San Jose Team Report | June 20

San Jose Team Report | June 20

As the All-Star Game has come and gone, it's time to take a look at how this team has performed. Sure, they went wire-to-wire and have clinched a playoff spot and a first round bye, but that doesn't mean they were perfect.

Offense: All in all, San Jose's offense has been a disappointment.  San Jose's offense is next to last in the ten team league in scoring runs, and near the bottom in most offensive categories.

A lot of this has been because of injuries.  The top Giants hitter on the season, Ben Copeland, was injured in April and has missed nearly half the first half.  Shuffles in the outfield due to injuries (Copeland, Mike Mooney, Joey Dyche) and sudden retirements (Ariel Nunez) kept the team from getting settled in throughout April.

The infield also had its issues.  Emmanuel Burriss was pushed to San Jose, but he struttled to the tune of a .165 batting average through 36 games before being demoted.  Other opening day players who have stayed, like second baseman Bradley Boyer (.237 BA) and first baseman William Thompson (.200 BA) have also been unimpressive.  The team has gotten some regular production out of third basman David Maroul and catcher Adam Witter, and have had good streaks from Pablo Sandoval and Anthony Contreras have helped.

But the news hasn't been all bad.  Center fielder Antoan Richardson doesn't always make hard contact, but he has been excellent at getting on base and stealing.  Mooney hasn't been the middle of the order hitter the team's wanted, but he's been consistently productive when not injured.  And the team has gotten help from promoted shortstop Brian Bocock, and demoted Tyler Von Schell who has provided power.  But this team is going to need have more players step up.  GRADE: D

Starting Pitching: This has been one of the team's strengths in the first half, though things may change.  The team's ace in the first half was clearly Dave McKae, who had a 1.93 ERA and a 5-1 record, but McKae has already been promoted.  McKae was followed by Paul Oseguera and Joe Martinez, whose ERA's aren't flashy in the low-mid 3's, but who have been very consistent.

The back end of the rotation has been less stellar.  Ronnie Ray has kept his spot, but has struggled at times and has a 5.13 ERA.  Yosandy Ibanez was removed from the rotation in April with control problems, and was replaced by Gregorio Martinez, who has had his own problems with a 4.53 ERA.  But despite the problems on the back end, the rotation has led San Jose to a league leading 3.64 ERA.

There have been some shifts that will affect the future, however.  Augusta's ace Henry Sosa was promoted and has already made his San Jose debut, replacing Gregorio Martinez in the rotation.  Former San Jose stars Darren Sack (demoted from Double-A) and Jason Waddell (back from extended spring training) have been added to the pitching staff.  And more moves could come, as Augusta's crowded rotation could add another of its stars in a mid-season promotion.  GRADE: B+

Relief Pitching: The team's starting pitching has led the way, but the bullpen has not been poor in its own right.  The relief corps has been led by Taylor Wilding.  As San Jose's lone All-Star, Wilding moved into the closer role in May and has a .152 ERA with 11 saves.  Te team has also had Sergio Romo for the past month, whose 2.25 ERA in 14 games has been impressive.  The middle relief corps has been led by David Quinowski (3.27 ERA), Kelvin Pichardo (3.28 ERA), and Anthony Moreno (3.46).

The team's relievers will get a major shuffle, however.  Over the break, Wilding has been promoted, and so has Ibanez, who was in the bullpen after being demoted from the rotation.  And Quinowski has been placed on the DL recently.  A lot of the Giants' second half fate will depend on who can step up from the bullpen.  GRADE: B

Overall: This team has had a good run, but it has lived on the strong pitching.  With promotions and injuries taking their toll, the team will not be able to always count on the pitching.  Von Schell's demotion has brought about whispers of a ‘ringer', but even he can't lift an entire team.  The team will need to have better offensive performances to survive, especially in the playoffs.  Still, they were in first place from Day One to the Break, and they have a first round bye, so it wasn't all bad.  GRADE: B

Roster Moves: Midseason brought about several changes.  Three Giants have been placed on the disabled list in the past week, all pitchers: Quinowski, Sack and reliever Wayne Foltin.  The Giants also had relievers Wilding and Ibanez sent up to Double-A, and the rehabbing Brian Wilson is now back up in Fresno.  The team also demoted Jerry Oakes to Augusta.

In the meantime, the team has added two pitchers.  Sosa, the ace in Augusta, has been moved up to San Jose.  The Giants also have another rehabbing former major leaguer, Tyler Walker, though his stay may be short.  No other moves to make up for the lost pitchers this past week have been made as of this writing.

Player of the Week: Taylor Wilding

Wilding's week wasn't an active one, with half of it being taken up by the break, but he was San Jose's lone All-Star.  He would've had a good game, too, if the All-Star team had been picked with defense in mind (the team committed two errors behind him, leading to two unearned runs).  He was also promoted to Connecticut, so it's unlikely that San Jose will see him again.

By The Numbers: .247/.318/.362

That is the team's batting line.  The .247 batting average is third worst in the league (ahead of Modesto and Rancho Cucamonga), while the .218 on-base percentage and the .362 slugging percentage rank ahead only of Rancho Cucamonga in the league.


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