Showing posts with label Edgar Renteria. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Edgar Renteria. Show all posts

Thursday, December 31, 2009

With Uribe Back, The Pressure is on Renteria to Produce for the Giants

From Bleacher Report

With Juan Uribe on the verge of getting a new contract from the San Francisco Giants, the pressure is on for one current Giants player:

Edgar Renteria.

With Mark Derosa getting signed to a two-year, $12 million dollar deal, and the possibility of an Adam LaRoche acquisition still looming, Uribe most likely will be a platoon player heading into Spring Training.

That being said, despite his backup-status, he will bring a lot of heat and competition to Renteria, who most likely will be slated as the Giants' starting shortstop come Spring Training.

For starters, Renteria is coming off an atrocious year, while Uribe is coming off a pretty good one. Renteria struggled through injury and ended up batting .250, with a .307 OBP and only five home runs, his lowest home run total in his career since 1998 (he hit only three for Florida that year). Uribe hit 16 home runs, drove in 55 RBI, and sported a .329 OBP (which is his highest number in that category in his career).

Thus, it makes sense statistically why Giants fans are pining for Uribe to start at shortstop over the overpaid (he'll make nine million dollars next year) and underachieving Renteria. Couple that with a major difference in personality (Uribe is a fun-loving guy, while Renteria is known for his seriousness, though Renteria did score some points for being the first guy off the bench and getting in Russell Martin's face during a scuffle in August against the Dodgers), and it almost seems logical that the end could be very near for Renteria in San Francisco.

That being said, I don't think Giants fans should be so hasty in terms of giving up on Renteria completely. For starters, the bottom line is this: he was hurt last year. It was obvious he played through injury, and was not 100 percent considering his elbow and arms problems. Thus, Renteria needs to be judged when he is completely healthy, and chances are, he will be in 2010 after having a full off-season to recover.

Secondly, Renteria, despite his decline as a player over the last few years, is the kind of guy that responds well to bad seasons. After a poor season in Boston, Renteria came back to the National League and lit it up with the Braves in 2006, where he hit .293 and scored a 100 runs.

Granted, most people thought that would happen LAST year when he was coming off a mediocre season in Detroit, but I think the adjustment from the American to National League, coupled with his injury, made things tough for Renteria. Thus, with a full year of being reacquainted with National League behind him, and healthy (hopefully), Renteria is more likely to breakout this year than he was last year.

And to put things more in Renteria's favor, Renteria did have an advantage over Uribe in one category: his BB/K ratio. Renteria had a 0.57 BB/K ratio in comparison to Uribe, who had a 0.30 ratio. While this may be a minute stat, it may be a telling sign that a healthy Renteria may be what this Giants team needs. Renteria's patient, less-free-swinging approach may be more valued on a team that ranked last in walks and OBP in the National League in 2009. Will the Giants get more pop from Uribe? Most likely. However, if the Giants want to score more runs and be playoff contenders, the Giants may want to go with a guy who has never had a BB/K ratio under 0.42 in his career rather than a guy has never had a BB/K ratio over 0.44.

One of the big gripes many Giants fans (and baseball fans in general) have had with Renteria (in addition to his inability to pull anything other than 85 MPH fastballs) is his mediocre defensive skills. Surprisingly though, in terms of playing shortstop, Uribe is not a dramatic improvement. Uribe's career UZR/150 is 3.5. Renteria has a career UZR/150 of 1.0.

Is Uribe better? Obviously, but Giants fans shouldn't be thinking that Uribe is a tremendous upgrade. He's better than the iron-footed Renteria, but he won't be confusing Giants fans with Omar Vizquel anytime soon.

Granted, the Bay Area faithful should be happy Uribe is back, mainly because he can play three infield positions and has a solid, if inconsistent bat. That being said, I think Giants fans need to give Renteria a chance to start the season. While Renteria was an obvious flop last season, if healthy, he is more than capable of turning it around in San Francisco this second time around.

That being said, unfortunately for Renteria, the time span should, and most likely will be short. The Giants need to win now, and they need to build on their 88 win season a year ago. If Renteria does not put up major improvement within the first month of play, it would not be surprising if general manager Brian Sabean sends Renteria packing, especially with Renteria in the last year of his contract.

