Monday, March 30, 2009


Ronny Paulino, We Hardly Knew Ye

I mean, seriously, he was a Giant for like eight seconds. The team dealt lame-duck LOOGY Jack Taschner (proving his fortune-telling abilities to be quite adept) to Philadelphia for the erstwhile Pirate catcher Paulino, then turned around and immediately traded Paulino to Florida for A-ball pitcher Hector Correa. Paulino would have nicely filled the Giants' quota of slow catchers who don't know how to take a walk, but alas he never would have made sense given the presence of Pablo Sandoval and Buster Posey.

The funniest part of this flurry of swapping is that the Giants look like they may have miraculously turned a totally interchangeable (not to mention bad) bullpenite into a real life prospect. Correa had a lost season in 2008, fighting blister problems and throwing only 13 innings all year, but in 2007 he showed promise. He struck out an eye-popping 83 batters in 58 and 2/3 innings as a 19-year-old in low-A. He then went to high-A and stunk it up, but whenever you show the ability to strike that many hitters out, anywhere, that's a sign of some kind of talent.

So basically the Giants got an incredibly young pitcher with promise for a guy who is likely to wash out of the majors in like a year. Sounds good to me. To replace Taschner, there's talk of bringing tragic hero Will Ohman (Bay City Ball and Lefty Malo have the dirt).

My thoughts: the Giants already have Jeremy Affeldt, and LOOGYs are just terribly overrated in general. The Angels won for a few years (sigh) with a great bullpen that didn't include a single lefty, and using up a roster spot on a pitcher who can only face one batter a game seems like a waste. Alex Hinshaw would seem to have dibs on the LOOGY role, but he has no control and hasn't been good this spring. Once again, the Giants are a team on the rebuild and at this point should probably just focus on filling the bullpen with the best pitchers they can find, regardless of which arm they throw with.

--This (scroll waaaaay down to the bottom) might be my favorite news of the year so far. The Giants have hired Steve "Bye Bye" Balboni as a major league scout. For those who don't remember, Balboni was the hulking first baseman for the Royals' 1985 championship team who developed a sort of weird cult following. He was a guy who could hit massive home runs and do little else. He ran like he was immersed in a vat of super glue, he lumbered around in the field with the grace of a drunken rhino, and he sported one of the all-time great mustaches.

Not surprisingly, he became a quirky fan favorite, a guy like Jack Cust, beloved for his odd talents and flaws. He also played a key role in the infamous Don Denkinger rally in Game Six of the '85 Series. I have no idea how good his advanced scouting abilities are, but I will say that it's great to have you on the team, Balb!

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