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THE REALISTIC GIANTS FAN: Molina Back, Sanchez Questionable


The week began quietly enough. A nice little holiday. Then we are hit with two major developments within a 48 hour period. Neither piece is anything I would quantify as good news, more like the bad news and the so-so, but rather surprising, news. However, it does go to show you just how much complexion change can occur in the small time frame between now and spring training.

The first thing we learned about was the rather unexpected re-signing of Bengie Molina. As I wrote earlier I am not Bengie's biggest fan. In this new sabermetric era we are cast a light on just how unproductive players like Bengie truly are. Each year Bengie's batting average reflects closely with his on base percentage, as he works next to no walks, gets hit a couple times, and proceeds to clog the bases when he does reach. I actually preferred picking up Torrealba because he would have been a lot easier to push to the bench if and when Buster Posey was ready to take over. Bengie on the other hand is a very sensitive man, as he showed us last year when complaining about the Giants brining up a third catcher (Posey) during the expanded roster period of September. Bengie is going to expect to play the whole year, and he will be unhappy if he doesn't.

It is rather peculiar that he re-signed, though. I think it was a rather shrewd move by Sabean. Going into the offseason I was behind the idea of re-signing Bengie to one more year, but that was while I thought somebody would give him a two year deal, and saw no chance of him signing for less. That being said, he is coming back and credit is due. Sabean made it clear that the "ship had sailed" and that he was sticking to his one year guns. In the mean time Bengie saw the offense improve and, coupled with the Mets newfound reluctance to offer Bengie two guaranteed years, he came running back. According to the mill, he signed here for less than what the Mets were offering him. Good move on his part, a man as sensitive as Bengie would never have made it New York.
In bad news we found out that Freddy Sanchez is now questionable for opening day. What a surprise!(?) I realize that we don't have a spot for him anymore, but isn't it interesting that we so quickly let Garko go, and yet broke our necks to give Freddy an extension. I wasn't much more impressed by one over the other, but I realize what happened. Sanchez cost us Tim Alderson, plain and simple. That means that management wants to get every chance at a return out of him, and thus gave him the two year window to do it in. Great start. Actually it was already off to a terrible start with the injury plagued two months he spent with us last year. We may be seeing a ten year veteran break down, it happens all the time, just ask Duane Kuiper or Sean Casey. Even so, it does offer an interesting solution.

The swift in-house solution would be to have either De Rosa or Velez play either left or second, or keep De Rosa in left and have Juan Uribe start at second. The latter I would think is the better move, though I really prefer keeping Uribe in the super utility role. I do see a way to not have to rely on Velez and keep Uribe roving, and I think it would be rather cheap. Invite Eric Byrnes to camp. If Byrnes shows well, bam you have a left fielder and second baseman of big league quality on opening day. If he doesn't, release him and choose either plan b or c mentioned above. Eventually you figure Sanchez will come back and then Byrnes can go back to the bench, maybe getting some starts against lefties, where Uribe can play Shortstop, De Rosa can play third, and Pablo can play first.

Interesting week to say the least. Maybe not great...but interesting.

(The Realistic Giants Fan appears every Monday and Friday. Feel free to contact me at realisticgiantsfan@yahoo.com)


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