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This is another in our occasional series of posts wherein we update you on the status of the nonstop schadenfreude express which is the 2008 San Francisco Giants…

As virtually everyone knows by now, $126 million man Barry Zito has been summarily banished to the bullpen after beginning the season 0-6. But what I still don’t get is why the Giants would do this, as it seems like the worst possible option. By all accounts Zito is fully healthy, and given that the barryzitodejected.jpgGiants have no chance whatsoever of contending this season, the best way to get any return on their investment is to let him eat innings as a starter. Just put him on a 100-pitch count and run him out there, no matter how many runs he gives up. On the other hand, if they want Zito to work on his mechanics in a less pressurized environment, then they should get him to agree to go down to the minor leagues, where he can start every 5th day against AAA hackers and get his confidence back. And if he won’t go down, a third option would be to just do what every other team does and make up an injury so you can DL him and then give him “rehab starts” in the minors. But the last place you want a pitcher with an 80-mph fastball is in your bullpen, where he is going to be useless in anything other than once-a-week mop-up relief, won’t get enough work to work out his mechanics, and will be eating up a spot on the roster.

In other rotation news, Kevin Correia has gone down with an oblique strain which will sideline him until at least the end of May, and Noah Lowry’s recovery from a nerve injury in his forearm is going much slower than expected. Originally he was expected back in mid-April, but now Giants athletic trainer Dave Groeschner is saying, “We’re probably going to have to shut him down for a significant amount of time,” and his return date is indefinite. Pat Misch has been called up to replace Correia, but it is uncertain who will replace Zito.

timlincecum.jpgMeanwhile, lone rotational standout Tim Lincecum was handed what should be the first of many losses this year, losing to the Rockies despite a strong 7-inning, 3 ER performance, because his offense could only muster 2 runs behind him.

As for that Giants offense, they remain last in the Major Leagues at 3.2 runs scored per game. Although they have somehow been able to compile a record of 13-16 so far, good for third place in the NL West, their run differential would produce an expected 19 losses, tied for worst in the game with the Padres, so the Giants have been lucky so far to do as well (?) as they have.

The bloom is off the rose for emergency minor-league call-up John Bowker. After a blistering major league debut in which he batted .364 with 3 homers and 9 RBI in his first 9 games, inspiring hope in Giants fans that they might have secretly had a hitting prospect they never knew about, the guy who had never played above AA before this year fell off a cliff, going 3 for his next 31, and is now batting .193/.217/.404 as reality reasserts itself.

Your obligatory Brian Bocock batting update – .157/.280/.171 for a mind-bogglingly low .452 OPS.

In steroid-related news, one of the lone bright spots in the Giants organization this season – catcher Eliezer Alfonzo – who had been on the verge of a call-up after batting .306 with 3 homers and 14 RBI for AAA Fresno, was suspended by MLB for 50 games for testing positive for taking a banned substance, which Alfonzo has admitted doing.

8 Responses to “San Francisco SuckWatch 2008: Chronicling the train wreck that is the 2008 San Francisco Giants”

  1. ‘Although they have somehow been able to compile a record of 13-16 so far, good for third place in the NL West’ Uh, yeah, third place, not too shabby, do you even watch the games? Is this Ray Ratto or Ralph Barbeiri?

  2. Nick Kapur says:

    Duke, if you honestly think the Giants have been playing “not too shabby” this season, then you are the one who has not been watching the games.

    That team has a few good pitchers, Fred Lewis, and about 18 terrible players.

  3. Sarah Green says:

    Yes, the Red Sox were in third place to the Orioles and the Rays a couple of days back. I really don’t think that’s indicative of how the season is going to go for the lowly O’s, however. Especially considering their negative run differential.

  4. You hack. Way to jump on the “Giants Suck” bandwagon with every other half-wit who can’t find something original to say.

    “Lone rotational standout Tim Lincecum”. Matt Cain? Jonathan Sanchez? Bueller? Oh, but that might dilute the effect your going for here.

