Was it Beede or Suarez who...? Brenley's Mustache vs his batting average

As the Giants lick their wounds coming off of last nights 1 hit performance and sit in 4th place in the NL West, we welcome back Adam Grossman. Adam is a life-long Giants fan who lives in Seattle, Washington, and moonlights as an Operations and Demand Planning expert. He graduated from Vanderbilt with a degree in Mathematics and today he's going to talk to us about his view on how Tyler Beede’s 8.22 ERA is not as bad as it seems.


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Episode Transcript

Benjamin: Getting back to the San Francisco Giants addition of the for the fans by the fans podcast, and in this show, we bring you your weekly dose of all things San Francisco giants baseball. From the fans perspective, I'm a lifelong giants fan. And your host Benjamin Shapiro, as the giants lick their wounds coming off of last night's one, hit performance in sit in fourth place in the NFL west. 

Benjamin: We welcome back Adam Grossman. Adam is a lifelong giants fan that lives in Seattle, Washington, and he moonlights as an operations in demand planning expert. You graduated from Vanderbilt with a degree in mathematics, and he's going to walk us through his view on why Tyler bds [inaudible] era is not as bad as it seems, but before we get into that, I want to tell you that this podcast is brought to you on behalf of our friends at fanatics. Fanatics is the global leader in licensed sports merchandise. They have the world's largest collection of official sports apparel from the leagues, teams and players that you love. And that means if you're like my friend Adam and you're already getting ready for football season, you can order your custom, Richard Sherman Jersey for as little as $39. We're lucky enough to be fanatics affiliates. So if you want to help us out, go to F, Taf, btf.com/fanatics. And they will give us a little kickback to help pay for the production of this show when you buy your giants care. OK, Adam, welcome back to the pod. 

Adam: Thanks. Good to be here. Just for the record, I will never ever buy a Richard Sherman Jersey. Oh, never say never. Never. So Adam, a little bit of a rough start to the season. Before we get into talking about the giants, why don't we start off with the thing that I told you that I would never do to you. The [inaudible] BTF pop quiz. Are you ready? Sure. Second time in a row. So why stop a good thing he hit a home run last time. Yeah, that's right. So I'm just going to fire off some questions at you and want quick reactions and don't think too hard because you know, I don't want you to go away from your strong suit. So, uh, question number one, who did you say last time were your top five giants of all time? You're making me remember things. Rapid fire answers. Yeah. Matt Kane, Buster Posey. 

Benjamin: I think I forgot Baumgardner on there. I said Bob Melvin. I met Bob Brenly is up there. Barry Bonds I think was my last one. Is that five? I think we're on [inaudible] at this point. So can I tell you my Bob Brenly story? Go for it. One of the reasons that I loved Bob [inaudible] always because when I was a kid I must've been like eight or nine years old or something like that. And my dad ended up scoring tickets on the giants dugout for me and a buddy and this is back in candle stick. So there was plenty of room in the stick. Um, but I sat there and watched Bob Brenly make for errors in inning and then I think he hit a home run or two home runs in the game and actually ended up winning the game for the giants. But it was the most ridiculous game I've ever seen from like a singular player, highs and lows kind of thing. 

Adam: And I was right there. It was incredible. And you're sure that wasn't Bob Melvin, that was Bob Brenly and I think like it might have been the giants making for errors in, in one inning and he made two of them. But I, but I definitely saw him throw multiple balls into the outfield and I want to say like maybe multiple areas on one play or something like that. I'd have to look it up. Well, you know, it could happen to the best of us and that pretty much feels like how the season has been so far. So now that you mentioned Bob Brenly and Bob Melvin, who had a higher career batting average of the two former giants, catchers turn major-league baseball managers. It had to have been Bob Brenly, Bob Brenly to 47. Bob Melvin [inaudible]. You are correct. I mean, you get an extra 12 points just for the mustache. Right? 

