Thursday, July 22, 2010

Thoughts on DeJesus, Bautista & Hart

First, let me begin by saying that The Dodgerhater is going on the DL. I suffered a similar injury to Dan Runzler-- a dislocated kneecap, and I'll be going under the knife on Friday. How did I do it? Um... well... I did it breaking up a fight after my cousin's wedding in Milwaukee. Yeah... it's true. Some people can handle 7 hour open bars and some can't. I'm as shocked as anyone that I wasn't the one in the fight. I know, right? Anyway, I'm not sure how much writing I'll be doing for the next week or so while I'm high on hardcore street narcotics and Gatorade Frost. I'd advise giving up your aversion to Twitter and get involved. It's hella entertaining, Facebook is boring in comparison. Give it a shot and follow me @TheDodgerhater.

Now, onto more pressing matters:

As we move into the key stretch of the 2010 season, it is obvious to me that the Giants are fairly close to being contenders-- not only for the NL West crown or Wild Card, but potentially further.

For that to happen, a lot has to go well concurrently for an extended period of time. What we've seen from this team in 2010 has been flashes of greatness, periods of lethargy and ineffectiveness, and scrappy stick-to-it-iveness.

It is the opinion of many that the team is "one big bat away" from becoming a serious threat to the National League. I agree with that, but very cautiously.

As I pointed out a couple columns ago, this team may have its big bat already on the roster in Pablo Sandoval-- who as a veritable nonentity for a majority of 2010, appears to be hacking his way out of his season long slump.

If indeed Sabean believes that the correct move is to garner another source of offense in one of the three players mentioned in the title, I would say "okay", but I have some thoughts on the matter.

David DeJesus, OF, Kansas City

Firstly, David DeJesus is a decent player, who has developed steadily on a Kansas City team forever entrenched in extreme mediocrity. He is neither a necessity nor does his qualify as a big bat. However, he could serve well as an excellent and versatile defender, above-average speed threat, and a solid threat to reach base.

DeJesus is having a good season in West Mizzourah hitting .320, with an OBP% around .390 and a solid slugging percentage of .436 (.831 OPS). He is not a home run threat, but is definitely a doubles threat. His 23 doubles would instantly tie him for 2nd on the Giants and his 46 runs scored would put him 3rd. One could argue that the lefty-hitting DeJesus, who can hit to all fields, would be an ideal fit for the spacious gaps of Mirabelli Alley both defensively and at the dish.

He is, unfortunately, one of the most polished Royals, and very well-liked by the abused, but loyal fanbase in KC. Translation: He will cost players in return. Although his contract has a club option for 2011, it doesn't come cheap at $6MM.

The downside about DeJesus is that he will be 31 in December, and it is difficult to make an argument that he would be a significant upgrade over either Pat Burrell or Nate Schierholtz, or even a currently hot-hitting Travis Ishikawa. An acquisition of DeJesus would likely result in an ideal lineup of the following:

CF Torres
2B Sanchez
C Posey
1B Huff
3B Sandoval
RF DeJesus
LF Burrell
SS Uribe

Now, obviously, there would be some flip-flopping and whatnot, but that would be our best 8 players. Because DeJesus is such a good defender, the Schierholtz argument is not a great one. It is interesting certainly, but I feel DeJesus to be an unnecessary addition.

Jose Bautista, IF/OF, Toronto Blue Jays

Jose Bautista has nowhere to go but down. I said it. His season in Toronto has been a ridiculous show of league-leading home run power, of which he has never shown. Has he been a guy with pop and positional versatility? Yes, he has. Unfortunately, this is a textbook "sell-high" move by the shrewd Blue Jays, who know that this guy is a product of a career year in a Canadian launching pad. I think the air is thinner in Canada or something. Maybe it's like in Avatar where we have to use those breathing mask things. Who the hell knows. All I know is that while Bautista has 26 dongs to lead all of MLB, he also has a .238 batting average.

In addition, the 30 year-old Dominican has never hit more than 15 dingers in a season, leading me to believe that something crazy has happened. It is truly rare that a player suddenly "gets it" at age 30, but it seems to be the case with Bautista.

With a low average, a bunch of power, and 55 walks, Bautista fits the mold of many middle of the road hacks out there-- somewhere down the line in a list that begins with Adam Dunn and ends with Jack Cust. Also in that list is Pat Burrell, a guy we already have, and has proven to me at least that he's still capable of driving the ball.

