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Ex-Giant Update

Posted By Joseph Davis On Aug 28 2010 @ 5:51 am In San Francisco Giants | No Comments

(all statistics thru August 26)

BOOF BONSER

Time With Giants: Never played for Giants at major league level; as a top prospect was traded to Twins for A.J. Pierzynski.

Background: Boof has had a rough go of it since his one full season in the Twins’ rotation. He missed all of 2009 recovering from surgery.

2010: He pitched in 2 games with Boston before being acquired by Oakland; he’s given them decent outings so far.

Fred Lewis [1]

Fred Lewis is one of few Giants not named Bonds to penetrate McCovey Cove with a home run.

FRED LEWIS

Time With Giants: 2006-2009.

Background: For a time was the heir apparent to Barry Bonds’ left field spot, but poor strike zone judgment and defense led to his Spring 2010 release.

2010: Now a Blue Jay, Lewis has had an OK year, at .269 with 8 bombs and 14 steals. He was at .310 in early June but appears to have lost his starting LF job.

JEREMY ACCARDO


Time With Giants: 2005-2006

Background: Accardo was a baby-faced gas thrower who was sent to the Jays in mid-2006 for Shea Hillenbrand. He had an awesome 2007 filling in as closer for B.J. Ryan, but has had forearm and, in Toronto’s eyes, performance issues since.

2010: Accardo made 5 appearances in April (8.10 ERA), was demoted, and hasn’t made it back.

MERKIN VALDEZ

Time With Giants: 2004-2009

Background: A once mega-prospect for the Giants, Valdez battled major injuries and command problems, never becoming the #1 starter predicted by many. He showed flashes of talent working out of the bullpen, but was traded to Toronto after the ’09 season.

2010: Now 28, Valdez wore out his welcome in Toronto fast. He made their Opening Day roster, but was demoted after allowing 3 ER and 3 BB covering 1.1 innings.

FRANCISCO LIRIANO

Time With Giants: Like Bonser, never played at MLB level with Giants and was dealt to Twins in Pierzynski fiasco.

Background: In 2006, the rookie emerged as one of the more dominant lefties in baseball. But missed the whole 2007 season after arm surgery and, though apparently fully recovered, hasn’t matched that form since.

2010: Liriano isn’t the dominant wunderkind he’d been as a rookie, but he’s been very effective for the 2010 Twins (12-7, 3.41 in 25 starts). He’s the team leader in ERA and strikeouts and, at still only 26, seems poised to lead their rotation for years to come. Or until he gets too expensive.

JOE NATHAN

Time With Giants: 1999-2003

Background: Originally an infielder, Nathan progressed into an adequate starting pitcher, then into a strong middle man following arm surgery. He, too, was dealt to Minnesota in the Pierzynski fiasco, and went on to become an All-Star and potentially Hall-of-Fame closer.

2010: Nathan underwent Tommy John surgery in April 2010, and he is reportedly playing catch, aka “long toss” as part of his recovery. The Twins are being cautious with their ace reliever.

OMAR VIZQUEL

Time With Giants: 2005-2008

Background: Future Hall-of-Fame shortstop was very popular during his 4 years in San Francisco. Looking back, they probably would have been better off on the field and financially if they’d kept him around. He spent last year in Texas as a reserve for the first time, and played well enough to get the same chance with the White Sox this year.

2010: For the first time in his career, Vizquel is not wearing #13 (longtime Sox shortstop/manager Ozzie Guillen has it). No matter; he’s enjoying a fine year and getting more playing time than anyone anticipated (at third base). Omar is at .289 for the year, with only 2 errors in 53 starts (68 games) at the hot corner. At 43, and 224 hits away from 3,000, he’s said he’ll play again in 2011.

TODD LINDEN

Time With Giants: 2003-2007

Background: A switch-hitter with pop, Linden got annual cups of coffee with the Giants, essentially, until he made the squad’s Opening Day roster in 2007. Plagued by K’s, he was cut, and spent the next year-and-a-half in various AAA lineups.

2010: Linden took his game to Japan for 2009, and has been there ever since.

A.J. PIERZYNSKI

Time With Giants: 2004

Background: A solid, if disliked, catcher with Minnesota, San Francisco’s infamous trade for him is still reaping rewards…for the Twins. Pierzynski spent one forgettable year by the Bay before joining the White Sox, where he’s remained ever since. The mere mention of his name still brings shudders to the AT&T Park faithful.

