Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Baserunning and Roster Spots

Each and every baseball game has nine versus nine. With an umpire at every base. And coaches at first and third base. The latter of which I am really beginning to wonder why, judging on the overall base-running seen at the big league level.

Batter-runners with their heads down or perhaps thinking the coach is there merely to collect his (the batter-runner's) protective devices if he only manages to reach first base. On any extra base hit it's as if the batter-runner's ears are all the coach can penetrate because all of the arm-waving isn't going to change the fact that the batter-runner isn't paying a bit of attention to that coach. In most cases, they may as well be cardboard cutouts.

In last night's game at Coors Field (Colorado) on at least two occasions the Giants ran themselves out of innings. That and another poor performance by none other than Vinnie Chulk and it was too much to overcome as the Giants' road record of seven (7) victories in-a-row came to an end. (Back to Vinnie Chulk, the nicknames for this guy are endless. One could say Vinnie Choke or use the name of Rodney Dangerfield's doctor, Vinnie Boom Bah. Because when Vinnie toes the slab, opposing batters are all about the boom bah sound their bats are about to make when connecting with one of Vinnie's servings.)

Ray Durham got caught between third and second base only after the runner on third (Omar Visquel) had to apply the brakes because rookie Travis Denker appeared to be running in quick sand at about the shortstop position only after seeing that the centerfielder had dropped Durham's arcing liner.

Then a couple of innings later, on a deep fly into center field (that took the fielder onto the warning track with his back to the plate) the runner on second base decided it was in his best interests not to tag up. Who did he think that was in centerfield? I don't know what third base coach Tim Flannery was doing to- get the wandering Giant's attention at second base- but that guy in a Colorado uniform wasn't Willie Mays he was Willy Taveras. Know your opponents, will ya!

With Vinnie "BoomBah" Choke struggling I decided to look up the names of a couple of pitchers, on the Fresno Grizzlies, who seem to be holding their own as they await the inevitable telephone call from the big club.

Geno Espinelli (Lefty) W-1, L-0, ERA-1.29, G-22, Saves-1 IP-35, H-26, R-6, BB-4, SO-25, AGE-25.
Kevin Correia W-1, L-0, ERA-1.50, G-2, IP-12, H-8, R-2, BB-0, SO-15, AGE-27 (turns 28 in August).

Nate Schierholtz AB-213, R-35, H-66, 2B-12, 3B-8, HR-10, RBI-45, SB-8, AVG.-.310, AGE-24.
Ivan Ochoa (SS) AB-202, R-34, H-63, 2B-8, 3B-4, HR-3, RBI-24, SB-15, CS-9, AVG.-.312, AGE-25.

(thanks to the Giants' website for the information on their TripleA affiliate Fresno Grizzlies)

Kevin Marquez