The San Francisco Giants Thread

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» Sun Jul 20, 2008 11:07 am
Looks like Ray Durham has been traded to the Brewers for two prospects.

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=3497321

The Milwaukee Brewers have acquired second baseman Ray Durham from the Giants, continuing with their effort in the push to make the playoffs for the first time since 1982.

Durham, 36, is hitting .293 for the Giants, with an on-base percentage of .385, and in theory, he could help the Brewers as a utility player. But it is also very possible that he will press Rickie Weeks, the Brewers' every-day second baseman to this point, for playing time.

Weeks is hitting .218 with eight homers, and Milwaukee ranks dead last among all teams in batting average for second baseman (.222).

ESPN.com's Keith Law is reporting that the prospects going to San Francisco are Steve Hammond and Darren Ford. The seriousness of the Durham talks between the Giants and Brewers was reported by the San Francisco Chronicle on Saturday.

The Brewers are in San Francisco this weekend, but Durham is not expected to play for Milwaukee on Sunday.


I found some blogger profiling these kids in a Top 20 Prospects features done last year. No doubt others will find better.

#13 Darren Ford, OF
6'1” 195 lbs. Born 10/1/1985
Draft and follow taken in the 18th round of the 2004 draft out of junior college Often mentioned as one of the fastest players in the minors, it will be the development of Ford's other skills that will ultimately determine how far he goes as a baseball player. After opening the year with a second go round in the Sally league at West Virginia and playing very well, he was promoted to High-A Brevard and posted markedly lower numbers. His batting line of (.335/.398/.504/.902) at West Virginia dropped to (.231/.317/.308/.625) in the more pitcher friendly Florida State League. Some of that drop off is to be expected, but the fact that his West Virginia numbers were driven by an insanely high .425 BABIP doesn't bode well for those type of numbers being something you can expect out of him on a regular basis. Extremely high BABIP numbers usually indicate unsustainable levels of performance. Ford continues to strike out too much (almost 25% of his AB's), though his walk rate (10%) is solid enough not to be a huge problem. His 67 of 83 successful stolen base attempts (81%) is as good as you can ask for, and he actually got better after moving up to High A. Defensively, he uses his great speed to his advantage in center field, where he is considered above average. Given his struggles at High A, he will probably open the year there.


#19 Steve Hammond, LHP
6'2” 205 lbs. Born 4/30/1982

Drafted in the 6th round of the 2005 draft out of Long Beach State University

Call me stubborn, but I'm not ready to give up on this personal favorite just yet. Drafted with an eye towards making him a reliever eventually, he performed so well in 2006 between High A Brevard and AA Huntsville that the team decided to keep him in the rotation for the foreseeable future. Things didn't go well in 2007 for Hammond in AA, a change largely driven by a 2.5 hits per 9 inning increase and a resulting .26 jump in WHIP. His K rate only declined slightly and his walks actually went down, which got me to thinking about a potential move to the pen. Sure enough, his K rate steadily declines as each inning passes all the way through the 5th, which would indicate some trouble holding his stuff deep into games. He did show trouble with walks in the first inning, which would be a problem were he to move into short relief. Still, I would like to see how he reacts to a move to the pen before writing him off as a prospect. If last years struggles as a starter persist into this season, I would expect that move sooner rather than later.


Enjoy!
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» Sun Jul 20, 2008 2:17 pm
So what does this mean at second base? We gonna see Castillo there and Aurillia at third? Or what? Perhaps Velez at 2nd?
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» Sun Jul 20, 2008 3:30 pm
Thank goodness. Sabean needs to unload as many of the old, overpriced veterans as he can. I hope to see Winn go next.

With Ray gone, we should see a lot more starts for Velez. The kid is raw and definitely needs some work. The team sucks anyways, might as well see if the kid can learn and progress.

In addition to Velez, we'll probably see Denker again.

In regards to Cain, I would be pissed if we ever traded him away. People sometimes forget that he's younger than Lincecum.

Went to Saturdays game. First one in 3yrs. What a beautiful place. Decent start from Sanchez wasted by the bullpen. Had fun though thanks to the beer. I got my son one of those bats with his name engraved on it.

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» Sun Jul 20, 2008 5:43 pm
Linc Mob wrote:Thank goodness. Sabean needs to unload as many of the old, overpriced veterans as he can. I hope to see Winn go next.

With Ray gone, we should see a lot more starts for Velez. The kid is raw and definitely needs some work. The team sucks anyways, might as well see if the kid can learn and progress.

In addition to Velez, we'll probably see Denker again.

In regards to Cain, I would be pissed if we ever traded him away. People sometimes forget that he's younger than Lincecum.

Went to Saturdays game. First one in 3yrs. What a beautiful place. Decent start from Sanchez wasted by the bullpen. Had fun though thanks to the beer. I got my son one of those bats with his name engraved on it.


