THE San Francisco Giants Blog

Shoptawk, With Daniel

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on May 18, 2017

After laying down to Kershaw with that joke line up yesterday, we head to St Louis for a 3 gamer followed up with a 4 gamer in Chicago. This could get ugly.

I’ve been emailing back and forth with Daniel about the series. Here are a few from him, feel free to respond below. I’m sure he’ll check in regularly today. These are just questions he asked at the end of each email, I’m not including my responses but you can probably guess what they are based on his questions. Ha.

Pick a question or two and respond in the comment section. It’s always great to get a respectful opinion from a different fan base than your own.

  1. All right, let’s go ahead and kick this off, if you are up for it.  The Giants have scuffled so far this year, though I’ll pass along thanks for sweeping the Reds this past weekend.  Back before the season I asked if this was going to be a pitching-focused, score-just-enough team.  Has that been the case and the scoring just hasn’t actually been enough?
  2. So who is doing well for the Giants?  Is there a player or two that folks cling to as hope (or at least make the games more watchable)?
  3. What about Bochy?  From the outside looking in it seems like he should be one that is always well-received.  Is that the case as the team struggles?  Does he get some of the blame for the retreads or is most of that ire directed upstairs?
  4. If we’re talking rivals, the Dodgers seem to be off to a pretty good start. Y’all are hosting them for three games starting tonight–would taking two of three give some hope to this squad, especially after the sweep this weekend?  The Dodgers are still the team to beat, right–or is anyone buying into Colorado or Arizona?
  5. That’s a tough sentiment to have this early in the year.  I’m not saying you are wrong, by any means, but it’s rough if that’s true before you even get to the traditional Memorial Day marker.  It’s not something the Giants are all that familiar with over the past few years either, given all their success.  How does that affect your watching and following the team the rest of the way?  How do you stay sane?
  6. A great attitude to have. Is there a point where the club will start, in fact if not in name, start waving the white flag and bring up whatever is on the farm? The All-Star break, perhaps?
  7. And, if nothing else, you get to watch Buster Posey all the time.  Looks like he’s off to another good start.  Does he still occasionally play some first base and are there still conversations about when he’ll move more to the corner and less from behind the plate?
  8. It sounds like Belt is a polarizing figure, if your comments and this article are compared.  I remember when he was coming up as the hot prospect, then the guy that couldn’t get playing time.  Did the club not develop him correctly or is this more on the player?
  9. So what’s your prediction for this weekend?  Right now it looks like Matt Moore vs. Michael Wacha on Friday, Jeff Samardzija vs. Carlos Martinez on Saturday, and TBA vs. Adam Wainwright on Sunday.
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  1. chipower9 said, on May 18, 2017 at 7:16 am

    Hey Daniel! Your redbirds are starting to come around, but what in the hell is in the water (or beer) up there in Milwaukee???

    In regards to question 1: All right, let’s go ahead and kick this off, if you are up for it. The Giants have scuffled so far this year, though I’ll pass along thanks for sweeping the Reds this past weekend. Back before the season I asked if this was going to be a pitching-focused, score-just-enough team. Has that been the case and the scoring just hasn’t actually been enough?

    You cannot pin in completely on the lack of scoring, IMO. While the offense is offensive (27th in BA and 29th in runs scored), the pitching has not been great (21st in ERA and WHIP).

    They just cannot put it together. If you are going to be a scratch-and-claw team that wins close, low scoring games, you have to have STELLAR pitching, and that is not the case.

    By and large, the D has been good. The starters have started to come around (sans Cueto’s start yesterday), but the bullpen has still been inconsistent (especially Gearrin and Osich). Law has filled in OK for Melancon.

    I still think they can play a whole lot better than they have shown to date, but they must do this SOONER rather than later.

    • Cardinal70 said, on May 18, 2017 at 8:44 am

      Milwaukee did seem to be one of those “sleeper” teams in the offseason, but nobody expected them to come around this quickly. It’s still pretty early–what was it, about five years when the Brewers improbably led like 75% of the and then collapsed–but they are probably going to be be a team to be reckoned with the next few years.

      It’s really interesting to see a Giants team that isn’t one of the best in the league on the mound. I know Bumgarner’s loss is big, but that big?

  2. willedav said, on May 18, 2017 at 7:41 am

    I think most here are disappointed FO didn’t do more to acquire depth in pen and OF. Injuries have hurt sure, but the replacements brought into bench were flat awful. Unfortunately some of them are still around and contribute very little. I think there are still couple guys in AAA that should be up right now.

    Hard to buy into Rox or AZ but AZ has been especially good at home; both have young talent and pitching. LA has young talent too just unsure about rotation beyond Kershaw but they are still team to beat And the Giants have, but rest of division, including the lowly Padres, have given them problems. Most of the recent streak tho is do to improved starts, yesterday notwithstanding.

