THE San Francisco Giants Blog

ShopTawk, With Daniel

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on March 25, 2017

I wanted to get this up yesterday but things got busy and I have to post it on the slower weekend. Regardless, here is Daniel’s Giants thread that he writes every March. He should be in and out today to talk baseball with us so feel free to leave something in the comment section. As always Daniel, we appreciate your take, you are a Cardinal fan I truly respect. After the kerfuffle between Clark and Ozzie way back in the day I didn’t think I’d ever say that. 🙂

http://www.cardsconclave.com/2017/03/23/playing-pepper-2017-san-francisco-giants/

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  1. Cardinal70 said, on March 25, 2017 at 7:33 am

    Hey, guys! I’m working this morning (I never thought about how tax season and spring training would overlap when I decided to be a CPA) so I’ll try to keep checking in. Love to talk about the Cardinals and, heck, anything else you might be interested in. Always enjoy interacting over here!

  2. willedav said, on March 25, 2017 at 8:11 am

    I wanted to hear Daniel’s reaction to extension for Matheny.
    Also what he thought would be best position for Carpenter, and for the team.

    Cards farm always seem to provide so much, like Diaz last year and OF help. Giants have been searching for years for OF help—is there a “Cardinal Way” or a draft philosophy behind their success?

    • Cardinal70 said, on March 25, 2017 at 8:25 am

      An extension for Matheny wasn’t too surprising, given how a lot of professional teams don’t like their manager to be a lame duck. Three years seemed a little excessive, but he’s John Mozeliak’s first and only managerial hire and he’s been to the playoffs in four of his five years. As long as Matheny doesn’t entirely lose the clubhouse and continues to have winning years, it’s going to be difficult to imagine the front office deciding to run him out.

      That said, apparently the clubhouse was not as settled last year as expected. The addition of Dexter Fowler (and, to be fair, some changes the manager has decided to make) seems to have them back on a smooth path. If that isn’t the case and the Cards miss the playoffs again, the seat gets warmer, no matter that there’s an extension.

      Carpenter’s an interesting case. He’s going to play first and that’s probably the best place for him. His defense at other spots is serviceable, but nothing outstanding, and the Cards saw how important defense is last year when they didn’t really have any. It makes for a difficult situation with Matt Adams, the other left-handed first baseman on the team, so we’ll see how that plays out for him, but Carpenter seems to be set to play first most of the year, assuming situations don’t come up that force him elsewhere.

      I think I mentioned it last year, but Howard Megdal wrote an excellent book about the Cardinals’ approach to development. (https://smile.amazon.com/Cardinals-Way-Embraced-Tradition-Moneyball-ebook/dp/B012N46RCA/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1490455383&sr=8-1&keywords=The+Cardinals+Way) It’s basically taking what George Kissell planned and wrote and taught for generations in the minor leagues. It’s also a consistent message–the A ball guys learn the same things as the AA ball guys and up the ladder, so when they get to the big leagues, they know what to do and how to do it, which helps cut down on the learning curve somewhat, I think.

  3. willedav said, on March 25, 2017 at 8:17 am

    C70 is a great read, including the talk on the Giants with Flav and the other teams bloggers he invited to talk about.
    During the season he does a detailed analysis with a daily goat/hero. We could only hope Giants reporters would do something near as far reaching as this and ask the harder questions.

    • Cardinal70 said, on March 25, 2017 at 8:27 am

      You are too kind! 2008 was the first full season I blogged (the site hits 10 years old this July, which I’m proud of) and looking at each game helps with the memories as well as documents the myriad of times when I was way wrong on things!

  4. willedav said, on March 25, 2017 at 9:00 am

    Baggs said final two bench spots come down to HR Marrero Hill and Specs.
    Belt hit 2nd yesterday btw Span and Pence, said he liked it…Posey hit clean up Craw 5th. Interesting.
    Smardz had 4 shutout innings and mentioned he got some help warming up from Posey.

    There’s a ? for Daniel—how much does Molina have left, at the plate and defensively? Do they have a quality backup behind him? What is his opinion on WBC?

    • Cardinal70 said, on March 25, 2017 at 9:15 am

      The Molina question is going to linger over the whole season, honestly. Yadi’s got a mutual option for next season and he said just today that if an extension doesn’t happen this week, he’ll likely at least test free agency.

