EXTRA BAGGS: Giants' modest trade deadline goals


EXTRA BAGGS: Giants' modest trade deadline goals

WASHINGTON The Giants could use a right-handed hittingoutfielder or right-handed power at any position, really.

Theyll always troll the waters for right-handed reliefpitching.

But a major addition at the July 31 non-waiver tradedeadline? Another Carlos Beltran?

Dont bet on it.

Yes, the annual Get a bat! cries are about to begin anewfrom Giants faithful after a second consecutive drubbing at Nationals Park. TheGiants are simply not built to win slugfests, and their pitchers are gettingthem tangled in more and more of them away from AT&T Park.

RECAP: Nationals 9, Giants 4

But from what sources tell me, the Giants are not hopeful offinding an everyday player that would supplant one of their current starters.

You never know. A Flyin Hawaiian might fall in their lap.As much as Giants fans are conditioned to hate the Phillies Shane Victorino,hed be a help atop the lineup and in the outfield.

Sources tell me the Phillies havent put him on the marketyet, though. And besides, the Giants dont have another Zack Wheeler tosacrifice, as they did to get Beltran from the New York Mets a year ago. Theirsecond-tier talent isnt that impressive, either.

Even if they did have prospects to trade, it probably wouldbe a prohibitive expense for Giants GM Brian Sabean. Last year was different inthat the Giants were trying to defend a title. If there was any time to go forbroke, it was last year.

This year, the NL West is soft enough and the Giantspitching staff is good enough for them to win it, or at least gain entry withan extra wild card in play. Anything short of that will be a majordisappointment, to be sure.

But you cant afford to shed a Wheeler from your systemevery year. Thats just a dangerous way to operate. (Witness how Wheeler is dominating at Double-A for the Mets this season. He'll start against the Giants' affiliate at Richmond on Thursday, by the way.)

So with a thin system and no real trade chips other thanmaybe Nate Schierholtz, the Giants likely will focus on incremental upgrades.They definitely need more power threats for the bench. And you can never haveenough relief pitching. If they have to eat a contract to get a player, theycan do it. To a certain degree, anyway.

I'm told the Giants aren't going to prioritize an upgrade over Brandon Crawford at shortstop, either. They learned their lesson after doing that last year by acquiring ancient Orlando Cabrera, who was abysmal with the bat and nowhere near as good with the glove. Defense will remain a huge consideration in any move as the Giants move forward. (Besides, Crawford's average is creeping up in recent days.)

What about starting depth? Will they seek a replacement for Tim Lincecum inthe rotation, as Fox Sports' Jon Paul Morosi suggested? Anything is possible, depending on how Lincecum pitches from this point. But the Giants arent anywhere near thatsituation yet. As Bruce Bochy often says, either your core guys are good enoughor they arent. Lincecum, for all his woes, still remains at the heart of thefranchise.

So dream about those big bats as we cast off into July. Buttemper those expectations.

Giants catching prospect Garcia relishing reps in Arizona Fall League


Giants catching prospect Garcia relishing reps in Arizona Fall League

After being selected in the second round of the 2014 MLB Draft by the San Francisco Giants, catcher Aramis Garcia quickly opened eyes with his power. Garcia totaled 15 home runs between Rookie Ball and Short Season Single-A in only 28 games after the draft. 

The next year, Garcia equaled his 15 long balls and spent the majority of his first full pro season at High Single-A. He also improved overall as a hitter, raising his 2014 slash line of .225/.301/.343 to .264/.342/.431 in 2015. The next climb up the farm system ladder was set in place, until it was gone with an excruciating injury. 

Garcia's 2016 season was limited to 47 games played as he sustained a facial fracture in May while sliding into second base. In an attempt to break up a double play, Garcia took a knee to the face. The injury kept him out until the end of July.

When the chance to play in the Arizona Fall League for the Scottsdale Scorpions arose, Garcia jumped at the opportunity. 

"First thing I did was call my parents and let them know," Garcia told MLB.com on Monday. "I was just really excited for getting the opportunity to play against guys who are extremely talented and obviously make up for reps, which are extremely important."

Garcia never did exactly find his rhythm after the injury and finished the season batting .257/.323/.340 with two homers in 41 games. In the first half, the 23-year-old hit .298/.359/.369 compared to a lowly .200/.273/.300 in the second half. 

The catcher known more for his offense than defense, is off to a slow start at the plate while facing some of the top prospects in baseball. Throuh six games, he has gone 3-for-17 at the plate, good for a .176 average. But, Garcia acknowledged he's focusing heavily on his defense in the AFL. 

"I feel like when somebody tries to steal on me, I tend to take it a little bit personally," he said. "It's definitely something I take pride in, something I work on hard every day. There's a little routine I do with receiving and footwork, things like that every day."

Behind the dish, Garcia caught 38 percent of base runners looking to swipe a bag on him last season. Through his three years in the minors, Garcia has erased 34 percent of base stealers and owns a .993 fielding percentage. 

Cubs, Indians name starting pitchers for Game 1 of World Series


Cubs, Indians name starting pitchers for Game 1 of World Series

World Series ace Jon Lester is all set to start Game 1 for the Chicago Cubs.

Lester will be fully rested when he pitches Tuesday night at Cleveland. Corey Kluber will start for the Indians.

The 32-year-old lefty is 2-0 in three starts during this postseason, with wins over the Giants and Dodgers in the NL playoffs. He was 19-5 during the regular season.

Lester is 3-0 in three starts in the World Series with a sparkling 0.43 ERA. He helped the Boston Red Sox win championships in 2007 and 2013.

Cubs manager Joe Maddon says Lester is "really, really in the moment" right now.


Indians ace Corey Kluber will start Game 1 of the World Series against the Chicago Cubs.

Manager Terry Francona said Sunday that he will go with Kluber, an 18-ame winner during the regular season, in the opener on Tuesday night. The right-hander is 2-1 with a 0.98 ERA in his first postseason.

Francona has right-handers Trevor Bauer and Josh Tomlin penciled in for Games 2 and 3, respectively. The order could change depending on how Bauer's injured right pinkie heals over the next few days.

Bauer's start in the AL Championship Series lasted less than one inning after his pinkie began bleeding against Toronto. He injured his finger when he sliced it open while repairing a drone.

Also, injured starter Danny Salazar could be available against the Cubs. Salazar hasn't pitched since Sept. 9 because of forearm tightness but he's made major progress in the past week and could be on the World Series roster.