Benjamin: It helps you hit the sweeping curve ball. Did you, uh, pay more this year for beer or tickets at spring training tickets for sure. What was the count for the giants? Like 100 bucks for one game. Then mariners was another 50 bucks. So yeah, I definitely didn't drop a hundred and 50 bucks and beer at the stadium with a two year old and a four year old. Total touchdown count for Jimmy Garappolo this year. In real life or on your fantasy team? Yes. A 20 6:44. Good. Three words. Describing Richard Sherman in a 40 niners uniform suck at Seattle. I would've gone with it. That's just wrong. Who's winning the world series this year? I'm going for it. Cleveland Indians. Biggest message your kids made this week. Ah, this is a family show, but poop in the tub for 200. Alex won't ask boy or girl. I'm just going to go with Pablo. 

Benjamin: Sandoval is current weight cheeseburger. The giants fifth starter at the beginning of this year, aren't they all fit starters? The giants. Fifth starter at the end of this year. Suarez. And our 11th question, out of our top 10 pop quiz, total wins for the giants, including the playoffs in [inaudible]. Eighteen 75. All right. So now that we've embarrassed to ourself enough with our pop quiz, tell me about your experience at spring training. What was the pre season like this year? On the whole, it's always great to get down to spring training. We went down as a family, so my wife and I have a two year old daughter and a four year old son. And uh, we all went down there that uh, Thursday to Sunday deal and we stayed right by Old Town Scottsdale. It's a walking distance to the park, which we're super excited about. But the thing that really surprised me is that spring training has really turned into, you know, it's not a secret anymore. 

Benjamin: When I first started going to spring training in 2010 or so, you could get tickets pretty much anywhere in the stadium and at any ballpark for eight to 11 bucks. And when we looked for giants tickets on Thursday night, the lawn seats were going for $57 a pop. I'll take two. Yeah, that was crazy. And the, you know, the interesting thing is like the lawn seating was always like general admission and then many ballparks it's still general admission, but with the giants it's turned into such a party back there that you have to buy law tickets now. They fence it off and they're one of the most expensive seats in the house. Getting behind home plate is like 45, 50 bucks in and seats are just as much actually cheaper to go to San Francisco giants. Regular season game than a spring training game. It's because it's 85 degrees and you're sitting on the lawn in Arizona as opposed to 57 degrees in wearing a Parka [inaudible] degrees here once, once I think I remember we got really drunk on your rooftop that day. 

Benjamin: So tell me how much have you been enjoying the giants? Hot starts so far. It's been tough. It's not unexpected but it's been tough. I mean, what are they [inaudible] right now? I think so. Six and 10. 40 six and [inaudible] coming off of a, like a gem by Kwaito but then backing it up with getting one hit and losing one to nothing. I mean Kwaito has been pitching well and they haven't really been backing them up with too much and you know, the young guys, Suarez and bd look young and I hope that they can work on some stuff down in the farm system and be serviceable by the middle of the year. Know the offense, shows it's flashes. I mean mccutchin has been good. You know, you've had a couple of hot games than there has been fun to watch. But yeah, I mean they kinda look like who I thought they were going to look like. 

Adam: I was listening back to your for the first podcast with you and your dad and you guys are talking about 90 when seasons. It just makes me chuckle. Let's separate out my dad saying they were gonna Win Ninety wins from me saying they were going to be four games over 500 and pursue the last playoffs, but that was also pre or just right around the bumgardner injury that we were just adjusting and little did we know that we would lose our top three starting pitchers in the beginning of the season and they're closer and Smith hasn't been playing and Smith hasn't been playing. The thing that occurs to me is last year they started off [inaudible] and they actually scored three more runs than they did this year, so they're basically on pace with the 98 last team from the previous year and I expected a much better effort. I expected this team to be able to hit and they've been so inconsistent like I can digest 

Adam: not having your top three starting pitchers for the first two weeks and I [inaudible] back and he had a couple starts in the beginning. He really didn't miss much time, but their inability to put the bat on the ball consistently just drives me up the wall. 

Benjamin: Yeah, I mean I don't know what to add to it. I think you hit the nail on the head. It's really frustrating to watch them not hip. It's April and you can give them the benefit of the doubt of the early season stuff. 

