That’s what I asked my brother Paul after he sent me the following text last night during bingo: “Love the trade! Nunez is a stud!” Trade? Nunez? Must be a reliever, right? That’s what the Giants need most right now, right? Wrong. When I asked for details, my brother told me that we had actually traded a lefty starting pitcher prospect (Adalberto Mejia) for him, and that Eduardo Nunez plays second base, third base, and shortstop. During his season with the Twins, he amassed 12 homeruns, 47 RBI, and 27 steals (the most in the American League) while batting .296. And the guy was an All-Star. That sounds pretty good to me. But why did they give up a starting pitching prospect when they will probably need to replace Cain and Peavy soon? And why did they need more help in the infield? According to Bobby Evans, “We’ve seen the need for depth in our infield. I think as guys come back, when we think about the amount of rest they may need and the amount of time we still have in the season, just to have a guy that has (Nunez’s) experience and has served in that role in the past and done well, we just feel like he could help us cover the tracks as we get 100 percent healthy.” OK. That makes sense. This way we can get some pop in the lineup while the recently injured guys can get a break. Plus at least they didn’t have to give up their top prospects. It’s sounding even better to me as I’m writing this! Then I came across this video, and it made me feel even better about him. Then there’s this smile – love it! Would be fantastic if he can get guys out of their funk and steal bases or get hits in the clutch. Will keep my fingers crossed. Welcome to the team, Eduardo!
So what about getting that reliever we need? Some of the guys on the Giants radar have already been moved, including Aroldis Chapman to the Cubs and Andrew Cashner to the Marlins (he is a starter, but Giants thought they could use him in the bullpen). Other guys who’ve been mentioned are Andrew Miller of the Yankees (probably would have to give up too much for him), Luke Hochevar of the Royals, Huston Street of the Angels, Jeremy Jeffress and Will Smith (Fresh Prince – couldn’t resist) of the Brewers, and Mark Melancon of the Pirates. All just rumors at this point, but with the trade deadline this Monday, if they’re going to make a move it will happen soon. Will keep you posted.
I learned something about baseball schedules while on my East Coast trip. My brother Nick mentioned how they decide which American League teams the Giants will play each season. Turns out it rotates between the three divisions every year. 20 interleague games are played in eight series. Each team plays one three-game series against four teams from one division in the other league, and two two-game series (one home, one away) against the remaining team in that division. The remaining four games are played against a team’s “natural rival” in two back-to-back two game series. Of course for the Giants, this “natural rival” is the A’s. So this season, the Giants play AL East teams, next season they’ll play AL Central teams, then the following season, they’ll play AL West teams, and so on. Knowing this, it’s nice that the Giants got to play the Red Sox during Big Papi’s last season. Thanks for enlightening me, Nick! And if you’re curious as to what the “natural rival” teams are throughout the country, here’s the list including the name of each series:
- Orioles vs. Nationals – Beltway Series
- Cubs vs. White Sox – Windy City Series
- Reds vs. Indians – Ohio Cup
- Tigers vs. Pirates (no name found)
- Royals vs. Cardinals – I-70 Series
- Angels vs. Dodgers – Freeway Series
- Marlins vs. Rays – Citrus Series
- Brewers vs. Twins (no name found)
- Mets vs. Yankees – Subway Series
- A’s vs. Giants – Bay Bridge Series
- Padres vs. Mariners – Vedder Cup
Four teams in the East and West form split rivalries, and they have a different rival every other year.
- Red Sox vs. Phillies or Braves
- Blue Jays vs. Phillies or Braves
- Astros vs. Rockies or Diamondbacks
- Rangers vs. Rockies or Diamondbacks
I’ve got a new spit count for you. Here you go:
- Law 5
- Parker 4
- Bochy 3 (seeds)
- Belt 3
- Strickland 2
- Span 1
- Posey 1 (into batting glove)
- Gillaspie 1 (into hand)
- Blanco 1 (seeds – whew!)
- Bruce 6
- Phillips 4
- Barnhart 3
- Votto 2
- Duvall 1
- Hamilton 1
Game Spit Master General = Bruce at 6
Giants Game Spit Master General = Law at 5
That’s a total of 38 spits during a 3 hour and 5 minute game for an average of 1 spit every 4.9 minutes.
The curious thing about this game was that the Reds didn’t log their first spit until the 4th inning. And even though Blanco spit (which he NEVER does), he was eating sunflower seeds, so I’m giving him a break.
The concern for my boys continues as they can’t seem to get out of this post All-Star funk. So many guys left on base. At least they won the game that Ginny and I attended on Tuesday (plus we got a free blanket from CSN – sweet!). Those tickets were so cheap, and I forgot how good seats can be on the View Level. Perfect! Maybe Eduardo Nunez will be the spark they need. And maybe the return of Joe Panik (who was in the lineup last night – YAY!), Hunter Pence (who trainers say still needs some time), and Matt Duffy (who’s scheduled to start his rehab assignment this weekend) will bring things back to normal. We’re still 2 games ahead of the Dodgers, but I’d like that number to get back to where it was before the All-Star break. Insurance is nice! Come on, Boys. We’re all still behind you. We know this is just a phase and you’ll find a way through it. Maybe tonight against the Nationals will be the start. You can do it! GO GIANTS! SWAT THE NATS!