2010: A.J. is having a down year, at .254 with just 6 jacks. At 33, he’s a free agent at season’s end, and prospect Tyler Flowers waits in the wings.

ERICK THREETS

Time With Giants: 2007-2008

Background: Threets was a decent enough minor league reliever and earned two brief call-ups to the Giants. Never really given an extended shot at big league level and let go.

2010: Threets was called up by the White Sox in midseason and went unscored upon in 9 relief appearances—and made one of the defensive plays of the season—before being sidelined with a toe injury. He’s since mended.

JAMEY WRIGHT

Time With Giants: 2006

Background: Wright, a journeyman sinkerballer picked off the scrap heap by the ’06 Giants, was their best starter in the first half of that year before completely falling apart. He’d go on to find a new niche as a reliever as he entered his mid-30’s, holding roles with Texas and Kansas City since leaving SF.

2010: This year, Wright began with Cleveland but was released with a 5.48 ERA in 18 games. He’s now with Seattle and so far, having more success.

BENGIE MOLINA

Time With Giants: 2007-2010

Background: The team’s cleanup hitter and inspirational leader for 3 years, Molina was surprisingly brought back for a 4th year but with Buster Posey’s large shadow looming, the Giants shipped Bengie to Texas in June.

2010: Bengie did hit for the cycle shortly after joining Texas, and the first-place team hasn’t missed a beat with him in the lineup. Overall, though, Molina’s re-adjustment to the A.L. West is still a work in progress (.209, only one other homer aside from the cycle game).

RYAN GARKO

Time With Giants: 2009

Background: A decent little power hitter with Cleveland, the Giants traded for Garko hoping for more of the same. He ended up as little more than Shea Hillenbrand reincarnated, and got hefty bench time as the season wore on.

2010: Garko was acquired by Texas in the offseason, but after hitting .091 in 33 at-bats, he was outrighted to AAA. He’s been there ever since, with an average in the .230’s. At 29, I’d be shocked if he didn’t get one last shot in the bigs.

RAJAI DAVIS

Time With Giants: 2007-2008

Background: Acquired from Pittsburgh for Matt Morris in mid-2007, Davis’ style never really fit in with the Giants. Lost in a numbers crunch in 2008 (when $7 million man Dave Roberts still had a roster spot), Davis was waived and signed by the A’s.

2010: The A’s starting center fielder last year, this year Davis is getting extended time in LF with Coco Crisp’s acquisition. He’s batting a solid .270, and his 39 steals rank 3rd in the A.L.

KEVIN FRANDSEN

Time With Giants: 2006-2009

Background: Billed as a potential star hitter, it never came together for Frandsen—a Bay Area native—as a Giant. The best opportunity he had for extended “run” was ruined with an Achilles injury that wiped out his 2008 season; he clearly fell out of favor in 2009 when the team promoted others ahead of him. S.F finally cut him loose in Spring Training 2010.

2010: First signed by Boston after his release, Frandsen would soon join the Angels, where he batted well over .300 into July in a fill-in starting role. He now sits at .288, and has 11 doubles in 139 AB.

MATT PALMER

Time With Giants: 2008

Background: Palmer was given a brief look as 2008 neared its’ end, and didn’t distinguish himself. The Halos took him on for 2009, and he responded with a fine season (11-2) as a swingman.

2010: This year, Palmer struggled (6.26 in 9 games) and was sent down in May.

ELIEZER ALFONZO

Time With Giants: 2006-2008

Background: Thrust into a sudden starting role with Mike Matheny’s sudden retirement, Alfonzo played well for the ’06 Giants, but slowly fell out of favor when Bengie Molina joined the team. When the Giants picked rookie Steve Holm over Eliezer to back up Molina in ’08, you knew he was through in the organization.

2010: At 31, Alfonzo has spent time with San Diego (’09) and Seattle (’10), never staying on the roster for long.

DAVID AARDSMA

Time With Giants: 2004

Background: A hard-throwing rookie prospect with the ’04 Giants (and the first overall name in the Baseball Encyclopedia), Aardsma has bounced around with several teams before finding a home last year as Seattle’s closer. He was one of the league’s best.

2010: A little shaky; Aardsma has saved 24 games for the lousy M’s, but he’s lost 6 others and has a 4.14 ERA.

Armando Benitez [2]

The year before Armando Benitez joined the Giants, he saved 47 games. Benitez failed to equal that in 2.5 Giant seasons.

