Tonight we start a two game series against the San Francisco Giants. They are 23-15, 1st in the NL West 2.5 game up on the Diamondbacks.
He puts the "you" in favorite, that's for sure! I looked as his three-year deal more like a one-year, $20 million deal -- a crazy premium paid by a team without any other options at second. So as long as he produces this year, he's golden.
He wasn't producing, though. Not for the first month. And his defense is very 38-year-oldy. So it looked like the Giants wouldn't even get the short-term benefit from that three-year deal. Lately, though, he's been torrid. And, yes, he's a fan favorite, though we've learned something about the fan favorites. Go to a team out of the division, like Andres Torres? No biggie. Go to a division rival like Cody Ross? There'll be grumbling.
When Joe Panik is ready to take over, the fan favorite stuff isn't going to go as far. Aubrey Huff was last week's Tiger Beat cover when Brandon Belt was ready.
How is the short haired Tim Lincecum doing? Would he be better as a reliever?
He doesn't know where the ball is going, and I don't know if that's going to be fixed with a simple mechanical tweak. If you could guarantee me that he'd pick up an extra two or three miles in the bullpen, I'd consider the switch. That'd be pretty sketchy to do to him in his walk year, though.
How is Romo doing with the closer role? Who is setting up for him?
Romo's doing well. He has superlative command, which is a nice complement for a strikeout machine. I don't feel like he's a threat to walk the bases loaded, which makes him the first closer I can say that about since Robb Nen when he was at his best.
What's going wrong with Ryan Vogelsong?
He's getting hit hard, and his command isn't nearly as fine. At his best, Vogelsong uses cutters and sinkers to dance on the edges of the plate -- the extreme edges, even giving up walks if he needs to. Anything other than giving in.
Now he's just giving in without meaning to. We've probably seen more hittable two-seamers this year than we did in the entire first half last year.
Who will DH for you guys? When is the NL going to join the 20th century (well the end of the 20th century) and give up on having pitchers hit?
Brett Pill just got called up, and he'll get a turn or two. Maybe Pagan to rest his hammy, or Pablo to rest his entirety. There's a 40-percent chance of hilarity with someone like Nick Noonan, too.
As for the DH ... listen, the game is better when you get to watch Barry Zito hit. He's an artist. He makes contact like that's the entire point of the game -- as if nicking a ball foul is some kind of bar game, and he's the master.
Watching Angel Pagan in the WBC, his defense seemed awful. Is he a better outfielder than it looked?
It's ... rough around the edges! He'll take bad breaks, though he has the speed to recover at times. He's usually the second-best defensive outfielder at any given moment for the Giants, assuming either Gregor Blanco or Andres Torres is in left, so they'll need to address the issue before the end of Pagan's contract. For now, though, he's frustrating, but not awful.
Who is your favourite and least favourite Giant to watch?
Favorite Giant is Buster Posey, obviously. It feels like we're in the fever dream of a six-year-old playing pretend baseball with his Transformers, and Posey is the Optimus Prime figure that gets every big hit. Sleeper pick would be Brandon Crawford, who is playing the best shortstop I've ever seen from a Giant, including an aging-but-still-amazing Omar Vizquel.
Least favorite? Not sure if there's a great candidate right now. Maybe Joaquin Arias when he starts at first, mostly because he's Joaquin Arias starting at first. But that's so rare, it's hard to complain.
Anything else we should know about the Giants?
They can hit, but they can't pitch. And in Rand McNally, hamburgers eat people.