Change-UpFebruary 06, 2008
A Giant Mess
By Patrick Sullivan

So the Hall of Fame vote has come and gone, the top-prospects lists are out and have been discussed over and over again and it's a bit too early to launch into previews of any meaningful sort. There were two items that caught my attention this week, however. Dayn Perry wrote up a position-by-position look at the very worst in Major League Baseball. In it he says:'s challenging to impart just how bad the San Francisco offense is going to be in 2008.

After reading this I stumbled upon Dan Szymborski of Baseball Think Factory, who had realeased the first build of his 2008 Zips Projections. After noting that three San Francisco Giants had made their way onto Perry's list, I decided I would simply lay it out for you right here, in all its glory. Leaning on ESPN's listed depth chart for the Giants, here is the club's position-by-position Zips projection (AVG/OBP/SLG).

Catcher: Benjie Molina - .267/.300/.403

First Base: Dan Ortmeier - .255/.306/.407

Second Base: Ray Durham - .242/.319/.382

Third Base: Rich Aurilia - .262/.314/.398

Shortstop: Omar Vizquel - .249/.314/.308

Left Field: Dave Roberts - .266/.339/.372

Center Field: Aaron Rowand - .278/.340/.429

Right Field: Randy Winn - .282/.338/.429


Dayn's right. There really are no words. The Giants will feature an offense that figures to be one of the very worst in recent memory.


...and the SF pitchers? It suddenly seems relevant.

Just recently I found myself debating with someone who asserted that Brian Cashman = Brian Sabean with more money. This could've been exhibit A in my defense of Cashman.

Also gets me thinking that Lincecum for Rios would'nt have been as bad for the Giants as I originally thought. On balance, I'd still rather have Lincecum but with offense like that....

The '08 Giants look like strong candidates for my Baseball Hall of Horrors.

The best part is that a number of PAs from each of these guys are going to be given to replacement players too, due to injuries, rest, illness, etc. Of course, with stats this bad, that won't hurt the team's numbers that much at all.

And where exactly does Dayn get his defensive information? Every metric I looked at had Vizquel as a plus defender last year.

He may have had an awful season with the bat, but his glove is still MLB caliber.

Now I see why the Giants signed Aaron Rowand. Such offensive putrescence. But on the plus side, all of them are really old. Ha ha! Hey!...hey... is this mic on?

In the mind of Brian Sabean this is not a problem. He has a plan. Before the regular season opens he will trade Jonathan Sanchez and Henry Sosa to the White Sox for the last non free agent year of Joe Crede. He will do this so that he can bench Dan Ortmeier by moving Rich Aurilia from 3B to 1B and finally have the all scrappy proven major league veteran team he always wanted that is no longer draged down by waiting for a Barry Bonds Home Run!

Please Bud Selig, save us Giants Fans from this by suspending both Brian Sabean and Peter MaGowan.
Who cares if every other executive in baseball including yourself also ingnored the steroid elepants in all the clubhouses. Blame it all on Brian and Peter to save us Giants Fans from their stupidity. Do it now! This just can't wait!

That's criminal to field a team like that with the resources this club has. I reckon the fans would be happier seeing a bunch of young guys with potential stink it up then this lot.

Any reasonable gm would be dumping most of these guys at the trade deadline for any youth that has some potential. With Cain and Lincecum on the staff they have two potentially great starters, might as well go the full youth movement and try to scrape out an 80 win season and build for 2009 and beyond.

Oh, I don't know. I may be more interested in watching the Giants play, now that it isn't a one-man power circus. Hit and run, sacrifice, steal, squeeze...hey, there might be baseball again. Who knows, we might even beat Mexico next time.

"Hit and run, sacrifice, steal, squeeze...hey, there might be baseball again"

Russ, you are assuming this line-up can make these things happen? There will be verly little stealing and squeezing without any baserunners.
Every starter has an OBP below .350....they'll be really sh*t this year.

Considering offense only, is there a team in the majors with so little chance that anyone will better expectations, low as they are, or that has fewer players with any significant upside either in the majors or high minors?

There were 13 sub-.500 teams last year plus SF. It seems to me that, except for the Giants, each has a few players considered stars or soon-to-be stars and a few others about whom fans can have some reasonable optimism that they will improve on their 2007 performance. Am I missing someone who fits either profile on SF?

'..except for the Giants, each has a few players considered stars or soon-to-be stars..'

You know, the baseball doesn't arrive at the plate on wings of angels. They hire these guys to throw it there. Some people call them, 'pitchers'.

Snark aside, while I have been a huge Sabean detractor since time immemorial, he (or rather, Dick Tidrow) knows how to draft and develop pitching. Give the team that much: absent trades, three of five games are worth watching most of the way through for the starting pitching.

But mercy, when you look at hitters, free-agent signings and trades, the team does tend to make a fan want to puke.

"Considering offense only...."

I should have appended this in the second paragraph somewhere. "...each team has a few offensive players..."

Thank you for reminding me yet again, less than a week away from the Giants' pitchers and catchers reporting, that '08 looks to be the worst offensive season in recent history. Even to the point where some people would be open to the idea resigning Bonds.

i find it discouraging for cain and lincecum that some of their best years will be spent on a team that won't help them get any W's.

I have no doubt that the Giants offense will suck next year, but there's no way that Aurelia, Durham and Dave Roberts will get that much playing time in '08.

Rajai Davis, Schierholtz, Frandsen aren't stars but they will get more at-bats.

Anyone who would even CONSIDER trading Tim Lincecum for Alex Rios should have his head examined -- and I happen to like Alex a lot.

"Rajai Davis, Schierholtz, Frandsen aren't stars but they will get more at-bats"

that's a good thing?

Davis is 27 this year, he's small, he's minor league track record is only ok espcially when you consider the age context (he was pretty old at each stop at least for a actually good propspect). he's fast but that's about it. there's a boatload of guys like that where teams don't really even consider giving them a bench job.

Schierholtz might be decent enough, but his lack of walk combining with highish SO rate screames adjustment difficulty. he might be ok though. but your probably looking at Pedro Feliz like in the short term with a Joe Crede Peak at best.

Frandsen is one of those rare guys on the Giants that might actually have a decent OBP, but that comes with no power. though being a middle infielder that's probably passable. though it's hard to see him being any better than league average wtih the bat, your right that he might actually be a real upgrade over Vizquel or Durham... which is just sad.

rajah Davis is the same height and weight as Willie Mays. So saying that he is small, is a bit of a misnomer. Giants can put in a different lineup than the one posted that has very decent speed. Lets see what happens. The giants have enough extra middle relievers to supply another team. Maybe 3 or 4 of them to a team without pitching can land a good hitter or two.

I think size is relative to his era. At 5'11", 180 lbs, Mays was in the normal range for power hitters in his day. Same height as Mantle, same weight as Banks and Aaron according to BB-Ref.

The average major league power hitter today tends to be over 6' and/or 200 lbs. A-Rod and Manny are listed at 190 and 6'1"/6' respectively, but most others are bigger. For example, Carlos Pena is not usually described as particularly imposing, but he is listed as 6'2", 210 lbs which is bigger than any of those listed above and also Frank Robinson.

Although there are some really big guys who can hit the long ball, not all homerun hitters today are necessarily big. However the lifting weight, and of course the steroids have added pounds. Mantle hit a ball 565 feet in a game. No one today hits the ball any further.