Giants Notes: Mejia, Belt, Sabean

The latest on the Giants as they take on the rival Dodgers for the last time this spring…

  • The Giants agreed to sign Dominican left-hander Adalberto Mejia for $350K, according to Ben Badler of Baseball America. The 6'3" pitcher has a loose arm and can reach 92 with his fastball. 
  • As Badler points out, the Giants are spending more aggressively on the international market than they did in 2010; they signed Dominican right-hander Simon Mercedes earlier this month.
  • Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports suggests that Giants prospect Brandon Belt is too good to be denied a major league job.
  • Giants GM Brian Sabean told Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle that he is prepared to open the season with Belt on the roster if he believes that will make the team better. "I think we're all more open-minded now because he's played a lot, and because of that, has faced front-line pitching," Sabean said.


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22 Comments on "Giants Notes: Mejia, Belt, Sabean"


4 years 5 months ago

Belt needs to be up, playing 1B and hitting 7th.

55saveslives
4 years 5 months ago

We’d have to get rid of Ishikawa which isn’t really a big deal. Preferably Rowand!!

Jason Matthews
4 years 5 months ago

amen to that.. would love to see rowand and Ishi gone.. Emmanuel Burriss can go too

bigbird24
4 years 5 months ago

Gonna need Burriss when Miggy breaks his hip this season trying to get a routine grounder in the hole…

GasLampGuru
4 years 5 months ago

Where would they play him? 1B? LF? Their roster is pretty crowded with corner IF and OF. Their OF is especially crowded (Torres, Ross, Burrell, Rowand, and possibly even Huff if they move him. Lots of decisions to make.

TheHotCorner
4 years 5 months ago

In my opinion if they are not going to get him regular at bats then send him down until one of their current OF’s gets hurt, is let go (Rowand) or doesn’t perform then bring Belt up. I would rather have him play regularly in the minors then randomly in the majors.

4 years 5 months ago

100% correct! Do not promote just to play a few times a week. Give the veterans a chance, allowing Belt to play everyday in the minors.

4 years 5 months ago

I expect that they plan to handle Belt like they handled Posey last season: if he’s up in the majors, he’ll be playing five days a week or more. They were very clear with Posey that “he won’t be in the majors to sit on the bench.” And if Sabean is saying that Belt will break camp with the big league squad if he makes the team better, then I assume it means more or less the same thing. They’d rather have him getting work in AAA than having him ride the pine in San Francisco; the roster is crowded enough as it is.

4 years 5 months ago

Belt’s MLEs are still substantially below what Burrell hit last year, which needs more attention here. Whether his (or Huff’s) defense in LF constitutes enough of an improvement over Burrell is speculative at this point. Huff hasn’t played an inning in the OF this spring, I believe.

To me, Belt will be an excellent lefty bat for years to come. However, there are notable short term risks that are buoyed by the super-2 avoidance benefit as well. Maybe most importantly, however, is that the Giants have real roster crunch for their bench, with Rowand/Schierholtz/Ishikawa battling for (hopefully) 2 spots, should Belt be omitted.

I see the roster’s overall performance this year being maximized by trading/releasing Rowand on March 31st, and beginning the year with Schierholtz and Ishikawa on the bench (while Belt heads to Fresno). Schierholtz and Ishikawa are defensive whizzes and good pinch hitters. When the Giants get out of their hellish opening month schedule, call up Belt and trade Ishikawa to a team that finds out it needs a lefty platooner. Optimistically, this scenario results in Belt’s service time being limited and maybe even getting a low-level prospect or AAAA-style starter in the Rowand and Ishikawa trades.

4 years 5 months ago

If Belt comes up at the end of April, then he WILL be a Super-2. If he breaks camp with the team, then he’s going to be arb-eligible at the end of 2013 anyway. The difference is a month’s worth of ABs. If you want to avoid Super-2 status and push his arb to 2014, you need to keep Belt in the minors until much closer to June if you want to be safe.

