I didn’t think the Giants were going to make any moves before the trade deadline today, but they surprised us last night with a doozy. The Giants acquired right handed pitcher Mike Leake from the Reds for two minor league players: infielder Adam Duvall and right handed pitcher Keury Mella. This gives them a much needed bolster to a starting lineup that hasn’t had that usual spark that we’ve come to expect from the Giants. They did have to give up two prospects, but when you consider what Leake can do for us now, I think it was worth it. Duvall has been up in the bigs a couple of times and does have some power, but he had a lot of problems defensively. Keury Mella showed much more promise, so it will be interesting to follow his career as he leaves for Cincinnati.
So what exactly do we get with Mike Leake? I feel a list coming on:
- He’s gone 9-5 with a 3.56 ERA in 21 starts this season for the Reds. This is impressive on its own, but if you focus in on his last 4 games, he’s gone 4-0 with a 0.60 ERA. Super impressive at a time in the season when many pitchers are feeling run down.
- The above stats come with a caveat – he’s accomplished all this while having Great American Ballpark as his home field. 11 of his 21 starts this season were pitched there. That field is a hitter’s paradise, thus earning it the nickname “Great American SMALLpark.” Makes the guy almost seem god-like when you add that into the mix.
- He’s coming to a ballpark that is a pitcher’s dream. We all know how tough it is to hit one out at AT&T Park. There’s definitely potential there for that nice ERA to take a dive once he comes back home. I can just imagine him walking out on that field for the first time as a Giant. (cue angels singing “Alleluia!” in his ear)
- The guy goes deep into games. He pitched 8 innings in 3 of his last 4 starts. (cue Giants relief pitchers singing “Alleluia!”)
- Not only can he pitch, but the guy can hit. He’s got 3 doubles, a homerun, and 5 RBI this season. Might give Madison some competition.
- He’s only 27, so he’s still got a lot of pitching in him. This bodes well for him having enough stamina to make it through the post-season (positive thoughts, positive thoughts).
- He’s a California native. I’m sure the idea of coming back to this beautiful state from Cincinnati was appealing. This is important because he’ll be a free agent next season, and we’ll need a replacement for Huddy who plans on retiring. Hope he enjoys being back home.
- As soon as the news of the trade broke, he changed his Twitter picture to him wearing a Giants uniform. Think the guy is happy about being a Giant??
- This being a blog written by a girl, I just have to mention that fact that the guy is beautiful. Doesn’t hurt.
Considering all that, I’m pretty stoked about having him on the team. He wore the number 44 for the Reds, but since that was retired in honor of Willie Mac, he’s taken the number 13, his father’s favorite number (AWWWWW!!!!). Hopefully it will be lucky for him. He’s scheduled to make his debut on Sunday in Texas against the Rangers. I’m already trying to come up with some sort of a leek hat in his honor. Will make him feel right at home amongst all us crazies! Welcome to the team, Mike! Can’t wait to see you in orange and black!
Of course, as one player comes in, another must leave to make room for him. Unfortunately that player is Tim Hudson. He’s been put on the DL as of today. And what class that guy has. When asked how he felt about the move, he said that he was fine with whatever it takes to get more wins for the team. He agreed that the starting lineup needed some help, and he thinks Leake is the guy that can do it. He was also asked if he would rather be traded to another team where he could pitch, and he firmly said no. He appreciates the fact that there is potential for this team to go all the way again. Plus he feels that he can still contribute by traveling with the team and mentoring from the dugout. He may even be a mentor for Leake, who says he’s learned a lot from watching Tim and is looking forward to picking his brain. I love Huddy so much. I’m sure he’ll still have a positive impact on the team, and I hope he can still pitch somehow.
In other roster news, Jean Machi was claimed off waivers by the Red Sox and was added to their 25-man roster. I’ll miss him, but I’m happy that he’ll still be able to pitch. He’s still a great pitcher. Good luck to you, Jean.
Just when you thought you couldn’t hate the Dodgers any more they go around and mess with my boy Michael Morse. Morse was picked up by the Dodgers in the trade that landed them Mat Latos (hate that guy and he stinks – perfect pickup for them). A few hours later, Michael was designated for assignment. Then today he was traded by the Dodgers to the Pirates. Poor guy! Being tossed around like that! Don’t they think about the player at all?? There are two positive outcomes to this in the end: He didn’t end up becoming a stinking Dodger and he can hang out with his buddy Travis Ishikawa again. Good luck, Michael! Maybe we’ll see you in the upcoming Pirates series!
I don’t have a new spit count for you, but I do have some spit news. I was watching the Giants game this Tuesday against the Brewers and couldn’t help but notice Jonathan Lucroy behind the plate and his spitting antics. From the crouch he was constantly pulling his mask forward to spit – sometimes three or four times while the pitcher was about to pitch. How could he be focused on the game doing that? And how distacting for the pitcher! The guy must really have a bad addiction to smokeless tobacco to have to do that. I’ve never seen anything like it. Wish I had been doing a spit count at the time – it would have been remarkable! Get some help, Dude!
The Rangers series is about to start, and I’ve got high hopes for my boys. Madison is on the mound tonight and I’m sure he’ll put on a great show. Just hope my boys can handle the heat. Stay hydrated, Guys, and go out and show them what you’ve got! GO GIANTS!