Willingham, Affeldt named Clemente nominees


Willingham, Affeldt named Clemente nominees

Sept. 13, 2011


Outfielder Josh Willingham was announced as the A's nominee for the Roberto Clemente Award, while relief pitcherJeremy Affeldt is the Giants' representative, both Bay Area baseball teams announced Tuesday.

According to the A's media release, "The Roberto Clemente Award recognizes the player who best exemplifies the game of baseball, sportsmanship, community involvement and positive contribution to their team. The award is named after the 12-time All-Star and Hall of Famer, Roberto Clemente, who was killed on New Years Eve 1972 while delivering supplies to earthquake victims in Nicaragua. This award helps perpetuate Clementes memory and character by recognizing current-day players who truly understand the value of helping others."

Willingham raised more than 100,000 after tornadoes ripped through northern Alabama, where Willingham and his family live.

Affeldt has his own foundation, the Jeremy Affeldt Foundation, and also is involved with Not For SaleFree 2 Play, the Jefferson Awards Students In Action Program, and the Larkin Street Youth Services organization.

Fans can vote for the national winner from Sept. 14 through Oct. 9 at www.chevybaseball.comclemente. The fan vote will be included among the selection panel votes.

Doing due diligence, Giants send Evans, Shelley to scout Shohei Otani in Japan

Doing due diligence, Giants send Evans, Shelley to scout Shohei Otani in Japan

SAN FRANCISCO — A couple of weeks ago, a Giants official expressed amazement about how little was known about the desires of Japanese two-way star Shohei Otani.

“Teams know just about as much as you guys (in the media),” he said. 

The Giants are hoping that changes this week. General manager Bobby Evans and assistant GM Jeremy Shelley have traveled to Japan to take a look at the 23-year-old, who reportedly will come over to play in Major League Baseball next season. 

“There’s going to be a lot of attention on him and it’s part of the scouting process every club goes through,” manager Bruce Bochy said. “It’s doing our due diligence, as you say.”

Otani is a rare prospect, a potential ace on the mound and lineup-altering bat in the outfield. He has 47 homers in just over 1,000 professional at-bats, and this season he’s batting .341. As a hard-throwing pitcher with a wipeout breaking ball, Otani has a 2.57 career ERA for the Nippon Ham Fighters. He had a 1.86 ERA last season with 174 strikeouts in 140 innings. 

Because he’s said to be coming over at such a young age, Otani will sacrifice the chance to sign a massive contract. The CBA limits him to collecting money from a team’s international bonus pool, and the Giants are limited to $300,000. Still, some other big-market teams are in the same boat, and despite their lack of pool money and poor season, the Giants surely believe they have plenty to offer. 

It’s not known what Otani is looking for, but perhaps he wants to play in a big city to make up some of his lost earnings? Perhaps he wants to play on the West Coast, closer to his home country, or in a region with a big Japanese population? Perhaps he’s just a big Buster Posey fan? The Giants intend to find out, and to be in the bidding. 

It’s possible that Otani has seen the way Bochy uses Madison Bumgarner as a pinch-hitter, but Bochy said he can’t imagine using a true two-way player. 

“I don’t think it would work,” he said. “You’re talking more of something that might work in the American League. That’s a lot of throwing and wear-and-tear.”

Giants lineup: Sandoval shifts to third, Hundley catching Moore vs Rockies

Giants lineup: Sandoval shifts to third, Hundley catching Moore vs Rockies

After playing first base the last three game, Pablo Sandoval is manning third base against the Rockies on Tuesday.

Colorado Rockies:
1. Charlie Blackmon (L) CF
2. DJ LeMahieu (R) 2B
3. Nolan Arenado (R) 3B
4. Trevor Story (R) SS
5. Ian Desmond (R) LF
6. Gerardo Parra (L) RF
7. Mark Reynolds (R) 1B
8. Jonathan Lucroy (R) C
9. Tyler Chatwood (R) RHP

San Francisco Giants:
1. Hunter Pence (R) RF
2. Joe Panik (L) 2B
3. Denard Span (L) CF
4. Buster Posey (R) 1B
5. Brandon Crawford (L) SS
6. Pablo Sandoval (S) 3B
7. Jarrett Parker (L) LF
8. Nick Hundley (R) C
9. Matt Moore (L) LHP