For a man who had a lot to prove after one of the worst seasons of his career, Giants shortstop Edgar Renteria hasn’t done much to convince the orange-and-black faithful he is ready to return to his best.
To his credit, he did arrive at spring training not looking totally overweight like he did a year ago, which was probably one of the biggest reasons his first half in Detroit was anything but perfect.
But with so many young players absolutely crushing the ball, Renteria has seemingly not gotten the kind of attention you would normally expect from a team’s biggest signing of the winter.
I was never a big fan of the signing to begin with. If you have seen any of my articles about Los Gigantes, you would notice I’m a big advocate of the Giants' farm system and letting the kids play.
The Giants have gone away from what they had done in the middle part of the decade. But this winter was a little different and Renteria was the big-money guy who now has the pressure on him to turn things around.
However, it’s hard to ignore what he’s done—or, rather, what he hasn’t done—at the plate this spring.
While Renteria has struggled, the guy who was likely going to be the starter in 2009 at shortstop, Emmanuel Burriss, has done nothing but rake.
Even the guy who would have been the top choice to play second if Renteria hadn’t signed and pushed Burriss there, Kevin Frandsen, has had a damn good spring.
Yet, the current 2009 shortstop for the Giants hasn’t done so.
For much of the spring, Renteria’s average has been cruising in the low .200s. While it has gone up in recent games to .241, he has only produced a .340 slugging percentage with five RBI and 10 strikeouts in 58 at-bats.
Despite all of his struggles last season, wasn’t he brought in to improve the woeful Giants offense? It’s confusing.
If you’re one of the faithful, or on the Giants coaching staff, you better hope it’s just a case of a veteran just going through the motions in the spring.
His defensive numbers are also deceiving.
You would think a former Gold Glove winner would at least be faring well defensively, even though his bat hasn’t gotten going yet, right?
But, time after time, we have read that Renteria hasn’t been moving all that well in the field. It was already known that he doesn’t have the range he once did going to his right, but it seems he's lost his all of his range, despite the direction.
Andrew Baggarly recently pointed out Renteria's lack of movement in his blog on the San Jose Mercury News Web site.
San Francisco, as you probably know, has a reputation for not exactly being the warmest city in the United States. And in his postgame blog entry, Baggarly pointed out that with the cold weather, Renteria wasn’t moving well at all.
If that’s the case, don’t expect much from him in night games.
Who knows, this might be a case of a guy just having a bad spring. For the sake of the Giants, I would love to say that is the case.
But as it looks now, the Giants can't be happy with the $18 million they shelled out for Mr. Renteria.