Posts tagged “San Francisco Giants

Scutaro, Belt possibilities in Giants outfield following Cabrera Suspension


San Francisco Giants first baseman Brandon Belt could see some time in the outfield after All-Star Melky Cabrera received a 50-game suspension from Major League Baseball. Photo by: The Bay Area Bias / Flickr

BY SCOTT SEMMLER, Feedcrossing.com syndication 

Melky Cabrera will not be with the team following his 50-game suspension, and with it comes offensive uncertainty in the San Francisco Giants’ lineup.

On Wednesday, manager Bruce Bochy replaced Cabrera in the lineup with Gregor Blanco. However, that could very well change as the season progresses and the playoff race heats up. The Giants now have some decisions to make pertaining to their roster.

Bochy hinted at the fact that Blanco could get the majority of the starts in the outfield, but there is also the topic of a lack of power in the lineup now that they do not have Cabrera batting third. Substituting his bat with the weaker bat of Blanco is simply a downgrade for a team still in dire need of offense any given night. So the idea of moving players from the infield into the outfield creeped into the postgame press conference room after a loss to the Washington Nationals, which followed Cabrera’s suspension.

The two names mentioned were Brandon Belt and Marco Scutaro. Bochy did not rule either of them out.  (more…)

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Spring Training Teasers: Couch Side’s top five catchers for 2012


BY WADE MCMILLIN, Couchsideshow.com editor

In part two of Couch Side’s 12 part series on the best position player going into 2012, I’ll examine the MLB’s top backstops. A couple of catchers on my top five missed a big chunk of the 2011 season because of injury, but they’re both still considered two of the best in the game.

Here’s a closer look at the best from behind the dish in 2012:

Catcher Mike Napoli set career highs in batting average, homer runs and RBIs in his first season with the Texas Rangers last year. Photo by Bart Hanlon / Flickr

1. Mike Napoli, Texas Rangers

It’s weird to think a 30-year-old wouldn’t reach his prime until his career was almost halfway over, but it appears that’s the exact case for Mike Napoli. The six-year veteran set career highs in home runs, RBIs and batting average last season for the Texas Rangers and he played a key factor to their American League Championship run. The most impressive of Napoli’s personal highs last year had to have been how he hit for average. Don’t get me wrong, his power numbers were very impressive, but before last season, Napoli never hit higher that .273. In 2011, the Florida native hit an amazing .320. I don’t think we’ve seen the best of Napoli yet and that’s saying a lot. It will be tough for him to make a repeat performance after an incredible 2011 season, but now that the Rangers are contenders, he’ll play with that bad taste of losing a World Series lingering in his mouth.

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Spring Training Teasers: Couch Side’s top five MLB pitchers for 2012


BY TREVOR GOULD, Couchsideshow.com writer

As pitchers and catchers reported to their respective camps during the past few days, Couch Side also has Spring Training fever.

And with the Major League Baseball season about a month away, we’ve decided to begin a look into the top players at each position. So here is our fist in a series of 12 blogs in which we will break down the top five players at each position during the next few weeks. Couch Side’s own Trevor Gould appropriately chose to start our series off with starting pitchers. Here is who he sees as this year’s movers and shakers from the hill.

Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Justin Verlander won the A.L. MVP and CY Young awards last season. Photo by: SD Dirk / Flickr

1. Justin Verlander, Detroit Tigers

Last year, Justin Verlander almost singlehandedly redefined the definition of domination. The right-handed fire-baller posted a league high 24 wins along with a stellar 2.40 ERA, scintillating 250 punch-outs, and a .92 WHIP, the lowest in the league. Major League Baseball rewarded Verlander handsomely for his accomplishments by handing him both the AL Cy Young and league MVP award. Verlander’s pitches often exceed 100 MPH, and he is able to accurately pinpoint all areas of the strike zone, keeping hitters constantly guessing. Thanks to the Tigers’ offensive potency and the recent addition of power bat Prince Fielder, Verlander has a very good chance of racking up an equally gaudy number of wins this season.

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