Monday, January 31, 2011

Saltzman Says...Giants Depth Chart (Updated 2/1/11)

San Francisco's Updated Organizational Depth Chart:

Catchers:
C Buster Posey (ML) {league minimum}
C Eli Whiteside (ML) {league minimum}
C Jackson Williams (Spring Training)
C Chris Stewart (Spring Training)
C Hector Sanchez (Spring Training)
C Aaron Lowenstein (AA)
C Eliezer Zambrano (AA)
C Tyler LaTorre (AA)
C Nestor Rojas (AA)
C Johnny Monell (Hi A)
C Tommy Joseph (Spring Training)
----------
First Baseman:
1B: Aubrey Huff (ML) {re-signed for 2 years, $22 million}
1B Travis Ishikawa (ML) {league minimum}
1B Brandon Belt (Spring Training)
1B/RF Brad Eldred (Spring Training)
1B Brett Pill (AAA)
1B Andy D'Alessio (AA)
1B Michael Ambort (Hi A)
1B Josh Mazzola (Hi A)
1B Rafael Rodriguez (R) 
---------- 
Second Baseman:
2B Freddy Sanchez (ML) {will make $6 million in 2011}
2B Mike Fontenot (ML) {will make $1 million in 2011}
2B Nick Noonan (Spring Training)
2B Charlie Culberson (Spring Training)
2B Brock Bond (AA)
2B Ryan Lormand (AA)
---------- 
Third Baseman:
3B Pablo Sandoval (ML) {league minimum}
3B Ryan Rohlinger (Call Up)
3B Conor Gillespie (40 Man)
3B Brad Boyer (AA)
3B Joel Weeks (Hi A)
3B Drew Biery (Hi A)
3B Chris Dominguez (Lo A)
---------- 
Shortstops:
SS Miguel Tejada {will make $6.5 million in 2011}
SS Manny Burris (40 Man)
SS Brandon Crawford (Spring Training)
SS Ehire Adrianza (40 Man)
---------- 
Outfielders:
OF Cody Ross (ML) {will make $6.3 million in 2011}
OF Andres Torres (ML) {offered arbitration}
OF Pat Burrell (ML) {re-signed for $1 million in 2011}
OF Mark DeRosa (ML) {will make $6 million in 2011}
OF Aaron Rowand (ML) {2 more years for $24 million}
OF Nate Schierholtz (ML) {league minimum}
OF Darren Ford (40 Man)
OF Thomas Neal (40 Man)
OF Gary Brown (Spring Training)
OF Terry Evans (Spring Training)
OF Mike McBride (AAA)
OF Tyler Graham (AAA)
OF Ben Copeland (AAA)
OF Roger Kieschnick (AA)
OF Francisco Peguero (40 Man)
OF Wendell Fairley (Hi A)
OF Juan Perez (Spring Training)
OF James Simmons (Hi A)
---------- 
Designated Hitters:
DH Jose Flores (Hi A)
---------- 
Right Handed Pitchers:
RHP Tim Lincecum (ML) {will make $13 million in 2011}
RHP Matt Cain (ML) {will make $7 million in 2011, $15 million in 2012}
RHP Brian Wilson (ML) {will make $6.5 million in 2011, $8.5 million in 2012}
RHP Sergio Romo (ML) {league minimum}
RHP Santiago Casilla (ML) {will make $1.3 million in 2011}
RHP Ramon Ramirez (ML) {will make $1.65 million in 2011}
RHP Steve Edlefson (40 Man)
RHP Henry Sosa (40 Man)
RHP Guillermo Mota (Spring Training)
RHP Josh Banks (Spring Training) 
RHP: Waldis Joaquin (Spring Training)
RHP Matthew Sartor (AAA) {Rule 5 Draft}
RHP Dashenko Ricardo (AAA) {Rule 5 Draft}
RHP Michael Main (AA)
RHP David Mixon (AA)
RHP Craig Westcott (AA)
RHP Mitch Lively (AA)
RHP Jose Casilla (40 Man)
RHP Casey Daigle (Spring Training)
RHP Shane Loux (Spring Training)
RHP Ryan Vogelsong (Spring Training)
RHP Marc Kroon (Spring Training)
RHP Daryl Maday (AA)
RHP Adrian Martin (AA)
RHP Felix Romero (Spring Training)
RHP Oliver Odle (Hi A)
RHP Justin Fitzgerald (Hi A)
RHP Edwin Quirarte (Hi A)
RHP Jason Stoffel (Spring Training)
RHP Ben Wilshire (Hi A)
RHP Kyle Woodruff (Hi A)
RHP Brian Anderson (Hi A)
RHP Hector Correa (Hi A)
RHP Eric Stolp (Hi A)
RHP Zach Wheeler (Lo A)
----------
Left Handed Pitchers:
LHP Jeremy Affeldt (ML) {will make $4.5 million in 2011}
LHP Madison Bumgarner (ML) {league minimum}
LHP Jonathan Sanchez (ML) {will make $4.8 million in 2011}
LHP Javier Lopez (ML) {offered arbitration}
LHP Dan Runzler (ML) {league minimum}
LHP Barry Zito (ML) {3 more years for $57.5 million}
LHP Alex Hinshaw (40 Man)
LHP Clayton Tanner (40 Man)
LHP Justin Dowdy (AAA) {Rule 5 Draft}
LHP Matt Yourkin (Spring Training)
LHP David Quinowski (AA)
LHP Kelvin Marte (Hi A)
LHP Wilmin Rodriguez (Spring Training)
LHP Ryan Verdugo (Spring Training)

Brandon Belt might be a 2011 addition

San Francisco's Free Agents:
C: Steve Holm (AAA)
C: Guillermo Rodriguez (AAA)
1B: Jesus Guzman (AAA) (Padres)
1B: Michael Sandoval (Hi A)
2B: Derin McMains (AAA)
3B: Juan Uribe (ML) (Dodgers) {will be awarded a 2011 draft pick as compensation}
3B: Jacob Blackwood (AA) (Padres)
SS: Edgar Renteria (ML) (Reds)
SS Juan Ciriaco (AA)
SS Sharlon Schoop (AA)
OF: Jose Guillen (ML)
OF Eugenio Velez (Call Up) (Dodgers)
OF Joe Borchard (AAA)
OF Clay Timpner (AA) 
RHP Chris Ray (ML) (Mariners)
RHP: Eric Hacker (AAA) (Twins)
RHP Rafael Cova (AA)
RHP Matt Kinney (AAA)
RHP Mike MacDonald (AA)
RHP Osiris Matos (AAA)
RHP Scott Nestor (Lo A)
RHP Tony Pena Jr. (AAA) (Red Sox)
RHP Ronnie Ray (AA)
RHP Todd Wellemeyer (Cubs)
LHP: Geno Espineli (AAA) (Rockies)
LHP Joe Paterson (AAA) (D'Backs)
LHP Horacio Ramirez (AAA)
LHP Andy Sisco (AA)
LHP Jake Stevens (AA)
LHP Dontrelle Willis (AAA) (Reds)

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Saltzman Says...Brian Wilson on Lopez Tonight

Here is the link to see Brian Wilson on Lopez Tonight

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Saltzman Says...and the Oscar Goes to...