    As for waving white flag, I think this road trip to STL and Cubs and homestand that includes Braves and Nats might be a sign one way or another. I could see them putting feelers out there for a few players like Belt or Cueto/Moore or testing out waiver wire by Memorial Day if things don’t go well.

    I’m on Bochy’s side for most part tho he throws out some funky lineups at times, but his health issues are troublesome. He downplays most things publicly but I wonder how long he can stand to watch his better players underperform. He’s never been much of a play the kids type, so if that was the plan he might opt out of it after this season.

  3. willedav said, on May 18, 2017 at 7:47 am

    Haven’t seen much of Cueto lately and none of yesterday, but I have to ask: what would be the best scenario for the Giants as to his potential opt out?
    Right now he’s sitting at 4.50 ERA, where he’s been for a while, far cry from last season. After this year SF still owes him for 4 more at $20 mil+ per.
    Imo he’d still be a very valuable trade chip; how easily could club live without him in rotation going forward?

    • chipower9 said, on May 18, 2017 at 8:12 am

      Trade him, IMO. If he opts out (which I have heard he is leaning to, as he wants to play in the AL), they don’t get shit.

  4. djloo27 said, on May 18, 2017 at 7:58 am

    I think he’d be insane to opt out, but I hope he does. His contract makes him untradeable and is destined to be another Zito/Cain type albatross…

  5. zumiee said, on May 18, 2017 at 8:02 am

    This roadtrip could be pretty grim.
    The Cards are on a roll lately, and the Cubs will get their act together at some point.

  6. Flavor said, on May 18, 2017 at 8:07 am

    Cueto’s GB% has dropped about 10% this year. My guess is that he’s having a harder time throwing his sinker because of the sensitive blister area he’s been dealing with all season. I think the guy is a gamer for pitching through this.

    • willedav said, on May 18, 2017 at 8:19 am

      Hmmnn interesting take. He does go out there every day.

      When I first looked into MSN site yesterday and later at cbs site the first thing mentioned was him complaining Dodgers were relaying stuff to hitters from 2b and of course throwing one near Grandal’s head. No one here mentioned it tho Loo did say something about how the rivalry needed some spark.
      Later it was all downplayed, cueto apologized Grandal professed innocence tho Cueto was sure it really did happen. Were the Dodgers runs all on him?

  7. gianthead said, on May 18, 2017 at 8:14 am

    Daniel, the biggest critique you will get from the Flap fan base is that the team should have spent more knowing what little we had in OF depth. But one thing any astute observer of the Giants ownership group since they took over the team on 1993 and especially since AT&T opened is that they don’t spend money frivoulously without at least a master plan behind it.

    This team was headed before the season started into Luxury Tax territory, which meant hell no would ownership bust that just because the management has some bad existing contracts still on the books. So any talk this spring about landing an OF bat was just hot air.

    This team will have to play lights out until the All-star break just to get to .500. I’m not sure they can and will be hard after the break if they are below .500 to get into a wild card race.

    I am a proponent of shopping everyone on this roster making more than $10 mill (I dont think Bumgarner is making more than that yet but he is the only vet I’d never trade) to see what the market will bear, including Posey. Our young kid Arroyo and the one pitching stud in AAA Tyler Beede are also untouchables in my mind. I think we will need to trade Cueto to get something back for him now in case he opts out and I would definitely trade Melancon if there was a solid offer. He will have high value by the trade deadline…

    Problem with Belt is that I think the league has figured out he cannot hit the high fast ball and that is what he gets fed on strike 2 pitches. If he does not soon figure out how to hit that pitch, he will never be a premier hitter and no one will try and trade for him. If we keep Posey and move him to first full time in next couple of years, Belt’s bat is not good enough to play in the OF every day.

    Getting to .500 begins by going through St. Louis and 2 out of 3 would be nice but not expected…

    • Cardinal70 said, on May 18, 2017 at 8:48 am

      The Cardinals are in a similar vein with the money spending, though as far as I know they aren’t very close to the luxury tax threshold. Of course, they’ve been able to supplement any contracts they do sign with young, cheap talent out of the minors. Not saying they are great, but they’ve been good enough to help offset any spending. I’m not sure how much longer that lasts, though, because the Cards haven’t had that one real superstar (offensively) come through the system yet. That’s where the loss of Oscar Taveras really hurts.

      It would be stunning to me to see Posey anywhere else, but I imagine that could bring in the talent very quickly if they went that way!

