Thursday, March 31, 2011

Saltzman Says...Giants Depth Chart (Updated 3/31/11)

San Francisco's Updated Organizational Depth Chart:

C Buster Posey (ML) {$450K}
C Eli Whiteside (ML) {league minimum}
C Jackson Williams (Fresno Grizzlies)
C Chris Stewart (Fresno Grizzlies)
C Dashenko Ricardo (Fresno Grizzlies)
C Aaron Lowenstein (Richmond Flying Squirrels)
C Justin Christian (Richmond Flying Squirrels)
C Johnny Monell (Richmond Flying Squirrels)
C Hector Sanchez (San Jose Giants)
C Tommy Joseph (San Jose Giants)
C Alexander Burg (Augusta Green Jackets)
First Baseman:
1B Aubrey Huff (ML) {re-signed for 2 years, $22 million}
1B Brandon Belt (ML) {rookie minimum}
1B Travis Ishikawa (Fresno Grizzlies)
1B Brett Pill (Fresno Grizzlies)
1B Joe Koshansky (Richmond Flying Squirrels)
1B Luke Anders (San Jose Giants)
1B Josh Mazzola (Hi A)
Second Baseman:
2B Mike Fontenot (ML) {will make $1 million in 2011}
2B Manny Burris (Fresno Grizzlies)
2B Edgar Gonzalez (Fresno Grizzlies)
2B Brock Bond (Fresno Grizzlies)
2B Nick Noonan (Richmond Flying Squirrels)
2B Charlie Culberson (Richmond Flying Squirrels)
2B Ryan Lormand (Richmond Flying Squirrels)
2B Ryan Covan (San Jose Giants)
2B Skylar Stromsmoe (Augusta Green Jackets)

Prospects Burriss, Noonan and Culberson will have to wait.
Third Baseman:
3B Pablo Sandoval (ML) {league minimum}
3B Ryan Rohlinger (Fresno Grizzlies)
3B Conor Gillespie (Fresno Grizzlies)
3B Joel Weeks (Richmond Flying Squirrels)
3B Brad Boyer (Richmond Flying Squirrels)
3B Chris Dominguez (San Jose Giants)
3B Adam Duvall (Augusta Green Jackets)
SS Miguel Tejada {will make $6.5 million in 2011}
SS Brandon Crawford (Fresno Grizzlies)
SS Ehire Adrianza (Richmond Flying Squirrels)
SS Sharlon Schoop (Richmond Flying Squirrels)
SS Juan Ciriaco (San Jose Giants)
SS Carter Jurica (San Jose Giants)
RF Cody Ross (ML) {will make $6.3 million in 2011}
CF Andres Torres (ML) {offered arbitration}
LF Pat Burrell (ML) {re-signed for $1 million in 2011}
LF Mark DeRosa (ML) {will make $6 million in 2011}
CF Aaron Rowand (ML) {2 more years for $24 million}
RF Nate Schierholtz (ML) {league minimum}
LF Thomas Neal (Fresno Grizzlies)
CF Darren Ford (Fresno Grizzlies)
RF Terry Evans (Fresno Grizzlies)
OF Tyler Graham (Fresno Grizzlies)
CF Mike McBryde (Richmond Flying Squirrels)
RF Roger Kieschnick (Richmond Flying Squirrels)
OF Juan Perez (Richmond Flying Squirrels)
OF Francisco Peguero (Richmond Flying Squirrels)
OF Gary Brown (San Jose Giants)
OF Wendell Fairley (San Jose Giants)
OF Ryan Lollis (San Jose Giants)
OF Jarrett Parker (San Jose Giants)
DH Nick Liles (San Jose Giants)
OF James Simmons (San Jose Giants)
LF Rafael Rodriguez (Augusta Green Jackets)

