George Kontos

SFG: San Francisco Giants Mailbag: Kontos, Utility Players, Duvall

May 1, 2015; San Francisco, CA, USA; Los Angeles Angels second baseman Johnny Giavotella (12) looks on as San Francisco Giants celebrate a walk-off base hit by Giants second baseman Joe Panik (12) that scored pinch runner Gregor Blanco (7) in the ninth inning of their MLB baseball game at AT&T Park. Mandatory Credit: Lance Iversen-USA TODAY Sports. Giants won 3-2.

May 1, 2015; San Francisco, CA, USA; Los Angeles Angels second baseman Johnny Giavotella (12) looks on as San Francisco Giants celebrate a walk-off base hit by Giants second baseman Joe Panik (12) that scored pinch runner Gregor Blanco (7) in the ninth inning of their MLB baseball game at AT&T Park. Mandatory Credit: Lance Iversen-USA TODAY Sports. Giants won 3-2.

The San Francisco Giants currently have a 14-14 record, after starting the season 4-10. The Giants are starting to click on all cylinders, and their starting pitching has really stepped up recently.

In this week’s Giants Mailbag post, we will discuss George Kontos’ hot start to the season, who’s the Giants most important utility player, and if Adam Duvall could get called up to the Giants sometime soon.

Click here to read the rest of the story at Golden Gate Sports.

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SFG: San Francisco Giants Mailbag: Bullpen, Joe Panik, Kontos or Machi

Mar 12, 2015; Phoenix, AZ, USA; San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey (28) signs autographs for fans prior to a game against the Chicago White Sox at Camelback Ranch. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Mar 12, 2015; Phoenix, AZ, USA; San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey (28) signs autographs for fans prior to a game against the Chicago White Sox at Camelback Ranch. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

The San Francisco Giants are getting closer and closer to the end of Spring Training and the beginning of the 2015 season. There are still position battles to be sorted out, players recovering from injuries, and other more general questions heading into the 2015 season.

In this week’s Giants Mailbag, we discuss the potential overuse of the bullpen in 2015, if Joe Panik will step up in Pablo Sandoval’s absence, and which pitcher, George Kontos or Jean Machi, will earn the final spot in the bullpen.

Click here to read the rest of the story at Golden Gate Sports.

San Francisco Giants: Position Battle Updates

Feb 26, 2014; Scottsdale, AZ, USA; Francisco Giants pitcher Jose Casilla (72) stands with his teammates during opening ceremonies at Scottsdale Stadium prior to their exhibition game with the Oakland Athletics. Mandatory Credit: Lance Iversen-USA TODAY Sports

This article was originally published on Golden Gate Sports.

Going into Spring Training for the San Francisco Giants, there were about four or five open spots on their 25-man roster.

The position battles that have to be worked out in Spring Training are for two, possibly three, spots in the bullpen, a backup infielder spot, and a fifth outfielder spot.

Here are some updates on each position battle:

San Francisco Giants: 6 Players Who Need A Great Spring

Feb 26, 2014; Scottsdale, AZ, USA; Francisco Giants pitcher Jose Casilla (72) stands with his teammates during opening ceremonies at Scottsdale Stadium prior to their exhibition game with the Oakland Athletics. Mandatory Credit: Lance Iversen-USA TODAY Sports

This article was originally published on Golden Gate Sports.

Spring Training is finally underway for the San Francisco Giants. They had their first Cactus League game yesterday, and it’s time for players to start competing for playing time or a spot on the 25-man roster.

Here are six players on the Giants who have something to prove and who need to have a great spring:

Predicting the San Francisco Giants’ 2014 Opening Day 25-Man Roster

Oct 25, 2012; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants players from left Hunter Pence , Joaquin Arias , Gregor Blanco , Sergio Romo and Buster Posey celebrate after game two of the 2012 World Series against the Detroit Tigers at AT&T Park. The Giants won 2-0. Mandatory Credit: H. Darr Beiser-USA TODAY Sports

This article was originally published on Golden Gate Sports.

After a disappointing 2013 season, the San Francisco Giants knew they’d have to improve┬áin the offseason. They signed Michael Morse and Tim Hudson, in order to address some of their weaknesses.

The Giants have made improvements to their roster, but there are still a few position battles that need to be resolved before Opening Day.

Here’s what the Giants’ 2014 Opening Day 25-man roster will most likely look like:

San Francisco Giants: The Case to Give Younger Players More Starts

This article was originally published on Golden Gate Sports.

The San Francisco Giants were officially eliminated from the NL West Monday night. The Giants won’t be winning a wild-card playoff spot either, so it’s officially time for the organization to start looking towards the future.

