Marty Lurie Talks San Francisco Giants Baseball

Batter UP May 29th

Memorial Day marks the first big holiday weekend of the 2004 season.

Time to check in as baseball passes the quarter pole.

The Angels are struggling. Closer Troy Percival has lost his groove. In the past, when Percival blew three or four saves in a ten day period as he has done now, it was due to some physical ailment. It wouldn’t surprise me to see Percival as the next Angel to join the wounded in Anaheim.

Anaheim’s Shane Halter has nine errors and a .239 batting average filling in for Troy Glaus at third base. Arizona still needs pitching and can offer third baseman Shea Hillenbrand for Angel Ramon Ortiz. This is one deal that makes sense for both teams and should happen.

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Texas is still the feel good story in the AL West. If the Rangers can hang close to the lead for another six weeks, and that’s a big if, then watch the young players on the Rangers whack the visiting teams when the temperature soars during the summer in Arlington.

Mark Redman is not happy with the way the A’s are using him. The lefty says he works better on a normal schedule of four or five days rest. The A’s won’t skip Tim Hudson, Mark Mulder, or Barry Zito when their turns come up. With off days each week, Redman’s starts are all over the calendar. Redman also likes to work deep in the game. This is another problem for the skipper because Redman puts too many runners on base for Ken Macha’s comfort, leading to the pitcher’s exit, usually in the fifth or sixth inning.

If the A’s are serious about a big bat for the lineup come the July 31st trading deadline, Redman might be had for the right price.

The White Sox need one more legitimate starting pitcher to effectively chase Minnesota.
If the White Sox can add a pitcher like Freddy Garcia, they will give the Twins all they can handle in the Central.

The Twins are still banged up with Shannon Stewart and Joe Mauer on the injured list. Minnesota’s shaky starting pitching is giving manager Ron Gardenhire a big headache.

So, what can Minnesota do?

Minnesota should look to Seattle and try to pry Bret Boone, Joel Piniero, and Shigetoshi Hasegawa from the Mariners for three young hitters, third baseman Michael Cuddyer, outfielder Justin Morneau, and infielder Michael Restovich. Cuddyer can step in and play third for the Mariners today, the other two can play in the big leagues later this year.

Kansas City is toast. The Royals should start making phone calls to the Mets to see what the Mets will offer from their top flight farm system for the services of Carlos Beltran. Once the Yankees sense the Mets are interested in Beltran, watch the Evil Empire spring into action.

After watching KC play, they need pitching badly and should accept nothing less than three bonafide pitching prospects for Beltran.

Toronto caught lightning in a bottle with Dodger castoff Jason Fraser who has taken over the top spot in the Blue Jays pen. He can bring it.

The Giants can win the West if they can figure out how to beat the Padres and Dodgers head to head. Even though they need another starting pitcher, San Francisco should look to Toronto and see what it would take to obtain free agent to be Carlos Delgado from the Blue Jays.

If the Toronto deal doesn’t fly, the Giants should look east to New York.

All of a sudden there is excitement at Shea, the New York Mets are playing meaningful games. The Mets might be interested in a package of Edgardo Alfonzo, Jim Brower, and Brett Tomko for outfielder Cliff Floyd.

If I’m a Cub fan, I will be very nervous until I see Sammy Sosa, Kerry Wood, and Mark Prior back on a big league field. Their injuries could be more serious than the team is letting on.

With Casey Fossum and Casey Daigle struggling in the Arizona rotation, the only person that could turn this team around is legendary manager Casey Stengel. Unfortunately Stengel died 30 years ago. Arizona’s chance to win the West departed this week in San Francisco.

The Astros should look to Pittsburgh and grab Jose Mesa right now. Current Astro closer Octavio Dotel throws in the upper 90’s, and is an outstanding set up man, but he doesn’t have the makeup to close the deal in the ninth.

Is Jason Isringhausen injured again? Word in St. Louis is Isringhausen has more wrong with his pitching than just poor mechanics.

What would make Cardinal manager Tony La Russa smile? Answer: if the Cards grabbed either Kris Benson or Kip Wells from the Pirates starting staff. Adding a major league leftfielder would also brighten Tony’s day.

The Reds are 15th in the NL in batting, 13th in ERA, and 10th in fielding.

You tell me, how are they atop the NL Central?

The Yankees and Red Sox are so far ahead of the pack in the AL East that the win total for the wild card winner in the American League will be in the mid 90’s.

That’s not good news for the A’s, Angels, Rangers, White Sox, and Twins.


1 Anonymous { 05.29.04 at 10:42 am }

Hi Marty,
Great article. About Redman, he hasn’t shown much even when he is pitching every 5 days. He shouldn’t be complaining until he shows the ability to pitch deep into games without digging the A’s too much into a hole. This guy was brought in, after all,to be the A’s number 4, right? He had his chance in Boston and blew it by giving up a deep homerun to Varitek? It begs the question: why did Macha leave him in the game? Macha has been rigthly criticized for that decision.
-Mike E.

2 marty { 05.29.04 at 11:16 am }

Macha’s alternatives at that point weren’t attractive. Varitek versus Bradford didn’t sound good although a ground ball single wouldn’t have hurt as badly as the three run homer did. Tough call but the bullpen should have been used when it was all said and done.

3 Anonymous { 05.29.04 at 11:54 am }

If the players write the line-up why wasn’t Kotsay in the line-up? When he came into the game and got a hit it just made you wonder what could have been. Maybe there was some physical reason that he didn’t start yesterday. Zito was great and hopefully his performance yesterday will get him going. Susan

4 marty { 05.29.04 at 12:17 pm }

Kotsay might be back in against lefties if either Byrnes or Kielty start to slump against southpaws. Where would you put Kotsay now? Who comes out of the order?

5 Anonymous { 05.29.04 at 5:00 pm }

Marty- After the Giants make the trade with the Mets which you suggest, who plays third base for the team, who replaces Brower in the bullpen and where is the starter you talk about? Granted, Alfonzo is not the greatest but where is the replacement; Brower is a mainstay in the bullpen and, in a pinch could start, Tomko isn’t a pitcher one wants to see in the rotation but he is a body and there doesn’t appear to be another body on the horizon. Also, they need more than the one starter you mention. Two starters would be a great help. Floyd might help but why don’t we simply trade Snow for him?

6 Anonymous { 05.29.04 at 10:44 pm }

I was thinking you’d put Kotsay in for Kielty but I didn’t realize that Kielty hits lefties better than Kotsay.

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