Defensively, Bautista is comparable to Mark DeRosa (remember him?). He plays 3 or 4 positions ably, but none great. He is primarily a 3B and corner OF, and is not spectacular, but decent.

Although Toronto has requested "elite prospects" in return for Bautista, that's just nothing but posturing. They know damn well that they're selling high-- hell half the men in this country have tried to unload him from their fantasy roster for a a couple of decent players, probably unsuccessfully too. The request of MIF's Ehire Adrianza and/or Manny Burriss isn't too much to pay for Bautista-- that's not the point.

The point is that this guy is simply not the right fit for the Giants either positionally or stylistically. We already have Burrell and Sandoval, who basically play the same positions-- not to mention that Burrell is nearly an identical type of hitter.

The Dodgerhater has put his foot down. Not only that, but he's talking in the third person. Just say no to Jose Bautista.

Corey Hart, RF, Milwaukee Brewers

Corey Hart is a solid player. I like him, and have for some time. He looks like a sleaze-- a cross between Johnny Damon and the big guy from "My Name is Earl". I bet he would be a perfect pal for Aubrey Huff. They could pound beers in the corner and rock out to Pearl Jam and Whitesnake together.

Hart can certainly drive the ball, and he plays a solid right field. Of the three guys mentioned in this piece, Hart fits the Giants best. He would be an ideal 5th place slugger for the Gyros, and is under control for 2011 via arbitration.

As good a season as Hart has put together (.290/.347/.561, 22 HR, 70 RBI), he will not come cheaply-- and it has nothing to do with money. Like Toronto, the Brewers are pulling a sell-high with Mr. Hart, who literally had to fight for a spot in the starting lineup in Spring Training. He was left off the all-star ballot, but surprised the world with a spectacular resurgence. This resurgence, coupled with Milwaukee's desperate pitching situation and the lack of quality options on the market, has driven the 28 year-old Hart's price sky-effing-high.

The Brew Crew doesn't need to trade Hart. They could keep him if they wanted. That probably wouldn't be the best baseball decision for them, but there's no sense in selling off a popular player for pennies on the dollar, simply because no one is willing to pay a steep, yet reasonable cost.

The bottom line is this, The Brewers want Jonathan Sanchez or Madison Bumgarner. It makes me sick just thinking about it. However, if there is any Giant that should get traded, it should be Sanchy, but even so... I just can't endorse that wholeheartedly.

If we just had one more pitcher in AAA that looked like a semi-guaranteed stud, perhaps we could make do without Sanchez this season... but that just isn't the case.

Trading Sanchez would leave a massive hole in the rotation that would be undoubtedly filled with the likes of Joe Martinez or... gulp... Todd Wellemeyer. Certainly in a playoff series, we'd be fine. Unfortunately, we need Sanchez to make the playoffs.

It's a real catch .22 for Sabean in this case, and I'm just glad for once that I'm not in his position. A Hart for Sanchez swap is a scary proposition, but don't be surprised if it happens. It might look like this...

CF Torres (S)
2B Sanchez (R)
C Posey (R)
1B Huff (L)
RF Hart (R)
3B Sandoval(S)
LF Burrell (R)
SS Uribe (R)

I can't say I didn't get a little excited just now. Uribe is now our 8th place hitter? Are you kidding me? That's pretty damn cool. It's some food for thought, and if this move goes down, we have a right to be cautiously excited. You have to give up something to get something. Of course, I wish that something were Adam Dunn for Sanchez, but this isn't a perfect world.

What do you guys think?


  1. Firstly, screw twitter, it sucks.
    Secondly I don't see any trade that gets a worthwhile bat happening without losing Sanchez or Bumgarner. Frankly, I think some of the giants just need to learn to hit again, maybe have a new hitting strategy to fit the ballpark, i dunno, but I think they're fine the way they are, with the lineup that is there, theres enough pop to get it done if they come to form.

  2. terrible analysis on bautista. well written but misinformed. are you a saber student? if so, you wouldve noticed that his underlying skills support his year to date performance. hes suffering from an unreasonably low hit rate at 24% (league average around 30%).

    Hes only 6 months older than Jayson Werth, who had his breakout season in 2009. Hes also around the same age Nelson Cruz and Carlos Pena were when they broke out. Dont cast him off with 5 minutes of research. Hed be a huge upgrade over Burrell. Just look more closely. Gaston changed his swing. Hes a different hitter not.