4 years 5 months ago

Belt has not faced front-line pitching. I don’t care if he’s only faced staff aces so far. He’s faced good and bad pitchers at 70-80%. If you don’t have an every day job for him come opening day, send him to AAA until you work out this surplus of outfielders you guys have. No sense in starting his clock early for an occasional pinch-hit appearance and late-inning defensive replacement work.

4 years 5 months ago

I heard a couple of scouts talking about Belt last night at the Nats/Braves game. I was sitting two rows behind them and heard one joke that he’d talk to Wren about trading Freeman and Delgado for him.

Having had a while to process that, I think I’d pull the trigger. I love Freeman, and Delgado looks to be a front-line starter…….but Belt is just out of his mind. About 20 minutes later Freeman hit a 420ft shot to dead center.

Pretty bored today.

4 years 5 months ago

Wow, crazy anecdote. Especially interesting b/c until recently, Freeman and Belt were considered pretty analogous. From the Giants side, that offer would need be considered, even. In the end, I believe in Belt big time, I think he can hit 80 extra base-hits a year with best-in-the-bigs defense.

As an aside, what’s up with 1b considered so easy a defensive position. Sure, if it were just based on fielding balls-in-play, but first-sackers have to handle more difficult rockets (from all angles of the IF) than anyone save the catcher. I think there’s a statistical inefficiency in how a good 1B boosts the fielding data for their team’s IFers.

4 years 5 months ago

It requires less mobility than every other position on the field. Yes there are shots down the line and whatnot, but handedness concerns push more of that action towards the 3B, plus you can’t play the shift to the left side. Plus, sluggers are often on the larger side, which suits 1B for the extra reach to extend your range while planted on the bag. The two complement each other well.

It’s not that playing first base is easy; it’s that it’s the easiest place to hide a bad defender. Great defense at first base is valued, but not at the expense of losing the needed offensive punch from that position. It’s why guys like Travis Ishikawa can’t really cut it as a starter for competitive club.

4 years 5 months ago

I get that logic, and I think that is adequately ingrained in traditional analysis. What I’d like given more attention is that 1B requires a unique defensive skillset that isn’t as well depicted because of the inherent disadvantage of comparing firstbasemen’s athleticism with the rest of the diamond. I think this is a similar yet lesser inefficiency to catcher defense, which is statistically difficult to catalog.

I’m saying that, due to the comparably high involvement of the 1B in balls in play, 1B can raise defensive improvement across the infield compoundingly. You can always stash an immobile slugger there, but that is a greater sacrifice than stashing them in LF in many instances, IMHO.

vtadave
4 years 5 months ago

Can he also cure cancer and save drowning babies while serving meals to the homeless?

bigbird24
4 years 5 months ago

…If he keeps his front side in on sliders on the outer half…

4 years 5 months ago

…just not dodger cancer/drownings.

RepOak
4 years 5 months ago

He has not faced front line pitching. It’s best if he starts in Fresno and see how he plays out there before putting him in the ML roster.

Jay Patel
4 years 5 months ago

Well as of now the bench looks like this

Fontenot
DeRosa
Whiteside
Rowand
Belt
Ishikawa
Schierholtz

We know the 1st 3 on this list have a job but I feel like Rowand and Ishikawa might be the ones getting cut if Belt makes the team. If he doesn’t make the team than Rowand will probably be cut… I can see the Giants eating 2 years of his salary for a better team

As for the International signings I like it a lot but the Giants need to find some HR hitting bats down there like a Pujols/M. Cabrera…Pitching though you can never have too much of

Jason_F
4 years 5 months ago

I’m sure every team is looking for that tiny village in the Dominican that produces Cabrera and Pujols clones.

northsfbay
4 years 5 months ago

The Giants didn’t do super 2 advoidance with Lincecum and Posey. The scouts think that Belt is ready. You have to give a prospect a shot sometimes.