      Yadi had an outstanding second half last year, when he hit .365 with six homers after the All-Star Break. He’s fully recovered from his thumb injuries and he looks like he’s got some left in the tank, even though last year was probably his worst defensive year in a long while. (Some of that might have been attributable to the thumb still healing, I don’t know.)

      Many fans (and it runs the gambit between those saber types that want to be cautious with contracts to the rabid fans that aren’t known for in-depth thinking) want Molina back and they want the club to spend whatever necessary to do so. The idea is that Yadi’s looking for a 3-4 year deal, though no real idea on numbers. Even $20 million a year, while extreme to me, should be workable in the Cardinal budget.

      If it wasn’t for Carson Kelly, the club probably would have already made the commitment. However, Kelly was just ranked as the number 1 catching prospect in baseball. He made his debut last September and while he’s expected to play in Memphis this year (so he can play every day), if there was an injury to Molina that was going to keep him out an extended period of time, Kelly would get the nod over backup Eric Fryer. If you sign Yadi for three years after this one, what does that do for Kelly and his development? It’s something I think the front office is still struggling with.

      As for the WBC, I like it. I get the logistical problems, but it’s nice to have some meaningful baseball in the spring as well as putting players in a new combination. There were some great games this year and if the WBC was on the chopping block as some thought before it started, it certainly isn’t now. I think it’s a great way to grow the game and showcase players you normally wouldn’t get to see.

  5. zumiee said, on March 25, 2017 at 9:50 am

    Enjoyed all the “Playing Pepper” stuff.
    I’m curious if the Cards or other NL Central teams can slow down the Cubs this season. A heck of a lot of things went right for the Cubs last season. It’s very very hard to have two seasons in a row like that, even with that kind of talent on a team.

    • Cardinal70 said, on March 25, 2017 at 9:55 am

      Someone on Twitter asked a legit question, whether the Cardinals’ ceiling was higher than the Cubs floor. I think it probably is, but just barely. The Cardinals will need a lot of things to go right to hit 93-95 wins, where even a regression would seem to have the Cubs at the upper end of that. However, my feeling is if they lose a pitcher to injury, that changes the dynamics really quickly. I don’t feel they have the depth to overcome losing Hendricks or Arrieta or someone like that like they did losing Schwarber last year.

  6. alleykat69 said, on March 25, 2017 at 9:51 am

    Hi Daniel, you do a great job btw with your blog!
    Yeah the Cards I’m sure took some heat when Albert though they offered him a Kings Ransom,( luckily Angels were dumber and offered more/plus prospects I forget?) it was the right time due to his age.Same with Holliday you got the most out of him and he will be a liability in the field now.Cards cut bait and that right time with him as well,enjoy the Yanks and their unforgiving fans Matt!(Geez we have Matt Cain who’s like the turkey coming out of the oven in Chevy Chase Christmas Vacation,WELL OVER DONE but the Giants just can’t come to grips with that due to his salary)…As far as Molina that’s a little tougher, he’s been the the heart&soul of the franchise for years, probably wants more money then Buster which he won’t get at his age and the Cards have a Catcher, Kelly? waiting in the wings but still green I assume?

    • Cardinal70 said, on March 25, 2017 at 10:00 am

      There was an argument to be made that the Cards should have picked up Holliday’s option for 2017 and seen what he could do. It was, I think, something like $17 million but Holliday, even hurt last year, still had 20 homers and could help the team. What’s done is done, of course, and given the playing time the club wants for Randal Grichuk and Stephen Piscotty, probably for the best, but you wonder.

      Kelly does need seasoning, but he could get that this year and in theory be ready to go in the big next year. The defense is already there–I recently talked with the Cardinals’ bullpen catcher for a podcast and he raved over Kelly, who just converted from third base about three seasons ago–and he’s shown a solid bat in the minors. He should be ready for 2018. (Podcast is here, BTW: https://www.podomatic.com/podcasts/cardinal70/episodes/2017-03-11T11_56_24-08_00)

      The difference between Yadi and Albert really is the length and cost of the contract. Three years is much more manageable than 10 years at 200+. The Cards are in good financial shape–a $1B contract with FOX Sports Midwest kicks in next year–and it’s going to be harder for them to justify letting Yadi go than it was with Albert, even with Kelly waiting in the wings.

