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4/30/08: Merry Xmas, Baby, You Sure Do Treat Me Right

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Two links for your afternoon delight:

– Dedicating a huge chunk of his weekly column to Barry Zito’s fall from grace, ESPN’s Jayson Stark interviews asks his anonymous sources what the Giants should do. One suggests the Giants buy out his contract and spread the payments over 30 years. Eighteen million in future dollars isn’t the same as 18 million in 2009 dollars, but Zito gets to start fresh. (The same source says the players union would never let it happen.)

– If you’re near Fresno on May 15, make sure you check out the Grizzlies ‘80s Night promotion. After all these years, The Karate Kid will be avenged


Giants 3, Rockies 2: Fred Lewis made a diving catch to prevent the tying run from scoring in the 8th, and Tyler Walker said he would put Freddie on his Christmas list. Freddie’s response: "I said, 'Oh, I wasn't before?'”

The kid is quick, and not just on the field.

PLODAG: FreddieLoo! On base twice, including a leadoff walk in the 7th that led to the tying run, and a great catch. (I should note, however, that he probably should have caught Spilborgh’s double in the 5th that gave the Rockies their second run. Looks to me like he took a terrible route.)

The team continues to, well, not exactly roll. How about surprise? The lineup yesterday sported a shortstop, an outfielder recently converted to first base, a backup catcher, and a second baseman, all of whom combined had less than 20 games experience above AA ball when the season started.

It’s a thin margin: Bengie Molina’s leg could seize up at any moment and leave the Giants with Steve Holm as the only catcher. (Eliezer Alfonzo just got whacked with a 50–day suspension for failing a drug test, and Guillermo Rodriguez is still out with concussion symptoms.) If Molina goes down, the Giants could end up with Todd Jennings backing up Holm. Or some grizzled Crash Davis-type plucked from the scrap heap. Wait a sec, Mike Piazza is still unemployed… 

Noah Lowry won’t be back anytime soon, the Merc tells us this morning. It sounds bad. They’re shutting him down for a few weeks because the odd nerve-related sensations he felt before his surgery have cropped up again. What a drag. You have to feel bad for the kid. Before long the Giants will need a fifth starter beyond Cain-Lincecum-Sanchez-Misch. It will be interesting to see if the Giants plug Zito back into the rotation more quickly than expected. That would do him little good. He needs time.

So what to do? Brad Hennessey into the rotation is one option. Another is a fill-in guy from Fresno: of their remaining starters, Victor Santos has thrown the ball best. He’s non-roster and would need space cleared, but the Giants could transfer Kevin Frandsen to the 60–day DL. Or they could grab someone off the waiver wire. Ugh.

I wouldn’t be surprised if the Giants end the John Bowker experiment soon. The league is feeding him a steady diet of off-speed stuff, and he’s not adjusting. They should give him a couple more weeks and re-evaluate. Will the team give Daniel Ortmeier more at-bats at first base?

More roster shenanigans coming soon: Omar Vizquel could be back within a month. Keep Bocock? Burriss? Neither?

Put your GM hat on and discuss an upcoming roster decision: shortstop, first base, starting pitcher, catcher… 

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Header photo courtesy of Flickr user eviltomthai under a Creative Commons license.