SF Giants News

San Francisco Giants: Could Colby Rasmus or Allen Craig handle LF?

By Mark ONeill
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Readers establish the legitimacy of this San Francisco Giants site as much as the writers posting the articles. In yesterday’s almost whimsical piece on Andre Ethier, readers not only held this site accountable for the issue of “trading with the enemy,” they also provided additional fodder for the mill by running two names up the flagpole, to see if there was a salute lurking out there somewhere: Colby Rasmus and Allen Craig.

Trading with the enemy “creates revenge and bite-you-in-the-ass scenarios” for one reader, which ironically is exactly what I envisioned, only I saw Ethier plaguing the Dodgers in future games the way he used to hurt the Giants. The reality is that any vision of that nature appearing as crystal clear to Giants fans, would be even more transparent to the Bums’ brass.

In my fantasy, I saw the Dodgers so eager to usher Ethier out the door, that I neglected to account for anything other than the division of his hefty contract, which I had originally listed at twelve million per year, but was gently redirected into the eighteen million range.

Readers make all the difference at Around the Foghorn and their comments are truly invaluable.

LA’s posse of GM types may seem overkill but there is too much experience in that brain-trust to expect ineptness.

Despite playing in just 92 games in 2014, making 78 starts, Ethier still sees himself as a starter. He batted .249/.322.370 with four home runs and 42 RBIs in 341 at-bats and refuses to go gently into that good night by accepting a platoon situation. Having had his inability to hit left-handed pitching pointed out to this site, a platoon would seem unlikely for a guy who wants to be a full-time player. Remember Aaron Rowand?

The thrust of yesterday’s piece included ongoing confidence in Brian Sabean’s ability to sift through what remains of viable options for left field, primarily because of the scouting combines already in place, which furnish the Giants with updated information on any player deemed worthy of note. For instance, both Rasmus and Craig were slowed by foot injuries in 2014. What is the status of each of the two players? Are their injuries responding to treatment?

Rasmus’ numbers over a six-year MLB career look like this: 793 Gs; 3039 PAs; 2737 ABs; 409 Rs; 672 Hs; 142 2Bs; 18 3Bs; 116 HRs; 352 RBIs; 28 SBs; 15 CS; 262 BBs; 767 SOs; .246/.313/.438; and an ops  of .751.  Defensively, Rasmus has a .984 lifetime fielding percentage for his work in all three outfield positions.

“Rasmus is the younger of the two players at 28, has more power and can play center field as well. He is one of the few decent players remaining on the free agent market,” wrote one of the readers.

By comparison Allen Craig’s numbers look like this over a five-year MLB career: 498 Gs; 1925 PAs; 1752 ABs; 233 Rs; 494 Hs; 106 2Bs; 3 3Bs; 58 HRs; 293 RBIs; 11 SBs; 3 CSs; 136 BBs; 368 SOs; .282/.337/.445; and an OPS of .783.  Defensively, Craig has played in 86 games in left field, with 54 starts; he has a lifetime .998 fielding % for all of his defensive work.

“Craig made the All-Star team in 2013 and got votes for NL Most Valuable Player in both 2012 and ’13. He homered three times in nineteen at-bats in the 2011 World Series. In those three years (2011-013) he’s fourth among all NL players in batting average (.312), 12th in OPS (.863) and 14th in OPB (.364). He’s not a power hitter, having hit more than 13 homers only once,” wrote a second reader.

Craig is owed 26.5 million dollars over the next three years, according to John Morosi, but due to his slow recovery of a Lisfranc foot injury, Boston won’t be able to get much in return. According to my reader from yesterday morning, the Red Sox “are 5 deep in LF in their depth chart.”

Whereas Ethier would cost dearly in terms of prospects, both Rasmus and Craig could probably come cheaper with some creative maneuvering. As this site has repeatedly clamored, Brian Sabean has a bevy of scouts covering all available options.

This offseason has been noted for its slim availability of proven talent, but slim is better than none, and no one knows it better than Sabean. If anyone can find value on the scrap heap, it’s Brian Sabean, with a little help from some friends.

This site always appreciates the backup that readers provide!

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