...And The Oscar Goes To:


The Academy doesn't always get it right, like when The Shawshank Redemption or Gangs of New York lost.  They get it right sometimes too, like with Slumdog Millionaire, Crash, Braveheart and The Silence of the Lambs.  This year, the Academy made a lot of good choices, but the best movie of the year wasn't eligible for the Oscars.  Temple Grandin was an amazing film and one of the best acting performances in a long time by Claire Danes.  I have made an effort to see as many Oscar nominated movies as I can.  My 2010 nominees
include some of the Academy's favorites.  127 Hours, King's Speech, The Fighter, True Grit, Black Swan, Inception, and Toy Story 3 were all phenomenal films and all are up for Best Picture nods.  I still have not seen The Social Network, which is also a favorite to win the award for Best Picture.  I also haven't seen The Kids are All Right or The Winter's Bone. Here are all the movies I have seen in 2010.

Of what I have seen, I am hoping for the following:

2011 Academy Awards
Best Picture - 127 Hours
Best Director - Danny Boyle (127 Hours)
Best Actor - James Franco (127 Hours)
Best Actress - Natalie Portman (Black Swan)
Best Supporting Actor - Christian Bale (The Fighter)
Best Supporting Actress - Hailee Steinfeld (True Grit)
Best Animated Feature - Toy Story 3
Best Adapted Screenplay - 127 Hours
Best Original Screenplay - The King's Speech

My Official Movie Page

My Academy Awards from 1984-2010

My Top Ten Lists from 1984-2010

Saltzman Says...Warriors should dump their waste

State of the Warriors Franchise

After all is said and done, the Golden State Warriors have 5 players worthy of keeping past this season, 2 players not worth enough to move, and the rest aren't worth their contract.  That may seem harsh, but when a team has been so inept for so long, they don't deserve best case scenarios and optimism. 

Monta Ellis, Stephen Curry, Dorrell Wright, and David Lee.  The Warriors actually have 4/5 of a starting lineup.  That doesn't mean that the Warriors will ever win a championship with that backcourt, or Wright as a starting wingman, but they have 4 starters worthy of a place on this team long term.  Andris Biedrins was a great young center two years ago, but he has become a shell of himself.  He has become so paranoid about his pathetic free throw shooting, that he stopped being aggressive and he stopped working hard on the offensive side of the floor.

Reggie Williams is a good backup swingman.  So was Kelenna Azubuike and Anthony Morrow.  So was Marco Belinelli and Jamal Crawford.  So was Mickael Pietrus and Matt Barnes.  So was...are you sensing a theme here.  The Warriors have been mostly successful at finding good bench players who aren't good enough to start.

Ekpe Udoh and Lou Amundson are both big men with small NBA contracts.  They are both signed through next year and beyond and have no business going anywhere else.  They are good role players, much in same way Ronny Turiaf was. 

Vladimir Radmanovic, Dan Gadzuric, Brandan Wright and Charlie Bell are not the answer.  None of them should be back in 2011-2012.  They are all making millions more than they are worth to an NBA team.

So what do we do?

Do we make a blockbuster trade for Carmelo Anthony?:

No, but I like the thought process.  Like it or not, it's an All-Star run league and the Warriors haven't had an All-Star since 1997.  Anthony hasn't won a title in Denver, and can't win by himself.  Neither can LeBron James, Dwayne Wade or Kobe Bryant.  Kobe needed Pau Gasol, and LeBron and Wade have each other now.  Monta Ellis is becoming an All-Star.  He needs help.  David Lee certainly applies as a 20-10 power forward who loves to hustle and get after it on defense.  Stephen Curry is certainly capable of being a running mate, and Dorell Wright is showing to be one of the best bargains in the game.  At the end of the day, Ellis still needs his other cornerstone.  Anthony could be it, but it would cost too much to get him.  Especially with so many teams after him and his desire to end up in New York next year anyway.

What are some trades that would make sense?

If Charlotte was looking to save money....

Trade Dan Gadzuric, Brandan Wright and a future draft pick for Gerald Wallace

If DeAndre Jordan is the answer at center for the L.A. Clippers...

Trade Vladimir Radmanovic and Charlie Bell and a future draft pick to the Clippers for Chris Kaman

If the Memphis Grizzlies have given up on O.J. Mayo...

Trade Andris Biedrins to Memphis for Hasheem Thabeet and O.J. Mayo

New Look:
PG Curry
SG Ellis
SF Wallace
PF Lee
C Kaman

PG Mayo
SG Williams
SF Wright
PF Udoh
C Amundson

PG Law/Lin
C Thabeet

We get a reliable center in Kaman, a legitimate small forward in Wallace, and a potent 6th man in O.J. Mayo.  With the size and length of all three we can continue to build around our undersized trio of Ellis, Curry and Lee.  

Charlotte and Los Angeles would get cap relief.  That would be the biggest reason to take someone like Gadzuric or Radmanovic.  Obviously they are not getting the talent back that you might hope for for Wallace and Kaman.  But between the money they would save long term and the 1st round picks that would come along with the expiring contracts, it might be tempting.

Memphis would get an upgrade from Thabeet and insurance for Marc Gasol.  It very well may be too much money to pay a 7'0" who doesn't start, but maybe Biedrins can flourish playing with Gasol and Zach Randolph.  You can't teach 7'0" and having a guy as young as Biedrins may appeal to them.

The trip of Kaman, Wallace and Mayo joining our foursome gives us 7 capable NBA starters on our team.  That, along with Williams and two decent big men in Udoh and Admunson gives us a team that can compete for the playoffs every year.  Thabeet would get time to develop in the D-League along with Jeremy Lin, and in next year's draft we can go after a PG or a C to challenge those two for a roster spot.  Until trades like this are made, we will still always be a few players away from the playoffs.



Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Saltzman Says... The State of the Giants Franchise

The State of the San Francisco Giants


The Giants are poised to repeat as World Series Champions.  Not because they are the best team on paper, because that would go to the four headed monster in Philadelphia and the perfect when healthy lineup in Boston.  Since 2011 will be played on grass, the Giants have done the best they could possibly do to bring back their championship team from 2010.  Juan Uribe has been replaced by Mark DeRosa, and Edgar Renteria was replaced with Miguel Tejada.  Or at least, those are the two players the Giants will count on to fill the only four shoes no longer in the locker room. 

Starting pitcher Jonathan Sanchez, OF's Cody Ross and Andres Torres, and relief pitchers Javier Lopez, Ramon Ramirez, and Santiago Casilla all avoided arbitration and were brought back.  Before those signings, the Giants brought back Pat Burrell, Aubrey Huff and Mike Fontenot as well and invited Guillermo Mota to spring training.

However, none of these players are cornerstones of this franchise.  The players that can make the Giants the team of the decade (2010-2019) is Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain, Brian Wilson, Madison Bumgarner, and Buster PoseyBrandon Belt, a newly named Top 50 prospect by Baseball America, may one day join this group.  However, Pablo Sandoval, who hit .330, with 25 home runs and 90 RBI's in his first full season, had such a drop off in 2010, that it's too early to assume anything about a minor league prospect.
Jonathan Sanchez will eventually be our 4th best pitcher and Barry Zito, who still has three years left on his $126 million nightmare, is at best our 5th starter.  Sanchez will not stay if keeping him forces us to break the bank.  Zito will be gone in three years, if not sooner.  The Giants can be the Yankees and Red Sox, and be great every year if they continue to re-sign Lincecum, Cain, Wilson, Bumgarner and Posey. 

Catcher
The Giants will have a player in San Jose this year named Tommy Joseph, who's ability to hit for power will find him rising up the levels, despite his lack of defensive ability behind the plate.  However, with Buster Posey in San Francisco for good now, Joseph's rise will not be crucial.  Posey, last year's Rookie of the Year, has been compared to both Joe Mauer and Johnny Bench for his all around ability.  I think he plans on becoming the first Buster Posey.  And that is just fine with me.  Eli Whiteside, who began the year as the backup to Bengi Molina and Jonathan Sanchez' personal catcher, remained in that role behind Posey.  Whiteside will go into 2011 with the same job title, and unless someone impresses in camp, will be the Giants backup catcher once again.  Outside of Joseph, there is little else in the minors to suggest any competition for Posey, let alone Whiteside.  The Giants brought in several new catchers this off-season to compete with holdovers in the minors like Jackson Williams, Johnny Monell, and Nester Rojas.


The Chosen One: Buster Posey
 
First Base
Aubrey Huff was the most important free agent the Giants have signed since Barry Bonds.  His leadership, production, friendship with Pat Burrell, and thong wearing led the Giants to something Bonds was never able to do.  Bonds was one of the greatest players in the history of the game, but Huff has a ring.  That doesn't make Huff better than Bonds, but it makes his bat as valuable in the history of the Giants.  All that being said, Brandon Belt is the future for the Giants at First Base.  Belt will be in camp this year to show the major league staff what Triple-A manager Steve Decker, Single-A manager Brian Harper, and Vice President of Player Development Bobby Evans already know...this guy can hit.  His bat has been compared to Will Clark's and Buster Posey's.  His defense is the best since J.T. Snow, and he can play the outfield too.  I see his time in the outfield similar to Posey's time at first in 2010.  If it gets him in the lineup, they'll play him there, but he is a first baseman.  The Giants will be paying Huff $11 million each of the next two years, mainly because he can play more than 1st base.  Belt and Huff will eventually be batting in the same order.  When and at what positions is the only question.  Travis Ishikawa, the Giants dependable glove at 1st, will have a good chance of making the Opening Day roster again.  Ishikawa proved to be a dependable pinch hitter and a good late inning substitute at 1st.  With Belt in the wings, his days may be numbered, unless the Giants part with an outfielder or two.


What will Huff Daddy do for an encore?


Second Base
Freddy Sanchez is our second baseman in 2011.  There is no set plan for 2012 and beyond.  When Sanchez is healthy, he is one of our most dependable players, but that sentence in and of itself should tell you that injuries are a big part of his story.  If healthy, Sanchez could be re-signed beyond next year without a second thought.  If he struggles to stay healthy in 2011, he might not be brought back at all in 2012.  If that is the case, the Giants will be counting on several unknowns in their system or looking at another organization for help.  Charlie Culberson, who spent last year in San Jose, is the most promising.  Manny Burriss, who has major league experience at 2nd, and Nick Noonan, who played in Richmond last year, haven't showed enough to be given the job.  If Culberson is given time in Fresno in 2011, he might be given a shot to replace the oft-injured Sanchex in 2012.  If not, the Giants will either give the job temporarily to Mike Fontenot, or find a free agent.


Will Sanchez remain healthy and be the spark in the lineup?


Shortstop
Miguel Tejada is not the answer beyond 2011.  He might not be the answer for 2011.  He is similar to the production they got out of Juan Uribe and Edgar Renteria last year, but his range will not get any better, and his bat is not what it once was either.  The problem is that the most promising prospect played with Charlie Culberson in San Jose, and he only has the glove to play in the majors to this point.  Ehire Adrianza has a better glove than former prospect Brian Bocock had, and has more potential at the plate, but so far potential is all we have seen.  Same for Triple-A prospect Brandon Crawford, who also has the glove, but hasn't shown enough in his swing to warrant a call-up.  Second and Short could be critical positions beyond 2011 for the Giants.  Will Sanchez and Tejada become a force in their mid 30's or will the Giants usher in a new duo from outside the organization?  Could the Giants go with Burriss and Crawford in 2012, or rush the development of Culberson and Adrianza?  This will be the talk of the off-season, barring a major unforeseen trade.



Will Tejada replace Juan Uribe in the lineup and in the locker room?
 

Third Base
After the 2009 season, Pablo Sandoval seemed to lock this position up for the decade.  Who saw a .330/25/90 line coming from this free-swinging, fun-loving, Kung-Fu Panda?  One year later, nobody has being looked at with more concern than the lovable Panda.  His numbers dropped to the point where Brian Sabean threatened to start Sandoval in Triple-A if he didn't come to camp in shape.  It seemed to get the message across, as Sandoval has been working had this off-season to prove the doubters wrong.  If he can get back to a line closer to .300/20/80, he will be what Pedro Feliz never was, which is a dependable .300 hitter.  If he doesn't, he is Pedro Feliz.  That proved not to be good enough, despite the consistent 20 home runs and 80 RBI's Pedro put up for the Giants.  His inability to hit for average or improve made his glove expendable.  Even Bill Mueller before him had the average and the glove, but never the power numbers.  Sandoval has neither the glove or the bat at the moment.  Mark DeRosa, who was never healthy in 2010, is a secondary option at third, but if Sandoval loses his job, and DeRosa replaces him, both may be gone after the season.  The 2012 Opening Day Third Baseman might not be on the current roster.  It could be Tejada, if he does well in his first year.  It could be Ryan Rohlinger, who is fighting not to be the next 4-A almost star out of Fresno.  Or it could be a big name free agent to be.  Here's hoping the Kung Fu Panda literally reshapes his image and solidifies the Place Where Matt Williams Played.



Will the Panda return to his 2009 form?