    “One of the lone bright spots in the Giants organization this season – catcher Eliezer Alfonzo”

    LAME. Alfonzo is a 28 year-old catching prospect with bad knees. No one ever had anything more than the most modest expectations for this guy. But hey, making wild exaggerations to help make a retarded argument is cool.

    Look man, the Giants are bad, we know that, but it’s infuriating to hear people make it sound like this time is some kind of historically tragic embarrassment. It’s just not the case. The pitching is solid, despite the injuries. Rowand’s been very good with a .330 avg and a .906 OPS. Molina’s hit well. Velez and Burriss have shown flashes of being an at least a respectable middle-infield. And Tyler Walker and Brian Wilson (aside from the Burrell blast last night) have been a solid 1-2 punch in the back of the rotation.

  5. Nick Kapur says:

    Hey, MrLomez, thanks for weighing in.

    I actually agree with you that Matt Cain and Jonathan Sanchez and Walker and Wilson have been good this year. And yes, Molina has been okay and Rowand has been good so far. That’s why you will notice in one of the comments above that I only said that the Giants have 18 terrible players – that still leaves room for about 7 or 8 good players on their roster!

    Unfortunately I can’t agree with you about Burriss and Velez though – they completely suck.

    But anyway, if you want to highlight the modest achievements of those 7 or 8 decent players within the overall context of the patent and undeniable suckiness of the Giants team as a whole, than I suggest you go on your own blog and write a post called “San Francisco AwesomeWatch 2008″ where you can focus on the few guys who can actually play baseball on that team.

    But my post is called “SuckWatch”, so naturally I am going to focus on the majority of the Giants who completely and utterly suck.

  6. Yes the Giants are not good.

    My underlying grievance is that you, who I normally like by the way, and more hacky sportswriters than I can count, will not stop piling on even though the Giants are no worse than any basement dweller in any division this side of the AL East. I just don’t get why the Giants have been picked out of the crowd to be the butt of everyone’s tired jokes.

    Meanwhile, they are playing indifferently enough at the moment that they should be a complete non-story. With the exception of Zito there is nothing about this team (for good or bad) that is news worthy.

    So what happens, people like you go and just make shit up about them. That is extremely lame (and bad) writing.

    You say you watch Giants games, but there is NOTHING in this article that would suggest you do. The next time you do one of these articles please make 1 point that I couldn’t read about on mlb.com.

  7. Nick Kapur says:

    MrLomez, I’m glad that you normally like what I write, and since you wonder why I choose to pick on the Giants, I will give you the answer which is that I am a Dodgers fan and therefore I simply enjoy picking on the Giants. I don’t think I really need to give you some sort of complex justification beyond that.

    I don’t know yet whether the Giants are going to be a historically bad team, or just a regular bad team, but frankly I don’t really care. I probably don’t watch the Giants as much as you do, but I definitely do follow them, and I am astonished by the incompetence with which they are run. It is nigh unbelieveable that with all the so-called “free talent” out there – your Keppingers and such, that Brian Sabean could not find anyone in the minors or in the independent leagues or somewhere better than Bocock and Burriss to play shortstop.

    I realize that it is infuriating to see people pick on your beloved Giants, but you should really save your fury for Sabean and Co. for building such a sucky and mock-worthy team. Which I believe you already kind of do.

    Also, I not only watch the Giants but I also watch their stats enough to know that they are currently tied with the Padres for the worst run differential in baseball, so the argument Giants fans keep making that they are in 3rd place in a tough division or whatever just doesn’t hold water for me. Statistically the Giants should be last in baseball with an 11-21 record right now, so the fact that they are “only” 14-18 is more luck than not.

    Lastly, I don’t think you can say I am just making stuff up. Oh sure, we can certainly quibble over whether Matt Cain and his 4.08 ERA should also be considered a “rotational standout” along with Lincecum and his 1.49 ERA, or whether Alfonzo’s .306 avg in AAA constitutes a “bright spot” or not, but those are just differences of opinion. I’m not making stuff up. The Giants do in fact suck, and suck pretty hard.

  8. Ahhh…A Dodgers fan. Say no more.

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