Just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse…you go and to something like this! It’s sad to say, but the San Francisco Giants won’t be fielding their starting shortstop come opening day. Omar Vizquel tore the medial meniscus in his left knee and won’t be able to return to the field for 4-6 weeks.
He was flown back to San Francisco and operated on today. Team doctors said the surgery went exactly as planned and he’ll be on schedule to return sometime the first week of the season barring any setbacks. However, the 41-year-old shortstop may not heal as quickly as we need him to. With age comes longer healing times and it could be the end of April before we truly see him take the field and playing at 100%.
What this means for the Giants, is that Kevin Frandsen will get the opening day starting job at short, ending his competition with Ray Durham for the job at second. This also means that we will see Rich Aurilia as the starting third baseman, unless the Joe Crede deal goes through before the end of spring training. I just hope that this doesn’t put more pressure on the front office to bring someone on that we don’t need. I’d hate to see us lose a great prospect just to put on a bandaid.
Spring Training games officially begin tomorrow with the Giants facing the Cubs at home in Scottsdale. Stay tuned!
The San Francisco Giants have announced that they have signed relief pitcher Vinnie Chulk to a one-year, $837,500 deal for next season. Chulk, 29, finished 5-4 with a 3.57 ERA in 57 games last year. He was tied for the team lead in appearances when a circulatory ailment caused numbness in his right middle finger and forced him to miss the season’s final month.
Vinnie was definitely one of our better relievers last year and we desperately needed to sign him to get some bodies in the pen. I’m still not convinced however, that the guys we have from last year are the answer to our relief problems. As you all know, our bullpen was one of the worst in the majors last season. It was a glaring need, staring us in the face when the season closed. Yet we have done nothing to improve it.
It is clear that the Giants want to give their youngsters a chance to prove themselves. We will see how the season pans out, but my guess is that we will be changing our tune a bit in the off season next year. We need to bring some big names to this club or people will lose interest.