Saturday, February 20, 2010

Spring Training Fever and More

The Thursday Examiner (2/18) had an interesting take on the upcoming major league season and our San Francisco Giants.

First point, Who will be the fifth starter? All indications are that top prospect Madison Bumgarner is the lead horse to become the Giants' No. 5 starter this season.

Then in an article neatly tucked in the corner it mentions Todd Wellemeyer, who was invited to camp. Wellemeyer is the lead man, the way I see it. In 2008, the 31-year old righty won 13 games and posted a 3.71 ERA with the St. Louis Cardinals. I had him on my fantasy team. You guys/gals who play fantasy know how it is playing. You get to know just how solid a ballplayer is or is not. Wellemeyer may have been dropped a time or two, but I always found reason to pick him back up.

2nd point: Can Schierholtz stay in the lineup? Nate Schierholtz has been one of the Giants' top outfield prospects for years, but has yet to crack the starting lineup. This appears to finally be the year Schierholtz will get that chance.

3rd point: Will Aubrey Huff regain his form? Which Huff will the Giants get? The player who is a career .282 hitter with three 100-RBI seasons or the guy who hit .241, including a miserable .189 in 40 games with the Detroit Tigers last season? Spring training will be everybody's chance to see if Huff is the real deal.

About Mark DeRosa, a career .275 hitter who has clubbed over 20 homers each of the past two seasons.


I saw this interesting tidbit in the 2/8/2010 ESPN magazine.
The piece was called "Journeymen"

Don Newcombe. The Newk won 27 games in 1956, earning the Cy Young Award and MVP. The Brooklyn Dodger hurler faltered soon afterwards and in 1961 was out of the majors. He resurfaced in 1962 as a first-baseman for the Nagoya Dragons of the Japan league.

He belted 12 homers and batted .262 in 81 games.

In looking up Newcombe's career I spotted that in 1955, as a Dodger, he belted 7-HRs, drove in 23 runs and batted .359. In 1959, his last hurrah in the big leagues, he pitched for the Cincinnati Redlegs. He had a 13-8 win/loss record and an ERA of 3.16. He batted .305, had 21-RBI, with 3-HR.

Let the records show, Don Newcombe could hit. And he proved it in his Japan journey. To come back as a position player and succeed I thought was pretty neat.

"Golly gee, Beave, cut it out!"

Kevin Marquez