4: Who Are the Base Coaches, and Can They Help the Baserunning?
Part of this question has already been answered. Phil Nevin is pegged to be the next Giants’ third base coach after not getting the Arizona Diamondbacks’ managerial job. Jose Alguacil has been promoted from Triple-A manager to first base coach. Beyond that, the baserunning portion of this question remains a mystery.
Nevin is very familiar with Giants’ manager Bruce Bochy, having played for him with the San Diego Padres from 1999 to 2005. He retired from pro ball in 2007, and took his first minor league managerial gig in 2010 for the Erie SeaWolves, the Detroit Tigers’ Double-A team. He moved to the Triple-A club, the Toledo Mud Hens in 2011, and served there for three years. The next three were spent as the manager for the Reno Aces, Triple-A affiliate for the Diamondbacks.
The former slugger is considered one of those “future big league manager” types, as is the other half of the Giants’ coaching equation. The first base coaching box will be filled with a new body, and Alguacil brings plenty of experience. He played minor league ball from 1993 to 2001 in the Giants’ and Chicago White Sox organizations,, then managed the Vermont Expos in 2004 and the Vermont Lake Monsters in 2006 (both Vermont teams were Montreal Expos/Washington Nationals’ affiliates). In 2015, he managed the Richmond Flying Squirrels, the Giants’ Double-A team, before moving up to the Sacramento for 2016.
But can the new coaches fix the baserunning that seemed to be a big problem for the Giants last year? The team was caught stealing 36 times last year, which matched their total from 2015, and there were countless other mistakes that made people shake their heads. A lot of them could be chalked up to missed signs and miscommunication, which is where Nevin and Alguacil could and should help.
And for Nevin, what kind of third base coach will he be? During his two seasons with the Giants, Roberto Kelly became known for a conservative approach, and that rubbed a lot of people the wrong way. Will Nevin attack more and take more chances, or will he be also take the careful approach?