Outfield
The 2010 season began with Mark DeRosa, Aaron Rowand and John Bowker in the outfield, with Nate Schierholtz winning the 4th outfielder job.  Andres Torres eventually replaced Aaron Rowand in the everyday lineup, and eventually won the 2010 Willie Mac Award honoring the most inspirational player on the team.  The Giants brought in Pat Burrell off waivers from the Tampa Bay Rays and in August, the Giants brought in Cody Ross, as much to keep him from San Diego and because Florida wanted nothing for him, as because they liked his ability.  Bowker was traded to Pittsburgh for Javier Lopez, but the rest are still in San Francisco.  Now, going into 2011, Burrell, Torres and Ross seem to be the favorites to start.  The 2010 crowded outfield has become the 2011 crowded outfield.  DeRosa, Rowand and Schierholtz are still in the organization and all favorites to make the Opening Day Roster.  Huff, if Brandon Belt does well, could be the everyday left fielder.  Still with me?  The Giants don't have any sure things in the minors, with Thomas Neal, Darren Ford and Roger Kieschnick having normal seasons in 2010 after huge seasons in San Jose in 2009.  Ross could be a long term answer in the outfield, and Torres will stay in center as long as his legs continue to be gazelle-like.  Left field is the biggest x-factor on the team.  2012 might usher in a free agent to man the post left by the biggest bat in baseball history just 5 years ago.  It could be given to Huff for the next two years, and Neal after that.  Along with 2nd and SS, LF seems to be the most unsure position long term.


Will Torres once again be the catalyst we need?


Will Burrell and Ross provide the same pop?


Starting Staff
Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain, Jonathan Sanchez, and Madison Bumgarner are as good a front four as there is in baseball.  My bias included, they are better than Philadelphia's current front four because we lead 4 rings to 1.  The Giants out-pitched Cliff Lee twice, out-pitched Roy Halladay twice, and beat Roy Oswalt and Cole Hamels as well.  Your move Philly.  Barry Zito, the Giants $126 million 5th starter, has shown flashes the last two years that he could at least be the dependable innings eater we need him to be, so that every fifth day we have a chance to win.  The Giants have also signed Jeff Suppan this winter in hopes of some insurance in case one of their horses feels the impact of an extra month of pitching or gets injured in Spring training.  Dan Runzler, one of the most dependable lefties in the organization, will also try his hand at starting after spending most of his career in the bullpen.  The most promising starter in the minors is Zach Wheeler, the 2009 first round pick, who will begin 2010 in San Jose.  Clayton Tanner, who was recently added to the 40 man roster, might be the best prospect option to start a game in San Francisco next year.  He ended last year in Richmond, and might start the year in Fresno.

Will Cain join Lincecum among the elite in 2011?

Bullpen
Brian Wilson, Brian Wilson, Brian Wilson.  I just wanted to type his name three times so I could have a link to the World Series, NLCS, and NL West Division clinchers Wilson had this year.  The man with the fearful beard and 48 saves will be the closer once again in 2011, and hopefully for the remainder of his career.  With his cut fastball and abuse of the outer part of the plate, Wilson is no longer just a flamethrower.  Here's hoping his career eventually mirrors Mariano Rivera's in New York.  The rest of the bullpen was nearly as impressive over the course of the year, as well as in the postseason.  Javier Lopez, Jeremy Affeldt, Sergio Romo, Santiago Casilla, Ramon Ramirez, and Guillermo Mota were all big keys to the Giants winning the West, the National League Pennant and the World Series.  Lopez was the most impressive, pitching lights out against Josh Hamilton, Ryan Howard, Chase Utley and Jason Heyward during the post season.  Affeldt, who may have been the best pitcher on the Giants in 2009, resurrected his 2010 with his performance in Game 6 of the NLCS to save Jonathan Sanchez and help avoid a Game 7.  Sergio Romo became the setup man for Brian Wilson during 2010, and will look to build on that success in 2011.  Santiago Casilla and Ramon Ramirez helped solidify the 7th inning as they both dominated down the stretch in September, and again in October.  Guillermo Mota, who will start his second straight year with an invite to Spring Training, has been a consistent bullpen presence, much in the same way Zito has been for the starting staff.  He will never blow you away, but when he is on, he can eat up innings and keep his teams in games.  The two games that defined the season and the bullpen were the last game of the regular season to clinch the West and Game 6 of the NLCS.  In both games, the bullpen was called on early.  Jonathan Sanchez, pitched 5 solid innings against the Padres, and the bullpen threw 4 additional shutout innings.  The more impressive game was Game 6 of the NLCS, where the bullpen started in the third after Sanchez was removed for not pitching well, among other things.  Affeldt, Bumgarner, Lopez, Lincecum and Wilson all pitched scoreless innings to clinch the pennant for the Giants.  With every member of the bullpen in the post-season returning, the Giants should be in great shape to support the starting staff again.  In the Minors, the Giants have some intriguing options.  Jose Casilla, Santiago's brother, was added to the 40 man roster in 2010, and has the same type of live arm and his sibling.  His mid 90's fastball should be as fast as his climb up the minors if he continues to strike batters out.  Steve Edlefsen has been the most reliable closer in the minors and was also added to the 40 man roster.


Will we all reconvene at McAllister and Hyde in 2011?


Don't Forget About These Moments that helped shape the 2010 Regular Season:

Juan Uribe's two home runs in one inning, including a grand slam in September in Chicago.
Juan Uribe's walk off single in the 11th against San Diego back in August.
Pat Burrell's grand slam and 2nd home run of the game off the Cubs in August.
Andres Torres' walk off single back in May.
Brian Wilson's 15 pitch marathon with Kazuo Matsui in a 2-1 win that sealed the Giants fate in May. 
2010 - Torture
Aaron Rowand's infield single in the 13th to win it for the Giants over the Atlanta Braves back in April.



Parting Shots:  Edgar, Juan and Bengie are all former Giants now, but they will always be remembered.  Here are some 2010 highlights just so we never forget that they and others helped us win it all in 2010!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Saltzman Says... Giants Set for 2011?

San Francisco's Updated Organizational Depth Chart:


Catchers:
C Buster Posey (ML) {league minimum}
C Eli Whiteside (ML) {league minimum}
----------
First Baseman:
1B: Aubrey Huff (ML) {re-signed for 2 years, $22 million}
1B Travis Ishikawa (ML) {league minimum}
1B Brandon Belt (Spring Training)
---------- 
Second Baseman:
2B Freddy Sanchez (ML) {will make $6 million in 2011}
2B Mike Fontenot (ML) {will make $1 million in 2011}
---------- 
Third Baseman:
3B Pablo Sandoval (ML) {league minimum}
---------- 
Shortstops:
SS Miguel Tejada {will make $6.5 million in 2011}

---------- 
Outfielders:
OF Cody Ross (ML) {will make $6.3 million in 2011}
OF Andres Torres (ML) {will make $2.1 million in 2011}
OF Pat Burrell (ML) {will make $1 million in 2011}
OF Mark DeRosa (ML) {will make $6 million in 2011}
OF Aaron Rowand (ML) {2 more years for $24 million}
OF Nate Schierholtz (ML) {league minimum}

---------- 
Right Handed Pitchers:
RHP Tim Lincecum (ML) {will make $13 million in 2011}
RHP Matt Cain (ML) {will make $7 million in 2011, $15 million in 2012}
RHP Brian Wilson (ML) {will make $6.5 million in 2011, $8.5 million in 2012}
RHP Sergio Romo (ML) {league minimum}
RHP Santiago Casilla (ML) {will make $1.3 million in 2011}
RHP Ramon Ramirez (ML) {will make $1.65 million in 2011}
RHP Guillermo Mota (Spring Training)
RHP Jeff Suppan (Spring Training)
----------
Left Handed Pitchers:
LHP Jeremy Affeldt (ML) {will make $4.5 million in 2011}
LHP Madison Bumgarner (ML) {league minimum}
LHP Jonathan Sanchez (ML) {will make $4.8 million in 2011}
LHP Javier Lopez (ML) {will make $2.4 million in 2011}
LHP Dan Runzler (ML) {league minimum}
LHP Barry Zito (ML) {3 more years for $57.5 million}

The last piece of the puzzle for 2011?