Adam: Yeah, it's tough to watch pence 

Benjamin: and long story. Uh, I think he'll snap out of the funk that he was in the first couple of weeks, but yeah, it's been tough to watch him not hit brandon belt is as frustrating as he's always been in terms of, of hitting. I don't know what Crawford has been batting, but I can imagine it's over to 60. 

Adam: It's exactly [inaudible] impressive. So it's frustrating. So last time when we talked, you walked us through the team, wore stats, went over replacement and I was looking at that today. Do you know who in terms of batting stats has the highest war on the team currently this year? Mm hmm. 

Benjamin: I would presume it's been mccutcheon. I mean [inaudible] been hitting quite well, so it's either pose your mccutcheon. 

Adam: Mccutcheon is actually a negative point, one war somehow and I have a hard time digesting that. It's actually Joe Panik who is point six in terms of war posey point four, Crawford point three, and your fourth player in terms of winning over a placement is brandon belt hitting a smoking hot 2:56 mccutcheon is somehow a net negative, which is a little surprising to me, but uh, maybe it's the strikeout rate. Who knows? 

Benjamin: That's definitely surprising bias in my mind with the sixth game early on in the season and a couple of walk off, I just think of him as being, having been more collect that maybe it would seem 

Adam: he's panting a buck 94 with an on-base percentage of two 75. I think he leads the team with two home runs, but as much as everyone says that long gorier has been slow out of the gates, I don't think [inaudible] has been much better. He's just had a couple of moments in games they've won. Let's talk about the bright side. Help me out here. It was good to see, but it wasn't good to see him get lit up like a candle. 

Benjamin: I hope that he gets to control over the corners of the strike zone, but you know, I actually listened to that game and it seemed like he had pretty decent stuff. He had quite a few outs, but he hung a couple of breaking balls to big league hitters and put a couple of balls in the middle of the plate in hitters counts and they made him pay for it. So you know, you hope that he can get some of those things ironed out. I guess that's a positive and you hope the same thing for Suarez, but it's tough. I was looking at their minor league stats and baseball prospectus just came out with the farm system rankings 

Benjamin: and man, I'm pivoting really quickly off of the positives here, but they have the 26 to ranch farm system in the league right now and so like ban. We got a [inaudible] team that's looking old and there's not a whole lot that feels like it's coming up for the next couple of years. I guess that's what we talked about, but I guess the question in my mind it was really like how quickly does it take to turn it around? I don't feel like they can go through the same kind of fire sale you thing that like the braves and the phillies and the Astros, uh, you know, have done. And so yeah, I'd be curious your perspective on life. Who are they comping [inaudible] in terms of turning the team around for the next year 

Adam: to two years? The first team that comes to mind is the Yankees over the last four or five years where they went through the demise of the jeter Rivera, even a rod teams. They were trading for players like d, d, gregarious, and they didn't have a ton in the farm system and it took them three or four years and they were writing the legacy of Derek jeter and not making the playoffs and not being very competitive for a couple years while they rebuilt the farm system. And now you look at them and they have judge and they were able to add the big bat in Stanton Sanchez 

Benjamin: and they've got bird. So this is interesting. I actually have up on my screen, the baseball America organizational rankings farm system rankings from 2014 to 2018 and the New York Yankees spent 2014 to 2016 with the 18th rank farm system and for the last two years have been number two. 

Adam: So you can rebound from being a middle of the road farm system to being a top tier firm system within a four year span is what you're saying? 

Benjamin: Yeah. I think within a. actually within a two or three years your span, I think other comp that well kind of grind your gears a little bit is the, the Anaheim angels actually or the Los Angeles angels, they've gone from like poo-pooing the dead last worst farm system from 2014 to 2017 to middle of the road. They're ranked 14th right now and that's basically because they drafted decently am God and did well on the international market. They got Otani obviously, so that helps your farm system out pretty quickly, 

Adam: so I mean I think that this year based on the start and it's too early to turn the season over and say that they're not going to be competitive there for games under 500 odd are they go on a little run here somewhere. They're getting players back. Let's not pretend that they didn't lose two of the three best starting pitchers and as much as I'm polishing a piece of shit here, I think the positive signs so far is you look at Kwaito, Derek [inaudible], Chris Stratton and tie block and in terms of era or five, Derek column has a four point six, but a lot of that was in the first game. I think he gave a five or six runs stratton's at a two point six and blocks set up for all four of those pitchers have a positive war, so you're going to end up when Baumgardner and so marge come back with at least six major league qualified arms. 