ARMANDO BENITEZ

Time With Giants: 2005-2007

Background: Easily the least popular Giant in the AT&T Park era, Benitez was mercifully traded to Florida in mid-2007. The former star closer got a brief look with the Blue Jays in ’08, then spent 2009 in the minors including the Independent Leagues.

2010: Out of the blue, Florida acquired Benitez (for the third tim) this season, but cut him after 8 games in AAA. At 38, this is probably it for Armando.

CODY RANSOM

Time With Giants: 2001-2004

Background: A reserve infielder who has done next to nothing at the MLB level.

2010: Was with the Phillies in July 2010, going 8-for-46 at age 34.

PAT MISCH

Time With Giants: 2006-2009

Background: A guy who was often called upon whenever a regular starter is on the D.L. Also pitched some relief.

2010: Misch has made 3 fill-in starts for the 2010 Mets, going 0-2.

LIVAN HERNANDEZ

Time With Giants: 1999-2002

Background: A controversial World Series MVP at 21, Livan was a top starter for the Giants especially in 2000, the first year of Pac Bell Park. He was the losing pitcher in Game 7 of the 2002 World Series and since pitched for the Expo-Nats, Arizona and a couple of other teams.

2010: Re-acquired by Washington, for whom he held ace status in 2005-2006, Livan wasn’t guaranteed a roster spot but has flourished as the team’s ace yet again—though only 8-9, Hernandez has a sparkling 3.36 ERA and only 11 HR allowed in 169 innings! Now 35, if you can believe that, Hernandez picked the right time to tap into the fountain of youth; there’s a good chance no one else takes him on for 2010 if the Nats hadn’t.

TYLER WALKER

Time With Giants: 2004-2006, 2007-2008

Background: The burly, hard-throwing had been a find, picked off the scrap heap after the Mets discarded him. He lost his touch, went to Tampa, and blew out his arm in 2006. The Giants re-acquired him and paid him while he recovered; he earned a spot with the 2008 team but coughed up a lot of leads and was let go again.

2010: Walker spent ’09 in Philly and signed with Washington this year. He had a rough start but eventually overcame it…somewhat…until a torn labrum ended his season.

BOBBY HOWRY

Time With Giants: 2009

Background: Originally a Giant farmhand, Howry was sent to the White Sox in the “White Flag” trade of 1997. There he made his MLB debut and served as a steady reliever (and occasional closer) for years. More recently Howry was a top setup man for the Cubs’ 2007-2008 playoff teams. The Giants signed him for 2009, but he never found consistency and was plagued by a number of walkoff hits.

2010: Arizona snapped Howry up for 2010 but cut him with a 10.67 ERA in 14 games. The Cubs then brought him back to Wrigley Field, but they too ended up cutting him. At 37, Howry may have reached the end of the line.

JUSTIN MILLER

Time With Giants: 2009

Background: Ex-Blue Jay was called up by the Giants early in the season…and never went back down. Miller was very effective as a long/middle man.

2010: The Dodgers signed Miller for 2010, where he pitched for about six weeks in June/July. Miller K’d 30 in 24 innings, but also gave up 4 bombs.

JACK TASCHNER

Time With Giants: 2005-2008

Background: Taschner opened a few eyes upon his first go-round with the Giants, not unlike Alex Hinshaw. But he could never get lefties out consistently and also had command issues. Ultimately San Fran parted ways. He spent ’09 in the Philadelphia system.

2010: Taschner opened 2010 with the Pirates, for whom he had a decent start but couldn’t maintain. From there he joined the Dodgers (just how many ex-Giants DO they have?) Taschner is 32 now, and if he were right-handed would be on his 9th life. As long as he’s left-handed, however, we’ll continue seeing his name on somebody’s roster.

[3]

Randy Winn slugged .680 for the 2005 Giants, and enjoyed three seasons batting .300 or better.

RANDY WINN

Time With Giants: 2005-2009

Background: If they awarded MVP’s based on one half, Winn’s 2nd half of 2005 would have placed him high on the list. Winn, a Bay Area native, would go on to become a very solid player for the Giants in every facet, especially as a right fielder. In ’09, he lost his pop (2 home runs), and the light-hitting Giants had to make a change.

2010: Winn joined the Yankees as a 4th outfielder, where he couldn’t wear his trademark #2 for the first time thanks to Derek Jeter. In midseason, St. Louis acquired him (where #2 is retired for Red Schoendienst) for the same role. His average isn’t there, but he has already doubled his 2009 home run total.

