There’s nothing good to blog about after the Giants got swept by the Brewers in a series in which Buster Posey continues to struggle, Barry Zito got lit up for the first time in a long time , and Matt Cain got lit up AGAIN.
So there was only thing that Giants fans could smile about from the three-game in Milwaukee and it came compliments of Jean Machi.
During Tuesday’s CSN Bay Area broadcast, announcers Duane Kuiper and Mike Krukow were talking about a Giants transaction that day which brought reliever Jean Machi from Triple-A Fresno to fill the roster spot of Jeremy Affeldt, who went on the DL.
So the camera naturally cut to Machi in the bullpen, sitting next to Jose Mijares. And we got this:
And lingered into Wednesday.
So when Machi actually got into the game Wednesday, it set off a wildfire of flatulence tweets on Twitter.
And MoreSplashHits will admit that we got into the act.
Here are our Machi tweets @Moresplashhits on Wednesday
“#SFGiants call on Jean Machi, because they seek some relief.”
“In case you were wondering, Machi wasn’t praying behind the mound there.” (Machi squatted down behind the mound after making his warm-up pitches)
“When the catcher visits mound to talk to Jean Machi, the catcher covers his face with his glove.”
“Krukow after that last pitch from Machi ‘That was nasty’ and he wasn’t talking about the pitch.”
“When Jean Machi is pitching, #SFGiants infielders refuse to play in.”
“Giants lose to Brewers. Didn’t matter. With Jean Machi now on team, it wasn’t going to be a happy flight anyway.”
San Francisco Giants manager Bruce Bochy said he will have some tough decisions regarding the opening day roster.
Bochy’s decision became slightly easier Friday, when the Giants traded infielder Conor Gillaspie to the White Sox. The Giants received pitcher Jeff Soptic, a 21-year-old hard thrower who has battled with his control.
Gillaspie, a 2008 sandwich pick (37th overall), was one of five players on the Giants’ 40-man roster who were out of options, meaning he could not be sent to minors this season without first being sent through waivers.
Gillaspie, who was part of the Giants’ draft class that included Buster Posey and Brandon Crawford, hit .287 with 37 HRs in five minor-league seasons in the Giants’ system. Gillaspie got a call-up last season when Pablo Sandoval went on the DL. Gillaspie went 3 for 20 (.150) in six games before being sent back to Fresno.
What worked against Gillaspie was that he was not versatile defensively. He was a third baseman, and was not going to pass Sandoval and Joaquin Arias on the depth chart. Even Marco Scutaro is an option at third base. Gillaspie said he was thankful for the trade and hoped to have a better chance making the White Sox roster.
The move leaves the Giants with four players who are out of options: outfielder Gregor Blanco, infielder Arias, reliever Jose Mijares and pitcher Yusmeiro Petit. Blanco, Arias and Mijares are practically guaranteed of making the 25-man roster.
That leaves Petit, which will leave the Giants with an interesting decision.
One thing the Giants are lacking are big-league ready starting pitchers beyond their starting five of Matt Cain, Madison Bumgarner, Tim Lincecum, Barry Zito and Ryan Vogelsong.
Last season, all five made at least 31 starters, making the Giants the only team to have five pitchers make at least 30 starts. Only twice did the Giants need an additional starter, when a doubleheader in May in New York forced the Giants to call up Eric Hacker to make a spot start against the Padres, and in September when Petit made a start after the Giants’ clinched the division title and Bochy rested his starters.
Hacker was designated for assignment in September and signed to play in Korea this winter.
Of the seven pitchers who made at least seven starters for Triple-A Fresno last season, only two are in camp this spring — Petit and Boof Bonser.
Petit went 7-7 with 3.46 ERA in a team-high 28 starts for Fresno.
If the Giants keep Petit, it will need to be as a long reliever. It would also mean the Giants would likely release non-roster invitees like Ramon Ramirez, Chad Gaudin and Scott Proctor. Or it could mean George Kontos, who pitched well for the Giants after his call-up last season, would be sent to Fresno, for the sole reason that he CAN be sent to Fresno.
If they lose Petit to trade or waivers, the top option to make a spot start could be Gaudin. Gaudin made 34 starts for the A’s in 2007, but he has not started a game since making 25 starts in 2009 for the Padres and Yankees. Chris Heston, who had a solid season for Double-A Richmond, could be first in line to get a call from Fresno.
Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports and the MLB Network said that no team since the adoption of the five-man rotation in the early 1970s has ever had five pitchers make at least 30 starts in consecutive seasons.
You remember the 2010 season when Buster Posey and the Braves’ Jason Heyward were hooked in a heated battle for the NL rookie-of-the-year award?
Posey went on to take the honor. In 2011, Heyward struggled through a sophomore slump, while Posey had his second season ended in May with a disastrous ankle injury.
In 2012, we all know Posey returned to start the All-Star game and went on to win the NL MVP. But Heyward wasn’t all that bad. He hit .265 with 27 home runs.
Well on Friday, when teams were scheduled to exchange arbitration numbers, Posey and Heyward both settled on one-year deals with their teams during their first go-round in arbitration.
Posey agreed to an $8 million deal. Heyward signed for $3.65 million.
It’s clear that Posey deserved to get more than Hayward. But more than twice as much? It makes you wonder how much Posey would have cost to sign this season if he didn’t miss most of the 2011 season.
MoreSplashHits projected Posey would get about $5.9 million in his first year. So the $8 million deal the Giants agreed to must have meant that Posey was prepared to ask for as much as $10 million in arbitration.
It also shows the need to get Posey signed to longer deal. He has three more years of arbitration after this year, meaning he could be looking at salaries of $12 million, $16 million and $20 million-plus in the coming years.
The Giants also agreed to contracts with reliever Jose Mijares and outfielder Hunter Pence, Gregor Blanco.
Blanco signed for $1.35 million, which is just slightly higher than the $1.3 million figure MoreSplashHits projected.
Mijares signed for $1.8 million, again higher than the $1.6 million MoreSplashHits projected.
Pence agreed to $13.8 million, which was spot on with what MoreSplashHits projected.
The Giants haven’t gone all the way through the arbitration process with a player in several years, and it seems unlikely that they will allow any negotiation go to the arbitrators this year. Coming off a World Series championship that was won as much with team chemistry as talent, the Giants likely were willing to pay a little more to keep harmony in the clubhouse.
Friday’s deal leave the Giants with two unsigned arbitration-eligible players: reliever Sergio Romo (projected at $3.6 million) and infielder Joaquin Arias (projected at $800,00).
The San Francisco Giants were awared a waiver claim of left-handed relief pitcher Jose Mijares from the Kansas City Royals.
Then the Royals did something odd. They simply let Mijares go.
The Royals could have pulled the pitcher back from waiver, then would have had three days to work out a deal with the Giants.
But they decided it was better simply to let Mijares leave, much in the same way the Giants acquired Cody Ross in 2010.
It left many Giants’ beat writers and bloggers puzzled as to why the Royals did that.
The 27-year-old was having a solid season for the Royals, going 2-2 with 2.56 ERA, 37 Ks and 13 BBs in 38.2 innings. He was especially tough on lefties, who were hitting .212 against him. Righties were hitting .295.
He was making $925,000 this season with two more seasons under team control.
So why would the Royals let him go?
“Maybe he has really terrible B.O.” surmised NBC Sports Matthew Pouliot.
Maybe. That might explain why every American League team passed on him, as did 10 NL teams with worse records than the Giants.
Mijares has struggled of late. After seeing his ERA drop to his lowest point since mid-April at 1.54 on July 15, Mijares has allowed four runs in his last inning of work over four outings.
Mijares will be due to make between anywhere between $1.3 million and $2.5 million in arbitration next year. The Royals tried to trade the pitcher. But when those efforts failed they let him go.
“Jose did a perfect job for us,” Royal GM Dayton Moore said. “We just felt that after some opportunities to move him fell through, we needed to give those innings to other pitchers that potentially are going to be a part of our future.”
Pouliot offered one other possible explanation:
“Mijares was a real problem in the clubhouse. That was part of why the Royals dropped Yuniesky Betancourt on Sunday, and Mijares has long been viewed as something of a headcase. The Royals obviously didn’t think he’d be worth keeping around in 2013, so they figured they might as well let him go now.”
Mijares was added to the 40-man roster, and will be added the 25-man active roster when he arrives to the club. The candidates to be moved off the roster include Shane Loux or Brad Penny.
We’d expect Loux to be sent to Fresno.