29 players for 25 spots.

Most Likely to Not Make the Cut:
26. Brandon Belt, it has been said publicly, will start on opening day or play in AAA.
27. Dan Runzler, who is trying to become a starter, will most likely start in AAA.
28. Jeff Suppan, who is a starter, was signed as insurance in case our starting 5 get hurt.  If they are healthy, he's gone.
29. Guillermo Mota, who was invited to Spring Training for the 2nd straight year, might not make the 25 either.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Saltzman Says... Will Sabean go to Arbitration?

Hank Schulman of The San Francisco Chronicle tweets that Javier Lopez filed for $2.875MM and Andres Torres for $2.6MM. The Giants countered with $2MM and $1.8MM, respectively.

Brian Sabean, like most GM's, don't like to let things go to arbitration.  It is messy.  You have to talk about a player you really like in the worst light possible in hopes of saving hundreds of thousands of dollars.  In a multi million dollar world, that seems unnecessary, when the money you have to spend is available to work something out with the player beforehand.

In all likliehood, Lopez and Torres will work out a deal before their hearing.  Same as with Tim Lincecum last year.  It is also possible that both Lopez and Torres could sign two year deals instead.

I could see Javier Lopez signing a 2 year $4.875 million contract.  This way they give Lopez what he wants in 2012 instead, and only have to pay him what they want in 2011.  Lopez gets more stability in a two year deal, and the Giants are in better financial shape in 2011.

Same goes for Torres.  I could see a 2 year $4.4 million deal for Torres.  Set up the same way.

Lincecum got that last year.  He played in 2010 for the amount the Giants wanted to pay him, and will play in 2011 for the money he wanted in '10.

I like it for these two mid-30's players who can clearly do two unique things for this team.  Get any left hander out, and catch any ball in centerfield, respectively.

Giants will look to avoid arbitration with Javier Lopez (pictured) and Andres Torres

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Saltzman Says... Giants Depth Chart, Updated 1/26/2011

San Francisco's Updated Organizational Depth Chart:

Catchers:
C Buster Posey (ML) {league minimum}
C Eli Whiteside (ML) {league minimum}
C Jackson Williams (Spring Training)
C Chris Stewart (Spring Training)
C Hector Sanchez (Spring Training)
C Aaron Lowenstein (AA)
C Eliezer Zambrano (AA)
C Tyler LaTorre (AA)
C Nestor Rojas (AA)
C Johnny Monell (Hi A)
C Tommy Joseph (Spring Training)
----------
First Baseman:
1B: Aubrey Huff (ML) {re-signed for 2 years, $22 million}
1B Travis Ishikawa (ML) {league minimum}
1B Brandon Belt (Spring Training)
1B/RF Brad Eldred (Spring Training)
1B Brett Pill (AAA)
1B Andy D'Alessio (AA)
1B Michael Ambort (Hi A)
1B Josh Mazzola (Hi A)
1B Rafael Rodriguez (R) 
---------- 
Second Baseman:
2B Freddy Sanchez (ML) {will make $6 million in 2011}
2B Mike Fontenot (ML) {will make $1 million in 2011}
2B Nick Noonan (Spring Training)
2B Charlie Culberson (Spring Training)
2B Brock Bond (AA)
2B Ryan Lormand (AA)
---------- 
Third Baseman:
3B Pablo Sandoval (ML) {league minimum}
3B Ryan Rohlinger (Call Up)
3B Conor Gillespie (40 Man)
3B Brad Boyer (AA)
3B Joel Weeks (Hi A)
3B Drew Biery (Hi A)
3B Chris Dominguez (Lo A)
---------- 
Shortstops:
SS Miguel Tejada {will make $6.5 million in 2011}
SS Manny Burris (40 Man)
SS Brandon Crawford (Spring Training)
SS Ehire Adrianza (40 Man)
---------- 
Outfielders:
OF Cody Ross (ML) {will make $6.3 million in 2011}
OF Andres Torres (ML) {offered arbitration}
OF Pat Burrell (ML) {re-signed for $1 million in 2011}
OF Mark DeRosa (ML) {will make $6 million in 2011}
OF Aaron Rowand (ML) {2 more years for $24 million}
OF Nate Schierholtz (ML) {league minimum}
OF Darren Ford (40 Man)
OF Thomas Neal (40 Man)
OF Gary Brown (Spring Training)
OF Terry Evans (Spring Training)
OF Mike McBride (AAA)
OF Tyler Graham (AAA)
OF Ben Copeland (AAA)
OF Roger Kieschnick (AA)
OF Francisco Peguero (40 Man)
OF Wendell Fairley (Hi A)
OF Juan Perez (Spring Training)
OF James Simmons (Hi A)
---------- 
Designated Hitters:
DH Jose Flores (Hi A) 
---------- 
Right Handed Pitchers:
RHP Tim Lincecum (ML) {will make $13 million in 2011}
RHP Matt Cain (ML) {will make $7 million in 2011, $15 million in 2012}
RHP Brian Wilson (ML) {will make $6.5 million in 2011, $8.5 million in 2012}
RHP Sergio Romo (ML) {league minimum}
RHP Santiago Casilla (ML) {will make $1.3 million in 2011}
RHP Ramon Ramirez (ML) {will make $1.65 million in 2011}
RHP Steve Edlefson (40 Man)
RHP Henry Sosa (40 Man)
RHP Guillermo Mota (Spring Training)
RHP: Waldis Joaquin (Spring Training)
RHP Dashenko Ricardo (AAA) {Rule 5 Draft}
RHP Michael Main (AA)
RHP David Mixon (AA)
RHP Craig Westcott (AA)
RHP Mitch Lively (AA)
RHP Jose Casilla (40 Man)
RHP Casey Daigle (Spring Training)
RHP Shane Loux (Spring Training)
RHP Ryan Vogelsong (Spring Training)
RHP Marc Kroon (Spring Training)
RHP Daryl Maday (AA)
RHP Adrian Martin (AA)
RHP Felix Romero (Spring Training)
RHP Oliver Odle (Hi A)
RHP Justin Fitzgerald (Hi A)
RHP Edwin Quirarte (Hi A)
RHP Jason Stoffel (Spring Training)
RHP Ben Wilshire (Hi A)
RHP Kyle Woodruff (Hi A)
RHP Brian Anderson (Hi A)
RHP Hector Correa (Hi A)
RHP Eric Stolp (Hi A)
RHP Zach Wheeler (Lo A)
----------
Left Handed Pitchers:
LHP Jeremy Affeldt (ML) {will make $4.5 million in 2011}
LHP Madison Bumgarner (ML) {league minimum}
LHP Jonathan Sanchez (ML) {will make $4.8 million in 2011}
LHP Javier Lopez (ML) {offered arbitration}
LHP Dan Runzler (ML) {league minimum}
LHP Barry Zito (ML) {3 more years for $57.5 million}
LHP Alex Hinshaw (40 Man)
LHP Clayton Tanner (40 Man)
LHP Matt Yourkin (Spring Training)
LHP David Quinowski (AA)
LHP Kelvin Marte (Hi A)
LHP Wilmin Rodriguez (Spring Training)
LHP Ryan Verdugo (Spring Training)

