Wednesday, September 1, 2010

We're Gonna Need a Bigger Bench...

It's September: time to welcome in the guys that aren't going to help us at all!

At least that's how it looks to me. Dan Runzler and Edgar Renteria will be coming back. Runzler should help in the bullpen, especially if Jeremy Affeldt continues to struggle. Renteria should be useful for pinch hit walk off singles in the 16th inning. Other than that, some guys we've seen before (Velez, Rohlinger, Burriss) could all join the team. Maybe they could start a poker tournament amongst themselves to occupy their time.

Then there is Dontrelle Willis. Looks like the Giants WANT to bring him up, but is it a good idea? He's only pitched 10.1 innings with the Giants minor league teams, so it's a very small sample size. But they have not been pretty. At all. Too bad. I wish Dontrelle could help the Giants. Last night I fell in love with Aroldis Chapman's delivery, and it's not too different from Willis'. Guys like that have a real old school feel about them, which is great because baseball is all about history. Unfortunately, Dontrelle's career might finally be history, unless the Giants take a wild chance and bring him up this September.

It doesn't appear that the Giants will come close to having a late season rookie debut as exciting as Aroldis Chapman was for the Reds last night. In all likelihood, Brandon Belt will go straight from Fresno to the Arizona Fall League once the AAA season is over. I'm fine with that. There aren't many at bats to go around, so instead of spending all his time on the bench, Belt can continue his development towards being the next Will Clark.

Outfielder Darren Ford was added today to the major league roster from AA Richmond. Last year, Ford had a good year offensively in San Jose, putting up a .300/.386/463/.849 line. This year, with more at bats in Richmond, his offense has dropped off. Of course, we know that the Eastern League can be tough to hit in, but his .680 OPS does not make him a great offensive replacement. Ford is reported to have great speed, so he could be a good pinch running option late in the game. However, I hope Bruce Bochy doesn't take that to mean he should be stealing bases. Ford had 3 great base stealing seasons in A ball, stealing 60+ each year with a success rate of 82%. However, last year in San Jose and this season in Richmond, he's stolen far fewer, and only at a 72% rate. I know that may seem like not much of a decline, but that 10% makes a HUGE difference. At 72%, you are barely breaking even in providing value with your stolen bases. At 82% with a large counting number like 67, you are helping a lot. If Darren Ford is getting caught a lot in AA ball, it's probably not a good idea to give him the green light in the big leagues.

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