Marty Lurie Talks San Francisco Giants Baseball

Sunday Morning Muse

The injury bug is starting to make itself known throughout baseball.

Boston is in jeopardy of not only losing Trot Nixon on opening day, but now Nomar Garciaparra is hurting with a leg strain.

Seattle is making noise about acquiring Ellis Burks from Boston, but with these injuries Burks is no longer expendable. in fact, Burks turned down more money from Seattle to sign with Boston, so it doesn’t make sense that the Red Sox would trade the veteran after he expressed his desire to sign with Boston.

More importantly, Pokey Reese may slide over to short until Nomar is ready.

How about Shane Reynolds and his last two starts for Arizona? The overmatched righthander has given up about 20 runs in his last two outings.

With Steve Sparks and his knuckler not doing much in Arizona, the Diamondbacks have to be looking for pitching.

Click below for more.
The Angels are overloaded with starting pitching. Ramon Ortiz, Aaron Sele, and Jarrod Washburn are on the block.

The Yankees could be interested in Washburn, Texas may take Sele if Anaheim pays part of the contract, and Ortiz could end up in Arizona.

The Yankees could be looking for a second baseman with Miguel Cairo and Enrique Wilson on the shelf with nagging leg injuries.

Pittsburgh is dying to trade Kris Benson and Jason Kendall. Seattle needs some offense, but I can’t see them going for Kendall unless they absolutely feel Ben Davis won’t make it.

Kris Benson if healthy can help someone. Chances are he isn’t totally right, so Pittsburgh will more than likely be stuck with him until mid season.

The A’s are a deeper team this season. Damian Miller is a superior receiver to Ramon Hernandez, but will he stay healthy all season? If the A’s need a back up fpr more than two weeks they may need to go outside the organization to get one.

Rich Harden continues to struggle. He is throwing 98 MPH at times, but doesn’t have the command to make it through four innings. Sacramento is in his immediate future.

Giants were smart to resign JT Snow. They don’t have anyone on the team that can save the infield from at least an error every game or two.

Corey Patterson looks like he is back from his knee injury.

The weather in Arizona has been quite hot. What will it all mean once the season starts up north? Opening day in Chicago last year saw snow, and not JT, on the field.

Yankees can’t be serious with Donovan Osborne as the 5th starter. Luckily, they won’t have to deal with that spot for acouple of weeks.

Don’t worry about spring training records, just keep everyone healthy.

Just ask the Red Sox who don’t want to fall behind the Yanks early in the season.


1 Anonymous { 03.22.04 at 11:49 am }


What’s the book on Melhuse as a backup?
-does he need more time, or does he simply not have the tools to provide the “days off” for Miller?

C. Pyle
Morgan Hill

2 ed { 03.22.04 at 1:24 pm }

Marty; I think that you are mistaken about your asserted lack of defense in the Giants infield. Time, as usual, will tell.

3 marty { 03.22.04 at 5:29 pm }

Melhuse looks more like atemporary stop gap if something happens to Miller. Jeremy Brown clearly isn’t ready to catch in the big leagues, so keep your fingers crossed that Miller doesn’t land on the DL.
The Giants are just hoping Schmidt comes back sometime soon, it seems to me he might not be ready opening day. Without Bonds in the lineup, the offense is very shaky.
The Giants backups don’t provide very much, the Giants are fortunate that the division is not going to be one of the better ones in baseball.

Merkin Valdez seems to have a big league arm.

4 ed { 03.22.04 at 7:02 pm }

Marty, the last time I looked Bonds was in the lineup.
As for Valdez, he may have a ” big-league arm”, which usually means that he can throw hard, but that doesn’t make him a “big league pitcher”. There is a diference between a thrower and a pitcher.

5 marty { 03.23.04 at 10:56 am }

Bonds has more distractions this spring than ever before. His comments to the press have been unusually vitriolic. This season will be a challenge for him on many fronts. It would be nice if the team had some additional power to go with him.

Mark Mulder-Greg Maddux Monday night in Mesa, one hour and fifty six minutes. That’s baseball.

Bobby Crosby hit by a pitch Sunday, x rays negative. Frank Menechino MRI, in jeopardy of going on DL to start the season with calf injury.
If you throw 95 with movement mistakes are easier to overcome…it’s a good starting point for Merkin Valdez.

6 glenpark { 03.27.04 at 12:34 am }

A’s infield suddenly opens up for German and Scutaro –who seem to be on track this spring— still this will make it tougher on Crosby, breaking in between Chavez and Ellis would have been much smoother — the double play teamwork is critical to a young shortstop –Ellis is a relly solid overall player, losing him is a blow, lets hope he is back by June.

But the pitching looks so strong – Mulder looks great, and having five guys who you can almost always count on for 6 innings minimum is a huge benefit — Harden looked good against the Cubs

opening day is just ten days away

7 Anonymous { 03.27.04 at 12:12 pm }

Ellis’ offense is pathetic anyways. I don’t see his injury hurting the team much in that area. His defense is, of course, superb. German probably is pretty good also, however. As long as German provides the A’s with some quality at bats, Ellis’ injury should go pretty unnoticed.
-Mike E.

8 marty { 03.27.04 at 4:43 pm }

Many consider Ellis the glue of the infield. he will be missed especially with Crosby breaking in. I think German should be given a shot to lead off and Kotsay moved to the second spot. Kielty can drive in some runs in the sixth spot and not worry about taking pitches. Harden is on the verge of putting it together, but I still think he would be a dynamite closer. The team is hesitant to mess with Harden because of his age, BB says it’s just too early to put him in a position of facing 300 batters in a season as opposed to 1000 he would face as a starter. Anyway, Harden is a fifth starter so why worry too much about him.