Brandon Belt might be a 2011 addition

San Francisco's Free Agents:
C: Steve Holm (AAA)
C: Guillermo Rodriguez (AAA)
1B: Jesus Guzman (AAA) (Padres)
1B: Michael Sandoval (Hi A)
2B: Derin McMains (AAA)
3B: Juan Uribe (ML) (Dodgers) {will be awarded a 2011 draft pick as compensation}
3B: Jacob Blackwood (AA) (Padres)
SS: Edgar Renteria (ML) (Reds)
SS Juan Ciriaco (AA)
SS Sharlon Schoop (AA)
OF: Jose Guillen (ML)
OF Eugenio Velez (Call Up) (Dodgers)
OF Joe Borchard (AAA)
OF Clay Timpner (AA) 
RHP Chris Ray (ML) (Mariners)
RHP: Eric Hacker (AAA) (Twins)
RHP Rafael Cova (AA)
RHP Matt Kinney (AAA)
RHP Mike MacDonald (AA)
RHP Osiris Matos (AAA)
RHP Scott Nestor (Lo A)
RHP Tony Pena Jr. (AAA) (Red Sox)
RHP Ronnie Ray (AA)
RHP Todd Wellemeyer (Cubs)
LHP: Geno Espineli (AAA) (Rockies)
LHP Joe Paterson (AAA) (D'Backs)
LHP Horacio Ramirez (AAA)
LHP Andy Sisco (AA)
LHP Jake Stevens (AA)
LHP Dontrelle Willis (AAA) (Reds)

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Saltzman Says... The Saltzman's = The Griswald's???

Danielle and I are considering taking a vacation this summer.  We have thought about it, and it makes sense to take some time off this summer together.  The last two summers included 2 weeks of Washington D.C., many football practices, and the best wedding in the history of weddings.

Danielle and I had an amazing, breathtaking week in Hawaii, and we are thinking of getting away again this summer.

1. We have been thinking about flying to the EAST COAST, and seeing New York, Boston, Washington D.C., etc., and renting a car to drive home.  It seems crazy to take a road trip across the U.S. AND BACK, so we thought flying to the east coast and driving back made a lot of sense.

2. We think we will know enough people along the way to not have to stay in too many hotels on the way home.  Ideally, it allows us to see some our good friends and family too.  We will ideally visit Denver and Seattle, so we plan on driving along the Northern half of the country.  We have been to Dallas together, and we can always try to see New Orleans and Miami another time.

So, Family and Friends...  please comment back to me any advice you might have for ways to enjoy our time more, save money, and get the most out of our vacation idea.


Plans so Far:
  1. Fly on Monday, June 20, 2011 from San Jose, to Denver, to Boston for $520.80.
  2. a) Rent a Car (taxes makes it anywhere from $3000-$6000)  b) Rent a U-Haul Van.  Might be only $600. c) Buy a Used Car in Boston
  3. Monday, June 20, 2011 - stay with friends in Framingham, Boston.
  4. Tuesday, June 21, 2011 - visit Fenway Park and other Boston sites (stay 1 more night in Framingham.)
  5. Wednesday, June 22, 2011 - visit New York (Times Square, Broadway, Yankee Stadium, etc...)
  6. Thursday, June 23, 2011 - visit Cooperstown, NY. (Baseball Hall of Fame)
  7. Friday, June 24, 2011 - visit Washington D.C. (Lincoln Memorial, etc...)
  8. Saturday, June 25, 2011 - visit Washington D.C. (Holocaust Museum, monuments, etc...)
  9. Sunday, June 26, 2011 - stop in Pittsburgh at PNC Park vs Boston Red Sox?
  10. Monday, June 27, 2011 - visit Canton, OH. (Pro Football Hall of Fame)
  11. Tuesday, June 28, 2011 - visit South Bend, IN.? (Notre Dame Stadium)
  12. Wednesday, June 29, 2011 - visit Chicago, IL?
  13. Thursday, June 30, 2011 - visit Chicago for a Day game at Wrigley Field vs the Giants?
  14. Friday, July 1, 2011 - visit friends in Kansas City?
  15. Saturday, July 2, 2011 -visit friends in Wichita?
  16. Sunday, July 3, 2011 - visit friends in Denver
  17. Monday, July 4, 2011 - visit friends in Denver for 4th of July
  18. Tuesday, July 5th, 2011 - visit friends in Denver
  19. Wednesday, July 6th, 2011 - Salt Lake City, UT?
  20. Thursday, July 7th, 2011 - Yellowstone National Park?
  21. Friday, July 8th, 2011 - Boise, ID?
  22. Saturday, July 9th, 2011 - visit friends in Seattle, WA
  23. Sunday, July 10th, 2011 - visit friends in Seattle, WA
  24. Monday, July 11th, 2011 - visit Portland, OR?
  25. Tuesday, July 12th, 2011 - visit Ashland, OR?
  26. Wednesday, July 13th, 2011 - visit Sacramento, CA?
  27. Thursday, July 14th, 2011 - visit family in Stockton, CA?
  28. drive home on July 15th, 2011!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Google Maps
4,977 Miles

