When I want to know what's going on with the Giants, McCovey Chronicles is my first stop. These days, there's a lot of self-abasement going on over there; the 2008 Giants look a little like the Brewers or 8 or 10 years ago, only older.
To get ready for this weekend's series at Miller Park, Grant and I traded questions. Here's what he had to say.
Jeff: Obligatory Bonds question. Wish you still had him?
Grant: Kinda sorta. He made every game interesting, and the current cleanup hitter is Bengie Molina. But the only place the Giants have any interesting young talent at all -- and I use the term "interesting" loosely -- is in the outfield. Considering the franchise's failures in '06 and '07, having Bonds on the '08 team wouldn't do anything positive for the long-term. In fact, Bonds not being on the team might be the difference between the first overall pick and the fifth overall pick in the '09 draft.
Jeff: Looks like we'll see Jonathan Sanchez and Kevin Correia. I don't know much about either of these guys except that Sanchez was a highly touted prospect not too long ago. What can we expect?
Grant: Sanchez is a lefty who throws 92-94, but whose short-arm delivery makes it seem much faster. I never thought much of his secondary pitches, but he flashed a nasty change this spring, and while his breaking ball has always been penthouse/outhouse, it looked sharp in March. As with every Giants pitching prospect since 1931, his control could use some work.
Kevin Correia is beloved throughout the land for his gift of the walk-off home run, but that's more a matter of poor timing than anything else. He seemed to have found a niche as a setup man, but was tossed into the rotation at the end of last year. I wasn't expecting it, but danged if it didn't work. He works in the low-90s, but he isn't going to overpower anyone. As far as end-of-the-rotation guys go, he's underrated.
Jeff: Who do you think will represent the Giants at the All-Star Game? (If the answer is different, who *should*?)
Grant: It's got to be Matt Cain or Tim Lincecum, though it isn't out of the question for Brian Wilson to have one of those sub-2.00 first halves.
Jeff: You seem to have accepted the fact that the Giants aren't going anywhere this year. Given that they aren't going to contend, what would you consider a good season for this team?
Grant: Of the four sorta-prospects -- Fred Lewis, Rajai Davis, Eugenio Velez, and Nate Schierholtz -- if just one exceeds expectations, I'd be happy. The real success of this season will be measured in A-ball, as both the low-A and high-A teams are loaded with interesting prospects.
Jeff: If you were GM (a smarter and better-looking GM, to be sure) and could make one realistic move right now, what would it be?
Grant: There just *has* to be a better option for first base. Throw a dart at a map of the U.S., and call the team in the city closest to the dart and inquire about their AA or AAA first baseman. How about Joe Dillon? Alms for a unbearable franchise? Can't you just give us Joe Dillon?
But we like Joe Dillon! Maybe when Mike Cameron's suspension is over, we can talk. Thanks!