Is Stratton the Giants' best pitcher? Are the Giants buyers or sellers?

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Episode Transcript

Benjamin: Welcome back to the San Francisco giants edition of the For The Fans By The Fans podcast where we bring you your weekly dose of all things, San Francisco giants, baseball from the Fan's perspective. I'm a lifelong Giants fan, and your host, Ben Shapiro. As the Giant sit and lick their wounds after Jeff Samardzija’s twenty-three pitch, one inning outing, we welcome back the original FTFBTF guest, The Godfather of this podcast, Dolph Shapiro. Dolph is a retired orthopedic surgeon, volunteer at risk youth counselor and Brooklyn Dodgers Fan, turned San Francisco Giants follower. He also happens to be the man who taught me the five tools of baseball, everything but running. Yes, he's my dad. But before my dad reminds everyone how I couldn't catch up to the high heat in middle school, I want to tell you that this podcast is brought to you by our friends at Fanatics. Fanatics is the global leader in licensed sports merchandising. They have the world's largest collection of official sports apparel from the leagues, teams and players that you love. So Dad, what does that mean? 

Dolph: Sells all sports equipment memorabilia. 

Benjamin: Very good. Very good. We're lucky enough to be fanatics affiliates, so if you want to help us out, go to, or you can click the link in our show notes to buy your giants gear or as my dad would put it, memorabilia and okay, because a couple of bucks to help pay for the production of this show. So that said, dad, welcome back to the for the fans by the fans podcast. 

Dolph: What a great pleasure it is to return here to spend an afternoon with you and discuss our favorite hobby baseball 

Benjamin: pitching about the giants. You got it. It's been a little bit of a rough patch. In our last podcast I talked about how the giants were doing was five games under 500 there in Colorado right now and they have some decisions to make in terms of not only what's going to happen with this team, but really what's the future of the franchise. So why don't you tell me your view on how the team has performed so far and how you have you enjoyed this season so far. 

Dolph: Actually, I'm happy with the performance considering what happened to the pitching staff and the injuries involving several key players. I think that until this recent trip where they've lost I think five out of six games on the road, basically they were a 500 team, so I'm pleased with that and looking forward to them getting back to full strength. 

Benjamin: So I want to give you a little pop quiz. It's been about a quarter of the season. I want to ask you, how do you think the giants are doing in terms of overall team batting average relative to the rest of the major leagues? What place do you think they are? Out of 32 teams, 

Dolph: I would say lower three quarter. 

Benjamin: They are fifth in the league in batting average. The legal leader in batting average is Boston hitting two 68. Uh, the worst team in the League is Arizona hitting 2:14. The giants are sitting at 2:59, which puts them fifth. Now, how do you think they are in terms of home runs? 

Dolph: Doing well? I'd say top 25 percent. 

Benjamin: The giants are 20th in the League out of 30. They've hit 57 home runs the team at the least home runs is Miami with 40 in the most is the Yankees with 346. 

Dolph: So why am I on this podcast? 

Benjamin: No idea. The Yankees actually have 87 home runs leading the league, so the giants are a little below halfway through what you're doing. Great. So far, dad, let's talk about how do you think they doing in terms of ops, which is on base percentage and slugging percentage combined. Generally the best metric for team heading. How are they? 

Dolph: Are they still playing Cisco right now? They're in Colorado. I'm not doing well. So as far as ops 

Benjamin: did they get hits and are the hits extra base, hits 

Dolph: top quarter, 

Benjamin: close there, number 12. So they're a little bit better at the end of the day. So far this season. I think that you could say that the giants are an above average hitting team. They're a little bit below in terms of power. That's probably because of the park. They have an above average batting average, but when you combine the two, they're a little bit better than average. Their twelfth ETA 30. Let's talk about the pitching staff 

Dolph: mostly. 

Benjamin: Well we must. What do you think the giants stand in terms of the overall era 

Dolph: for 75? 

Benjamin: Close. Not Bad for 63 now. Where do you think that ranks in terms of major league baseball right now, 

Dolph: between 50 and 75 percent from the bottom. 