  • About 38 minutes (Boston Airport to Framingham)
  • About 35 minutes (Framingham to Fenway Park)
  • About 4 hours and 23 minutes (Fenway to Cooperstown)
  • About 3 hours and 46 minutes (Cooperstown to Yankee Stadium)
  • About 18 minutes (Yankee Stadium to Times Square)
  • About 4 hours and 25 minutes (Times Square to Lincoln Memorial)
  • About 3 minutes (Lincoln Memorial to Holocaust Memorial)
  • About 4 hours and 39 minutes (Holocaust Memorial to PNC Park)
  • About 2 hours and 3 minutes (PNC Park to Canton)
  • About 4 hours and 41 minutes (Canton to South Bend)
  • About 1 hour and 56 minutes (South Bend to Wrigley Field)
  • About 20 minutes (Wrigley Field to Museum of Science and Industry)
  • About 5 hours and 29 minutes (Chicago to Des Moines, IA)
  • About 2 hours and 21 minutes (Des Moines to Omaha, NE)
  • About 4 hours and 22 minutes (Omaha to North Platte, NE)
  • About 4 hours and 3 minutes (North Platte to Denver, CO)
  • About 1 hour and 44 minutes (Denver to Cheyenne, WY)
  • About 6 hours and 53 minutes (Cheyenne to Salt Lake City, UT)
  • About 5 hours and 21 minutes (Salt Lake City to Boise, ID)
  • About 2 hours and 21 minutes (Boise to Baker City, OR)
  • About 2 hours and 41 minutes (Baker City to Kennewick, WA)
  • About 3 hours and 43 minutes (Kennewick to Seatlle, WA)
  • About 2 hours and 55 minutes (Seattle to Portland, OR)
  • About 5 hours and 9 minutes (Portland to Ashland, OR)
  • About 4 hours and 43 minutes (Ashland to Sacramento, CA)
  • About 1 hour and 58 minutes (Sacramento to HOME)








      Tuesday, January 11, 2011

      Chris Haft Says... Arbitration to boost payroll

      Giants' payroll likely to climb after arbitration

      Ross, Sanchez among six players in line for salary increases


      SAN FRANCISCO -- The expense report for the Giants' World Series triumph will soar as they enter salary arbitration season.
      Significant pay increases are virtually assured for six players, whose 2010 salaries are in parentheses: Outfielders Cody Ross ($4.45 million) and Andres Torres ($426,000), left-handers Jonathan Sanchez ($2.1 million) and Javier Lopez ($775,000) and right-handers Santiago Casilla ($400,000) and Ramon Ramirez ($1.155 million).
      Not only are they eligible for arbitration, a process that generated an average 107 percent raise for such players last year, but each of them also helped the Giants surge to their first Series conquest since 1954.












       
      Related Video

      Sanchez's 200th strikeout

      Ross has enjoyed the ride

        Hot Stove chats with Bochy















        Players may file for arbitration between Wednesday and Jan. 15. Each player and his respective club will exchange a proposed figure for a one-year contract on Jan. 18. Those unable to reach agreements will proceed to a February hearing in which an arbitrator will select either the team's or the player's proposal.
        Teams can limit payroll increases by negotiating settlements. No matter how many compromises the Giants strike, their total payroll is bound to exceed $120 million, up from approximately $96 million last season. The Giants still would like to exercise as much control as possible while avoiding potentially adversarial hearings.
        "Everybody wants to find common ground," Giants vice president of baseball operations Bobby Evans said. "I'm sure both sides will make an honest effort."
        Under ordinary circumstances, the Giants probably would try to forge a multiyear agreement with Sanchez, whose salary skyrocketed from $455,000 in 2009 to $2.1 million last season, his first year of arbitration eligibility. Sanchez also earned an additional $75,000 in performance bonuses by pitching 193 1/3 innings.
        Barring poor performance, Sanchez will continue to receive handsome pay hikes this year and next through arbitration. A mainstay of San Francisco's starting rotation at age 28, he finished 13-9 with a 3.07 ERA and held opponents to a .204 batting average and 6.61 hits per nine innings, both Major League lows.
        But the Giants possess little spare change. They already have more than $66 million committed to five players in 2012: left-hander Barry Zito ($19 million), right-hander Matt Cain ($15.333 million), center fielder Aaron Rowand ($13.6 million), first baseman Aubrey Huff ($10 million) and closer Brian Wilson ($8.5 million). The Giants also must factor in an eight-figure wage for Tim Lincecum, who'll be arbitration-eligible after earning $14 million this year.
        Salaries for arbitration-eligibles tend to be based on comparisons of wages earned by players at the same position with similar Major League service time.
        Torres, whose 2010 salary barely exceeded the Major League minimum, conceivably could triple or quadruple his pay. San Francisco's starting center fielder, whose compelling personal background has prompted a documentary film company to chronicle the story of his life, hit .268 with 16 home runs, 63 RBIs and 26 stolen bases a year ago.
        Though the percentage of Ross' raise may not match Torres', the Most Valuable Player of the National League Championship Series (.350, three doubles, three homers and five RBIs) should command a salary in the $7 million range, at least. Ross hit .269 with 14 homers and 65 RBIs in the 2010 regular season.
        As setup or situational relievers, Casilla, Lopez and Ramirez likely won't receive exorbitant raises, though their income will climb nevertheless. Casilla (7-2, 1.95 ERA) amassed 56 strikeouts in 55 1/3 innings and stranded 41 of 47 inherited baserunners, the Majors' second-best ratio; Lopez (4-2, 2.34) held left-handed batters to a .162 batting average (16-for-99); and Ramirez (1-3, 2.99) yielded only two earned runs in 27 innings after joining the Giants from Boston in a July 31 trade.

        Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

        PANDA WATCH!!!


        "Aurilia lives in Phoenix and told me today he saw Pablo at a shopping mall just before Christmas. Sandoval told him he had lost 17 pounds."

        • Pablo Sandoval is working privately to lose weight in an effort to save his career, multiple sources told the San Francisco Chronicle.  Rich Aurilia saw Sandoval before Christmas and said the 24-year-old infielder reported he had lost 17 pounds.  Last week, Venezuelan reporters quoted Sandoval as saying he had lost 16 "kilos" with a goal of 24 "kilos" by spring training. Sixteen kilos is more than 35 pounds.
          
        "Hopefully he's doing well because he's (like) our new free agent," coach Shawon Dunston said. "If he gets back to his 2009 form, watch out."

        Monday, January 3, 2011

        Saltzman Says... Three Former Giants on Hall of Fame ballot

        Kirk Rueter is one of the San Francisco Giants greatest lefties



        Three Former Giants on Hall of Fame ballot

        Marquis Grissom, Benito Santiago and Kirk Rueter will not make the Hall of Fame.  They will most likely not stay on the ballot passed Wednesday.  A candidate needs 5% of the vote to stay on the ballot.  Grissom has the best chance to stay on the ballot past this week, but noen of the former Giants will ever receive the necessary 75% of the vote needed for entrance to the Hall of Fame.

        Here is a brief bio on the former San Francisco Giants:

        Marquis Grissom: Known for his combination of power and speed, Grissom hit 227 home runs and stole 429 bases over 17 seasons with the Expos, Braves, Indians, Brewers, Dodgers and Giants. He also had a career .272 batting average and was an All-Star while with the Expos in 1992 and '93. Primarily a center fielder, he won four straight Gold Gloves from '93-96, winning two with the Expos and two with the Braves. He also had a career .317 batting average in the postseason, helping lead the Braves to the World Series title in '95 before being named MVP of the '97 ALCS with the Indians.

        Kirk Rueter: The winningest left-hander in San Francisco Giants history, Rueter won 130 games with a 4.27 ERA in 13 seasons with the Expos and Giants. His best season came in 2002 with the Giants when he went 14-8 with a 3.23 ERA and helped lead the club to the World Series against the Angels before ultimately losing in seven games. He retired having the most wins by a San Francisco Giants left-hander with 105 of his 130 career wins in a Giants uniform.