    • chipower9 said, on May 18, 2017 at 12:12 pm

      We’ve had this discussion. Posey, Pence Melancon, and Craw all have full no-trade clauses. Bum and Smardj have limited no trade clauses. As much as anyone (you included) would like to go fishing and see what the Giants get in return, there isn’t going to be a lot of movement. I think Cueto is their best bet for any trade value (and giddy up on that before he opts out).

  8. Cardinal70 said, on May 18, 2017 at 8:49 am

    While I’m here, check out my site (www.cardsconclave.com/c70) around noon Pacific for Craig’s side of the discussion!

    • chipower9 said, on May 18, 2017 at 12:13 pm

      Cool. Thanks, Daniel. I think it is great that you and Craig keep this moving, year-to-year.

      Now, make sure your redbirds play like deadbirds, and roll over for our boys! 😉

      • Cardinal70 said, on May 18, 2017 at 12:29 pm

        A Red Sox fan told me at the beginning of the week to enjoy the wins, and I see how THAT turned out. I’m not taking anything for granted this weekend!

  9. djloo27 said, on May 18, 2017 at 8:55 am

    Contracts no team in their right mind would take on right now:
    Cueto
    Posey
    Melancon
    Smudge
    Pence
    Span

  10. wilcojoe said, on May 18, 2017 at 9:14 am

    Flav, thanks for the Kevin Roth info. That is exactly the type of weather source I need. For some reason, I just figured that park had a retractable roof.

  11. Macdog said, on May 18, 2017 at 9:45 am

    I saw a little of the Cards when they played the Yanks earlier this season and they looked like the worst team in baseball at the time. They’ve obviously turned it around, even with last night’s brutal loss, so maybe they can serve as a beacon of hope for the Giants.

    • Cardinal70 said, on May 18, 2017 at 11:04 am

      That Yankee series was the low pint of the team. After that, things solidified and got better.

  12. unca_chuck said, on May 18, 2017 at 10:00 am

    Bingo, DJ. Talk of breaking up the team would come with the Giants eating millions upon millions of dollars of contracts. Look how long it took to jettison Rowand. It ain’t gonna happen. On your list, Cueto is the only one I can see as being traded. Most likely to an AL team that would snap up the option year.

  13. willedav said, on May 18, 2017 at 10:34 am

    Disagree on Cueto and Melancon. I think most teams would overlook a month or so of this year as opposed to body of work. For an elite starter/closer salary is not out of line. The teams interested would be those looking to add one more piece to get all the marbles (Yankees Texas Stros Nats). Rotation help and pen help will not have this level of quality going forward.

    The larger question to me would be what Giants are after and could reasonably expect to get. Currently they are way mismatched with top flite IF/C and holes all over the OF. There just aren’t a lot of good CFs available and dealing away part of the IF (beside Belt) doesn’t seem like it’s going to happen…

    • chipower9 said, on May 18, 2017 at 12:15 pm

      Melancon has a full no trade clause. He isn’t going anywhere…

      • willedav said, on May 18, 2017 at 12:25 pm

        which he could waive given right opportunity. If Cards or another team in contention were involved, which would be likely suitors, it’d be up to him.
        My point here is if Giants continue to languish near bottom of division, why would either Cueto or Melancon care to stick around for a rebuild?

  14. wilcojoe said, on May 18, 2017 at 10:35 am

    RIP Chris Cornell…Eddie Vedder is on the clock (too soon?)

    • zumiee said, on May 18, 2017 at 11:45 am

      It’s unreal all the Seattle grunge band leadsingers who have died. Nirvana, Soundgarden, Stone Temple Pilots, Alice in Chains. Almost all of the big bands of that era.

    • unca_chuck said, on May 18, 2017 at 3:01 pm

      It all started with Mother Love Bone and Andrew Wood. . . . .

      The AIC song Would? is dedicated to him.

  15. alleykat69 said, on May 18, 2017 at 11:32 am

    Their’s no way the Giants should part with any of their infielders and especially now that Arroyo is up getting his much needed hack and experience at the top level.
    Why would they breakup a solid core of homegrown talent with Gold Glovers at Catcher,SS,2B,and really 1B imo in Belt?
    Add in Arroyo at 3B whose already flashing the leather and will only get better in time and their set..
    It’s the OF and Bullpen fixes is the key right now,but with what pieces beside Nunez included? Giants never make the big trade anymore,maybe cause they don’t have enough goods in the store that teams want..

    • chipower9 said, on May 18, 2017 at 12:17 pm

      Good analysis, IMO, Kat. I agree…

  16. A Giant Discussion said, on May 18, 2017 at 12:00 pm

    […] you want to interact with a good group of fans this weekend, head over to the blog.  They also have a thread set up for today’s discussion that includes some of this back-and-forth. […]

    • chipower9 said, on May 18, 2017 at 12:18 pm

      What blog? And why would I look elsewhere when I have this blog?

