Marlins and the All-Star Break

Welcome to Czar’s blog #9 of 2017

 

Where has this team been all season?

The G-Men are 23 games back of the Dodgers in the NL West.  They still have the worst record in baseball (other than the Phillies, who are in a league of their own) but have suddenly won 8 out of the last 10 games, including two series sweeps (one against the Rockies and one against the Pirates).  Heading into the All-Star break there is hope, albeit faint, that the year will end up with a decent record (although the play-off’s would be a pipe-dream requiring sweeping the month of August and most of September).

The G-Men are finally looking like the real Giants, and not a $180 million a year payroll bust.  It’s good to see them play this well, even if it’s probably too little, too late.

 

Buster Posey, Austin Slater and Sam Dyson

Buster is the starting catcher in the All-Star game and is having a career year, with a .326 BA and 16 dingers.  Buster is the best framer in the game and is worth going to see all by himself. We will tell our grandchildren we saw him play.

Beyond Buster, however, are players that we should all want to see prosper, and it starts with Austin Slater, who is batting .299, playing a solid game in all phases and looking like the future in left field.  Austin is really a good looking kid (even if he did go to Stanford) and if we come out this season with a solid future in left field that would be almost worth it.

The other pick-up that is worth talking about is Sam Dyson, the closer at Kansas City who lost it, and is now getting it back.  Sam was very shaky when first back but has suddenly found his mojo.  With Melancon on the DL Dyson has stepped up to the plate and steadied the bullpen, which has been a problem.  If they both are healthy we suddenly have a bullpen that can hold a lead (like happened in the first game against the Tigers on Tuesday).

The Other kids?

Christian Arroyo is smooth and looks like a young Matt Williams (Matty actually compared himself to Christian on a post-game show).  Christian is on the DL with a broken hand and I don’t really expect to see him until next season. Hwang on the other hand was a star in Korea and is now showing us why here.  He is a suburb 3rd baseman with a smooth swing and a knack for the big hit.  I expect that we are going to lose Nunez but Hwang will make up for it.

As for the other young ones (like Ryder Jones), this will be a year where we see them under the gun and truly get to take a look at what they can do.

The Pitching

Bum is currently on rehab in San Jose (where he got raked last night) but we will see him back right after the All-Star break when the new season starts. Samardjiza right now is the only pitcher really looking good.  However I expect the All-Star break to help the young guys like Blach.

Sellers or buyers at the trade deadline?

The eternal question. The Giants are sellers.  Cueto and Nunez are both gone but the core of young players (and veterans like Crawford, Belt and Panik) will stay intact.  The only surprise that we might see on the horizon is Pence being traded if there is real value there. Span might go if we get enough for him.  He is certainly playing well.

The series – The Marlins

The Marlins just split a series in St. Louis against the Cardinals.  They are in 4th place in the NL east with a record only 4 games better than the G-Men.  I fully expect the Giants to come into the weekend series with a huge chip on their shoulders and ready to play.  It will be a fun weekend of baseball!

That’s it!

Ciao, and GO GIANTS!

The Czar