Mark DeRosa wants the Giants to move in the fences at AT&T Park

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We’ve heard a lot of stuff from the Mets about maybe moving the fences in to make the park more “fair.”  But at least one member of the San Francisco Giants feels that something should be done to AT&T Park. It’s Mark DeRosa, and here was his reaction when asked if the Giants’ home park should have some alternations:

“Without a doubt. Maybe you don’t move the fences in. But I think you saw maybe two balls go out to right-center this year. So they definitely should cut the corner. Have another wall go across. Maybe put something nice back there. I don’t know. Does San Francisco have a city tree?”

Giants brass says it’s been mentioned before, but that no one is seriously considering it. Bruce Bochy and Hensely Meulens don’t want to hear about it. Nothing is going to happen with that and DeRosa kind of comes off as a whiner.

There was a time when parks were what they were. Some were pitchers parks. Some were hitters parks. Yes, people messed around with dimensions — remember the time the Indians moved the fences way back to turn Alex Cole into the next Willie McGee? — but rarely was the gambit successful. The Yankees won the World Series eleventy billion times with an impossibly big left-center field and eleventy billion times with a more conventional fence. It’s about the players, not the park.

The Giants have a pitchers park. It’s worked out for them pretty good. They’re going to keep those dimensions much longer than they keep Mark DeRosa, that’s for sure.

James Paxton will “nerd out big-time” to stay healthy next year

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To the surprise of, well, very few, the Mariners didn’t make the cut for the postseason this year. While they threw their hats in the ring for a wild card berth, their pitching staff just couldn’t stay healthy, from the handful of pitchers who contracted season-ending injuries in spring training to Felix Hernandez‘s shoulder bursitis to structural damage in Hisashi Iwakuma‘s right shoulder. Left-hander James Paxton missed 79 days with a lingering head cold, strained left forearm and pectoral strain. Heading into the 2018 season, the lefty told MLB.com’s Greg Johns that he plans to “nerd out big-time” in order to prepare for a healthy, consistent run with the club.

So far, Johns reports, that entails a new diet and workout program, hot yoga sessions and blood testing. “I just think there’s more I can do,” Paxton said. “I haven’t done the blood testing before. Finding out if there’s something I don’t know about myself. It’s just about learning and trying to find what works for me.”

When healthy, the 28-year-old southpaw was lights-out for the Mariners. He helped stabilize the front end of the rotation with a 12-5 record in 24 starts and supplemented his efforts with a 2.98 ERA, 2.4 BB/9 and 10.3 SO/9 through 136 innings. Despite taking multiple trips to the disabled list, he built up 4.6 fWAR — the most wins above replacement he’s compiled in any season of his career to date. Had he not been felled by a pectoral injury in mid-August — one that came with a five-week trip to the disabled list — the club might have been been able to make a bigger push for the playoffs.

Of course, even if Paxton manages to stay healthy next season, the Mariners still have the rest of the rotation to worry about. They cycled through 17 starters in 2017 and tied the 2014 Rangers with 40 total pitchers over the course of the season. Per GM Jerry Dipoto, their top four starters (Paxton, Hernandez, Iwakuma, and Tommy John candidate Drew Smyly) only contributed 17% of total innings pitched, just a tad below the 40% average. Finding adequate big league arms and compensating for injured aces (both current and former) will be tough. Still, getting a healthy, dominant Paxton back on the mound for 30+ starts would be a huge get for the team — whether or not the postseason is in their future next year.