Right Handed Pitchers:
RHSP Tim Lincecum (ML) {will make $13 million in 2011}
RHSP Matt Cain (ML) {will make $7 million in 2011, $15 million in 2012}
RHRP Brian Wilson (ML) {will make $6.5 million in 2011, $8.5 million in 2012}
RHRP Sergio Romo (ML) {league minimum}
RHRP Santiago Casilla (ML) {will make $1.3 million in 2011}
RHRP Ramon Ramirez (ML) {will make $1.65 million in 2011} 
RHRP Guillermo Mota (ML) {veteran minimum}
RHP Josh Banks (Fresno Grizzlies)
RHP Casey Daigle (Fresno Grizzlies)
RHRP Steve Edlefson (Fresno Grizzlies)
RHP Andrew Kown (Fresno Grizzlies)
RHRP Marc Kroon (Fresno Grizzlies)
RHP Shane Loux (Fresno Grizzlies)
RHP Doug Mathis (Fresno Grizzlies)
RHP David Mixon (Fresno Grizzlies)
RHRP Henry Sosa (Fresno Grizzlies)
RHSP Ryan Vogelsong (Fresno Grizzlies)
RHP Justin Fitzgerald (Richmond Flying Squirrels)
RHP Daryl Maday (Richmond Flying Squirrels)
RHP Osris Matos (Richmond Flying Squirrels)
RHP Dan Ortero (Richmond Flying Squirrels)
RHP Edwin Quirarte (Richmond Flying Squirrels)
RHP Ronnie Ray (Richmond Flying Squirrels)
RHP Jason Stoffel (Richmond Flying Squirrels)
RHSP Jose Casilla (San Jose Giants)
RHP Hector Correa (San Jose Giants)
RHSP Jake Dunning (San Jose Giants)
RHSP Chris Heston (San Jose Giants)
RHP Mitch Lively (San Jose Giants)
RHSP Michael Main (San Jose Giants)
RHP Jose Valdez (San Jose Giants)
RHSP Craig Westcott (San Jose Giants)
RHSP Zach Wheeler (San Jose Giants)
RHP Chris Wilson (San Jose Giants)
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 Matt Yourkin (Fresno Grizzlies)
LHP Alex Hinshaw (Fresno Grizzlies)
LHP Justin Dowdy (Richmond Flying Squirrels)
LHP David Quinowski (Richmond Flying Squirrels)
LHP Erik Surkamp (Richmond Flying Squirrels)
LHP Clayton Tanner (Richmond Flying Squirrels)
LHP Ryan Verdugo (Richmond Flying Squirrels)
LHP Thomas Vessella (Richmond Flying Squirrels)
LHP Chris Gloor (San Jose Giants)
LHSP Kelvin Marte (San Jose Giants)

Saltzman Says...Breaking News: Brandon Belt makes 25 man roster

Breaking News: Belt makes the Giants!

Brandon Belt has made the Opening Day Roster. To make room on the 40 man roster as well as the 25 man roster, Travis Ishikawa was designated for assignment.  That means the Giants have 10 days to trade him or release him, and only after that decision are they allowed to offer Ishikawa a return to Fresno.  Ishikawa can refuse the demotion and become a free agent.

But today is about the next big rookie to come to China Basin.  Buster Posey lived up to the hype and built off of it.  Now, it's Belt's turn to see if the hype is warranted.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Saltzman Says...Breaking Down 25 Man on Last Day

San Francisco Giants 25 Man Roster Predictions:

1. Buster Posey
2. Eli Whiteside

1st Base:
3. Aubrey Huff
4. Travis Ishikawa

2nd Base:
5. Freddy Sanchez
6. Mike Fontenot

7. Miguel Tejada
8. Mark DeRosa

Third Baseman
9. Pablo Sandoval

10. Pat Burrell
11. Andres Torres
12. Nate Schierholtz
13. Aaron Rowand

Starting Pitching
14. Tim Lincecum
15. Jonathan Sanchez
16. Matt Cain
17. Barry Zito
18. Madison Bumgarner

Relief Pitching
19. Guillermo Mota (must be added to 40 man)
20. Dan Runzler
21. Jeremy Affeldt
22. Javier Lopez
23. Ramon Ramirez 
24. Sergio Romo
25. Santiago Casilla

DL - Cody Ross
DL - Brian Wilson
Brandon Belt starting in AAA does three positive things, despite his great Spring and deserved callup.

1. It allows the Giants to avoid the three headed monster of who is being cut between Aaron Rowand, Nate Schierholtz, and Travis Ishikawa.