Adam: You're gonna be able to trade one of them for an asset or somebody will go to the bullpen. Hopefully the return of 40 percent of your pitching staff means that the bullpen is more rested and so I feel like already out of the gates, the bullpen is starting to show signs of wear and that just happens when you have young arms and they're putting out fires left and right, so if I have to say that something positive was going to happen this year, it's the pitching staff. The starting pitchers have been at least league average if not better and you're going to have a surplus. Hopefully you can trade one of them and bolster the farm system at the end of the season and then wait for the cavalry to come home and the hidden can't be this bad all year long candidate 

Benjamin: not. I mean if it's this bad, you're going to see a lot of guys from the farm system get pushed up. You'll see dugger and slater and Mac Williamson. Yeah, I mean, you know, you'll just see these guys come up and they'll get lots of playing time. Just so that they can really get a good sense of whether they're going to make it or not. I mean I think they have a pretty decent idea, but 

Adam: it's early though, right? In six, right? Like they win the next two games and we're saying, oh, they're almost 500. It's like that. They sweep a series and they're back to 500 and we're singing a different song for next week's podcast. I think the question that I have for you is let's hope that the things even out and they lost a couple games in a row and this is just a minor blip and then they get the pictures back and the hitting evens out. They end up being a competitive team. I still think that they're close to a 500 team at the end of the year, but if they're not in the hitting, is this bad? Who Do they push out to play the younger players? 

Benjamin: I think that's a take your pick kind of situation between Blanco. Jackson. Yeah, pants. I think the tough push out his pants and you know, if he keeps on hitting below the Mendoza line, then you've just got a sad situation from a fan standpoint where maybe pence just can't go anymore. I don't think it gets to a point where it's so bad where you just can't play em at all. I don't think he falls off a cliff the way Zicam did. I think it's probably a fall off the cliff another way Matt Cain did in the last couple of years and I think they'll. If there's one thing that the giants know how to manage a situation like gracefully exited aging player. Yeah. 

Benjamin: And I think that pence is the kind of guy who will mentor younger guys and so he's still a good clubhouse guy, so I think he'll be the last one if it got to really move on. You know, I think the wrinkle that comes in there is that they're gonna want to put belt in left and get him some games as well because they're going to want to keep posies Nice, fresh. And then their number to prospect is Chris Shaw, who is an offense first basement, but he's more natural in right field and left field. So you got a little bit of a log jam there. Have Mediocre to slightly below average outfielders. Looking at the batting stats for the season so far this year. It's interesting that all of the off season moves have basically flopped. Austin Jackson's hitting 2:27 Longoria is hitting [inaudible] mccutcheon hitting one 94. Seeing that makes me think that there is an adjustment period for new players coming into the park. 

Benjamin: There's no way that all three of those guys are total dead weight. I just have a hard time believing that they could be that bad, which makes me think that those guys are going to come around and get more comfortable. And the guys that have been here are relatively where you expect them to be. You're looking at posey hitting [inaudible] panic hitting [inaudible], Crawford hitting [inaudible] belt, hitting [inaudible]. Like none of those are outstanding numbers, but they're on average 30 points higher than the guys that are getting their feet situated. I think there's probably something to that. I'm not reading too much into slow starts for batters in the start of the year and I'm reluctantly willing to give hunter pence benefit of the doubt because he's never been tremendously fast out of the gates from what I can remember. He always kind of took a little bit of time to get going. 

