SF Giants Mailbag 9/23: Davis, Free-Agency, Kapler, Bullpen, and more
By Marc Delucchi
Around the Foghorn co-expert, Marc Delucchi answers whatever SF Giants questions you have for him.
The SF Giants are just 4-6 in their last 10 games but remain right in the thick of the playoff hunt. They had an opportunity to distance themselves from the Phillies, Brewers, and Reds. Instead, with less than a week to go here are the National League Wild-Card standings (top 2 make the postseason).
*1. Cincinnati Reds 28-28
*2. Milwaukee Brewers 27-27
3. SF Giants 27-27
4. Philadelphia Phillies 27-29
The Giants don’t have the tie-breaker over the Reds, Brewers, or Phillies so they’ll need to be in the wild-card outright at the end of the regular season to earn a postseason bid. With the way the Padres are playing, these final two games against the Rockies seem like must-win games.
SF Giants Mailbag Question #1: Are Giants getting the benefits of Philly pulling the plug on Kapler before a young manager in the bigs could find his footing and implement everything he wanted to do? Curt via Twitter
I always thought people were overly critical of Kapler’s time in Philadelphia from a baseball perspective. Just look at the Los Angeles Angels, star power rarely wins in Major League Baseball, depth does. It obviously helps to have both, but Philadelphia has never had a lot at the big-league level aside from their middle-of-the-lineup guys.
My issues with the Kapler hire always related to the off-field criticisms of his work in the Dodgers organization above all else. Frankly, nothing he does on the field can really change that.
Early in the season, there were some concerning trends that had emerged from Kapler’s handling of the pitching staff, but most of those trends have shifted. I do still have concerns about how he manages bullpen rest, but in a shortened season with expanded rosters, that’s been less of an issue. We’ll have to wait and see on that in 2021.
SF Giants Mailbag Question #2: Haven’t heard much on Jaylin Davis, how is he coming along? Zac via Twitter
After talking to some sources familiar with the team’s alternate site in Sacramento early on, there’s been radio silence since. Our own Jeff Young wrote about Davis and asked where he was. I wish I had the answer. He didn’t get a promotion following the Luis Basabe injury, so I have no idea.
SF Giants Mailbag Question #3: Why do you prefer rest over recent performance to determine which relievers to use? via Twitter
If you have a prime Brian Wilson or Joe Nathan, I have no problem pitching them on a back-to-back in the 9th inning over a well-rested Sam Selman. However, I feel like there’s a case for Tony Watson, Tyler Rogers, Selman, and even someone like Jarlin Garcia or Sam Coonrod as the best reliever in the Giants pen.
If I have equal trust in two relievers, I’d rather use the one with more rest. This is especially true if my team has a game the next day. Using a pitcher on a back-to-back basically forces you to not use them the following day. I don’t like hamstringing my gameplan tomorrow if I can avoid it with a different choice today.
SF Giants Mailbag Question #4: What free-agent arms do you think Zaidi will be interested in? David via Twitter
I talked to Roger Munter on his There R Giants podcast about the team’s options in free agency. I expect them to acquire two legitimate starters this offseason of two different tiers.
Essentially, I think there’s an A group of starters who can at least be mid-rotation arms with maybe even higher upside (guys like Kevin Gausman and Marcus Stroman) and another from the set of lottery tickets (like Drew Smyly and Tyler Anderson were last offseason). Chris Archer or Anthony DeSclafani could be options, but I think a Smyly return is very much in play too.
SF Giants Mailbag Question #5: Will we be going after free agents this offseason (i.e. Realmuto, [Bauer], Stroman)? Ray via Twitter
Realmuto just doesn’t fit unless the Giants are trading Bart, which would be quite a bold play. I’ll never rule anything out with Zaidi, but that seems beyond the pale. Bauer probably ranks as the best starting pitcher available via free agency, but he’ll receive a qualifying offer, has insisted he will only sign one-year deals, and has a history harassing people online.
I would like to think his online harassment would eliminate him from the front-offices considerations, but I don’t think that’s in their calculus. Regardless, the first two reasons are still impediments. Farhan Zaidi isn’t going to be keen on giving up draft capital and a one-year deal just doesn’t fit the Giants timeline well.
If there’s any big-name I’d watch it’d be Oakland Athletics shortstop Marcus Semien. He’s had an underwhelming 2020 season and I no longer expect the A’s to offer him a qualifying offer. Given Donovan Solano‘s defensive struggles at second base, the Giants could see Semien as the perfect bounce-back candidate to sign for the everyday spot at second who could shift to short against tough southpaws.
The SF Giants take on the Colorado Rockies at 6:45 pm Pacific Standard Time Wednesday. Ryan Castellini will start for the Rockies. The Giants have announced Caleb Baragar as the starter, but it is Logan Webb‘s turn in the rotation. After tonight’s game, they will have one more game against Colorado before concluding their regular season with a four-game set against the Padres.