One of these days, and it won't be long, we're gonna run clear out of cutesy, catchy, annoyingly glib headlines-- and then, where will we be?
But today it's fast approaching 70 degrees outside in our beloved Old Dominion, the Giants looked pretty darn good yesterday in Arizona, and Opening Day is only 9 days away.
So, to get us all into the spirit of the new season, here's a few random observations of late, culled from Giants' website commentaries, about the only baseball team of which it is right and proper to be a fan.
The Bullpen, post-Will Smith version
"We could go back to the last inning in the playoffs last year and just say all 5 of those relievers need to go."
No! That was a case of over-management.
Law absolutely should have stayed in after that seeing-eye-single. Smith got a DP grounder that was mishandled. They're keepers (pending Smith's surgery).
Lopez and Romo are gone. Strickland-- still on the fence about him. You may be right that he isn't worth keeping, but don't expect Bochy and Evans to agree with you, at least not now.
"Bring back Javier Lopez."
Lopez?! The man who walked 15 men (!!!) in 26 (!!!) innings? The man who, more than anyone else, lost Game 4 of the DS?
Maybe you mean bring back Yaqui Lopez. Heck of a fighter.
Jarrett Parker Revisited
We share the optimism about Parker, albeit cautiously. He does have power. He can play LF. He has shown he will take a walk-- and that might just be enough to win him a full-time job.
If Parker can convert 10-20% of his PAs into walks, he can elevate a .240 BA to a .360 OBP and the K's won't matter. He'd be a better leadoff man than anybody we have.
But if he can't, he will have to bat down in the order and the K's will kill him.
It's not about "potential" with Parker. He has none. He is a finished product, a MiLB veteran. His minor lines show what he can do.
Many players learn to take more walks later in their careers. Parker needs to be one of them. It might get him into the pension plan and give us a serviceable LF for 1-2 years.
Denard Span: Threat, or Menace?
Bochy needs to stop channeling Dusty "My CF Bats Leadoff" Baker.
Brandon Belt should lead off. Seriously.
Chris Marrero, Local Hero
Either Marrero or Morse could make this team. No way both make it.
And whichever of them makes it (assuming either does) it will be as PH/5th OF/defensive liability/1B insurance only.
In a limited, specialty role like this, most managers prefer the PMLV. That would be Morse, assuming he's healthy. And, in this case, that makes sense. This isn't a veteran "holding back" a youngster. Marrero is no kid. He is 28 and he has been bouncing around the minors since he was 18. Regardless of the age difference between he and Morse, the only real issue is who is healthier, because this is a short-term need-it-now position. Marrero has played 743 career games at 1B, only 192 in the OF. His career range factor as an OF is 1.45; the MLB average in 2016 was just under 2. If he has an advantage there over Morse, it's not much.
We like Marrero and wish him well, and he's had a fine spring-- but we also remember Randy Kutcher.