I’ve got some answers for you. We get rolling for real — let’s face it, baseball at 3 a.m. in another country is only so “real,” — with the locals on Monday, so with that in mind, here are some thoughts on some pressing questions.
1) What’s the story with Eugenio Velez and his fielding ability. It would seem the Giants would be trying very hard to find a spot for him, and with so many questions about third base, why doesn’t he fit there?
Talked to Giants beat writer Andy Baggerly about this one, as well as a couple of scouts, and the consensus is that Velez’s glove is a major question, but that he probably is a bit better defensively at second base than at third. Therefore, when the inevitable physical maladies hit Ray Durham, that’s where I’d expect to see him.
2) If Carlos Gonzalez gets sent down to Triple-A, how long will it be before he’s called up?
I would imagine the A’s will exercise patient with their prized acquisition from the Arizona Diamondbacks. Their philosophy always has dictated that they’d rather a guy get four at-bats a night in the minors than two or three a week in the majors, especially at this stage. Plus, Gonzalez has never really proven himself above Double-A. So my guess is we might not see him until late in the season. Unless, of course, he proves to be overwhelming the competition in the minors.
3) Who gets traded first? Huston Street, Joe Blanton or Rich Harden?
Depends on whether the A’s are successful or not, because I could see all three spending the whole season here.
Huston Street didn’t help his value with his Opening Night blow-up, but he could still prove himself attractive to other teams. And if Keith Foulke impresses like he did in Japan, that might make the A’s even more open to moving him.
If Harden performs like he did against Boston, then the A’s will have all the big wigs trying to broker a deal for him. But again, if the A’s stick in the race all summer, don’t be surprised if all three spend the entire year here.
I’ll have more answers for you Friday morning.