The savior has arrived!
At least that's what the people posting on the Giants message boards will be saying this morning. I would have to say that by looking at last night's performance they would be correct. His first game of the season the Giants put a 12 - 1 whooping on the D-backs!
Sure the Giants were probably energized by the arrival of their highly touted prospect, probably their most highly touted prospect since Matt Williams. He definitely didn't disappoint. The guy hops on a morning flight from Salt Lake City, puts on his cape, and throws his SF on his chest and goes 3 for 4 with 3 RBIs. Impressive to be sure but this game needs to be put into context.
Arizona's starter, Billy Buckner, came into last nights game with a BA against of .361 and an ERA over 9.00! The other excuses for pitchers that the Dbacks trotted out last night weren't much better. A look at this morning's box score shows that Valdez's ERA is 6.32, Rivera's is 22.09!, and Vasquez was actually the best pitcher that they used last night with the stellar 5.06 ERA. Look, I'm not saying that Posey isn't going to be good, but we need to not get ahead of ourselves and think he's gonna hit .750 for the rest of his career. He's going to go through his struggles and we just will have to stick with him through them. Provided he is allowed to go through though struggles in SF and not in Fresno as the Giants brass has been hinting.
One troubling development of Posey's arrival is the benching of Nate Schierholtz. Every game that Nate is not in the starting lineup is a crime to Giants fans. Nate is the only player in the Giants lineup who can change the game even when he is not hitting. He is easily the best defender we have and he has shown the ability to hit close to .300 at every level he has played at including the majors. His career average is .285 and the guy only gets to play for about a week at a time.
Andres Torres has definitely earned his starting spot in the lineup but Aaron Rowand has not. Sure the guy has a hot streak each season for a week or two and nobody questions his heart or his toughness.. But he just isn't an every day major leaguer at this point in his career as his 3 strikeouts last night plainly showed. the bottom line on Rowand is he had two above average seasons out of his 10 in the majors. His best season, 2007, came in the extremely hitter friendly ballpark in Philadelphia. His average season is .278 BA, 12.6 HRs, and 50 RBIs. But if you subtract his 2 career years from 2004 and 2007 which he averaged .309, 25.5 HRs and 76 RBIs,then he averages .266 BA, 8 HRs, and 55 RBIs a season over the 8 other seasons he has played. What's the point of all of this? There is nothing in his career with the exception of 2 anomalous seasons in ballparks that were not AT&T park that would suggest that even if he breaks out of his current slump that he would produce even close to what Nate Schierholtz has been producing, Now power-wise Schierholtz is probably a wash with Rowand but he is clearly superior in his ability to get on base and create runs. Heck he will even steal you a base every now and then.
One last interesting note from last night's game.
2 players had 2 out RBIs last night. Which is something that the Giants have been struggling with all season. Those players? Denny Bautista and Buster Posey.