9 glenpark { 03.28.04 at 1:00 am }


Ellis is considered among the top 2B in the whole game, even though he came up as SS, he was just terrific there from day one–allowing the A’s to pass on Ray Durham. Ellis is also a real gamer, all substance, little flash –no matter how well his replacements play, the team needs Ellis back ASAP.

As for Harden as closer –last year Foulke showed us all what a closer should be –someone with command who throws strikes –Koch and Isringhausen were constantly behind in the count and relying on the big fastball way too much –real closers are guys like Sutter or Eck — they never give up walks, never allow the hitter a comfort zone in the count

Harden needs experience — last year, in September, we saw what experience did for Ted Lilly —he was just dominant in that big Sunday Seattle game, and was amazing vs Boston in the Saturday night playoff game –when he first came to Oakland he did not have that self belief, was a 5 inning guy often on the DL — when he went to Toronto, he left as a solid MLB starter.

Harden needs to believe in his control, and his stuff, and his experience –to do 9th inning work every day –lets give him a chance to grow into that role.

As for German and Scutaro –a door is open for them, best of luck to both of them — the team will need them, at least defensively.

10 Anonymous { 03.28.04 at 11:35 am }

Gammons is reporting that Ellis is out for the season with a torn labrum. What terrible news. Ellis worked so hard in the offseason. Such is baseball, however. He shouldn’t have been going full steam for that ball during spring training. Cripes!
So, what do the A’s do? Obviously, they were relying on Ellis to help stabilize the infield with the loss of Tejada. Now the infield defense looks like a huge weakness right now. Crosby will probably blow as many plays as he makes. Hatteberg is a below average first baseman. Hopefully, this means that Karros will get even more playing time. Who plays at second? Menechino can’t hit major league pitching. (Why isn’t nobody talking about how little Macha played him last season? Obviously, he isn’t big on Macha’s list.) And using German all season would be risky. Do the A’s acquire someone? Maybe Duscherer (spelling?) can be used for bait?

11 Anonymous { 03.28.04 at 12:12 pm }

My take on the Ellis situation is this: look for German to get a shot. BB likes to give young guys starting the season in the lineup about 6 weeks to prove themselves (Pena, Jose Ortiz, etc.). If its not working out by mid May, defensively or offensively, I’d expect a trade. Nothing huge. Just a solid and dependable second baseman to keep Crosby steady. Like a Mark Loretta type.
Or a trade could be sooner due to the level of competition in the division. They certainly have a good amount of viable trade bait in Duscherer, Koonce, Mike Wood, etc. I think a lot of teams would be happy to talk about a Duscherer or Koonce.
Bottom line, you just can’t expect to make a play off run with two rookies up the middle. Look for an acquisition for sure.

12 Anonymous { 03.28.04 at 4:18 pm }

How about trying to acquire Roberto Alomar? The A’s can workout a trade with the Dback perhaps. The Dbacks need some pitching. The A’s need someone who can provide both solid defense and offense.
-Mike E.

13 Anonymous { 03.28.04 at 10:10 pm }

German and Menechino will get the first chance to replace Ellis. Mark Loretta and Roberto Alomar won’t be where the A’s go.. Loretta is too valuable to San Diego and Alomar handpicked Arizona as the spot he wants to finish his career.

Have to check the waiver wire thia week to see if any relaeased vets will agree to go to AAA for Oakland with hope of a call up later. Don’t overlook Jolbert Cabrera in LA, the Dodgers are desperate for hitting and Cabrera is a super sub type the A’s like. Maybe Paul DePodesta pays BB back this month with this move.


14 Anonymous { 03.29.04 at 2:55 pm }

So now that Ellis is gone for the year, I think there’s a feeling of urgency surrounding second base.
The Crosby-German combo is risky, to say the very least. An acquisition has to be on the horizon. Looking at German’s numbers since Ellis went down, its clear to see that the pressure of being called the starter is getting to him. Look for that to continue into the regular season.
So, I agree with Marty in expecting a minor waiver wire pick up, a Cairo or someone of the sort. That’ll happen soon, probably before the season starts.

15 dazizmor18 { 04.01.04 at 10:35 pm }

If the A’s do decide to go with German at 2nd, the defensive impact on Crosby won’t be as bad as you think. Remember, they played the entire season together last year in Sacramento. As to whether German has improved at the plate, we’ll have to wait and see….but defensively the team should be okay with him in the field.

16 dazizmor18 { 04.01.04 at 10:36 pm }

If the A’s do decide to go with German at 2nd, the defensive impact on Crosby won’t be as bad as you think. Remember, they played the entire season together last year in Sacramento. As to whether German has improved at the plate, we’ll have to wait and see….but defensively the team should be okay with him in the field.

17 Anonymous { 04.02.04 at 1:26 am }

The A’s are reported to be interested in acquring Milton Bradley, What do you think? How legit is the rumor? Bradley seems like a Beane type of player, patient and high OBP. His temperment is a concern, of course, and the A’s might just be trying to swing a multi-team deal. Do you think the A’s could be making a serious attempt though? Bradley in center and Kotsay in left is a nice thought. Bradley could lead off and Kotsay could hit 2nd too.
-Mike E.

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