Diving into the depths: San Francisco Giants

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This is part of a 30-article series looking at each team’s depth chart headed into spring training.
San Francisco Giants
Rotation
1. Tim Lincecum
2. Matt Cain
3. Barry Zito
4. Jonathan Sanchez
5. Madison Bumgarner
6. Joe Martinez
7. Kevin Pucetas
8. Henry Sosa
9. Clayton Tanner
10. Steve Johnson
11. Craig Clark
While the concept of Bumgarner in the rotation to begin the season is pretty exciting, I think the Giants need to go out and get themselves a fifth starter, simply because they have so little depth. Martinez is a borderline major leaguer as a swingman, and none of the prospects are great bets. Pucetas is the only Triple-A veteran who would seem to be an option, and he had a 5.04 ERA for Fresno last year.
Bullpen
1. Brian Wilson
2. Jeremy Affeldt
3. Sergio Romo
4. Dan Runzler
5. Brandon Medders
6. Waldis Joaquin
7. Joe Martinez
8. Santiago Casilla
9. Alex Hinshaw
10. Madison Bumgarner
11. Kevin Pucetas
12. Steve Johnson
13. Denny Bautista
14. Osiris Matos
15. Eric Hacker
16. Steve Edlefsen
The bullpen should have five locks, and Joaquin will be able to nail down a spot with a strong spring. I liked the Casilla signing, but he’ll be left out if the team carries a second lefty along with Affeldt. The idea of having Bumgarner pitch out of the pen initially hasn’t been dismissed.


Catcher
1. Bengie Molina
2. Eli Whiteside
3. Buster Posey
4. Steve Holm
First base
1. Aubrey Huff
2. Pablo Sandoval
3. Travis Ishikawa
4. John Bowker
5. Brett Pill
Second base
1. Freddy Sanchez
2. Juan Uribe
3. Eugenio Velez
4. Kevin Frandsen
5. Mark DeRosa
6. Emmanuel Burriss
7. Matt Downs
8. Ryan Rohlinger
Third base
1. Pablo Sandoval
2. Juan Uribe
3. Mark DeRosa
4. Matt Downs
5. Ryan Rohlinger
6. Kevin Frandsen
7. Conor Gillaspie
Shortstop
1. Edgar Renteria
2. Juan Uribe
3. Emmanuel Burriss
The Giants have 15 infielders (non-catchers) on the 40-man roster, if one counts DeRosa, Velez and Bowker. And now there’s talk of maybe giving Posey time at other positions.
It seems pretty clear that Frandsen, Downs and Rohlinger have no real future in the organization. The Giants, though, will probably keep one of them if Sanchez has to open the year on the DL.
Left field
1. Mark DeRosa
2. Andres Torres
3. Eugenio Velez
4. Fred Lewis
5. John Bowker
Center field
1. Aaron Rowand
2. Andres Torres
3. Eugenio Velez
4. Darren Ford
Right field
1. Nate Schierholtz
2. John Bowker
3. Fred Lewis
4. Andres Torres
5. Eugenio Velez
Right field is still a question mark. Schierholtz is supposed to be the favorite for the job. Bowker would likely outproduce him, but not by enough of a margin to make up for the difference in defense. Lewis could also factor in somehow, but I think he’ll end up as another team’s fourth outfielder by Opening Day.
Here’s my guess at the lineup and bench:
CF Rowand
2B Sanchez
3B Sandoval
1B Huff
LF DeRosa
C Molina
SS Renteria
RF Schierholtz
Uribe
Torres
Velez
Whiteside
Bowker

Video: Minor League Manager goes on epic rant

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Frisco RoughRiders manager Joe Mikulik got his money’s worth last night. He was ejected after arguing an automatic double play on an enforcement of the slide rule, and he didn’t go gently into that goodnight.

Rather, he threw things, kicked things, threw things and then subsequently kicked those same things, gave overly-demonstrative slides and safe signs and basically went all Earl Weaver/Lou Piniella on everyone.

Double-A baseball is the best minor league because you tend to see more prospects there than you do at Triple-A. But it’s also the best because, when you’re a manager who is not quite a heartbeat away from getting your shot at the big leagues, you’re a little less uptight about things. Or at least Mikulik was. Or maybe he was more uptight. I don’t know. He just went with it, and going with it has its charms.

 

(h/t Big League Stew)

A must-read oral history of the 1998 home run chase

7 Jul 1998:   American Leaguer player Mark McGwire #25 of the St Louis Cardinals and Sammy Sosa #21 of  the Chicago Cubs answer questions during  the Major League Baseball All-Star Game at Coors Field in Denver,  Colorado.The American  League defeated the
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It’s hard to believe that it’s been 18 years since Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa captivated the nation with their epic chase of Roger Maris’ home run record. But it has been, and after years of reaction, counter-reaction and, of course, baseball’s reckoning with the performance-enhancing drugs which helped fuel the chase, it’s probably finally time to do our best to contextualize it historically.

Today one of my favorite news outlets does that with an oral history. All of the key figures weigh-in on it, from McGwire and Sosa to Bud Selig to Tony La Russa. Randy Johnson makes an appearance as well, reminding us that it wasn’t just the sluggers who had an amazing year in 1998. Indeed, his story, including his being traded to Houston and going on an amazing second-half run, has almost been lost to history.

This is bookmark material, my friends. For savoring later if you can’t read it now. And for revisiting at another time given the depths to the drama which justifies multiple readings. I’ll just warn you that there is some adult language in the story, but that’s to be expected given the passion the 1998 baseball season inspired.

Go check it out.

UPDATE: Asdrubal Cabrera leaves Mets-Nats game with back spasms

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - MAY 12:  Shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera #13 of the New York Mets throws to first from his knee after diving to catch a ground ball to get Joc Pederson #31 of the Los Angeles Dodgers for the second out of the sixth inning at Dodger Stadium on May 12, 2016 in Los Angeles, California.  The Dodgers won 5-0.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
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UPDATE: Cabrera was removed from the game due to back spasms.

1:21PM: This is not good: Asdrubal Cabrera was removed from today’s game against the Nationals with an apparent injury.

It’s unclear what the injury was, as Cabrera had yet to even play in the game. Matt Reynolds came on to play shortstop in the bottom of the first inning, but Cabrera didn’t bat in the top of the first. It could be an illness. Or some freak occurrence.

We’ll update when we hear more.

There are apparently unwritten rules about manager replay challenges now

CHICAGO, IL - APRIL 05: Manager Joe Maddon #70 of the Chicago Cubs shakes hands with manager Mike Matheny #26 of the St. Louis Cardinals before the Opening Night game at Wrigley Field on April 5, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
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Last night’s Cardinals-Cubs game was a blowout, with the Cubs beating the Cards 12-3. Apparently, however, in the ninth inning of the game, Reynoldsburg, Ohio’s own Mike Matheny played the Cardinals infield in, which is a move you never see in a blowout. Why did he do that?

He hasn’t said yet, but Cubs manager Joe Maddon just spoke to the media before today’s game and he’s speculating that Matheny did it as a form of protest:

God, I hope that’s true. I hope that manager replay challenges, which are already dumb enough inasmuch as they turn what should be an officiating correction device into a strategic tool, are now turning into another front in the Great Unwritten Rules Wars. I hope that we now have a bunch of people talking about how there’s a right way and a wrong way to use the replay system and that one can disrespect the other side if they do it the wrong way. The way the replay system has been implemented often resembles tragedy. Why not make it farce?

Oh well, I guess it beats throwing at someone for doing that wrong. And I guess it’s just a reminder that no matter what we do, baseball is always gonna give us an opportunity for petty bits of silliness.