Wanted to follow up to Rhonda’s comment on my previous blog. In general, I’m not a big fan of using the “He stinks,” analogy. It’s too simplistic and rarely fair.
That said, those two words are the words I’ve heard most often when his name pops up in discussions with other writers, talent evaluators and scouts. And generally, the conversation goes something like this:
So far, Frandsen has yet to show he can hit consistently at the big-league level. He hasn’t shown his glove or range are anything special. His speed is average. I realize he’s a relatively local kid (Santa Clara), and as players go, he’s pretty friendly. But the bottom line is that the Giants considered him an outstanding prospect two years ago, and if you hear differently from them, they’re lying. If Frandsen is struggling to be an extra infielder on a team that figures to lose at least 90 games, what does that say about his ability?
Anybody out there think this doesn’t have the makings of one of the most miserable seasons in Giants history?
Latest misery, category No. 1: Noah Lowry. He had surgery on his throwing arm today for a very strange injury. So strange, that the Giants apparently couldn’t find another player in their long history has had the same problem. Lowry’s pathetic spring has inspired memories of Steve Blass and Rick Ankiel, and Lowry thinks such comparisons are ludicrous. Maybe so, but everytime he goes to the mound and is wild, those whispers will start. By the way, the heavy rumor in Arizona was that Lowry was going to be the primary trade bait in the Giants’ attempt to lure Joe Crede away from the White Sox. If that’s the case, that trade is off for a while.
But the bottom line is that until he gets out on the mound and can prove he can still throw strikes consistently, there will be a lot of wondering going on. Who knows, maybe Ankiel and Blass had the same ailment and it just went undiagnosed.
Giants misery No. 2: Kevin Frandsen. Hate to throw out the tag line, “He stinks,” but that’s what I’m hearing more and more about this kid. And what does it say that the Giants would sooner use somebody with no big-league experience _ Ivan Ochoa (never higher than Triple-A), Brian Bocock and Emmanuel Burriss (neither higher than Single-A) are the candidates now after the Giants scrapped the Frandsen-to-shortstop scenario. Omar Vizquel, get well soon.
There is now one less reason to watch the Giants than there was yesterday. The loss of Omar Vizquel for 4-6 weeks robs us of seeing his smooth-yet-spectacular displays at shortstop, and that’s a bummer for anyone who appreciates that art.
What it does do is give Kevin Frandsen an “in” to show he belongs. Frandsen figures to take over for Vizquel in the interim, though (if Vizquel’s prognosis is correct) that may amount to only two weeks worth of regular-season at-bats. Still, that’s enough time to show that he belongs at second base when Vizquel returns. Ray Durham, thanks to his $7 million salary, has the inside track at that position.
Of course, it is possible the Giants will decide to use Rich Aurilia at shortstop and shift Frandsen to third base in the interim. Either way, the spotlight clearly will be on the San Jose native who’s yet to prove he’s as good as was advertised.
In other words, it may be time we find out if Frandsen is the promising talent the Giants have promised he is, or if his future is as an extra infielder.
Meantime, get well soon Omar. Your nightly highlights will be missed.