Giants Still in on Calero

Giants Still in on Calero

Jan. 15, 2010GIANTS PAGEMychael Urban
CSNBayArea.comLike most every general manager in baseball, Brian Sabean has mastered the art of speaking in terms that can be interpreted -- and misinterpreted -- in a variety of ways. He was at it again this week on the topic of what's left on his to-do list, between now and the start of spring training.Made somewhat clear -- that'll have to do -- is that picking up a reliever is the top priority, and this morning I learned that the Kiko Calero drum I've been banging for so long has not yet been silenced.

I had it confirmed by vice president of baseball operations Bobby Evans that the Giants have indeed been chatting with Calero's agent, Diego Benz.
I called Benz even before I spoke with Evans, but I haven't heard back from him yet. In fact, I just called again and now his voice mailbox is full, so I shot him a text.
I called Kiko, who is inPuerto Rico, and got some freaky error message from his cell service provider. So no dice there, either.
Anyway, the Giants definitely are still interested in Calero, who had a terrific year with the Marlins last season (1.95 ERA, 1.10 WHIP in 69 games) and has a comic-book slider that would be quite the San Francisco treat.
Alas, Evans seems to think Calero will get a more lucrative andor longer offer than what I'm guessing is a one-plus-one deal from the Giants. He also said Calero is far from the only relief option being currently explored. A one-plus-one (the "plus-one" being an option year in case that's too insidery) deal for Calero, who turned 35 last Saturday, sounds about right to me. His almost-exclusive reliance on that slider, which he throws at two different speeds to create two types of break, and his fairly recent elbow-and-shoulder injury history makes him a dicey long-term commitment. But right now, Evans said, most players in Calero's age range who are still productive are looking for as much contract length as possible, for obvious reasons. It could be the last contract these guys get. But the Giants aren't going more than two years with anybody.
Moving on, the next item on Sabean's list of priorities is acquiring a veteran catcher. Or not. His GM-speak on the issue made it very difficult to discern. Buster Posey is the starting catcher as of now, and the Giants have spent the previous two weeks making that clear, but Sabean's most recent comments were about as clear as my head was the morning after my bachelor party.He said the team is prepared to go with Posey, but he's open to picking up a lesser-light catcher who has nowhere else to go. I'm paraphrasing, but that was the gist of what he said, and let's get real: It wasn't exactly a ringing endorsement for Posey or this unidentified, unemployed schlep-rock.Way, way, way down the list is the need for a No. 5 starter. In other words, they don't need one. No. 5 starters are a dime a dozen, if you ask me. Vastly overrated -- unless you have a young stud to fill the role. Madison Bumgarner is that stud, and the Giants know it. So on that topic, it's basically, "Move along folks, nothing to see here."

Bullpen implodes after Cain goes five solid, Giants crushed by Padres

Bullpen implodes after Cain goes five solid, Giants crushed by Padres

BOX SCORE

SAN FRANCISCO -- Wil Myers hit a three-run homer to cap San Diego's eight-run sixth inning and the Padres rallied to beat the San Francisco Giants 12-4 on Saturday night.

Myers also singled off Chris Stratton (1-0) to start the big inning and had three hits for the game. San Diego scored 11 runs against the Giants' bullpen following five effective innings from starter Matt Cain.

Allen Cordoba added a three-run homer off Neil Ramirez in the seventh.

The Padres combined for six hits and two walks off Stratton and Ramirez in the sixth. It took the duo 46 pitches to end the inning.

Jhoulys Chacin (3-3) struck out six and gave up three runs, five hits and two walks in five innings.

Triggs rebounds as A's halt 10-game losing streak to Astros

Triggs rebounds as A's halt 10-game losing streak to Astros

HOUSTON — Andrew Triggs keeps checking off all the right boxes in his first season as a major league starting pitcher.

Coming into the year, manager Bob Melvin said the right-hander’s biggest challenge would be retiring lefty hitters. He’s done that splendidly.

On Saturday, the A’s needed to see if Triggs could bounce back after his first rough outing of 2017. He responded with the best of his 11 career starts, holding a potent Astros lineup off the scoreboard for seven innings as the A’s registered a 2-1 victory that snapped their five-game losing streak.

The effective cutter that eluded Triggs when he lost to the Mariners last Sunday was back. Houston’s hitters waved helplessly at the pitch and began their walk back to the dugout all in the same motion, as Triggs rang up a career-high nine strikeouts. His seven innings also were a career high for the 28-year-old.

“We’re not really swinging the bats right now,” Melvin said. “We score two runs and we’re facing a lineup that you expect to score a bunch of runs. So to pitch as well as he did and go through the lineup three times, give us seven innings of work, is pretty good.

“He had the one off-outing, and every outing (besides that) has been pretty spotless.”

Triggs, whose 1.84 ERA ranks seventh in the American League, doesn’t blow people away with his fastball. He throws from a three-quarters arm slot that suggests it might be easy for left-handed hitters to pick up the ball out of his hand. Last season, the batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage were all roughly 40 to 50 points higher for lefties than for righties off Triggs.

All he’s done coming out of the gate this season is hold lefties to an .087 batting average (4-for-46). Another revealing stat: Opposing cleanup hitters are 0-for-14 off him.

Triggs credited catchers Stephen Vogt, Josh Phegley and, when he’s been up with the big club, Bruce Maxwell for their expertise in calling pitches against lefties.

“They’ve done such a good job keeping the sequences unpredictable,” he said. “You command pitches, you’re gonna get guys out. I know the stereotype is when you throw from the angle that I do, you’re gonna struggle with lefties. I’ve been aware, at least of that profile, for a while. I’ve worked on it quite a bit.”

Triggs had his entire repertoire working Saturday, according to Vogt.

“He was keeping them off-balance. Even when it seemed they were starting to sit on his slider, he starts sneaking some heaters by them. He was outstanding.”

But he had help. First baseman Yonder Alonso made a terrific leaping grab of Josh Reddick’s liner in the fifth that might have gone for extra bases. An inning before that, Jaff Decker made an on-the-money throw to third from deep right field to nail Carlos Beltran tagging up on a fly ball.

“He’s got a good arm so don’t sleep on him at all,” Triggs said.

Given how their month has gone, it’s no surprise the A’s got both their runs on homers. They’ve gone deep 31 times in April, their most homers in the month since they clubbed 34 in 2006. Lowrie, who’s spent two stints with the Astros and owns an offseason home in Houston, went deep to right to give the A’s a 1-0 lead. Khris Davis mashed his 10th homer in the eighth for what wound up being an important insurance run when Jose Altuve followed with a homer off Sean Doolittle.

Davis’ teammates by now are accustomed to seeing the left fielder flaunt his opposite-field power. He’s hit three homers this series, all to straightaway right or right-center.

Said Lowrie: “I think at this point it’s fair to call it special.”