“Hi, This is Brian Sabean. Sorry I can’t take your call right now, because I’m trying putting the finishing touches on a contract proposal to Ryan Dempster for around six or seven years and $130mil, but leave a message and I’ll get back to you after I finish convincing Bruce Bochy that Sergio Romo should only pitch once a week.”
“Hey, Brian. Tony Reagins here. So…uh…after last night, we’re pretty sure that we got bent over in that Scott Kazmir deal with the Rays, and uh…we could kinda use a left-handed starter, so we just kinda wanted to kick the tires a bit on Barry Zito, ya know? You guys lookin’ to move him at all? Or, uh…I mean, we’ve could probably give you guys an Ervin Santana, a Peter Bourjos, a Bobby Wilson, and maybe an Alexi Amarista, as long as you guys are cool with pickin’ up a couple hundred K of that contract.”
(I apologize for the atrocious quality of this video. I’m a simple caveman, and I’m frightened and confused by your point-and-shoot technology.)
When Does Scouting Become Stalking?
I cut work yesterday and made the long and boring drive to Stockton yesterday to see Giants’ uber-prospect Zack Wheeler pitch against the Ports. I think that’s the third time I’ve seen Wheeler pitch this season, which is nearly half his 2011 starts. Some might call this stalking, but I prefer to call it scouting.
Wheeler was dominant through the first three innings: four strikeouts and no Ports hitter got a ball out of the infield. The only base-hit was an exploded-bat single to the second baseman. He did, however, walk four: two each in the second and third.
He was a completely different pitcher after that, though: surrendered a solid single and a double in the fourth but managed to wriggle out of the jam without giving up a run. It all fell apart in the fifth: walk, single, walk, big fly, pulled for Jake Dunning. Final line: four-plus innings, 5 hits, 6 walks, 5 K’s, 4 runs (all earned), and his ERA ballooned to 4.32.
I couldn’t put my finger on what changed between the first three innings and what came after; I didn’t notice nearly as many slurves as he threw in the last start I saw, so maybe he just didn’t have that pitch.
The Giants scored 3 runs in the top half of the fourth and the fifth, so it was 6-0 when he took the mound in the bottom half of the fifth. Maybe he was just throwing fastballs and challenging guys to hit ‘em. (They did.) Hard to say.
Kevin O’Brien of Optioned to Fresno said on twitter that it “sounds like he hit a wall…Too bad. That showed at times last year in the Sally too, especially in the beginning.” Again, I don’t know, but it’s just one outing, and I still think he’s ready to pitch in AA. The only thing that really concerns me is the walks. Of course, with six walks through four innings, he’ll fit in just fine in the Giants rotation (groan).
Can Inman wrote a column on Wheeler’s performance yesterday and asked Zacky what it’s like hearing his name bandied about in trade rumors. Definitely worth a read.
Also in the game, Giants’ semi-prospect Hector Sanchez went all Jose Bautista and hit three bombs, two off Chris Mederos and one off Connor Hoehn. Not a bad day. Can he play enough defense to stick at catcher? Great arm but bad receiver and bad body; he’s probably carrying 20 extra pounds right now, and that’ll only get worse unless he gets his act together. But there’s not a lot of catching depth in the Giants upper-minors, while the advanced-A Giants roster has both Sanchez and Tommy Joseph. One of those two will have to move up eventually. Joseph is considered the better prospect, but Sanchez could certainly earn a promotion if he continues to hit like that.
Giants’ centerfielder Gary Brown? All he did was go 4-for-5 with 2 doubles, 2 stolen bags, and RBI, and a run scored. His only out was a flyout to deep right to open up the game. Move him up, already.
A’s prospect Michael Choice had an unremarkable day: 0-for-3 with 2 walks.
I’m no scout, but if you have any questions about Wheeler, Sanchez, Choice, or anyone else in the game, let me know and I’ll try and address ‘em.
UPDATE: Adam Foster has posted his in-depth Zack Wheeler scouting report over at Project Prospect. I suggest you check it out.
Knowing that we have a fair share of Giants fans with their eyes on this blog, I decided to peruse some Giants rosters of yore to see if I could dig up an “80 name” player a la Slade Heathcott for you folks. The result was obviously quite fruitful, not only because it uncovered
weatherman outfielder, Champ Summers, but because it led me to what was probably the most epic brawl in the history of Major League Baseball.
I can’t stop watching that clip. Kurt Bevacqua entering the fray like he’s in the pit at a Hatebreed show is comedy gold, and Champ flipping the switch and going into Central-Floridian-shirtless-meth-head-on-COPS mode is truly Artestian. He barrels across the diamond, hellbent on tearing the limbs off of a cocaine-fueled Pascual Perez and beating everyone in a Braves uniform to death with them.
Is August 10th officially Champ Summers Day? It damn well better be.