      • willedav said, on May 18, 2017 at 12:30 pm

        chi he(Daniel) sent that from his blog. Flav’s answers are up over there right now along with full convo, pretty interesting as usual.

      • Cardinal70 said, on May 18, 2017 at 12:30 pm

        You really shouldn’t, unless it’s to realize how good you have it here.

      • chipower9 said, on May 18, 2017 at 1:35 pm

        DOH! I did not realize that was in reference to Daniel’s blog…

  17. willedav said, on May 18, 2017 at 12:42 pm

    All I’m saying about trades is, you’d have to dangle more than a Nunez to get back bigger fish. No one is giving up a Scutaro for Culberson or Pence for Joseph these days.
    Trading Belt away might push Posey more to 1b.
    If Giants figure Arroyo can handle SS or 2b they could live without Panik or Craw.
    OF prospects right now are Mac Parker Slater with 3 every day positions to fill…

    • Irish Kevin said, on May 18, 2017 at 1:13 pm

      I disagree when Craw came back from IR it solidified the infield, he is the leader of the infield.

      • willedav said, on May 18, 2017 at 1:35 pm

        Kev I’m only talking about the future. Craw’s offense took a dive last year as the HRs drop to 12 and he’s sitting on 2 right now. He’s 30yrs old, so you gotta wonder has he given them best years or how many are still ahead of him D tends to drop off too in coming years as range decreases.
        Giants way has always been to overpay their own and wait too long. This might be opportunity to do something different.

  18. chipower9 said, on May 18, 2017 at 1:48 pm

    Good stuff between you and Daniel over at C70, Flav. Glad you two keep this tradition going. It is something to look forward to…especially in years like this one…

  19. zumiee said, on May 18, 2017 at 3:10 pm

    I’m not for trading Craw, as a concept. With Arroyo at 3B, the infield D is so good across the board.
    The thing is- Craw shouldn’t have to be batting 5th or even clean-up sometimes. That’s a failing from other players in the lineup. Craw should be 6th, at the highest.

  20. djloo27 said, on May 18, 2017 at 7:10 pm

    There’s a lot to like about Arroyo and way too early to judge, but so far all I see is a potentially solid player – not a big star in the making…

    • alleykat69 said, on May 18, 2017 at 7:16 pm

      I’d take a Ron Santo career Loo, though that could be a reach on the power numbers..

      • djloo27 said, on May 18, 2017 at 7:25 pm

        Santo’s a HOFer, Kat.
        Looks more like a David Bell type to me…

  21. alleykat69 said, on May 18, 2017 at 7:11 pm

    Reports that the Nationals would like to reunite with Melacon( their doing closer by committee, sound familiar?).Thats the case, he’s yours, and will throwin Nunez and prospects for Bryce Harper!!

    • djloo27 said, on May 18, 2017 at 7:29 pm

      I’ll drive him to the airport…

    • Flavor said, on May 18, 2017 at 7:44 pm

      why would the Nats trade for Melancon and all that $$$ he’s owed? They didn’t sign him first go around, now they would give up a player to get him? Don’t see it happening.

      • djloo27 said, on May 18, 2017 at 8:08 pm

        Plus the questions about his recent injury…

  22. zumiee said, on May 18, 2017 at 8:17 pm

    I just finished reading BF and Daniel’s conversation at Daniel’s blog. Well done, fellas! Very insightful.
    I have only one minor quibble. I disagree with BF’s eagerness to move Posey to firstbase. I hear his reasoning, but I think we’re years from that move.

    • Flavor said, on May 18, 2017 at 8:30 pm

      if it wasn’t for his recent power surge you might now be against it. I think Posey’s value behind the dish is overrated. I don’t see these pitchers jizzing at the sight of him in the squat. Maybe they are jizzing, I’m just saying I don’t see it.

      • alleykat69 said, on May 18, 2017 at 10:09 pm

        So who’s a better catcher in baseball that’s not overrated?
        And how many other catchers shine 3 W/S rings everyday?
        What else does he need to prove to anybody?
        He’s won a batting title
        Rookie of the year
        All-Star appearances
        Gold Glove
        3 rings
        Plays the toughest position in baseball Day in day out( cause they can never find a decent backup, yeah and that includes a disappointing Hundley)

      • Flavor said, on May 19, 2017 at 4:26 am

        he would be better offensively if he played first base. Not as much wear and tear on the body. He could play every day. All of what I just said is obvious.

  23. Flavor said, on May 18, 2017 at 8:31 pm

    I think Arroyo has a chance to have a much better career batting average than David Bell, maybe not as much power.


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