Tidbits from Tuesday

Tuesday, May 25

SAN FRANCISCO — Shortstop Edgar Renteria’s right hamstring injury is extremely ominous.

Renteria’s 34. He struggled through elbow and shoulder ailments last year. He worked hard to return healthy this season, and his .326 batting average reflects the fruits of his labor.

But he missed two games in late April with discomfort in his left shoulder. Then he went on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right groin. Renteria rejoined the lineup last Saturday in Oakland, and now comes his hamstring injury.

It’s fair to wonder whether Renteria’s body is breaking down. This is not at all a criticism of Renteria. It’s just a question that inevitably arises when an athlete his age, who has played as extensively and diligently as he has, encounters an alarming sequence of injuries.

So much for the retooled lineup manager Bruce Bochy used in the series-opening 4-2 victory over the Washington Nationals. Juan Uribe likely will return to shortstop, with Pablo Sandoval going back to third base and Aubrey Huff resuming his tenure at first base after his Tuesday stint in left field. John Bowker probably will play left, unless Nate Schierholtz’s bruised right shoulder has healed enough to enable him to start in right field. If that’s the case, Andres Torres, who appears destined to stay in the lineup for a while, will occupy left.

*****

After striking out the side in Tuesday’s ninth inning for his 11th save, Giants closer Brian Wilson has 27 strikeouts in 17 1/3 innings. That’s a rate of 14.02 whiffs per nine innings. Remarkable.

*****

You may have read this elsewhere, but right-hander Zack Wheeler, the Giants’ first-round selection (sixth overall) in the First-Year Player Draft who’s pitching for low-Class A Augusta, went on the disabled list with what manager Dave Machemer called “a problem with a fingernail” on his throwing hand, according to the Augusta Chronicle.

In the Minors, a visit to the DL requires a minimum seven-day stay instead of the 15-day base in the Majors.

Wheeler, who turns 20 on Sunday, is 1-3 with a 5.03 ERA in seven starts, though he has improved somewhat in his last four outings (1-1, 3.95).

*****

Don’t mean to scare you, but had the Giants lost Tuesday, they would have dropped into fourth place in the National League West. Then again, with 118 games remaining, there’s no need to dwell on the standings. 

– Chris Haft

3 Comments

Chris, Chris, Chris… have you even been watching the same Giants team that I’ve been watching, so far this season? :-) You say that Torres “appears destined to stay in the lineup for a while”. This is based on, what, his recent strong performance, or Bochy saying that Torres has won the position and is his “starting [left- or right-] fielder” for the time being?

Either way, Torres will be benched within 5 games — my prediction — after having one bad game, only to be replaced by Schierholtz… who will play the position for less than a week before having one bad game and being replaced by John Bowker… who will play the position for 3-5 games before being benched for… are you ready?… Torres.

Bochy can’t make up his mind. These young impressionable players are being whipped around, constantly getting yanked after one bad game, even if Bochy has declared the poor guy his starting left- or right-fielder. It’s horrible for their confidence, forcing them to press really hard constantly. No one can be 6 for 4, but these poor guys know that anything less will get them benched.

The Giants aren’t pressing to score runs because they don’t have any talent. Far from it. They are pressing because NONE OF THEM knows who is going to be starting from day to day, none of them have any consistency, knowing what their roles are. And it is all the fault of one person: Bruce Bochy.

(Oh, actually, Renteria and Rowand, two overpaid and over-the-hill veterans, “professional hitters” as Bochy and Sabean like to call them, know their roles: They get sent out day after day after day by Bochy no matter how poorly they play. Bochy loves his “veterans”, no matter how much they suck.)

Yes Yes yes! Haft, wake up man. scottdandrews hit the nail on the head! I agree with everything he wrote. “Don’t mean to scare you…” BUt we ARE in 4th place right now! With the dodgers, pads, and rockies showing NO signs of slowing down. The talent on this team is all going to waste because BOCHY is as inconsistent with his players as his players are in the batters box. Bochy has not made very good decisions when it comes to strategic baseball this year, he’s lost whatever edge he used to have – AND he is obviously not a good motivator in the clubhouse, these Giants players seem to be playing in a coma half the time. This team needs an energetic manager, not an inconsistent, lobotomized one! My vote as a Giants fan of 22 years would be to fire Bruce Bochy for the good of the team.

Thanks, rhymeswithorange, it’s nice to know that other people out there agree with me.

I think it is high time that Giants’ management start looking at replacing Bochy (and Sabean, for that matter) for their over-reliance on what they call “professional hitters”, which is code for “a veteran who has been around too long, will never put up numbers as good as they did four or five seasons ago, and who is at least 34 or 35 years old and quickly approaching the end of their career”.

And what is amazing is that the Giants have a manager in their organization ALREADY, who has an incredible recent track record, has managed single-A and double-A teams to first place finishes in their respective divisions, is currently managing their triple-A team to the tune of a .647 record (the best in all of AAA!!!), and who has a proven track record of dealing with young talent and getting the best out of them… Steve Decker.

I say the Giants should can Bochy and promote Decker… and give him a GM who will commit to playing young talent who have a CHANCE at improving instead of over-the-hill vets who have nowhere to go but down. And, hey, bonus: If you play younger players, you don’t have to pay them $5-8 million a year, and that’ll save the front office money that they can spend on a free agent game-changer, a player in their mid-to-late 20’s who can hit for legitimate power and be on the team for the next decade.

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