere, though, possibly this one. Just saying/not saying.
Jean Machi still has the lead in the bullpen race, at least statistically, with two scoreless innings and three strikeouts. He's also the familiar, quasi-predictable option. Erik Cordier has allowed two runs and two walks (his bugaboo), and Hunter Strickland is a performance artist who is determined to teach us something about baseball. Just what, I'm not sure, but he's the artist. Learn to appreciate it.
Current power rankings:
There's also a big gap between the first two, if I had to guess. Nothing changed with that on Friday.
Matt Duffy had more home runs on Friday than he did over his entire college career.