Benjamin: I don't know if it's because there's the mechanics of the swing or a little bit funky, but yeah, so obviously discouraging. I think the thing that's more discouraging to me is that they're hitting this bad and they basically only been playing and all west teams. I don't care who they're playing as long as they're winning. The truth is that all sorts itself out at the end of the year, there's such a big sample size with baseball. Even when you lose two division teams at the beginning of the year, you can rebound and teams go in fits and spurts. I think that, like I said, if I had to, uh, look at the bright side, the starting pitching hasn't been horrendous and they've lost two out of their three big horses. The guys that you were supposed to ride, that explains why the bull pen has been below average and I don't think the pen has been as terrible as maybe the stats in further just worked pretty hard because the young pitchers and I mean Longoria and mccutcheon can't hit an average of [inaudible] the entire season. Can they? I don't think so. That would quite a disaster. 

Adam: So tell me a player that you've enjoyed watching so far this season, who you have your eye on who, uh, who you think is going to take us to the promised land. 

Benjamin: You know, I really want to. CBD, it's been hard to say it's been enjoyable, but you know, he's a vanderbilt guy and I went to vanderbilt so I've got a soft spot for him and I feel like I've been waiting for him to come up and show us stuff. And I was really excited when he started against the padres and you know, I was bummed that he gave up a couple of jackets in there. But he's got good stuff and I'm just excited to see him play. I want them to. I want them to do well and I actually want them to come back up and I'm ready for the tyler, but experiment to go full force. I don't think he gave up any home runs. I thought he just walked everyone. I was pretty sure that he hung a couple of breaking balls. Am I thinking about Suarez? 

Adam: Yeah, I was going to say I was looking at the stats and the thing that sticks out to me looking at those couple of games, the areas are ridiculous. Suarez and bt with swore as he gave up a couple of Bob. 

Benjamin: I'm thinking of Suarez who hung a couple but was just. He didn't have his control. 

Adam: Yeah, I actually think that is something that he will develop with maturity, that understanding where the strike zone is will come along. The more that he pitches and with more experience and his issue was he walked 20 percent of the barriers that he faced. Suarez on the other hand, gave upon runs to every third better. 

Benjamin: Yeah. I'm looking at the line. He walked eight and nine, but yeah, regardless. I was excited about but coming up and I, I hope as control gets there, but I'm ready for the tyler, but experiment. 

Adam: So you were watching the swore as game, 

Benjamin: listening to it on, on, on the radio while I was grilling in the backyard or something like that. I was like, oh great. You know, as far as pitching, he's pitching. Wow. He's got a couple of strikeouts and I don't know, I think it was going out and like looking to see if the grill was warm or something like that. And I come back in just like mid sentence today. Fleming going, that ball is wash and you're going like, oh man Schmidt. Yeah, exactly. I was like, there's only one person who could elicit that kind of comment from and it has to be Paul Goldschmidt and know of course fleming was like Suarez, you know, he's a young pitcher and he hung that breaking ball on a two to count and a hitter of Goldschmidt's caliber is not going to be fooled by that. And he just crushed that ball. 

Benjamin: That guy killed this dude. He like you were asking the last time about like least favorite dodgers or you know guys who kill us and I was talking about Matt Camp, but Paul Goldschmidt has gotta be up there top five in the 30 years to just kill the giants. Did you see him in the minor leagues or something like that? I did. So this is a really funny story. So my girlfriend at the time, now wife and I were living down in la because that's where we met and he's a minor league baseball fan and I guess this was like right after we graduated from Grad School, like 2010 or something like that or not, or 11. We visited a buddy of ours, our classmate of ours who was living in Modesto who was working for Gallo. And we're like, well, you know, what are we going to do in Modesto? 

Benjamin: So we went to see the modesto nuts. The modesto nuts. Yeah. They're called the modesto nuts. Their mascot is a giant almonds and they're playing against the Paleo raw hide. So we're sitting there and it's like a Thursday night and there couldn't have been more than a thousand people in the stands or something like that. And so we're sitting right on the third base line and I'm just sitting there heckling whoever's on the Visalia team out at third base and this guy totally dunk a ball at third and one goes right through the wickets and I'm like, you suck guy at third and I can't even see your numbers are who you are. I don't care if you can't pronounce your name, you know, whatever. I can't even see that far. And it wasn't that far. And, and then an inning later. So this dude comes up and just annihilates this ball like bull Durham. 

