Position Battle Update - 3/22

The starters are coming back, and another round of cuts clears up a couple of the battles. So we take a look at not just the past half-week, but also the spring as a whole to see who has the lead in the position battles and who needs to step up the rest of the way.

Position: 5th Starter

Contenders:
Brad Hennessey: DNP
YTD: 6.57 ERA, 12.1 IP, 14 H, 9 R, 9 ER, 2 HR, 0 HBP, 6 BB, 7 SO

Kevin Correia: 2.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 SO
YTD: 2.70 ERA, 10.0 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 0 HR, 1 HBP, 0 BB, 7 SO

Jamey Wright: 4.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 3 SO
YTD: 0.00 ERA, 9.0 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 0 HBP, 5 BB, 7 SO

Did Good: Correia had another great outing, and is no longer the dark horse in this battle.

Did Not So Good: Wright's start wasn't bad, as errors happened around him, but 2 runs (unearned) still came around to score, and 3 walks hurt.

The Battle So Far: The guy who had the edge going into camp, Hennessey, has not impressed, while his competitors have. While Wright has no earned runs in spring competition (not counting the exhibition against the Giants), Correia's impressed the most. Particularly not walking a single batter in 10 innings, for a pitcher who had a reputation for wildness. Hennessey can get back into it with another strong spring outing, but this competition could legitimately go to anyone right now.

Position: Back-Up Catcher

Contenders:
Todd Greene: 1-5,1 BB
YTD: .250/.286/.500, 5-20, 3 R, 2 2B, 0 3B, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 5 SO, 0 SB, 0 CS, 0 E, 1 PB, 1 CS, 4 SB

Justin Knoedler: DNP
YTD: .455/.429/.727, 5-11, 1 R, 0 2B, 0 3B, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 1 BB, 4 SO, 0 SB, 0 CS, 0 E, 0 PB, 0 CS, 2 SB

Eliezer Alfonzo: 1-4, 2 SO
YTD: .364/.391/.636, 8-22, 2 R, 0 2B, 0 3B, 2 HR, 6 RBI, 1 BB, 5 SO, 0 SB, 0 CS, ) E, 0 PB, 2 CS, 4 SB

Did Good: No one really did good this past half-week. Both Greene and Alfonzo had pedestrian performances.

Did Not So Good: See above comment.

Eliminated: Justin Knoedler was optioned to Fresno after a spring where he did well, but just wasn't getting as many chances.

The Battle So Far: Knoedler may have had the averages, but he's still green and is best served by more experience, hopefully at AAA. Greene is still the favorite, as he's been hitting the ball strong all spring, even if it's been into a number of outs. But Alfonzo's really impressed the team, and has legitimate pop, as well as a surprising arm behind the plate. Greene's still likely to take this competition, but if Alfonzo can hit a couple more home runs, he'll make it a very hard decision.

Position: Bullpen

Contenders:
Jack Taschner:
YTD: 1.80 ERA, 5.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 HR, 0 HBP, 1 BB, 6 SO

Scott Munter: 1.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 1 SO
YTD: 1.69 ERA, 5.1 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 0 HR, 1 HBP, 1 BB, 1 SO

Jeremy Accardo: DNP
YTD: 2.25 ERA, 4.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 HR, 0 HBP, 1 BB, 3 SO

Tyler Walker: 2.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 1 SO
YTD: 11.57 ERA, 4.2 IP, 5 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 1 HR, 1 HBP, 3 BB, 2 SO

Matt Anderson: DNP
YTD: 4.91 ERA, 3.2 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 0 HR, 0 HBP, 0 BB, 0 SO

Michael Tejera: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 SO
YTD: 0.00 ERA, 4.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 1 HBP, 1 BB, 1 SO

Merkin Valdez: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 SO
YTD: 4.26 ERA, 6.1 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 HR, 0 HBP, 2 BB, 6 SO

Did Good: Valdez has been the talk of the camp the past week.

Did Not So Good: Tyler Walker had 2 outings, one good, but one bad.

Eliminated: Michael Tejera and Matt Anderson found themselves reassigned to minor league camp after Sunday's split squad games. No surprises there, despite Tejera's goose egg ERA. Tejera just hasn't been overwhelming this spring. The bullpen competition is closing up, except...

Added: Merkin Valdez has injected himself into the competition. The Giants spent the offseason insisting they saw him as a starter long term, but now they like what he's doing in relief in spring training. With some impressive outings, he's moved right into the competition.

The Battle So Far: Tyler Walker has just not looked good this spring at all. He's the least likely to lose his spot, but Munter, Taschner and Accardo have all looked strong, and Valdez has come out of nowhere to suddenly get talked about as a reliever (again). Anyone could get squeezed out of this competition, and Walker should be watching his back.

Position: 25th Man
Contenders:
Bullpen pitchers (See Above)
Todd Linden: 4-11, 4 R, 1 3B, 1 RBI, 3 SO, 1 SF
YTD: .283/.397/.370, 13-46, 9 R, 2 2B, 1 3B, 0 HR, 6 RBI, 7 BB, 8 SO, 1 SB, 0 CS, 1 E

Jason Ellison: 5-8, 4 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 3 BB, 1 SB, 1 CS
YTD: .442/.538/.605, 19-43, 12 R, 5 2B, 1 3B, 0 HR, 4 RBI, 8 BB, 2 SO, 2 SB, 1 CS, 0 E

Kevin Frandsen: 2-5, 3 R, 1 3B, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 1 BB, 1 SF
YTD: .333/.383/.595, 14-42, 8 R, 1 2B, 2 3B, 2 HR, 10 RBI, 2 BB, 5 SO, 0 SB, 1 CS, 0 E

Angel Chavez: 1-7, 1 BB, 1 SO, 1 E
YTD: .289/.400/.447, 11-38, 5 R, 6 2B, 0 3B, 0 HR, 3 RBI, 7 BB, 3 SO, 0 SB, 0 CS, 3 E

Did Good: Jason Ellison started off the week with a 5 for 5 on Saturday, then went hitless the rest of the way, but grabbed 3 walks to keep a presence on the basepaths.

Did Not So Good: Chavez's 1 for 7 isn't just underwhelming for the past few days, but he had another error.

The Battle So Far: Chavez and Linden have fallen off since strong starts, and though they still lhave respectable stats, they aren't impressing. Linden in particular, since his true advantage over Ellison is his power and he didn't have any extra base hits except 2 doubles until this past week. Some monster home runs, which he is capable of, might remind the coaches what his best side is. Frandsen, meanwhile, started off cold but then hit .500 for a stretch, including 2 home runs for a kid that doesn't have much pure power. Frandsen has shown the ability to bounce back from slow starts, and he's impressed everyone who has seen him play. But the guy who has performed consistenly all spring is Ellison. He's playing to be a pinch runner and defensive replacement, and has shown the right skills this spring. He's likely to snatch the final roster spot for now, but there's still a couple of weeks for someone else to step up.


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