2. It allows the Giants to have an open spot on their 40 man roster.  If Guillermo Mota makes the team, he must be added to the 40 man roster.  The Giants may have already decided to keep the only man in the competition that was on the postseason roster last year.  That decision was made easier when the Giants decided to part ways with Jeff Suppan.  The Giants currently have 38 players on the roster.  If the Giants decide to keep a pitcher like Ryan Vogelsong as well over Dan Runzler, they won't have an open spot for Belt.  Runzler has options left, so sending him down wouldn't clear a 40 man spot.

3. Financially, the Giants don't have to "start the clock" on Belt's career, and in the long run, it means that Belt's free agency wouldn't come up for an additional year.  Tim Lincecum is making $13 million this year, and made $10 million last year after being declared a "Super 2" for being called up May 9th his rookie year.  That year counted as a full season, which sped his arbitration years up a season.  With Posey being a Super 2 after this season, the Giants can help themselves in the long run not bringing up Belt quite yet.

Could Belt unseat Ishikawa on the 25 man roster?

Saltzman Says...Recalling an earlier Kevin Frandsen Post

Kevin Frandsen Update:

Frandsen signs a minor league deal with the Phillies.

After a tryout in Spring with the San Diego Padres resulted in his release, Kevin Frandsen had a deal lined up to Arizona.  After that deal fell through, the Philadelphia Phillies came calling.  With Luis Castillo being released today, Wilson Valdez is the only 2nd base option for the three-time NL East Champions currently on the roster.  Frandsen will provide much needed insurance in AAA if called on.  Chase Utley is injured, and with Frandsen's signing, it is clear that the Phillies don't have faith in a quick recovery or in their current crop at 2nd.  All of this is good news for Frandsen, who could be back in the bigs if Castillo doesn't work as a adequate fill in.

HERE is a link to my previous article on the San Jose native.

Started Pro Career at home in San Jose
Quickly moved up to Fresno
Became an instant feel good story
Given opportunity to start at 2nd
Was being looked at as a future .300 hitter
Achilles Tendon injury ended his season
Had a short stint with Pawtucket Red Sox
Signed and played for the Anaheim Angels
Had a Spring tryout in San Diego

Monday, March 28, 2011

Saltzman Says...Bay Area College Basketball is back

Despite the entire Bay Area missing out on the Final 68, every program in the Bay Area has reason to be excited.  Instead of Stanford or Cal or St. Mary's getting to the dance and making some noise like in recent years, all three missed March Madness, but all 6 Division 1 programs played in the post-season.

1. Stanford - the most recognized program in the Bay Area had a down year for them, but so did the entire Pac-10.  Arizona, who will lose their best player most likely in the upcoming NBA Draft, was the lone exception by not only making the tournament, but beating Duke to reach the Elite 8 and losing by two to UCONN.  UCLA and Washington were the only other Pac-10 teams to make the tournament.  If Alec Burks stays at Colorado, which is unlikely, than the newly formed Pac-12 could be even better next year.  In the meantime, Johnny Dawkins has a couple of nice recruiting classes he has put together, and if they continue to stay in Palo Alto, the Cardinal could be dancing next March.

Former Duke Standout Johnny Dawkins lead the Cardinal

2. Cal Berkeley - Cal beat Mississippi in the first round of the NIT, 77-74, before losing to future lottery pick Alec Burks and the Colorado Buffaloes in the 2nd round.  The NIT isn't nearly the same as it used to be and it doesn't get the national attention, but Mike Montgomery has been a coach for many years, and playing in the post-season is what he does. 

The Former Cardinal mainstay is now leading Cal
3. St. Mary's - St. Mary's had as disappointing and end to their season as their season had promise at the start.  The Gaels lost to Kent St. in the NIT, even though there was talk that only Colorado should feel more wronged for missing the NCAA tournament.  What started out as a season to take the program to the next level and dethrone Gonzaga two years in a row, turned into a share for the league title, and a loss to the Bulldogs in the final of the WCC tournament that was their eventual undoing to the voters.  Although, their loss to San Diego was the real reason.  Randy Bennett might be the best coach in the Bay Area, but the stinging losses this season need to be motivation for the returning group and in the incoming class.

Randy Bennett has done an amazing job recruiting, especially in Australia

4. Santa Clara - The Broncos are still playing, albeit the Tournament.  They defeated SMU 72-55, and are now heading to the championship game.  Head Coach Kerry Keating had big shoes to fill after the disappointing departure of Dick Davey.  However, Keating seems to be heading in the right direction.
Can Keating build off of the success they have had in 2011?

