The San Francisco Giants are starting to clean house after the awful 2008 season and they did it by sending 7 players outright to AAA making them free agents. Pitchers Tyler Walker, Brad Hennessey, Kevin Correia and Geno Espineli have been let go but each of them could haunt the Giants down the road. Catcher Eliezer Alfonzo, 1B Scott McClain and infielder Ivan Ochoa also have been sent to AAA by the Giants. 32-year old righty reliever Tyler Walker was the most established pitcher of this bunch as he was often the set up man for the Giants this season. Walker pitched in 65 games (0 starts) for the Giants this past season and he was 5-8 with a 4.56 ERA and a 1.28 WHIP. Walker pitched in parts of five seasons for the Giants in which he worked in 205 games (0 starts). Walker was 18-14 with 24 saves, a 4.40 ERA and a 1.44 WHIP in his career with the Giants. Look for a team to quickly snap up Walker who didn’t pitch that poorly last season for the Giants.
28-year old righty starter/reliever Brad Hennessey was awful last season for the Giants as he pitched in 17 games (4 starts) in which he was 1-2 with a 7.81 ERA and a 1.93 WHIP. But, Hennessey was not that bad in his five seasons with the Giants working in 148 games (44 starts) in which he was 17-23 with 20 saves, a 4.69 ERA and a 1.49 WHIP. Hennessey has upside as he can either start or pitch late in games which means that he will have quite a bit of interest in him in the free agent market.
The Giants gave 28-year old righty Kevin Correia his big chance at the starting rotation in 2008 and he was simply putrid. He pitched in 25 games (19 starts) for the Giants this past season and he was 3-8 with a 6.05 ERA and a 1.71 WHIP. Correia gave up 141 hits, 15 homers and he walked 47 batters in only 110 innings in 2008 for the Giants! Correia pitched in parts of six seasons for the Giants in his major league career compiling a 14-22 record with a 4.59 ERA and a 1.49 WHIP. Some team will likely take a chance on Correia with the idea of putting him back in the bullpen.
26-year old lefty reliever Geno Espineli was also let go and this could be a big mistake as lefty relievers are hard to find. He pitched in 15 games (0 starts) for the Giants this past season and he was 2-0 with a 5.06 ERA and a 1.56 WHIP. But, Espineli was very effective in AAA this season which means he will have no problem finding a new team to pitch for in 2009. Espineli pitched in 38 games (0 starts) in AAA ball this season and he was 1-1 with 1 save, a 2.66 ERA and a 1.10 WHIP.
29-year old righty swinging Eliezer Alfonzo was suspended this season for violating the banned substance policy of Major League Baseball which essentially ended his stay in Frisco. He played in 5 games for the Giants this season and he was 1 for 11 (.091 avg, .182 OPS) with 1 RBI. In three seasons with the Giants, Alfonzo played in 118 games in which he was 93 for 361 (.258 avg, .727 OPS) with 32 runs scored, 13 homers and 46 RBIs. It might be hard for Alfonzo to find a job in the majors next season because if he gets suspended again it will be for 100 games.
36-year old righty swinging 1B Scott McClain played very well at the end of the season for the Giants. He played in 14 games in which he was 9 for 33 (.273 avg, .853 OPS) with 7 runs scored, 2 homers and 7 RBIs. McClain also played in 134 games in AAA in which he was 143 for 477 (.300 avg, .941 OPS) with 87 runs scored, 29 homers, 108 RBIs and 5 stolen bases. McClain might be willing to stay with the Giants in 2009 based on the fact that they called him up in both of the last two Septembers rewarding him for playing well in the minors. McClain has played in 22 games in his career with the Giants and he is 11 for 44 (.250 avg) with 8 runs scored, 2 homers and 7 RBIs.
25-year old righty swinging infielder Ivan Ochoa didn’t show too much for the Giants last season working in 47 games in which he was 24 for 120 (.200 avg, .511 OPS) with 7 runs scored and 3 RBIs. But, Ochoa played well in AAA so some team will give him a look in 2009. Ochoa played in 84 games in AAA last season and he was 93 for 292 (.318 avg, .844 OPS) with 54 runs scored, 6 homers, 32 RBIs and 20 stolen bases.