There's not much of a cleaning left to do. Only Winn, Roberts and Molina left past this season (and Viz if we pick up his option) and all those guys are done in 2009. And none of those guys are very expensive.
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» Mon Jul 21, 2008 9:23 am
Well Sabes finally gets it...I hope. They have finally figured out that they will not win a Division with these guys, THANK GOD!!!

xbay wrote:So what does this mean at second base? We gonna see Castillo there and Aurillia at third? Or what? Perhaps Velez at 2nd?


I would assume we will get extended looks at Burriss, Velez & Ochoa at 2B. Denker was already sent down, so I have to assume the other 3 will get their shot before he does.

I am personally pulling for a middle infield of Velez & Burriss. I think 2B is where Eugenio Velez belongs...not at third, short or the outfield. He ahs had defensive struggles, but I think designating him to a position that he can grow into is better than just putting him on the field.

With Burriss, he is there defensively, but I think he needs to abandon switch hitting. He has no power, or contact for that matter, from the left side. He should be a full-time righty, and the starting SS.

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» Mon Jul 21, 2008 11:15 am
sleandres wrote:Well Sabes finally gets it...I hope. They have finally figured out that they will not win a Division with these guys, THANK GOD!!!

xbay wrote:So what does this mean at second base? We gonna see Castillo there and Aurillia at third? Or what? Perhaps Velez at 2nd?


I would assume we will get extended looks at Burriss, Velez & Ochoa at 2B. Denker was already sent down, so I have to assume the other 3 will get their shot before he does.

I am personally pulling for a middle infield of Velez & Burriss. I think 2B is where Eugenio Velez belongs...not at third, short or the outfield. He ahs had defensive struggles, but I think designating him to a position that he can grow into is better than just putting him on the field.

With Burriss, he is there defensively, but I think he needs to abandon switch hitting. He has no power, or contact for that matter, from the left side. He should be a full-time righty, and the starting SS.


Burriss is a talent who deserves a full-time job. I think Velez is over-hyped because he's the best of what we have. I could be wrong there, especially since he only has 137 ABs, but other than speed he doesn't bring much that I see. His 8-of-13 SB conversion rate isn't very good, either.

Durham is a great guy to go after right now. He seems to always have great contract years. Good move by both the Giants and the Brewers.
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» Mon Jul 21, 2008 1:49 pm
StuckInSoCal wrote:
sleandres wrote:Well Sabes finally gets it...I hope. They have finally figured out that they will not win a Division with these guys, THANK GOD!!!

xbay wrote:So what does this mean at second base? We gonna see Castillo there and Aurillia at third? Or what? Perhaps Velez at 2nd?


I would assume we will get extended looks at Burriss, Velez & Ochoa at 2B. Denker was already sent down, so I have to assume the other 3 will get their shot before he does.

I am personally pulling for a middle infield of Velez & Burriss. I think 2B is where Eugenio Velez belongs...not at third, short or the outfield. He ahs had defensive struggles, but I think designating him to a position that he can grow into is better than just putting him on the field.

With Burriss, he is there defensively, but I think he needs to abandon switch hitting. He has no power, or contact for that matter, from the left side. He should be a full-time righty, and the starting SS.


Burriss is a talent who deserves a full-time job. I think Velez is over-hyped because he's the best of what we have. I could be wrong there, especially since he only has 137 ABs, but other than speed he doesn't bring much that I see. His 8-of-13 SB conversion rate isn't very good, either.

Durham is a great guy to go after right now. He seems to always have great contract years. Good move by both the Giants and the Brewers.


I forgot to make mention in my orginal post that I wish the best of luck to Ray-Ray and hope that the Brew Crew can beat out the Cubbies. What a class act by Durham asking the Brewers not to make the trade official until the end of the series.

He didn't want the fans and his teammates to see him in a Brewers uni...I am just very imprssed by that. Durham is a pretty cool cat, I actually had the opportunity to pewk my guts out at O'Neils Irish Pub a few times after parting with Ray, really nice guy. The bar was closing, and they were kicking everyone out, but he got my friend and I back in...and bought us drinks!

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» Mon Jul 21, 2008 1:53 pm
sleandres,

That's a cool story! Ray was a major dissapointment throughout most of his time with the Giants but man could he hit when he was in a contract year. He should just go year-to-year to get the motivation every year.

That was classy that he didn't suit up for the Giants series.
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» Wed Jul 23, 2008 1:22 pm
:D Barry Zito wins 2 straight decisions for the first time this year...not bad for $126 mil :mrgreen:

Here is an interesting article, even further proving the fact that the Giants are finally turning the corner.

SAN FRANCISCO -- Barring an unforeseen reversal in philosophy, Giants shortstop Omar Vizquel will become a substitute for the rest of the season.
Vizquel said Tuesday that general manager Brian Sabean and manager Bruce Bochy met with him to inform him of his diminished role. Expressing appreciation for their candor, Vizquel insisted that he "completely understood" the move, which will create more playing time for rookie Emmanuel Burriss.

