Troy Tulowitzkis don’t grow on trees. Jose Reyeseses can’t be made from a Promethean mold. JJ Hardys don’t get released by two teams and then blossom into elit- sorry Brewers and Twins fans, got a bit off track there. Point is, there aren’t a lot of quality big league shortstops in the known universe. Few can combine an above average bat with crisp glove skills and enough speed to go deep into the hole and up the middle. The Giants are a team that has especially had trouble at the position, choosing to sign veterans like Juan Uribe, Miguel Tejada, and Orlando Cabrera to make sure Panda has someone to talk to. Since the latter two vets failed to give even mediocre production at the position, the Giants have been forced to look to their homegrown talent to fill the void.
The Giants’ current shortstop, 25-year-old Brandon Crawford, has the aformentioned slick glove but lacks the offensive tools to be considered a long-term solution in San Francisco. Fortunately, the Giants used their first round draft pick in 2011 on a shortstop from St. John’s University named Joe Panik. However, the scouting consensus is that Panik and his plus hitting and limited defense would be better served at second base, creating an even deeper hole for the Giants to climb out of at the shortstop position. But hold on right there. Why? Why would Panik be better served at second in the big leagues, and where does this line of thinking come from? The answer is essentially defense, but it’s complicated.
Now, I’m not saying that I “called” it or anything, but here’s a post I wrote back in January which seems to be pretty relevant right now. Just substitute “Shortstop” for “infielder,” and ignore the part where I describe Tejada as a decent hitter. I’ll just leave this here until a) we get a new shortstop, b) I get it together enough to write a new post. No word on which will happen first.
After what can only be described as a long, emotional, and ultimately fruitless negotiating session, Edgar Renteria has signed a contract with one of the 29 non-Giants baseball teams, theÂ CincinnatiÂ Reds. He’ll be earning 3 million for one year, and will probably start a good amount of the time, as Reds (and former-Giants) coach Dusty Baker has said that he’ll let Renteria and Paul Janish (.260/.339/.385) compete for playing time.
Congrats, Edgar, and more power to you. I appreciate the huge role you played in winning the World Series, and, well… not much else. Renteria was paid (note, I didn’t say “earned”) $10 million for a 2010 in which he was mostly injured, and $8 million for a 2009 in which he played like he was. If you’re an adherent to the “Perfect Storm” approach to the Giants 2010 championship season, in which every little thing added up to a World Series win and therefore must have contributed in some way, then sure, Renteria’s 7 hits in the World Series made up for his expensive contract and bad playing of the past two years. Never mind that he went 1-for-16 in the NLCS, but I digress. To me, Renteria falls into the same category as Bengie Molina. I appreciate his service, but we’re both better off since we parted ways.
Thanks, Edgar, but don’t call us. We’ll call you.