PEDRO FELIZ

Time With Giants: 2000-2007

Background: Feliz was the Giants’ regular 3B for 3 years and a supersub prior to that. He sandwiched impressive power between grotesque lapses in strike zone judgment, but could play a mean 3rd base and was, by most accounts, “a good Giant”. Oddly, after joining Philadelphia in 2008-2009 and Houston in 2010—home to two of the best hitting parks around—his power decreased. Greatly.

2010: With the Astros going nowhere fast and purging their franchise hitter and pitcher, there was no reason to keep 35-year-old Feliz around; division rival St. Louis snapped him up. His first series as a Cardinal came against who? Our Giants. And he raked.

RUSS ORTIZ

Time With Giants: 1998-2002, 2007

Background: One of the NL’s top starters in the early 2000’s, Ortiz’ career flamed out after signing a megadeal with Arizona prior to 2005. Since then he’s bounced around a few organizations, including a return to the Giants cut short by injury.

2010: Russ opened 2010 with the Dodgers, but was cut with an ERA nearing 11 after six relief appearances.

NOAH LOWRY

Time With Giants: 2003-2009

Background: Lowry was the team’s winningest pitcher between 2005-2007, but lost 2008 to a forearm injury and 2009 to a rib injury (short version). The Giants did not offer him a contract for 2010.

2010: Lowry had been working out and auditioning in Spring 2010, but no team signed him.

LATROY HAWKINS

Time With Giants: 2005

Background: Hawkins was mercifully rescued from the boo birds at Wrigley Field to serve as the Giants’ setup man in early 2005. He was no Benitez, but no Mike Stanton, either. Hawkins was swapped to Baltimore for Steve Kline after that season.

2010: Hard to believe Hawkins, who was a Twins prospect for what seemed like 10 years, is now 37. He’s made a few stops in the last 5 years and is now with Milwaukee, where a bad shoulder has limited him to a mere 18 games (8.44 ERA). He’s been out since May.

YORVIT TORREALBA

Time With Giants: 2001-2005

Background: A steady backup catcher behind Benito Santiago, Pierzynski, and Mike Matheny until being swapped to Seattle in the Winn trade. Torrealba went on to play on both recent Rockie playoff teams, and to start a semi-melee against his old Giants club by taunting Kline.

2010: Good teams are starting to follow Torrealba around, as the 2010 Padres can attest to. Splitting time with Nick Hundley, Torrealba is at. 289 with 4 jacks, including one against the Giants.

KEVIN CORREIA

Time With Giants: 2003-2008

Background: Correia was a pitcher with great stuff, who could never consistently command it. He had moments of great effectiveness, mostly as a reliever, but couldn’t cut it as a starter. His talent and work ethic kept him around in San Francisco for parts of 6 years, more than most, but ultimately the team gave up on him.

2010: San Diego, a team who saw plenty of Correia over the years, invited him to Spring on a Minor League deal for 2009, and he earned a spot in their rotation where he continues to this day. This season he is 10-9, 5.29 in 25 starts.

TIM ALDERSON + JOE MARTINEZ, JOHN BOWKER, AND VINNY CHULK

Time With Giants: prospect (Alderson) 2009-2010 (Martinez) 2006-2008 (Chulk)

Background: Alderson, a top pitching prospect, was traded to Pittsburgh straight up for Freddy Sanchez in mid-2009. So far the Giants have gotten the better of the deal, as Alderson has struggled to a 7-6, 5.62 line in 18 starts for AA Altoona. Alderson is averaging less than 5 innings per start, and has allowed 22 more hits than innings.

2010: When and if he is promoted to AAA Indianapolis, Martinez (most famous for taking a liner off his head in early 2009 and later traded to the Bucs for Javier Lopez), Bowker (briefly channeled Bonds in his MLB debut until the league adjusted to him) and Chulk (middle reliever acquired in the Hillenbrand trade) will be Alderson’s teammates.

BOBBY THOMSON

Time With Giants: 1946-1953, 1957 (New York)

Background: Hit the “Shot Heard Round the World” against the Dodgers in 1951, putting the Giants in the World Series.

2010: Thomson passed away August 18 at 82, forever immortalized by that one swing of the bat. RIP to a Giants legend.

Wondering about an ex-Giant not listed here? (One from the last decade or so; I can’t research what Scott Garrelts is up to in 2010). Drop me a line. For the purposes of this blog I follow most active ex-Giants fairly closely.

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