Tag: Jake Peavy

jake peavy getty

Giants may push back Jake Peavy’s first start


Jake Peavy struggled badly in his final two Cactus League starts, yielding 13 runs — 11 earned — over just 6 2/3 total innings. So the Giants are considering delaying his first appearance of the regular season so that he can try to iron some things out on the side.

Giants general manager Bobby Evans told Jim Bowden of SiriusXM on Sunday morning that Ryan Vogelsong — who was projected to open 2015 in long relief — could start against the Diamondbacks in Peavy’s place this Tuesday night. Peavy would then take the sixth game of the regular season against the Padres, giving the Giants a temporary six-man rotation.

Peavy agreed to a two-year, $24 million free agent contract with the Giants this past winter after posting a brilliant 2.17 ERA across 78 2/3 innings last season for San Francisco. The 33-year-old right-hander had a 4.72 ERA in 124 innings with Boston before the July 2014 trade that sent him out west.

2015 Preview: San Francisco Giants

Madison Bumgarner ,Buster Posey

Between now and Opening Day, HardballTalk will take a look at each of baseball’s 30 teams, asking the key questions, the not-so-key questions, and generally breaking down their chances for the 2015 season. Next up: The defending World Series champion San Francisco Giants.

The Big Question: Will they do it again?

The Giants came roaring out of the gate last season and looked like one of the best teams in the majors early on, but they stumbled through the middle of the year before playing better in August and September (and getting some help from the collapsing Brewers) to secure a Wild Card spot with 88 wins. Of course, we all know what happened after that. They beat the Pirates in the Wild Card game before upsetting the Nationals in the NLDS and the Cardinals in the NLCS. On the strength of one of the best individual postseason performances of all-time from Madison Bumgarner, the Giants beat the Royals for their third World Series title in the past five years.

“Will they do it again?” is the operative question for any defending World Series champion. The Giants have looked like a mess in spring training, but I’m not going to dismiss them outright because 2015 is an odd-numbered year. It’s cute to joke about it, but there’s no such thing as an odd-year jinx because jinxes aren’t real. We’re all adults here. We can admit it, right? However, I will say that the path back to October has its share of challenges.

After fan favorite Pablo Sandoval signed a five-year, $95 million contract with the Red Sox, many wondered if the Giants would use the cost savings to make a big splash in free agency. It didn’t happen. They re-signed Jake Peavy, Ryan Vogelsong, and Sergio Romo while adding Nori Aoki to their outfield, but that was about it. Chase Headley was briefly mentioned as a possible alternative to Sandoval, but the Giants ultimately acquired Casey McGehee from the Marlins. Not the most exciting offseason, but Brian Sabean has a knack for keeping the band together and winning the offseason isn’t everything.

I can spend a lot time talking about the greatness of Bumgarner and Buster Posey here — and man, are they are great — but what the Giants get from some key rebound candidates will likely tell the tale about where this team goes. Matt Cain didn’t pitch after July 9 last season due to an elbow injury which eventually required surgery. He also had ankle surgery in September. The 30-year-old owns a 4.06 ERA over his last 45 starts dating back to the start of 2013? Can he revert to his old form? Angel Pagan was a key to the team’s World Series run in 2012, but he has been limited to just 167 games over the past two seasons and is coming off back surgery. He’s currently shut down with more back discomfort. Can the Giants count on him at this point? Brandon Belt might be a better bet than those first two. The 26-year-old had some tough luck on the injury front last year, as a fractured thumb and concussion issues limited him to just 61 games, but he has looked great this spring and should produce if healthy. His best baseball is likely still ahead of him. The Giants don’t have a lot of pop, so it would be helpful if 2015 is that year.

What else is going on?

