Sunday, May 13, 2012

The Melk Man y El Caballo Loco

After last season, it was clear that the Giants needed offense. Brian Sabean knew this, and he made two major moves to bolster a pitiful lineup by trading Jonathan Sanchez to the Royals for Melky Cabrera and trading Andres Torres and Ramon Ramirez to the Mets for Angel Pagan. Needless to say, both have been absolutely tremendous acquisitions.

Pagan has been a solid leadoff hitter, with a respectable OBP of .308 and an OPS of .753. But those stats don't tell the whole story. Personally, my favorite part of Pagan's all-round game is his work ethic. He constantly tries to outrace infield rollers and choppers, something that many pro baseball players don't bother to do anymore. While patrolling the outfield, Pagan almost always makes each catch with two hands to secure the ball, another thing many big leaguers neglect to do. These and other subtle facets of Pagan's game make him one of the better leadoff men in the league.

Everything that Pagan has been, Melky Cabrera has been better. The Melk Man leads the Giants in batting average with a BA of .348, 30 points more than any other Giant. He also leads the team in games played and at-bats, which shows that he has been a constant presence in the lineup. The Melk Man certainly delivers, leading the teams in hits and runs, and coming second in RBIs behind Pablo Sandoval. Cabrera is undoubtedly the best move the Giants made this offseason.

However, he did come at a cost. The Giants had to trade away promising starter Jonathan Sanchez. While the rotation is fine without him, the Giants lost a valuable trading chip that could have netted them more down the road. On the other hand, the Giants only gave up Ramon Ramirez, a replaceable reliever, and Andres Torres, a center fielder much below Pagan's level, to get Pagan. Pagan has undoubtedly been an upgrade over Torres, for the small price of Ramirez. Therefore, Pagan is actually the better trade, although Cabrera is a better player.

Either way, the Giants acquired two excellent players to improve their lineup. Time will tell if these acquisitions bring back the Commissioner's Trophy to San Fran.

Go Giants!!

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