Thursday, June 16, 2011

What to do?

Ryan Vogelsong will take the hill tonight vs. the Arizona Diamondbacks. To me, this is an interesting start for "Voggy", as he's called, moreso than his other starts because this will be against a high-scoring team in a hitter's friendly ballpark.

If he manages to throw another gem, the Giants are really going to start to be in a bind with him. A good bind to be in, but a bind nonetheless. For the very short term, the Giants have made the decision that he's simply pitching too well to replace in the rotation with Barry Zito when Zito returns.

For the longer term -- longer as in the next month and change -- what are the Giants to do with him? Teams that want starting pitching for a run at the postseason this year are going to really want Vogelsong -- contracts don't get any friendlier than "minimum", and Vogelsong hasn't been just good, he's been very good.

Furthermore, while at this point the Giants might be more amenable to unloading Jonathan Sanchez, I'm thinking most teams would rather have Vogelsong if they're trying to address their needs for just 2011. I'm sure Sanchez will draw some interest, but 50 walks in 80 innings are going to scare off most teams, I think.

I'm imagining it will come down to what the Giants might be able to get -- they'd be looking for offensive help, of course, but it's difficult to figure out what position any bat would occupy. Short-term help at catcher would be a definite...not sure how often Pablo Sandoval really would catch, but I'm thinking the Giants would want someone they could slot there permanently for 2011 so Panda can slot permanently back at 3rd base.

Shortstop? Well, yes -- but I'm imagining that the New York Mets will be looking for multiple players in return for someone like Jose Reyes, and multiple young players, at that. I'd love a Sanchez and Brandon Crawford for Reyes deal, but I'm just doubtful the Mets would go for something like that.

Beyond that, things are either crowded or muddled by injuries. If the Giants have a chance to get a good-hitting corner outfielder they need to go for it, but that would necessitate some hard decisions -- they've hung onto just about everyone they could from last year's World Series run, but it's a simple fact the outfield is too crowded with guys who just aren't everyday players.

Beyond Andres Torres and Cody Ross, the other three should be viewed as expendable -- again, only if the Giants have a chance at a legitimately good-hitting corner outfielder. Otherwise, they may as well continue to play musical outfield chairs.

Rambling aside, I'm thinking it will really come down to what the Giants can get for Vogelsong, because if he continues to pitch this well, the best move may very well be to not make a move at all -- crowded starting rotation be damned.

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