5. USF - The Dons season was ended by the Broncos, which isn't surprising considering they play in the same league.  However, their season ended in the tournament, which is saying something for one of the historically bad programs the last 20 years.  Their 95-91 loss to the Broncos was a far cry from the drubbings they took night in and night out before Rex Walters took the program over.  Now this scrappy bunch heads into next season ready to take on Santa Clara, St. Mary's and even Gonzaga.  Rex Walters, who attended Piedmont Hills High School (my alma mater) before graduating from Independence High School in San Jose, had an illustrious collegiate career at Kansas.  Now the Bay Area native has his Dons heading in the right direction.

Will the Bay Area native be just what the Dons have been missing?

6. San Jose State - After losing to Utah St. in the WAC tournament, Spartans of past years would head home for the season.  Not this year. This year, they had an opportunity to play some more. And despite losing to Creighton in the opening round, it was a huge step for the Spartans towards respectability.

Can the former Cal Asst. continue to recruit big time players?

Saltzman Says...Dissapointing Day for some ex-Giants

Things ended today for two former Giants who at the time of their arrival in San Francisco were thought to be great additions. During the Barry Bonds era, Randy Winn and Pedro Feliz were both thought to be pieces that would fit around the slugger perfectly. Both could play defense, both had power potential, and both had a much smaller ego than the middle of the order.

Fast forward to today and the Orioles decided to part ways with Winn and the Royals gave up on Feliz. I wrote on the day the Royals signed Feliz to a minor league deal, that the former gold glove caliber 3rd baseman for the Giants had hit his low point. I was wrong. The only thing worse than being forced to sign a minor league deal with the Royals is being released by them before the season even starts.

I feel worse for the former Santa Clara Bronco and basketball teammate of Steve Nash. Winn never got credit for doing his job here. He was never a power hitter, and he was never a gold glove in the outfield, but he was brought in to be a reliable bat in the lineup and play the vast AT&T outfield and he did that. He played all three outfield positions for Felipe Alou and Bruce Bochy and he batted everywhere from 1st to 8th in the lineup around the biggest bat the game has ever seen. Winn was a quiet leader and hopefully will end up back in San Francisco helping us behind the scenes the way that Shawon Dunston, J.T. Snow, Mark Gardner and Will Clark have recently.

Saltzman Says...Giants back home but who will stay

San Francisco heads home with a few answers left:

1. Where will Brandon Belt start?
The smart money says Triple-A.
A) It saves the Giants money by not starting his clock.
B) There is no rush.
C) Gives the Giants more time to look for buyer for Aaron Rowand.

2. Who goes since Rowand isn't?
Nate Schierholtz looks like he is more likely to go than Travis Ishikawa. Ishikawa has less value, which makes Schierholtz more likely to move. Either way, both may be gone when Belt comes up to the club.

3. Who is the 12th pitcher?
Guillermo Mota or Dan Runzler
Runzler has options left, which says the smart money goes to Mota. Runzler wants to be a starter, and can win the long relief job over Mota on an even playing field. However, since the team can't send Mota down without releasing him first and exposing him to the rest of the league, it makes more sense to keep Mota.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Saltzman Says... State of the Oakland A's Franchise

State of the A's Franchise


Kurt Suzuki:
A career .264 hitter, Suzuki is starting his 5th year with the A's. He has been the starter the last three seasons, and has averaged 142 games behind the plate. His strikeout numbers have dropped each season he has been an everyday starter. His best season was in 2009, when he hit 15 home runs and knocked in 88 runs. Injuries prevented him from amassing 145 games played like he had the previous two seasons. He'll get to 2,000 MLB AB's this season, but the concern is the innings he's logged behind the plate. Like with all catchers, his durability will come into question if he can't play in 140 games a 2nd straight season.

Landon Powell:
He hasn't impressed since his call up a couple years ago, and he is fighting in Spring to keep his backup job. However, Josh Donaldson, his main competition, isn't much better.