  • The rotation has a bunch of questions even beyond Cain. The workload for Bumgarner last year (270 innings between the regular season and playoffs) can’t be ignored altogether. Tim Hudson is 39 and is coming off surgery in January to remove bone spurs from his right ankle. Peavy has avoided arm problems for the past three years and should benefit with a full year in a pitcher-friendly ballpark in the NL, but he’s going into his age-34 season and has a major injury in his past. Tim Lincecum is getting another shot in the starting rotation despite a 4.76 ERA (73 ERA+) over the past three seasons.
  • If things don’t work out with Lincecum (and it’s hard to believe it will, as fun as a sudden revival would be), Yusmeiro Petit is someone to keep an eye on. With his lights-out curveball, the 30-year-old compiled a 3.69 ERA with an excellent 133/22 K/BB ratio in 117 innings across 12 starts and 27 relief appearances last season. He’ll likely begin 2015 in Bruce Bochy’s consistently-excellent bullpen along with the likes of Vogelsong, Jean Machi, Javier Lopez, Jeremy Affeldt, Romo, and Santiago Casilla, but he deserves a long look in that rotation. I’m guessing he’ll get it one way or the other.
  • Hunter Pence has been one of the game’s most durable players since entering the league, but he suffered a freak injury earlier this month when he was hit by a pitch and suffered a non-displaced fracture in his left forearm. He’s likely to miss most or all of April. We should see a lot of Gregor Blanco in the meantime and potentially guys like Travis Ishikawa, Justin Maxwell, and Juan Perez too, especially if Pagan’s back keeps acting up. It’s only a month, but Pence’s production will be missed in this lineup.
  • Hey, remember when the Giants had Dan Uggla play a handful of games at second base last season? That was fun. Fortunately, rookie Joe Panik eventually emerged and proved to be a solid contributor down the stretch and had some big moments during the postseason. What does the 24-year-old have in store for his first full season in the majors? There’s still some question about how much he’ll hit, but between him and Brandon Crawford, it looks like the Giants might not have to worry about their middle infield for a while.

Prediction: There are definitely ways I can see this working out, but I have too many doubts about the rotation and I don’t think there’s enough power in this lineup. It’s going to be close with the Padres and the numerous other teams in the Wild Card race, but I’m going with…Third place, NL West.

Video: Rangers prospect Joey Gallo shows off his power

Joey Gallo Getty

Cubs prospect third baseman Kris Bryant has been getting most of the attention this spring for his impressive power exploits, but as you’ll see below, Rangers prospect third baseman Joey Gallo is also capable of hitting baseballs very, very far. Here’s a three-run shot to right off Giants right-hander Jake Peavy yesterday:

Listed at 6-foot-5 and 230 pounds, the 21-year-old Gallo hit 41 homers with a 1.009 OPS last season between High-A Myrtle Beach and Double-A Frisco. Baseball America recently ranked him as the No. 6 prospect in the game. Strikeouts are an issue for him, but new Rangers manager Jeff Banister put it best yesterday (via Richard Justice of MLB.com):

“This cat here, he touches the ball, he’s going to do some damage.”

James Shields rejected a bigger offer from the Giants before signing with the Padres

James Shields, A.J. Preller

Jon Heyman of CBS Sports is reporting that Padres starter James Shields turned down a four-year, $80 million contract offer from the Giants a few weeks before signing for $5 million less in San Diego. Heyman adds that the offer was rescinded after the Giants signed Jake Peavy.

With the Giants out, the Cubs and Marlins remained the Padres’ only other serious contenders for the right-hander’s services.

Shields, 33, will join Andrew Cashner at the top of the rotation. He’s coming off of a season in which he finished with a 3.21 ERA and a 180/44 K/BB ratio in 227 innings, helping lead the Royals to the World Series. Shields has made at least 33 starts and thrown 200 innings in each of the last seven seasons.

Giants and Ryan Vogelsong working toward a one-year deal

Ryan Vogelsong

It appeared that Ryan Vogelsong was closing in on a deal with the Astros just a couple of days ago, but the Giants jumped back into the mix last night and now Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle writes that it looks like a reunion will come to fruition.

Assuming the Giants get it done, it’s expected to be a one-year deal. Tim Hudson is coming off right ankle surgery and Matt Cain had season-ending elbow surgery last year, so Vogelsong is good insurance to have around. If everybody is healthy, the defending World Series champs plan to go with Madison Bumgarner, Matt Cain, Jake Peavy, Hudson, and Tim Lincecum in their rotation and keep Yusmiero Petit in his swingman role.

Vogelsong, 37, is coming off a 4.00 ERA and 151/58 K/BB ratio in 184 2/3 innings across 32 starts last season.