To preview the series between the Miami Marlins and the San Francisco Giants, I had an email chat with Stuart Jones, the co-editor of the San Francisco Giants Fansided Site, Around the Foghorn. AFH is one of the best Giants sites on the internet and is a must read for all baseball fans.
Here are the questions I answered for Stuart on Around the Foghorn.
Without any further ado, here is my chat with Stuart:
Ehsan Kassim: Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain have struggled in 2013, what has been the issue for the two? Can they turn things around?
Stuart Jones: The best I can answer in regards to Tim Lincecum is his fastball is not what it used to be, and as he’s been adjusting to becoming that pitcher without the mid-high 90′s fastball, he’s been trying to find the mechanics that made him successful in the first place. Needless to say, the results overall have not been what we’ve hoped for (and his fastball is all over the place), but he shows promise in spurts. I think he’s done as a starter, and that his future is as a reliever, and a really good one at that.Matt Cain, also not having the velocity he used to, has had a flew bad blips on the radar this season, which has contributed to the higher than average numbers. I didn’t watch him last night, but he did strike out ten and allow two homers. There is still a lot going right, and there were some suggestions that his was tipping his pitches with runners on, but Cain said he didn’t see anything. I have faith in Cain to be a solid #2 pitcher.
EK: Your thoughts on first round pick Christian Arroyo? How do you grade the rest of the draft?
SJ: From what I’ve heard on Arroyo, the Giants think he can stick at SS, and if you can get a good bat at short, I’ll take that any day of the week. Granted, he was a prep player, so he’s got a ways to go. As you probably know, draft boards and draft experts did not grade the Giants positively, which is really as much as we, the fans, can soak up. There is obviously something about these guys they picked that they like. I personally like it more when they take pitchers earlier on since their track record is so established with developing arms. We’ll see how it turns out, you just hope all the kids find success.
EK: Can you give us a quick scouting report on the pitchers the Marlins will see this series?
SJ: The Marlins will see everybody but Madison Bumgarner in this four-gamer.
Chad Gaudin — Gaudin has stepped in for Ryan Vogelsong and has plugged the gap in the starting rotation since he left, for the most part. You still worry about him against LHH (I mean, the splits are just night and day), so if a team comes at him with all LHH and you’re a Giants fan, you’re sweatin’ bullets.
Tim Lincecum — My quick scouting report for him always goes: if he can command the fastball, the rest will fall in line. The problem is he usually doesn’t command it, and he gets away with the stuff that he still has, as well as his breaking pitches.
Barry Zito — Odd to think he’d have the second-highest fWAR of everybody in the rotation, but here we are. Zito’s used a cutter more often lately, which has added another element to his newer self, which looks like he has finally come to grips with. Something has been going on with his home and road splits, and they are dramatic, so if he succeeds at home, don’t say I didn’t warn you… even though it’s Barry Zito.
Matt Cain — His last three starts suggest he’s back in a groove, and even against decent hitting teams like the Diamondbacks and the Pirates, and — this is odd to say — a good hitting team like the Padres, he has managed to hold them at bay. He is a little more susceptible to the long ball these days, so a bad outing wouldn’t be out of the ordinary for 2013 Matt Cain.
EK: Predictions for this series?
SJ: My prediction for the series is that “Ricky Nolasco to the Giants” trade talk heats up because he’s in San Francisco, and he’ll probably pitch well. I also predict Giants fans like me will cry wishing for a Giancarlo Stanton. Still, I think the Giants will be able to take 3 of 4 from the Marlins. The Giants are in a tight race in the NL West, and even though it’s only June, this is a time of opportunity for the Giants and they know it.