Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Should the Giants Make Any Roster Changes for the NLCS?

Actually, the Giants have already made one change.

Today we learned that after Tim Lincecum pitches game 1 of the series, Jonathan Sanchez will be pitching Game 2 and Matt Cain will go for Game 3. Cain is still a better pitcher than Sanchez, but I see the reasoning behind the move. In his only start of the year in Philadelphia, Sanchez was rather brilliant. In 8 innings he allowed just 2 hits and 1 ER with 2 BB and 7 Ks. The Phillies' ballpark is also very small, and Sanchez does give up fewer flyballs than Cain, even though the difference isn't huge. The Phillies lineup has a lot of left-handed hitters too. Ryan Howard, one of Philly's best hitters, is significantly worse facing left-handed pitching and has always had trouble against Sanchez (3-for-14, 7 Ks). However, Sanchez does allow more baserunners and is generally more erratic. I don't really have a problem with the move, but I guess after all of these great starts, I'm waiting for bad Sanchez to come back. Cain is more consistent and I generally have much more confidence in him than Sanchez.

As for the rest of the pitching staff, it doesn't look like anything will change. I will not back down on my stance that Zito should be on the roster, but I realize the fight is over. In a 7 game series a long reliever is even more important and Guillermo Mota wasn't even used in the NLDS. I don't see the harm in having Zito, just in case. But the Giants, like many fans, don't seem to think Zito can effectively pitch out of the bullpen. It's okay, I'm over it.

It is also unlikely that any changes will made for position players even though the offense was atrocious against Atlanta. I guess there's not much they can do besides playing better. When Jose Guillen was originally left off the roster, it seemed like it was because he wasn't healthy, but the situation still seemed a little unclear to me. Would Guillen have made the roster if he was healthy or was it because the Giants wanted someone more versatile on defense? I think a healthy Guillen would have made it. We haven't heard anything about Guillen's health, so I assume he's still hurting. If healthy, I still think he's a better option than Rowand, particularly since Rowand was just used as a pinch-hitter, not a defensive replacement in the NLDS.

So.....I guess this post just told you that Cain and Sanchez switched spots in the rotation, which you probably already knew. Oh well. Keep an eye out for NLCS Pitching and Offense Previews in the next couple of days.


  1. Thoughts on Romo as a set up man?

  2. I'm not sure what to think about Romo.

    I don't think it's right to make knee-jerk decisions based on a couple of appearances, but on the other hand, this is the playoffs and he hasn't played well.

    Romo played so well during the regular season that I'd be fine with him in the 8th because I think more often than not he's shown he can get the job done. But we do have other guys who are capable. Casilla has been great. I'd also be fine with a Lopez/Ramirez combination. Maybe you move Romo to the 7th and have Lopez/Ramirez pitch the 8th. But it really depends on the situation.