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25 thoughts on 25 dudes or: Giants Primer, Part IV

April 6, 2012

The Giants, as required by an MLB-imposed deadline, released the 25-man roster for Opening Day a few days ago or something; I can’t even remember now, I’ve been delayed on this post because of an unwelcome visitor. Here it is, accompanied by my valuable thoughts.

Catchers

Buster Posey

He and I suffered the same injury playing baseball. Injuries, actually, because both the tibia and the fibula broke, and while he tore a ligament, I had a bone stick through my ankle joint—whatever the hell that means (thanks a lot, doctor who didn’t explain things good). Posey, of course, was bowled over by Scott Cousins. His body bent over backwards—all of it except his leg that is—and right away everyone knew something was seriously wrong, attending to him as quickly and fully as they could. I tagged up from second to third on a foul pop-up, got hosed, tried to do some olé jumping-acrobat shit around the third baseman’s tag, and fell in such a way that all of my weight landed on the outside part of my left foot. I heard a pop! right away, but apparently no one else did. I was allowed to writhe in pain on the ground for five minutes because, a) the first baseman who threw me out was much more important to the team and happened to hurt his shoulder on the play and, b) everyone thought I was pretending to be injured to excuse myself for not being safe. And one guy thought I was moaning like a beached whale because it looked like I got nut-tapped by the third baseman’s glove on the tag. This is another way of saying that people didn’t really like me in high school.

Hector Sanchez

The kid hit his way onto the roster. With catching prospects Tommy Joseph and Andrew Susac on the farm, a good season from Sanchez would make one of the three a valuable trading chip.

Infielders

Brandon Belt

It seems like he will platoon with Brett Pill at first while Aubrey Huff plays outfielder (like they do in the movies) and Nate Schierholtz rides the bench. When you heard he made the club you were probably happy enough to momentarily forget death.

Manny Burriss

A man with 146 career hits, 131 of which are singles.

Brandon Crawford

Pretty boy with the sideburns would be good player if he can hit .260/.340/.350.

Aubrey Huff

A hard-fighting, hard-farting, true-blue American. Comes to games drunk or hungover more often than anyone else on the team, I’d wager.

Brett Pill

Good for him.

Pablo Sandoval

He must empathize with supermodels, who also need to keep their weight down in order to succeed in their chosen profession. Supermodels must attain—and in attempting, they perpetuate—an impossible ideal of feminine beauty that is broadcast to the masses through every form of media imaginable (except radio?), an unrelenting and largely unnoticed brainwashing of the subconscious by multinational corporations with advertising budgets large enough to end world hunger, so that our most primal drives, to procreate and be liked, are channeled toward the consumer-capitalist agenda; Pablo just needs to be able to hit an inside fastball.

This is Pablo Sandoval in 2011. Hope that Pablo Sandoval in 2012 looks like this.

Ryan Theriot

His last name spells “the riot” but he seems boring. The irony of that is also boring.

Outfielders

Gregor Blanco

Just another Latino spark plug. (Quote #2)

Melky Cabrera

Sir Melkington and his two Royals outfielding mates all had by far their best seasons after some mildly disappointing careers. Was it magic pixie dust? Did they play harder because they were BFFs? Maybe they got stoned together under the bleachers and operated on some kind of pothead telekinesis with each other. Maybe I just smell weed right now, because that doesn’t even make sense. What might make sense is that since Melky, Alex Gordon and Jeff Francoeur were 26, 27 and 27 years old last season, respectively, they just might have been entering their primes. This might be unlikely for all three players, but it only needs to be true for the Melkman for Giants fans to be happy.

The Debbie Downers of the world would cite his .332 BABIP in 2011, 33 points above his career average (suggesting good luck). But with this handy xBABIP calculator (courtesy of Jeff Zimmerman at Fangraphs), which uses a player’s batted ball data—GB%, FB%, LD%, etc.—to produce an expected BABIP (see what I did there?), we can see that perhaps he was just unlucky for most of his career.

Angel Pagan

I don’t want to hurt his feelings, but I think by midseason he will be a resident of the bench.

Nate Schierholtz

Dude’s got a cannon. He proved serviceable last year, but doesn’t have the power of a typical right fielder. Still, he’s ideal for late-game defensive substitutions, especially at AT&T, where he knows that quirky brick wall more intimately than I know your mom.

Starting Pitchers

“Big Time Timmy Jim,” “Tim the Enchanter,” Tim Lincecum

Ownage, thy name is Goldschmidt.

Any reason is a good reason to show video of Tim the Enchanter.

Matt Cain

With that no-trade clause in his new contract, Cain will be the longest-tenured Giant for another five years.

Young Fellow Madison Bumgarner

Still an extraordinarily young fellow. Now that Cain is signed, I can complain about how Brian Sabean needs to lock him up through his first few years of free agency.

Ryan Vogelsong

Check out Parts III and IV of this primer.

Barry Zito

His contract is up in 2014.

Relief Pitchers

Jeremy Affeldt

The Giants paid a lot for him and Javier Lopez, more than you should pay lefty specialists in almost any situation. In this situation, Giants brass paid a little extra to keep the best bullpen in the league together, so I’m not gonna bitch.

Santiago Casilla

There are some talented relief pitchers on the farm, so Casilla might get flipped this year or next. For now, though, we get a guy with an electric arm and a pretty cool name. How does Santiago Casilla Lopez sound, readership?

Clay Hensley

The kid will wear a girly backpack filled with snacks and get his feet wet in low-risk situations. I don’t really know what he can do, but he is a highly touted prospect.

Javier Lopez

He is a well-read man, a philosopher.

Guillermo Mota

I love him in long relief, he’s great there.

His last name is Spanish slang for weed, and his first name means William in English. William Weed, to me, is a marijuana theorist/activist by day, bong-fueled superhero by night. Commentariat: Who is William Weed to you?

Dan Otero

Guy had a really good spring, I guess. I’m not the guy you go to when you wanna know about spring.

Sergio Romo

I’ve been saying it for years, and wrote it last year: Sergio Romo is the best pitcher in the Giants bullpen, and one of the best relievers in baseball. All us Mexicans love him; he’s our boy.

Brian Wilson

Some people are tired of his shtick. I say the man has created a brand from scratch, is making sure he has as much fun as he can while he still has one of the most fun jobs in the world, grows a mean beard (try to look at it objectively) and takes loads of pressure of the rest of the guys in the bullpen. Once his production slips, media types will write about how he’s become a distraction, because they love to turn sports into a morality play, and “look-at-me” types all eventually get turned on by the sportswriters who not only helped build them up, but also need those type of players to write something interesting. Polemical shit sells.

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