Benjamin: He hit the bowl free steaks for everybody kind of moon shot. And I. It was like whoa. That was a league. And then two innings later this guy comes out and plays third again and just air males a ball over the first baseman's had on a relatively routine grounder and I was like, you might be able to hit, but you feel like crap, whoever you are. And then the next inning or two innings later comes up and just mashes another ball and like respect and who is this guy? And I look up and it's Paul Goldschmidt and I remember in that game it was like, I don't know if this guy's just hitting minor league pitching, but those are big long, far home runs and I'll keep a tab on him because the visit eylea rawhide our Arizona diamondbacks farm team. And he came up that September against the 2010, I think it was the 2010 giants, obviously world series team. But he started murdering giants pitching right off the bat, right out of the gate at a home run against Tim lincecum from the on-deck circle. I mean, yeah. And I was like, I saw that guy crush people down in the minor leagues. I saw him play. He can't field for crap. And he obviously didn't make it as a third baseman. Swi He's playing first in Arizona. Good Lord. 

Adam: Could that guy had. Well, I hope that we don't see bed until the end of the year. I hope that bomb comes back and some logic comes back. We end up with enough starting pitching where he gets to be seasoned on the minors and we roll with the guys that we have and he comes up again next year and is one of the starting pitchers at the beginning of the season. 

Benjamin: I mean maybe not April may I give that, but he's been down there for what, three years now? He's 25 now. I think he's got to come up and figure out what's what. I think it's fine to have stratton pitching. I think that's good. You know, you hope that Holland can hold down the fort until [inaudible] gets back and it's been encouraging to see kwaito pitching like an ace out of the gate. I don't know where they would be if Quedo didn't have a sub one era right now, but they lost all those camps. But I mean like what his era right now is point four or five. Like they're going to win games with him with a [inaudible] the re. There'll be fine there, 

Adam: but yeah, 

Benjamin: I want to see but come up and if he can't be a starter than let's get them into the bull pen cause Lord knows that 

Adam: posts such as gonna not be in the middle of that, that line up. We're trying to end this on a positive note. So let's just not talk about dosage because if there was a player that drives me nuts, he's the guy 

Benjamin: that's fair. I'm excited about [inaudible] Suarez. Want to see them back up. See what they got. 

Adam: Give me one more glimmer of hope you'd like the toddler bed experiment. You hope he's gonna. Come back out. What else gets you excited about watching the giants and baseball this year? 

Benjamin: I'm excited to see panic on an up note. I'm glad to see him doing well. You know, he kinda took his lumps last year and I think got some questions about what he was going to be. So I'm excited that he's hitting well. I hope he turns into a good solid second basement. The number two guy in the lineup. So. 

Benjamin: So let's end this on a positive note. We have shawn, the minor leagues, he's going to be the next Paul Goldschmidt. We have at least six serviceable major league pitchers. Bumgarner's going to come back. Some margin is going to come back. The back of the bull pen is going to get sorted out and our off season moves. Can't hit a combined 200 for the entire season. It's going to be OK at them. It's going to be OK. Folks were going to be better than a [inaudible] [inaudible] team, right? He met. Maybe give me a. give me a solid maybe. Yeah. Solid shades under 500. You heard it here first folks, we're going to be close to 500. Don't panic. It's early in the season. Let's go get em g men and that's a wrap for today's show. Our plan is to do this every week, so if you want more giants baseball on your podcast feed, click that subscribe button. 

Benjamin: Also, since we're just getting started, go ahead and give us a rating and the itunes store or send us any questions you have at for the fans, by the fans.com, or you could just go to f, Taf, btf. We've also opened up our twitter, our instagram, and our new facebook page so you can find us by searching F, Taf, btf in any of your social platforms. And thanks again to our friends at fanatics. If you're going to go buy your giants gear, go to [inaudible] dot [inaudible] slash giants and they'll kick us a couple of bucks to help produce this show. And until next time, come on [inaudible]. Let's use those bat swing and a miss and that's it.