  7. Flavor said, on March 25, 2017 at 9:53 am

    Arrogate is the best horse since Secretariat. Gets left LAST out of the gate in Dubai, still romps. Super freak. Hey Daniel, THANK YOU for taking the time to interact with us here. I know the guys really appreciate it.

    • Cardinal70 said, on March 25, 2017 at 10:01 am

      Probably not more than I appreciate getting to come over here and talk with them! It’s not every place an opposing fan can interact with another fan base and have fun doing it!

    • djloo27 said, on March 25, 2017 at 1:02 pm

      Gotta be impressed, but he’s got a ways to go before he surpasses the usual suspects…

      • Flavor said, on March 25, 2017 at 1:16 pm

        I have seats ON the finish line this year at The BC. Could be epic

      • djloo27 said, on March 25, 2017 at 4:06 pm

        Just watched it again, Flavor. You may be right.
        I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a stride like that…

      • Flavor said, on March 25, 2017 at 5:15 pm

        and traveling that far can’t be understated. Horse has to stay standing for 16 hours straight. Loses weight. Then he drops off 15 lengths to start the race and draws off against a solid G1 field? I don’t think I’ve ever seen something like that before. Zenyatta in the BC a few years back. That was incredible. Might have to go re-watch that one again.

  8. zumiee said, on March 25, 2017 at 4:10 pm

    The Giants game on the MLB Network today is blacked out in my area. I live in California; the game is in Arizona. I guess they were expecting me to drive to this one.

  9. Macdog said, on March 25, 2017 at 5:05 pm

    I just looked to see what games open the MLB season next Sunday and didn’t realize the Giants are one of ’em, cool!

    • snarkk said, on March 25, 2017 at 6:11 pm

      The Final Four is in Glendale (Phoenix), that weekend, with the Final on Monday night. So, they moved the Giants/Dbacks opener to Sunday. Monday, they are off to not conflict with the basketball final. Resume the series Tuesday night…

      • Macdog said, on March 25, 2017 at 6:17 pm

        Ah, makes sense, thanks.

  10. Flavor said, on March 25, 2017 at 5:16 pm

    Doing this against the boys in the BC, this was incredible. Mike Smith on Zenyatta and Arrogate..

  11. Macdog said, on March 25, 2017 at 5:27 pm

    ‘Zags finally make Final Four!

  12. Macdog said, on March 25, 2017 at 5:58 pm

    Walk-off single for Hwang!

  13. Macdog said, on March 25, 2017 at 7:48 pm

    Another Self implosion in the NCAAs, but what a win for the Ducks.

  14. Flavor said, on March 25, 2017 at 8:47 pm

    Nice article about The Donger. I bet we see him in SF sooner rather than later……
    http://www.mercurynews.com/2017/03/25/giants-honor-jae-gyun-hwang-with-award-then-he-delivers-game-winning-hit/

    • PaulinAsia Banh Bao said, on March 25, 2017 at 8:58 pm

      Agree. With the handful of potential holes or weak spots that will inevitably unfold in the offense/defense, perhaps even very early in the season, how can you not like this guy? He seems smart, too, ready to focus on his LF defense, seeing a potential opening there if it doesn’t happen at 3rd.

  15. djloo27 said, on March 25, 2017 at 8:55 pm

    Can’t get into exhibition games as they used to call them. Watched a few minutes today. Saw Captain Video with his usual ground out. Are those uniforms just for Spring Training?

  16. snarkk said, on March 25, 2017 at 9:41 pm

    Pac12 can keep its head up high in this NCAA tourney.
    All 4 teams made it to the Sweet Sixteen.
    3 of 4 made it to the Elite 8.
    Now, Oregon will go to the Final 4.
    Kansas is always, always overrated, like the Midwest and East dominated seedings. They could have easily put 2 more Pac12 teams in this tournament over some of those overrated Big East and Big 10 teams like Seton Hall, Iowa State, Purdue, friggin Mich State, etc.
    Glad to see Gonzaga finally make it to the Final 4. On highlights, looked like Xavier played D on the 3 point line assuming that the 3 point bucket was outlawed for the game…


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