First Base
Daric Barton:
The A's, according to Susan Slesser, are working on an extension with Barton that will keep the first baseman in Oakland through his arbitration years. The good is he walked 110 times last year, a Billy Beane specialty. The bad is his 26 career home runs. He also only played in 54 games in 2009 before finally winning the everyday job last year. His defense at first is a plus as well. If the A's let him go to arbitration, they would most likely win becuase walks and defense aren't nearly as valuable as home runs, batting average and RBI's is an arbitration meeting. The A's, who do value walks and defense, are looking to avoid knocking Barton's weaknesses and instead rewarding his true value to the team.

Second Base
Mark Ellis:
Speaking of defense, Ellis has proven over his A's career that there is great value in a 2nd baseman who makes every play in the field. A competent hitter, he and Barton have solidified the right side of the infield. Neither possess the bat to win games, but their defense has not been overlooked.

Cliff Pennington:
The lastest shortstop to come from Sacramento, following Miguel Tejada and Bobby Crosby. Pennington scored 105 runs, had 40 extra base hits and 29 stolen bases. He has shown after his first full season that he he could develop 20-20 or even 30-30 potential with the way he can drive the ball and his overall speed. Even if his power numbers don't present themselves, Pennington and Ellis have been a good double play combo for the A's to lean on up the middle.

Adam Rosales:
The A's have exactly what they need behind Ellis and Pennington with Rosales. A .270 hitter last year, he got 255 AB's over 80 games in 2010. Should continue to produce as the primary backup in the infield.

Third Base
Kevin Kouzmanoff:
Eric Chavez six year contract finally came to an end last season and despite lots of trade rumors and some maneuvering his off-season, Kevin Kouzmanoff is the A's third baseman heading into 2011. A career .258 hitter, he had 16 home runs last season and has hit at least 16 homers the last 4 years. In 143 games last season, he drove in 71 runs and also hit 32 doubles. He has always had the potential to produce more, but this looks to be what Kouzmanoff is. However, with the injury history Chavez had, this will be a welcomed level of consistency for Oakland, as he has always played in at least 141 games since becoming an everyday starter in San Diego in 2007.

Josh Willingham, Coco Crisp and David DeJesus:
From left to right, The A's certainly look better on paper heading into 2011 with this outfield. The key additions are at the corners, where Willingham and DeJesus will add much more fire power. Willingham, who comes over from Washington, has hit at least 15 home runs a season since 2006 and has hit 20 or more in three of those seasons. He hasn't played in 140 games in any of the last three seasons, so health will be a hug concern. If Willingham can play in 140 games or more in 2011, he might reach the 20 home run and 70 RBI plateaus he hit in 2006 and 2007. DeJesus, who came over from Kansas City, only played in 91 games for Kansas City last year. In 2009, he played in 144 games and drove in 71 runs for the 2nd straight season. He hit 25 home runs over 2008-09, so he isn't a huge power guy, but he hit at least 25 doubles every year since 2005 before last year's injuries. Health is also a concern for Crisp, who last played in 140 games or more in 2007. As a Red Sox in '07, Crisp drove in 60 runs and batted .268. He is a career .277 hitter, and his ability to bat leadoff can help the entire lineup if he plays more than the 75 games he played for Oakland in 2010.

Ryan Sweeney:
For all the injury concerns, Sweeney is coming off his own injury plagued 2010. If he can come back healthy, he will provide much needed depth for the three impending starters.

Conor Jackson:
There is a theme here. This makes 5 outfielders who have injury history, very good years behind them, and the A's are hoping good years left. Jackson and Sweeney provide two x factors for the A's if the starters can't stay on the field.

Designated Hitter
Hideki Matsui:
Matsui drives in runs, he has been doing it ever since he picked up a bat, and he did it for the Yankees and Angels for several years. Now he brings his bat to the Bay and the A's are hoping he drives in runs the way he brings in reporters. If he can be the thump the A's haven't had since Giambi's first stint, the A's lineup will have the swagger they haven't had in a while.