It's put up or shut up time Edgar. The job's yours for now, and I do believe there are some Giants fans willing to give you a second chance, but just remember: there's a pretty decent option behind you, and the option looks more enticing to Giants fans by the day.

Another .250/.307/.635 season in terms of batting average, OBP and OPS isn't going to cut it this time around.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Sanchez's Surgery Should Be Final Straw For SF Giants GM Brian Sabean

From Bleacher Report

With this being the last year of GM Brian Sabean's contract, owner Bill Neukom is put in a very tough decision.

Does he stick with the GM who has been at the helm of the Giants' front office since 1997? Or does he go in a different route with somebody else calling the shots when it comes to personnel decisions?

As far as I'm concerned, everything Sabean has done (or has occurred as a result of his decisions in the past) after the All-Star break has showed why Neukom should go in a different direction next year when it comes on taking or declining Sabean's option.

First off, Sabean pulled the trigger on trading for Cleveland's Ryan Garko, who has done relatively nothing in his tenure in San Francisco as evidenced by his .233 batting average and only two home runs in 113 plate appearances as a Giant (It also should be noted that both his home runs came in the same game and at Coors Field).

Secondly, Edgar Renteria has been a tremendous, and classic Sabean-bust, which is only magnified by Juan Uribe's season, which may be his best offensive year since 2004 when he helped the Chicago White Sox to a World Series title.

Not only has Uribe been better than Renteria this year in almost every offensive category despite 98 less at-bats, but he also came seven million dollars cheaper.

Just imagine what the Giants could have done with an extra seven million dollars to spend had they not wasted it on Renteria.

Next, Angel Villalona, a highly prized prospect a couple of years ago that Sabean sold Giants fans on being the future of the Post-Bonds era, not only has tanked on the field (he had only a .267 average, .303 OBP, nine home runs and 42 RBI in 310 PA in Single-A San Jose this year), but now he is a suspect in a murder case in the Dominican Republic.

Villalona's future seems closer to Ugueth Urbina than Miguel Cabrera, and even then, at least Urbina had SOME time in the Major Leagues.

And lastly, Freddy Sanchez, who was traded for No. 2 pitching prospect Tim Alderson, may be shut down for the year after reports, via the Giants Web site, revealed his knee will need surgery.

If anything, Sanchez's impending knee surgery should be enough for Neukom to send Sabean packing. Everybody knew there were some questions with Sanchez's health before the trade deadline, but Sabean "examined" Sanchez and assured Giants fans he was healthy enough to make an impact during the August-September run.

Well...Sanchez, despite a solid debut, has barely made a dent on this Giants team. He has only played in 25 games, not exactly what Giants fans expected when Sabean traded him for Alderson.

To make matters worse, with Sanchez most likely not reaching the amount of plate appearances he needs to activate his 2010 option, the Giants will need to renegotiate with him on a contract next year.

Therefore, there is a possibility that Sanchez could be gone next season, and if that happens, the Giants basically lost their second-best pitcher in their minor league system for an injury-riddle player who barely played a half-a season.

That's the kind of thing Giants fans wanted to avoid this Trade Deadline. The San Francisco faithful didn't want another Ricky Ledee or Sidney Ponson half-season disaster.

And yet, here we are, with that situation a possibility again.

Overall, there has been a lot Sabean should be credited for in his tenure in San Francisco, especially recently. He has set down a solid foundation around pitchers like Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain, and position players like Pablo Sandoval and Buster Posey (even though Posey can't seem to find the field since being called up).

However, the mistakes of Sabean have added up too much in the recent past, and this year is no exception. Some new energy is needed in the Giants front office to keep this team going in the right direction, and unfortunately, after almost 13 years at the helm, the Giants aren't going to get that if Sabean is still calling the shots.

Neukom. The decision is up to you. Do the right thing.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Should the Giants have signed Orlando Cabrera over Edgar Renteria?

Orlando Cabrera (left) would have been a cheaper, better fit for this San Francisco Giants team than current slumping shortstop Edgar Renteria.

From Bleacher Report

First off, let's get one thing out of the way before I make this argument.

