Who's Hot, Who's Not

So, the Giants squeaked out of the month of May with a winning record. They managed to go 15-and-13, even with the awful dry spell they sustained with tons of injuries and atrocious hitting with runners in scoring position. As of the end of the month, let's see who's hot and who's not.

HOT:

Benito Santiago
Benni has been on fire! The veteran catcher has the most RBIs for any catcher. No wonder why. Santiago has been hitting after Bonds, and he doesn't go down easily. He has consistently proven that he is still a formidable match for the opposition, even going so far as to throw out opponents from his knees at the age of 38. No small feat. Keep him behind Bonds, and keep the bat hot.

Marquis Grissom
After a touching moment before Sunday's win against the Rockies, it may be hard to forget how good Grissom has been. Lately, he has been hitting in the range of .500 each game. Going 2 for 4 against a variety of pitchers is no easy feat, yet the Giants newest center fielder has handled it with ease, causing his "promotion" of sorts into the leadoff spot, which has only kept his bat hot and the Giants producing runs. Despite a sluggish start, he has proven himself a worthy Giant, especially leading off in place of the injured Durham.

Ray Durham
Let's hear it for "Ray from across the bay!" – that is, according to Superfan Bill. The defector from Oakland has been hitting around a spectacular .375 since his surprisingly quick bounce back from injury. The Giants have had a winning record ever since. Ray, in his new lineup spot, the two-hole, reaches base more often than not, and his speed makes him a great asset. That and a hot bat should keep this guy on this side of the column for a while.

Andres Galarraga
El Gato Grande. The Big Cat. In his last 11 starts, the big guy has hit safely in 10 of them. He's still incredibly agile, considering his age, and everywhere he goes, the crowds embrace him. Not a bad deal considering nobody was sure if he'd make the team this year. But Galarraga surprised us all and made the team, and he's proven to the club why they chose him over the former prospect Minor. The Big Cat has capitalized on every chance to perform, with his veteran experience and his great attitude.

Jesse Foppert
On Saturday, Foppert had one of the best games of his albeit short Major League career. He collected a career-high of 8 strikeouts in 7 innings of work, and he got his first ML hit. A hit that would later win the game, Foppert's triple also gave him his first knock and allowed him to score what would be the game winning run. He's come a long way from those first few starts, but he does need to work on keeping the pitch counts low in the first few innings, as he won't have a rubber arm forever.

Pedro Feliz
Well, we'll close out the "Hot" list with Pedro Feliz, the surprise of the year, a utility player who has shone at almost every chance thus far. Off the bench and replacing an injured Bonds, Feliz has possessed a smoking bat, hitting some sweet homeruns at Coors, even in the middle of a Giants slump. Another thing is that he can hit almost anywhere in the lineup and can be placed almost anywhere the Giants need him defensively, often a middle infielder with possibilities as an outfielder, too.

NOT:

J.T. Snow
Sorry to all those J.T. fans, but the boy has been cold with the bat. Sure, defend him with the claims of great defensive play, but when in the clutch, he hasn't been too spectacular. The two-spot experiment on June 1st was good for him, but he just hasn't been able to escape the funk that started when he got hit on the inside of the knee. Until his bat heats up again, he'll be sharing some playing time with Galarraga.

Edgardo Alfonzo
Fonzie, Fonzie, Fonzie. He has played well at third, but when it comes down to it, this guy has been everywhere in the lineup. After he was down in the eight-spot for a while, he did start to swing better, but at this point, he is nowhere near where he probably should be at the close of the season. Not terrible, but there are other players who could temporarily replace him.

Ruben Rivera
If I mention "the worst base-running in the history of baseball" will that be enough? I'm sure we all love Rivera, and we can laugh at that now, but we're also praying that it never happens again.

Honorable Mentions:

Damian Moss
Moss, the Australian southpaw, has come back from a personal string of losses, after a surprisingly strong start, for another win.

Felix Rodriguez
After watching the boy struggle early, it's nice to know that he's been striking out the opponent again. His bad spell may finally be ending; he just needs to change speeds and maybe find another pitch besides the fastball. Can't fool the opposition every time.

Jose Cruz, Jr.
After a hot start, Cruz has cooled down a bit, but it looks like he's finally got the swing back. Now if only he could get a lucky break.



Amy Lew has been writing close to anything and everything for SFDugout.com since its inception. . A Giants fan since age eight (1994), she writes ‘Giants: Hot and Not', does her fair share of special features, and serves an unofficial editor. You can contact her at paradisiapoetica@yahoo.com.

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