Starting Pitching:

Trevor Cahill, Brett Anderson, Gio Gonzalez:
This is the top three by far, and this three can very well replace Mulder, Hudson and Zito from the A's fans memory banks. Anderson has a 4 year deal in place, Trevor Cahill is about to get an extension, and Gio Gonzalez will be next. Cahill (18-8) and Gonzalez (15-9) had amazing win loss records considering the A's were a .500 team last year. If Anderson (7-6) can stay healthy enough to pitch more than 112 innings like in 2010, they might have a trio who all win 15 or more games. The only questions with these three is will they continue to get better and will the A's be able to keep them for the long term. In the short term, they have as good a young trio as any team in baseball, including their Bay Bridge neighbors.

Dallas Braden:
At his best, he threw a perfect game on Mother's Day. At his worst, he threw a temper tantrum against the Yankees. In between, Braden needs to find some consistency, but his bravado might be his greatest strength. Can he make it work every 5th day? We will see.

Rich Harden:
Of all the injury concerns on the A's this season, Harden is already hurt and might not be the team's 5th starter.

Andrew Bailey:
One of the best closers in baseball. If he can stop visiting Dr. Andrews in Birmingham, AL, he can stop scaring the A's faithful that they won't hold leads heading into the 9th.

Brian Fuentes:
The best thing the A's did this off-season might end up being bringing in a former top flight closer to pitch the 8th inning. If Bailey does end up having elbow troubles this summer, Fuentes can replace him in the 9th. That kind of experience will be invaluable for a young bullpen with great arms but little results yet.

Grant Balfour:
Speaking of veteran arms in the 'pen, the A's brought in Grant Balfour who has experience at the end of games in the dreaded AL East. His time in Tampa Bay should bode well if the A's play competitive games in September as they battle for the AL West crown.

Joey Devine, Michael Wuertz and Brad Ziegler:
Another trio of young arms, this time in the bullpen, that have the ability to get people out and might be the reason the bullpen ends 2011 as one of the strongest and deepest in baseball.

Saltzman Says... Don Nelson speaks out now that he's unemployed

Rusty Simmons article at

"I got fired when I asked him to (shoot underhanded)," Nelson said, and there was no follow-up question. Nelson maintained that he had Rick Barry lined up to instruct Biedrins.

"I made the dumbest trade in my history when I traded (Mitch Richmond) for Billy Owens."

"I begged the (ownership) to keep Chris Webber and let me go ... and I could have been in San Antonio and had Tim Duncan."

"I thought we should trade Patrick Ewing and whoever else it took to get Shaq (O'Neal, when Nelson was coach) in New York. The next day, someone told Patrick Ewing, and that was the end of my career there."

Read more:

Saltzman Says...100th Post!

Thank you to everyone who has supported my blog. I thought about doing this because I miss writing, I miss writing about sports, and I miss getting feedback on my writing about sports. Hopefully, the next 100 posts will be interesting, entertaining and maybe even thought provoking.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Warszawski Says...Predicting the 2011 Fresno Grizzlies

Catchers (2)

Jackson Williams (Decker calls him the best defensive backstop in the system)

Chris Stewart (Hit .248 in 85 games last season for Triple-A Portland)

Infielders (6)

Brandon Belt (Top prospect likely will spend a couple months in Fresno before heading to the majors.)

Brock Bond (Hard-nosed gamer who works the count, sets the table)

Brett Pill (Needs to re-establish himself at crowded 1B position)

Emmanuel Burriss (Slick fielder still hasn't shown he can hit, stay healthy)

Edgar Gonzalez (Adrian's older brother adds depth, versatility)

Conor Gillaspie (Has not lived up to college and draft hype)

Outfielders (5)

Tyler Graham (Opened eyes last season by hitting .343)

Thomas Neal (Performed well enough at Double-A to earn promotion)

Terry Evans (Ex-Angels farmhand swatted 15 homers at Triple-A Salt Lake)

Justin Christian (Ex-Yankees farmhand hit .356 with .452 OBP this winter in Mexican Pacific League)

Brad Eldred (Slugger banged 30 homers in 106 games last season at Triple-A Colorado Springs)

Starting pitchers (5)

Matt Yourkin (At times last season, lefty was Grizzlies' most consistent starter)

Brian Lawrence (Former 15-game winner for Padres turned in solid 2010 at Triple-A New Orleans)

Shane Loux (Journeyman owns career 4.77 ERA over eight Triple-A seasons)

Henry Sosa (Maturity, experience all this hard-throwing righty is lacking)

Clayton Tanner (Lefty went 9-9 with 3.68 ERA last season at Double-A Richmond)