I'm assuming that for whatever reason, we couldn't sign Orlando Hudson, even though he would have come at a bargain of a price that we certainly could have afforded. Hudson would trump this argument automatically because of the better season he is having in comparison to both the Oakland A's Orlando Cabrera and San Francisco Giants' Edgar Renteria (not to mention his youth in comparison to those two).

That being said I'm assuming that we couldn't sign Hudson because we needed a shortstop to replace Omar Vizquel, and in GM Brian Sabean's eyes, Emmanuel Burriss simply wasn't a formidable fit as the everyday shortstop going into 2009 (which would've been so as it turned out). Being that Hudson is a second baseman, he would've been out of the fold.

However, I think Sabean, who made the right decision in acquiring a shortstop in the off-season, simply made the wrong call in terms of what shortstop he signed in December. In retrospect, Sabean would have been better off if he signed Cabrera instead of Renteria.

This isn't the first time Renteria has overshadowed his fellow Colombian-born infielder. In 2004, after the Red Sox captured their first World Series title in 86 years, instead of signing Cabrera, who batted .294 with six home runs and 31 RBI after getting traded from Montreal, the Red Sox opted to sign Renteria from St. Louis. The move by the Red Sox spectacularly tanked. Renteria only batted .276 with eight home runs and a .720 OPS, and he lasted just one year in Boston's pressure-packed media scene.

As for Cabrera? While playing for the Angels, he statistically had a worse season than Renteria (Cabrera only batted .257 with eight home runs and a .309 OBP).

What made the difference, however, between the two players came in terms of salary. Renteria made $2 million more per-year with the Red Sox than Cabrera did with the Angels in 2005.

In addition to the difference in money, Cabrera was a better fielder than Renteria at this point in their careers (as evidenced by Cabrera winning the American League Gold Glove in 2007, while Renteria hadn't won one since 2003), and Cabrera's teams ended up doing better in the playoffs.

The Red Sox were eliminated in the ALDS in 2005. The Angels made it to the ALCS in 2005. The Red Sox won a World Series title with Cabrera in 2004. The Red Sox didn't win a playoff series with Renteria in 2005.

Four years later, we're seeing the same things with these two.

Renteria is overpaid and underachieving (even though I hold a slight glimmer of hope in one of my previous articles), while Cabrera is playing hot and proving to be a steal considering how much the A's signed him for in the offseason. Cabrera makes $4 million this season in Oakland. Renteria makes twice that at $8 million this year across the bay in San Francisco.

And yet, despite being paid more, Renteria pales in comparison to Cabrera in every statistical category this season. Cabrera is batting .276 with four home runs, 41 RBI and a .313 OBP for the A's. Renteria is only batting .252 with two home runs, 38 RBI and .305 OBP for the Giants.

It's crazy to think how consistently overlooked Cabrera is in comparison to Renteria. Sure, Renteria has put up some great stats in the past, and is a much better physical specimen than Cabrera (Renteria's six-foot, one-inch, 200-pound body towers over Cabrera's five-foot, nine-inch, 185-pound frame), but Cabrera has proved to be a better bang-for-the buck player over his career.

Furthermore, when it comes to the Giants, Cabrera would have fit perfectly with the already goofy, laid-back personality of this team. He would have found a great niche in between the "Kung-Fu Panda" Pablo Sandoval at third and the Mohawk-sporting Juan Uribe at second.

The trio would be doing all kinds of handshakes that would make even Victor Martinez's head spin.

Intangibles and handshakes aside, the fact of the matter is that Cabrera would have offered more production at a cheaper price than Renteria. However, because of Renteria's physical attributes, and his overly-acclimated success with the Cardinals and Braves, Sabean overvalued him and paid way too much, even though he could have gotten a player with more spark and better chemistry issues at half the price.

Cabrera may not have been the more ballyhooed offseason signing, but he would have gotten the job done. When you consider how meager this San Francisco offense has been this season, especially at the shortstop position, we certainly could have used a guy like him on our squad this season.

And with the cheap price we undoubtedly would have gotten him at, who knows what possibilities we could have last offseason, this trade deadline or even next offseason.

Unfortunately for the Giants, with Renteria's mediocre play and contract still dragging the organization down going into next year, we'll never know those possibilities.

The Giants may have won the Bay Bridge Series this season, but the A's sure as heck kicked the Giants' butt when it came to signing a shortstop this year.