Benjamin: So you think they are in the bottom half but not the lowest quarter. They are 23rd out of 30 so they are relatively close so they are a below average pitching team and I think that what we highlighted actually a couple of podcasts ago with Adam when he was looking at how the starters have done on average they go five and two thirds denning, which is a full run lower than the best pitching staffs in the league. But that was kind of a confusing number because Johnny Quedo has five starts where he averaged like seven innings a start. So the rest of the team is really going like closer to four. And then since we had that conversation, the giants have averaged giving up seven runs a game and they're starters have gone four innings per game. So this last stretch, the starting pitching has really, really crumbled. So obviously we're getting some horses back with Baumgardner and Kwaito coming around. Looks like bum is going to be starting against Arizona next week. How do you feel about where the team is sitting in terms of this season and how do you feel about how they're doing in terms of the overall franchise? 

Dolph: I think it's great with this sitting actually with the way things are going. I think if you ask the manager without his horses and they're only five games out, you gonna be happy with that. I think they have a chance to make the playoffs. How far they'll go. Who knows? But the rest of the teams in that division of beating each other up, I still think the dodgers are on their way back. I still think they'll finish first. I Dunno what happened in Arizona. They crumbled. So hopefully the giants can hang in until maybe submodules straightens himself out. Bum Gotten is back Queloz back a stratton. I mean his era is in great, but he wins. 

Benjamin: Stratton's been a serviceable Petra and a nice stop gap for our fourth or fifth year. 

Dolph: Well in this case he might be fourth, 

Benjamin: but in reality he's first right now because you don't have Baumgardner, you don't have Quedo you say some marja straightening himself out. He's as crooked as a question mark right now. He is the worst starter on the team. So who's your best starter? You're looking at Holland. Black Suarez. They put block in the bullpen. So it looks like he was the demotion for when bumgarner comes back. I mean stratton is your number one starter right now. So I think it brings up a good point, which is the thing that's keeping them in the race is that the NFL west has really been bad. For the last month the dodgers were hovering around eight games under 500 for a long time. They've gotten hot reasonably so there for games under 500 there, four and a half games out. Arizona was like 10 games, over 500 and I think they've lost 49 games in a row. They're sitting at two games, over $500, but they've been tanking recently and then Colorado is sitting there in first place. Only five games over 500. That's the reason why this hasn't got away from us is that the rest of the division hasn't really got their act together. 

Dolph: Yeah, but you knew the dodgers are a good club. They had a bad run. They have lots of money that they can go out and get a free agents or two if they need it, and lots of rookies. 

Benjamin: I think that the dodgers are still going to be competitive. I think that they dug themselves in a pretty good hole and so my hope is that obviously would love for the giants to pick it up and turn it around and maybe bumgarner and Cueto are the keys to that, but in reality I don't think that's in the cards for this team this year. You know, can Colorado continue its pace and stay in first place? Can Arizona rebound? I've said this from the beginning. I think a good season for us is us being competitive throughout the year and hopefully being within arms reach of the playoffs and the dodgers not winning the world series. 

Dolph: Well, if the sauders comeback and could go six innings, seven innings, I think the bullpen is good. I mean when you look at the Ers for example, of Smith and Miranda at 1:50 and dyson and Watson under 300 strickland is around two point seven four 

Benjamin: and you still haven't got your closer back. 

Dolph: Well I don't know if he's coming back. 

Benjamin: Who knows, but I think the point you're making is they have lots of depth in the bullpen. Yes. The problem is they have to pitch every day, every day and they have to pitch six innings so each one of those guys is pitching an inning. I agree with you. I think that when the starting pitcher and comes back into form, the pitching stats will look better. They're going to be at a five game or more deficit before the horses come back. I don't think they're going to pick up a lot of ground before bumgarner comes back and then you have a couple of weeks till kwaito comes back to. 

Dolph: My feeling is however, that the pitching, if it does return, the hitting is good enough to win some games. They're much better hitting team then they were less you and good enough to score more than three to four runs the game. 

Benjamin: Okay. We're going to take a break for today and wrap this episode up, but if you'd like to hear what me and my dad think about what the giants should do with hunter pence, feel free to check back into the for the fans, the fans podcasts tomorrow, our plans to do this podcast a couple of times a week now, so if you want more of giants baseball on your podcast feed, click the subscribe button. Tell your friends, you can find us, or you can search for us on Instagram, twitter, and Facebook. Just search FTFBTF. We'd also love for you to give us a rating in the apple itunes store. If you're enjoying this podcast. Thanks again to our friends at fanatics. If you're going to go buy your giants gear, go to, or just click on the link in our show notes and they'll kick us a couple of bucks to help pay for the production of this show. Again, we'll be back tomorrow with the second half of this interview with Dolph Shapiro, so until next time swing and a miss and that's it.