A Steal of a Deal

During the very early part of the offseason, November 7th to be exact, the San Francisco Giants and the Kansas City Royals came to an agreement to swap a couple of players. San Francisco was looking to upgrade their offense and picked up Melky Cabrera, trading Jonathan Sanchez. The Royals have a bevy of outfielders, and decided to pull the trigger in hopes of acquiring a potential top of the rotation pitcher. So far that plan has backfired, and its the Giants who have come away with an All-Star caliber talent.

Melky Cabrera has been absolutely on-fire this month, rapping out a league best 50 hits, 11 better than any other player. He passed Willie Mays last night for most hits for a San Francisco player in the month of May, and he needs only 1 more hit to tie Randy Winn for most hits by a Giant in a single month. He’s hitting .435/.463/.661 with 7 doubles, 5 triples, and 3 homers with 17 RBIs in the month of May. Last night he had another great game against the Diamondbacks, going 3-4 and scoring 2 of the Giants 3 runs in a San Francisco win.

Melky is quickly becoming one of the best players in the National League. His batting line on the season has been a sensational .376/.420/.556 with 13 doubles, 6 triples, and 4 homers. He is tops in the NL in batting average, hits, triples, total bases, runs scored, runs created, and only trails David Wright for offensive WAR this season, rating him as the 2nd most valuable hitter. Cabrera has also quickly become a fan favorite by the Bay, with a troop of “Melk Men” promoting his All-Star candidacy.

His acquisition looks even better from the Giants perspective when you consider the struggles of Jonathan Sanchez, who has been miserable for Kansas City. pitching only 25.1 innings while walking 22 batters for a 6.75 ERA. Sanchez was always considered a risky proposition, a pitcher with no-hitter potential but a penchant for walking far too many batters, and was coming off of a down season where he struggled badly with his command.

In 2011 Sanchez posted the highest BB/9 (5.9) rate of his career only threw 101 innings while struggling with injury. So far in 2012 Sanchez has pitched only 25.1 innings while walking 22 batters for a 6.75 ERA, a WHIP above 1.8, and an abysmal .82 K/BB ratio. He’s been out the past few weeks with bicep tendinitis and is currently making his rehab starts for Triple-A Omaha, where the left-hander has demonstrated a bit more control. Ideally for the Royals Sanchez can find his 2010 form, when he threw a no-hitter and was worst 3.0 WAR.

This season the Giants have needed every bit of Cabrera’s production with Pablo Sandoval still injured and the terrible year Tim Lincecum has had thus far to stay within shouting distance of the best-in-baseball Dodgers. Cabrera has been able to make an impact on the offense, boosting the team up to 18th in baseball in runs scored from 29th a year ago. While the pitching staff has had a small decline mostly due to Lincecum’s struggles, it is still one of the elite, top-10 staffs in baseball, and the Giants are a threat if they can manufacture a middle-of-the-road offense. Thus far, the Melky Cabrera acquisition has been a season-saving pick-up for Brian Sabean, general manager of the Giants. If Pablo Sandoval can return to bashing the ball like he did in his first 100 at-bats (OPS of .912), the he will join Cabrera and Buster Posey to form an imposing middle-of-the-order, one that could put San Francisco in the playoffs.

6 Comments

Melky was decent in his time with the Braves, but he has been known to hit a swoon…hopefully he won’t do that with the Giants.

It’s awful to say, but I agree with you. But I’ve never been the biggest Giambi fan. He tends to be a good hiettr, when he’s not sick or broken, which hasn’t been often since he’s been with the Yankees, but I’ve just never been impressed with him on the whole. He’s not a great 1st baseman–I’d actually take Phelps over him–so all you can do with him is having him as a DH.

The trade worked out well for S.F. and poorly, not only for the hapless Royals, but the N.Y. Yankees who gave up on the kid far too soon..
Nice Post!

Thanks so much I try. =P@Jenny: SF is only a *few* hours from LA!@Nicki: :)@Kenneth: Me too I love my wide angle lens. Haha@Zabrina: Thanks Zabrina! I gotta find some time to hang out with you and Jeremy after my current stint of trinelavg is over at the end of May!@Steph: Lol Denise and George have work connections with the sports industry, which is why we were given such access to the park! I’m not sure if there’s a way for the average person to gain approval though

Pingback: All-Star Watch: National League « TheCutoffMan

I think the only thing that would be helpful when/if Giambi comes back would be to shove Damon at first base. At least until Mientkiewicz (never tynipg that again) comes back. Then you have Giambi’s (overpriced) bat, Damon’s lead-off ability, and Melky’s center-fielding all in the mix. Hopefully once Giambi’s healthy he won’t be dead weight mid-line up anymore. And if Melky just gets a little more patient–btw is anyone working with him on that?–he’ll be a much better hitter.To be honest, though, Cairo has impressed me. He’s no longer the automatic out I anticpated he’d be. If only Wil Nieves could have a repeat of the game he had a few weeks ago against the Angels. He was 2 for 2 with 2 RBI and a walk. So he CAN hit. He just needs to do it. Which has nothing to do wit your post, so I’ll be shutting up now.

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