Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Offensive offense

Here are the projected starters for the San Francisco Giants and their '07 offensive [pun intended] numbers:

Catcher: Bengie Molina (currently injured) 38/19/81/0 .276
First Base: Dave Ortmeier (who?) 20/6/16/2 .287
Second Base: Ray Durham 56/11/71/10 .218
Shortstop: Omar Vizquel (surgery in off-season) 54/4/51/14 .246
Third Base: Rich Aurilia (really?) 40/5/33/0 .257
L. Field: Dave Roberts 61/2/23/31 .260
C. Field: Aaron Rowand 105/27/89/6 .309
R. Field: Randy Winn 73/14/65/15 .300

What a giant pile of shit. In shallow leagues, the only guy who's likely to be drafted is Rowand, and he'll be dropped once he stops sneaking balls out of the Phillies bandbox (in a contract/career year) and has to deal with Frisco's cavernous dimensions. In deeper leagues, Molina, Roberts (there's always a bench spot for 30 steals) and Winn will probably get snagged as well. But probably not to start, and certainly not as important pieces of fantasy squad.

Let's leave out Rowand for the moment. This team combined for 59 home runs last year. Total. Including Rowand, it amounted to 78 stolen bases. That's basically a combination of Prince Fielder and Jose Reyes. Look at those runs and RBI totals. I'm actually throwing up a little in my mouth. There are four regulars who batted .260 or below. What's even worse, except for Ortmeier, these are basically full-season stats!

Compare the SF lineup to the Detroit Tigers:

Catcher: Ivan Rodriguez 50/11/63/2 .281
First Base: Carlos Guillen (SS eligible!) 86/21/102/13 .296
Second Base: Placido Polanco 105/9/67/7 .341
Shortstop: Edgar Renteria 89/12/57/11 .332
Third Base: Miguel Cabrera 91/34/119/2 .320
L. Field: Jacque Jones (platooning) 52/5/66/6 .288
C. Field: Curtis Granderson 122/23/74/26 .302
R. Field: Magglio Ordonez 117/28/139/4 .363

Jacque Jones is probably the only player who wouldn't look out of place in a Giants uniform, and he had less than 400 at-bats in '07!

The Giants were already bad last year. They finished second to last in runs scored and that was with Barry Bonds, the always misused Pedro Feliz, and a somewhat healthy Omar Vizquel and Ryan Klesko. How much worse can they get? Probably a lot worse.

To replace this lost offense, they added Aaron "2007 was my career year and everyone realized it but Brian Sabean" Rowand. Eugenio Velez, yes, that Eugenio Velez, is likely going to lodge significant time at 2B or SS, since Durham and Vizquel are seriously grizzled with eld. You'll note that Mr. Velez didn't merit a mention in our multi-eligibility draft guide, an article that included blurbs about fantasy luminaries such as Josh Wilson and Brendan Harris.

Perhaps even more amazing/sickening is that the Giants projected team payroll (extrapolated from 2007 salaries and free-agent signings) for 2008 is over $90 million! Check this out [I've omitted pitchers, but except for Zito's bloated salary they looked far more reasonable]:

Ray Durham $7,000,000
Omar Vizquel $5,140,084
Randy Winn $5,000,000
Dave Roberts $5,000,000
Aaron Rowand $4,350,000
Bengie Molina 4$,000,000
Rich Aurilia $3,500,000
Ortmeier ?? Not much.

Total Team Salary: $90,469,056.

By comparison, Detroit's "Total Team Salary": $95,180,369.

I know I pound on Ned Colletti all the time, but he may not even be the worst general manager in the NL West. Sabean once traded Boof Bonser, Francisco Liriano, and Joe Nathan for one year of A.J. Pierzynski, and he has managed to spend $90 million accumulating a team that every fantasy player in the United States could tell you is absolutely godawful and not likely to get better due to the advanced age of two thirds of the roster. Basically, Barry Bonds's otherworldly offensive prowess hid a lot of problems for a lot of years.

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