Giants Trade for Peavy, Insert Dan Uggla at Second Base

As the Giants saw Tim Lincecum’s streak of solid starting efforts blown up last night by the Dodgers, and as their former ace Matt Cain (2-7, 4.18 ERA) and his $20 million salary languish on the disabled list, they traded two pitching prospects, Heath Hembree and lefty Edwin Escobar, to the Red Sox in a deal for another former front-liner who has fallen on tough times, Jake Peavy.

Time was, there were few better starters around than Peavy, but most of that is now ancient history for the 33-year-old. He was the ace of the Padres staff for several years, and his numbers were off the charts for awhile. In his best year, he was 19-6 with a 2.54 ERA,

1.06 WHIP, and 240 strikeouts in 223-1.3 innings. But, and that's a big, big but, that was in 2007, and since then, with San Diego, the White Sox, and in Boston, his record is an unimpressive 57-56, including 1-9 this season. That 1-9 includes a current nine-game losing streak.

The Giants hope that being re-united with Bruce Bochy, the Padres manager during Peavy's great stretch in San Diego, will help bring about a
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turn-around from Peavy, but that is asking a lot of Bochy. Several of Peavy’s losses have been in low scoring, tight games, but I wouldn’t expect him to suddenly get significantly better run support from the Giants, who have scored 3.94 runs per game, compared to the Red Sox’ 3.93, and the BoSox are actually out-hitting the Giants on the season, .248 to .245.

A big part of the Giants’ 2012 success was due to second baseman Marco Scutaro, and he was rewarded with a three-year, $20 million contract. He had another excellent season in 2013, but in September, he suffered a broken finger that required surgery, and he has had additional injuries since. He began the 2014 season on the disable list, and he was out

until mid-July. He rejoined the team, appeared in five games, going one-for-eleven, and was promptly returned to the DL, with continuing back problems and an uncertain future.

In his stead, the Giants have used the likes of Joe Panik (.222), Joaquin Arias (.181), and Ehire Adrianza (.237) at second base, and now they have inserted the recently signed Dan Uggla at second. Uggla had some good power years during
his long tenure as a regular with the Marlins and then with the Braves, but he has seldom had a major-league quality batting average. Last season he hit .179, and after batting .162 over 130 at bats this season, he was released. He did have a streak of four consecutive years with over 30 home runs, but at 34, does he have anything left? The Giants apparently have run out of options.

Most of LA will be able to watch the Dodgers-Giants game tomorrow night, as it’s ESPN’s Sunday Night Game. By my informal calculations, it will be the eighth game this season, of the teams’ 104 payed as of yesterday, that will have been available to the 70% of Los Angeles area residents who do not have access to the Dodgers’ new private TV network.


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