Relief pitchers (7)

Steve Edlefsen (Stingy sinker specialist still looking for first call-up)

Ryan Vogelsong (Look who's back. Ex-Giant farmhand once traded for Jason Schmidt)

Casey Daigle (12-year pro looking to wear third major-league uniform)

Alex Hinshaw (Lefty can be wild, and at times wildly effective)

Waldis Joaquin (Hard thrower re-joins Giants after rejecting White Sox waiver claim)

Dan Runzler (Lefty might also get stretched out to start if the Giants need rotation depth)

Marc Kroon (ex-Yomiuri Giants closer reportedly touches triple digits, but he's 38)

Other possibilities: IF Brandon Crawford, IF Ryan Rohlinger, RHP Felix Romero, RHP Osiris Matos
Saltzman Says...

Brandon Belt and Dan Runzler may make Opening Day Roster for San Francisco.
Brandon Crawford should start at SS for Fresno.
Darren Ford should get promotion to AAA as well and play CF.
Ryan Rohlinger will start in AAA as well.

Andrew Baggarly Says...Nate Schierholtz could be out

It’s getting to that point in the spring when trade talks begin to heat up. But from what I understand, there isn’t anything happening with Aaron Rowand.

Less than nothing, actually. When Texas contacted the Giants to gauge interest in Michael Young a few weeks ago, the Rangers told them in no uncertain terms: “Don’t even bother bringing up Rowand’s name.”

I know Giants fans are conjuring a million fantasy proposals for dealing Rowand – to-the-Phillies-for-Joe Blanton being the most popular framework for a deal. But my sense is that the Giants are becoming more and more convinced that they’ll have Rowand on the roster to begin the season.

In that instance, either Nate Schierholtz or Travis Ishikawa will be off the team – or, in a less likely scenario, both, if Brandon Belt makes the roster. (As a reminder, both Ishi and Nate are out of minor league options.)

The Rowand situation could change with a phone call. But if the choice comes down to Nate vs. Ishi, the indication I’m getting from a few sources is that Schierholtz could be the easiest and most likely to be dealt. Perhaps soon.
Saltzman Says...

If the Giants want to prove winning is more valuable than money, they will release the less talented Aaron Rowand and allow Schierholtz and Ishikawa to start the season on the Major League Roster.

Henry Shulman is reporting that with a projected 12 man staff, there will be two spots for four players (Rowand, Ishikawa, Schierholtz and Belt)

It would make sense to keep Ishikawa and Schierholtz in San Francisco because we have to release them otherwise, and release Rowand. Belt can start the year in AAA.

They could also let Mark DeRosa fully rest is wrist and Brian Wilson fully rest his ribcage on the DL, and keep all four for now. Dan Runzler also has options and might make more sense to start in AAA to get more innings. That way we can give a roster spot to Guillermo Mota, Jeff Suppan or Ryan Vogelsong who are all non roster invitees.

Based on the rules baseball has in place, when a player such as Schierholtz or Ishikawa are 'out of options' they have to be offered to every team in baseball if they don't make the major league roster. If nobody picks them up, they can accept a AAA assignment, or be a free agent. Schierholtz might want to stay in that scenario, because in 1 year, the Giants outfield might go from crowded to empty very quickly. Every single Giants outfielder except for Rowand is on a one year deal, and Aubrey Huff will also be in the last year of his deal. Ross, Torres, Burrell, and DeRosa are all outfield options who could be gone.

Even if Huff, Torres, and Ross came back in 2012, Burrell and DeRosa would most likely be gone. Assuming Rowand is finally gone by then, Schierholtz still becomes the best available outfielder among the other options in Fresno, like Thomas Neal, Darren Ford, and others.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Saltzman Says... Baron Davis needs some love

Baron Davis is one of the greatest Golden State Warriors of the last 30 years. Anyone who followed the Warriors during Baron's time in Oakland knows how much he loved his Grandmother. She passed away last week. Even though he is in Cleveland now, he needs our help to regain his gift. It was a gift that would not be possible without his Grandmother and now he doesn't have her to lean on.

"This is the first time in my life where I can't think and I can't find anything. There's just no depth to the person and character of who I am right now," said Davis.