"Out of respect to Omar, we wanted to sit down and tell him what the game plan was," Bochy said. "He said he appreciated it and is willing to assume that part-time role."

Bochy also said that Eugenio Velez will receive the "lion's share" of playing time at second base in the wake of Ray Durham's departure to Milwaukee in Sunday's trade, although Burriss and Ochoa also can handle the position.

"We think Velez is a more offensive player," Bochy said.

Vizquel, who entered Tuesday night's series opener against the Washington Nationals batting .166, anticipated that his days as a regular were numbered. After missing all of Spring Training after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on Feb. 22 to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee, Vizquel hit .444 (8-for-18) in his first five games following his May 10 activation from the disabled list on May 10. But the switch-hitter quickly cooled off and his average sank below .200 for good on June 14.

"Due to my struggling and the way I've been swinging the bat, the decision comes a lot easier," said Vizquel, 41. "I don't want to just end the year sitting on the bench without having a chance to come back and raise your average. But I think they gave me enough chances and I didn't make a move."

Vizquel, the all-time leader for games played by a shortstop, seemed at peace as he spoke, although he admitted that his knee injury may have derailed his season before it began.

"It started on a bad note," he said.

Vizquel started Tuesday's game, and Bochy indicated that Burriss' playing time wouldn't increase until "a week or so" passed. But Vizquel said that timing is irrelevant.

"I understand perfectly what's going on," he said.

Despite occupying a diminished role, Vizquel said that he'd prefer to remain a Giant rather than demand a trade.

"It'd be nice to finish my year here," said Vizquel, who devotes considerable time tutoring Burriss and other younger teammates. "Going to another team isn't going to change anything."

Burriss said the announcement won't alter his mind-set.

"Even if I get more playing time, I have to help the team with the smallest things I can do," he said.

Nor would it surprise Burriss if Vizquel somehow retained his starting job.

"A guy of Omar's caliber, regardless of if he's slumping or not, they're going to give him more opportunities because of what he has done," Burriss said.

But Bochy, who has previously expressed a desire to heighten Burriss' role, sounded more set on the idea this time.

"I'd like to increase Burriss' playing time because he hasn't played much the last couple of weeks," Bochy said of the 23-year-old switch-hitter. Bochy stopped short of declaring that Burriss, who's batting .291 in 50 games, ranked ahead of Ochoa, who has hit .250 in four games since San Francisco purchased his contract from Triple-A Fresno on July 11.


Though I felt a bit upset reading this, from the standpoint of an Omar Vizquel fan, I was happy to read it as a Giant's fan. I was impressed, and not surprised, by Vizquel's reaction...this guy truly is a class act. He has been my favorite player (even in the Cleveland days) and today I remebered why.

Although I am sure he is more likely to end up in Cleveland again, I would love for Vizquel to stay in the organization as either a coach or a Latin American recruiter (similar to Felipe Alou).
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» Wed Jul 23, 2008 1:29 pm
Agree with you totally.

It's still beautiful to watch Omar play D. It's been a pleasure seeing him day in day out. Definitely the kind of class act we should keep within the organization after his playing days are done.
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» Wed Jul 23, 2008 2:02 pm
Yeah, gotta love Omar. Such a classy guy. I'll miss seeing his D on a daily basis. But you gotta start the youth sometime.

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» Wed Jul 23, 2008 9:44 pm
so my lil tid bit on giants baseball for now...

relief pitcher Geno Espineli is full filipino...haha, yea...represent. ironic thing is...he is the tallest giant on the roster?!

i remember watching him on the SJ Giants (tickets are hella cheap!)...i hope he can be good for us
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» Wed Jul 23, 2008 11:07 pm
I was wondering who that guy was. I didn't hear about Yabu being placed on the DL, so at first, I thought that was Yabu. But then I thought to myself, how come Yabu looks like a dark Filipino? Then, I saw what happened to Yabu and brought up Espineli.

He looks pretty good. Struggled a bit tonight with his pitches. He threw a nice chunk of his pitches far out of the strike zone. But his stuff was pretty good. Helped us get out of the jam.

But hey... Aurillia! Came up clutch in the 8th. Gotta love a guy like Aurillia who can fight off 2 strike counts and get something good out of it.
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» Thu Jul 24, 2008 2:06 pm
http://sanfrancisco.giants.mlb.com/news ... sp&c_id=sf

I really hope Noah can make it back. Starting 4 of Lincecum-Cain-Sanchez-Lowry would be tremendous.

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» Thu Jul 24, 2008 2:14 pm
only 7.5 games... why aren't we buying... no im kidding, we should save our dough for next year and beyond.

i wish lowry does get healthy though, and doesnt become a rich harden type guy

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