        Benito Santiago: The 1987 NL Rookie of the Year with the Padres, Santiago was one of the better hitting catchers of his era while spending 20 seasons in the Majors with the Padres, Marlins, Reds, Phillies, Cubs, Giants, Royals and Pirates. He tallied a career .263 batting average with 217 home runs and 920 RBIs in 1,978 games. He also won four Silver Sluggers, three Gold Gloves and was a five-time All-Star. He never won a World Series, but was named MVP of the 2002 NLCS while with the Giants and had a career .250 batting average in 28 postseason games.

        SFGiants.com Says... Giants know they have Target on their back in '11

        Giants know they'll have target on back in '11

         
        SAN FRANCISCO -- No matter how the Giants fare next season, it won't be the same as 2010.
        Every streak and slump they endure will be magnified. Should they accomplish the daunting task of repeating as World Series winners, their triumph would be regarded at least partially as inevitable, since the baseball world will have tracked their progress since Spring Training. That would contrast with last season, when many observers seemingly ignored them until October. Should the Giants struggle, the cruel word "fluke" will resound, though any professional in any sport might insist that a title won is a title earned.
        Yet to a considerable degree, this year will be like any other, with pitching determining the team's success. The Giants thus should feel fortunate, since the leaders of their staff, including Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain, Jonathan Sanchez, Madison Bumgarner and Brian Wilson, still appear to be ascending toward their respective peaks.


        Giants management hasn't lapsed into overconfidence. The franchise can't afford that luxury after capturing its first title in 56 years. But the front office is allowing itself to entertain the possibility that the club could be entering a sublime stretch similar to 1997-2004, when San Francisco averaged 92 victories per year.   To make that notion a reality, the Giants must answer the following questions effectively:




        1. Can Pablo Sandoval work himself into decent physical shape?
        If he does, the Giants might feel as if they've acquired a potential All-Star. They thought that highly of Sandoval after he hit .330 with 25 home runs and 90 RBIs in 2009. But last season, he couldn't resist his twin temptations -- chasing bad pitches and eating -- which resulted in a drop to .268-13-63. Even if Sandoval reports to Spring Training looking fit, he must remain disciplined through the season as he confronts postgame buffets and the stream of food offered on charter flights. Facing possible demotion to the Minors if he doesn't shape up, Sandoval is said to have been conditioning diligently in Arizona.
        2. Will the shortened offseason affect the pitchers?
        This is another question that might take all season to answer. Winning the Series trimmed the Giants' offseason by an entire month. Though the team welcomed working overtime in this fashion, the extra activity threatened to create havoc with the pitchers, who strive to strike a balance between exercising and resting their arms during the offseason. Manager Bruce Bochy already has said that he'll monitor his pitchers' workloads carefully. Occasionally mixing a sixth starter into the rotation to provide additional rest could be an option.
        3. What will Buster Posey do for an encore?
        He'll probably be named MVP of the All-Star Game, surpass Joe DiMaggio's 56-game hitting streak, find a cure for cancer and lead the Giants to another World Series conquest. Just kidding -- unless you're Posey, who expects nothing less than excellence from himself. Plenty of rookie stars have endured the "sophomore jinx," but Posey's talent and work ethic suggest that he'll be immune to a prolonged slump. Remember, Posey wasn't recalled in 2010 until May 29. The prospect of having him for an entire season excites the Giants.
        4. What kind of impact will Brandon Belt make?
        It'll be all or nothing at the outset. General manager Brian Sabean has said that Belt, a first baseman/outfielder, won't make the Opening Day roster unless he proves he's good enough to start. Though Belt has been characterized as a left-handed-batting version of Posey, the 22-year-old will be attending his first Major League Spring Training camp. Expecting instant stardom from Belt, despite the hype surrounding him, might be a trifle unfair.
        5. What can be expected from Miguel Tejada?
        If you're a skeptic, not much. Tejada's coming off one of his least productive seasons in 2010 (.269, 15 homers, 71 RBIs). His .381 slugging percentage represented a 74-point drop from 2009 and his worst since his 1997 rookie season with Oakland. But Tejada always plays with a lot of energy, so joining the reigning World Series champs could motivate him toward one more big season. Just two years ago, he hit .313 with 46 doubles, 86 RBIs and a whopping 199 hits with Houston.
        6. Will the Giants add another left-handed hitter?
        The apparent inactivity in the Giants' player-acquisition efforts is a mere facade. Sabean knows the market. He realizes that with each passing day, the price for free agents drops a little more. Performers who seemed out of reach financially for the Giants at the Winter Meetings ultimately could become affordable. Hypothetically speaking, what would the Giants do if they suddenly had a chance to sign Johnny Damon? Remember, that's hypothetical. But pay close attention as mid-February approaches.
        7. Who will win the left-field job?
        That's anybody's guess. What's certain is that there will be no shortage of candidates. Mark DeRosa, last season's Opening Day left fielder, is expected to be recovered from left wrist surgery. Aaron Rowand, who has played exclusively center field, will be asked to try playing the corners. Pat Burrell will join the fray, but he'll most likely occupy a reserve role. Cody Ross, the projected right fielder, might swing around to this side if Nate Schierholtz bids for an everyday spot in right. Schierholtz and perhaps even first baseman Travis Ishikawa might join this competition. If Belt fits best as a first baseman, Aubrey Huff will move to left and most of the aforementioned will scramble for bench spots.
        8. Will Freddy Sanchez be ready for Opening Day?
        Yes, barring unforeseen setbacks. Sanchez, who underwent his second left shoulder surgery in slightly less than a year on Dec. 7, will still be recovering when Spring Training opens. But the Giants seem confident that the 32-year-old will be playable before the season starts. If he isn't, DeRosa or Mike Fontenot will step in. Sanchez, the 2006 National League batting champion with Pittsburgh, proved valuable down the stretch last season, hitting .330 from Aug. 23 on.
        9. How will the Giants avoid complacency?
        The left-field competition, which will directly or indirectly affect virtually half of the position players, should sharpen the focus of those involved. Though no apparent openings exist on the pitching staff, every spring, at least one long-shot candidate captures attention and launches a serious bid for a job. The shortened offseason could heighten the risk for injuries. So projected backups had better be ready to play.
        10. Can the Giants repeat?
        If the pitchers stay healthy and adept, San Francisco will remain a legitimate threat. The offense doesn't have to be overpowering. Just consistent. The Giants were 69-12 in 2010 when scoring at least four runs, and 80-24 when totaling three runs or more. They have every reason to be optimistic if Sandoval approaches his 2009 form, Posey comes close to duplicating last season, Ross remains capable of delivering big hits, DeRosa and Sanchez return strong, Tejada is merely adequate and Andres Torres and Huff remain steady at leadoff and cleanup, respectively.
        Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.