"I'm at a loss for words right now. I wish i could tell you. I'm kind of numb. I'm kind of here and there. The best way to describe it is numb. It's tough."

Davis' 89-year-old grandmother had been ill for some time. He wanted to be close to her and his family and needed the time away in Los Angeles over this past week. But even when he returns to the game, Davis is reminded of Nicholson.

It's no wonder Davis chose to wear No. 85 with the Cavs. It was his way of paying respect to his late grandparents. Their house was on 85th St. in Los Angeles.

"Every day I just have to use this as an opportunity and let things happen -- let life and the cycle happen. I'm going to head back home and I just have to be strong for my family while I am there, and then head back to Cleveland and have some peace of mind and have some alone time, can sit and reflect and pick up the pieces and start over."

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Saltzman Says...I signed with the Warriors

Warriors Sign Season Ticket Holder Michael Saltzman
Golden State Excited to Retain Another Shareholder for Upcoming Season

OAKLAND, CA - The Golden State Warriors have signed season ticket holder Michael Saltzman for the 2011-12 season, co-owners Joe Lacob and Peter Guber announced today. Saltzman came to terms on an agreement that ensures another member to the greatest fan base in all of professional sports.

A resident of San Jose, CA, Saltzman has been a Warriors season ticket holder since 2005.

“This renewal plan is just one small example of our commitment to our shareholders,” said Lacob. “We owe it to our incredible fans, like Michael, to raise our level of expectations for this organization and to perform at the highest level in all possible phases.”

“We feel very fortunate to retain a fan like Michael for the upcoming season,” said Guber.

“Michael is a valued member of our organization, and one of the key components to the unmatched atmosphere at Oracle Arena. Our goal is to honor and reward our fans’ loyalty in every way possible.”

Saltzman Says...21 Giants back in the minors

Eight players were optioned out: pitchers Jose Casilla, Alex Hinshaw, Henry Sosa and Clayton Tanner; infielders Ehire Adrianza and Conor Gillaspie; and outfielders Thomas Neal and Francisco Peguero.

Thirteen players were reassigned: pitchers Waldis Joaquin, Wilmin Rodriguez, Jason Stoffel, Ryan Verdugo and Matt Yourkin; catchers Tommy Joseph and Hector Sanchez; infielders Brandon Crawford, Charlie Culberson and Nick Noonan; and outfielders Gary Brown, Juan Perez and Terry Evans.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Saltzman Says...Warriors must learn from the Buford/Presti Way

The two best GM's in basketball, R.C. Buford of the Spurs and Sam Presti of the Thunder have a simple philosophy about what to look for in the players they bring into their organizations:

"We know what we are looking for (hard-working, high-character, team-oriented, mentally tough, coachable and unselfish players), and the important component of it is knowing what works and what doesn't work — and that qualifies your risk," Buford said. "There are NBA players who aren't necessarily Spurs, and there are Spurs who may not fit someplace else."

"Then I thought about it for a minute, and I couldn't do that to my guys," Durant says (when asked why he ran suicides up a hill at the Oklahoma City practice facility voluntarily) . "It wouldn't have been fair to them." The Hill does not afford preferential treatment. Front-office executives drop their Blackberries, swap dress clothes for practice gear and run suicides. Entry-level assistants join them. When they are all sufficiently gassed, they head back to the pickup trucks, Durant sneaking a spot in a bed before coaches wisely point him to a passenger seat.

If you believe Stephen Curry, David Lee, Ekpe Udoh and Dorell Wright fit this mold, than maybe the combination of Keith Smart and Larry Riley make sense going forward.  However, does Monta Ellis, Andris Biedrins, Vladimir Radmanovic, and Charlie Bell fit that mold?  That would mean half of the highest paid players on the roster don't fit the mold for success. 

hard-working, high-character, team-oriented, mentally tough, coachable and unselfish players

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Saltzman Says...Trade Warriors need to consider

Andris Biedrins to Toronto for their Chris Bosh Trade exemption

We need to give up on Biedrins.  Send him to a team with some good European players that might be willing to take a flyer on a 7'0" who is still 25.

We need to let our most recent lottery pick get some serious minutes at the 5 and with Amundson back and Adrien signed, we don't need to waste 15 minutes a night on Biedrins.