The Phillies and the Brew Crew starting on Thursday night

Welcome to Czar’s Blog #12 of 2017

The Big News- Giancarlo Stanton cleared waivers!!!

OK, that’s no guarantee that the G-Men would pick up his $325 million contract (which is why he cleared waivers) but would he look good in the Orange and Black, or what?  That would be a move equal to the 1993 move that got Barry Bonds from the Pirates and rejuvenated the entire franchise (and kept them in San Francisco).  Stanton is a pure stud hitter and he has a legitimate shot at Bonds record.  When I saw him hit at AT&T I was blown away AND he hits right handed, which is the shortest porch at AT&T. He would protect Buster, probably start in left field and eventually move to right when Pence retires or moves on.

Enough of the dreams…

Where are the Giants right now?

Last place is not a good place to be but the Giants are playing good ball, and are enjoyable to watch.  They took three straight 2 to 1 series at home (from the A’s, the Snakes and the Cubs) and lost two series on the road 1 and 2 to the Nationals and the Marlins. Yes, that is the definition of a .500 ballclub but at this point in the season it is what it is (and it is better than six weeks ago).

However, it is ALWAYS worth it see a Buster Posey AB or throw from behind the plate.  Without Buster’s stabilizing influence who knows where we would be.  It’s fun to watch Buster get the Barry Bonds treatment (intentional passes in clutch situations).

The pitching is coming around.  Bum is back, Blach and Stratton look like starters in the future, Melancon is off the DL, Dyson was a steal (thank you Rags) and Samardjiza continues to pitch like a Notre Dame wide receiver.  Clearly the coaching staff is setting up for next year; and that’s what they should be doing.

At some point this year we will have to say good-bye to Matt Cain.  He’s been a stalwart Giant for 10 years, has earned three rings and pitched a perfect game.  He goes out with his head held high. I will miss him.

The DL – the bane of this Season but time to let the players heal, and the kids learn

Belt, Morse and Panik (all concussions), Cueto (blisters), Slater (Groin strain), Gomez (inflammation) and Smith (Tommy John) are all out and there is no good reason to rush them back. Let the Sacramento River Cats, San Jose Giants and the Richmond Flying squirrels see what they can do in the show. 

I like what the brain trust is doing.  Management is methodically testing every potential star in the system to see who rises above – Jarret Parker looks good, Ryder Jones looks adequate. Gomez is an interesting prospect but I’m not too sure that those behind them are ready.

The Panda experiment – working better than expected

Pablo came back appropriately chagrined and apologetic.  He was accepted in the clubhouse and he brings energy to the field.    He’s not hitting his weight yet but maybe that will come. Myquestion is whether or not he is keeping the hot corner warm for Arroyo, or if he may be a trade chip for Stanton.

The Series – the Phillies and the Brew Crew

The Phillies are in a rebuilding year, to put it mildly. They are the only team with a worse record than the Giants and their sole goal appears to be to get the number one draft choice in the spring draft.  Rebuilding year is being kind. They are being torn down to the ground.  They are coming off being swept in San Diego, losing a series to the Mets 1 and 3, and losing series to the Angels and Rockies in August.  The probable Giants pitchers for the 4 game series are Samardjiza on Thursday. Moore on Friday (when I’m going), Blach on Saturday and Bum on Sunday.

Then the Brewers come into town for a three game series.  The Brew Crew may be fading a bit but they are in a death match against the Cubs and the Cards for the NL Central crown (the three teams are a game and half apart). They will be in Denver before coming to AT&T.  They have strong hitters (Ryan Braun, Travis Shaw, Pina and Santana, among others), decent pitching and they are motivated.  This will be a good series.  Expect the G-Men to look for redemption by knocking a contending team out of the playoffs.  That will also be the theme through the end of August and through September.

That’s it!

Ciao, and GO GIANTS!

The Czar