February 20, 2013; Scottsdale, AZ, USA; San Francisco Giants pitcher Heath Hembree (72) poses for a picture during photo day at Scottsdale Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The Giants called up many young, promising players from their AAA affiliate, the Fresno Grizzlies, at the beginning of this month. They brought back some familiar faces such as Jake Dunning, George Kontos, Francisco Peguero, Nick Noonan, and Juan Perez. They also brought up some prospects that hadn’t made their major league debuts yet such as Johnny Monell, Ehire Adrianza, and Heath Hembree.

Since the September call-ups, not many of these prospects have started games or seen a significant amount of playing time though. Bruce Bochy seems adamant about starting his regular players for the rest of the season.

“I’ll find my spots to get [the callups] in the game,” Bochy said. “Some of them will start, but at the same time, we’re going to be playing to win every game. Our regulars are going to be out there.”

Bochy’s stance is understandable. After an extremely disappointing season, Bochy wants this team to finish this season strong. Even if it’s impossible to make the playoffs, they could still finish off the season on a run and carry some of that momentum into next season. If they finish on a good note, then it’s more likely that the returning Giants players will come into spring training with a better attitude and will be more focused on getting back to the playoffs next season.

Although that argument verifies that Bochy should continue to start the regular players, it’s time to at least start mixing in some of the prospects. Bochy doesn’t necessarily have to do a starting lineup with just the prospects, but it would be wise to give each of them some starts occasionally. This will give them some experience in the major leagues, it will make them more confident about their game, and it will potentially put some of them in a better position to make next season’s roster.

For example, Hembree has a great shot at making an impact next season for the Giants. In fact, Hembree almost made the 25-man roster coming into this season. He has only appeared in three games so far this season for the Giants, but he has been very impressive so far. He currently has a 0.00 ERA with three strikeouts and two walks in three innings. He also has only allowed one hit.

He has shown great command of all his pitches, and he throws hard. He could easily make the 25-man roster next season and be one of a couple right-handed set-up men for Sergio Romo. After gaining some more experience in Fresno this year, he looks like he’d be ready to contribute effectively next season.

February 20, 2013; Scottsdale, AZ, USA; San Francisco Giants catcher Johnny Monell (79) poses for a picture during photo day at Scottsdale Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Although he most likely won’t make next season’s roster, it would be interesting to see Monell get some starts too. Since Buster Posey is still playing with a small fracture in his right ring finger, it’d make sense for the Giants to rest him more or at least give him a break from catching.

Hector Sanchez will certainly get a fair number of starts at catcher for the rest of the season, but Monell could really use some more experience behind the plate. Monell has great power, but he needs to work on his defense. Giving him a few starts would be a great opportunity to see what he can do and what he can work on.

Adrianza is another prospect that should get a few starts. Adrianza is known for his defense at shortstop, but he started to improve on his offense once he was promoted to the Grizzlies earlier this season. The Giants should give him a couple spot starts to see if he truly has become more proficient with the bat.

The Giants, for the most part, already know what they’ll get out of Dunning, Kontos, Peguero, Noonan, and Perez. Dunning and Kontos will definitely get some consistent playing time out out of the bullpen, since Bochy wants to utilize his larger staff of relief pitchers. Perez and Peguero will most likely get some spot starts in left field, and it’s not clear how much playing time Noonan will get, besides pinch-hit opportunities.

The 2013 season for the Giants is almost over, but it’s not too late to give their prospects a chance to prove why they deserve to make next season’s roster. It’s time to focus on 2014 and which prospects could make an impact.

San Francisco Giants Midseason Grades: Offense, Defense and Pitching

This article was originally published on Golden Gate Sports.

Jul 13, 2013; San Diego, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Tim Lincecum (55) celebrates with teammates after throwing a no hitter against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park. The Giants won 9-0. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

The 2013 season for the San Francisco Giants has certainly been a disappointment. After winning two World Series titles in three years, the Giants have looked tired this season and are now struggling just to get back to being a .500 team. Going into the All-Star break, the Giants have a 43-51 record, which puts them six and a half games back from the Arizona Diamondbacks in the NL West standings.

One word to sum up the Giants’ season so far: inconsistent. Sometimes, this team looks unstoppable. When the Giants do what got them two World Series titles in the past three years, such as stellar starting pitching, perfect defense, and timely hitting, then they can win a lot of games.

Other times, this team’s effort is laughable. It all starts with the starting pitcher. If the starter gets off to a rough start and gives up some runs, it puts more pressure on the offense and defense, and many times, the Giants can’t recover.

The All-Star break couldn’t come soon enough for the Giants. They could use a break from the long road trips and the mental grind of the game.

Here are the Giants’ midseason grades: