MLB.com’s Chris Haft outlines what Rowand’s acquisition means for the Giants;
With Wednesday’s acquisition of free agent Aaron Rowand, the Giants received a huge infusion of the “warrior spirit” manager Bruce Bochy sought for next year’s club.
“Boch’s goals, as far as the way he wants to play the game, the kind of persona he wants this team to have, really lends itself to the way I’ve gone about doing my business throughout my career,” Rowand said. “For me, it’s about bringing everything I have to the table every day and laying it all out there.”
“He’s the type of guy who’s going to hold everybody accountable to doing the same thing he’s doing — that’s playing the game right and playing it to win,” Bochy said.
Bochy plans to hit Rowand fifth, filling at least part of the void in the middle of San Francisco’s batting order. The right-handed batter, a career .286 hitter, recorded a .309 average last season with Philadelphia while reaching personal bests in hits (189), runs (105), doubles (45), RBIs (89), total bases (315) and games (161). As the roster currently stands, Randy Winn and Bengie Molina would bat third and fourth, respectively.
As a reigning Gold Glove winner, Rowand will strengthen the outfield, thus underscoring the Giants’ renewed emphasis on pitching and defense. Dave Roberts will move to left field and Winn will play right.
AP Sports Writer Janie McCauley reports General manager Brian Sabean’s reactions to making the deal for Yahoo sports;
When evaluating Rowand and the other available center fielders this offseason, Sabean said he met with his staff and checked off the many boxes where Rowand could help the club.
“Then it was just a matter of striking a chord with a contract,” Sabean said. “He’s a winning player. It’s a pleasure he’s coming to our organization. The timing is great. It will allow us to do other business without busting up our pitching.”
The Giants, who lack a bona-fide power-hitting clean-up hitter, had 33 homers last season from their projected 3rd and 4th hitters, so Rowand’s stats in the #5 spot will be big.
The Phils, on the other hand, will sorely miss Rowand’s numbers from last season. It seems likely that the “Flyin’ Hawaiian” Shane Victorino will start in centerfield unless the Phils pull deals out of the hat. Beside him on either side will be leftfielder Pat Burrell and rightfielder Jayson Werth. The question is, can Victorino up his numbers and stay healthy the entire season? And can his outfield mates Burrell and Werth pick it up? Can Burrell add about 40 points to his BA and cut his strikeouts below 100? Will Werth’s numbers increase by playing full time than next season?
As a sideline, I happened to pass through Phillies Nation and Brian Michael has quite a thought about Tadahito Iguchi and the 3rd base situation. What if Chase Utley moved to 3rd base leaving Iguchi at 2nd? But however you call the hand, Iguchi said no to 3rd in November, the Phils released him and, as per the terms of his previous contract, the 15 day deadline is long-since passed. If Iguchi wants to re-sign with the Phillies, both sides have to wait until May as the Commissioner’s office wouldn’t issue a waiver on the previous contract terms.