Thursday, April 12, 2012

Bay Area Sports Notes: NFL Draft, MLB Talk

There's a lot going on in the world of sports right now. Major League Baseball is now in full swing, and the NFL draft is just a few short weeks away. And as the 49ers and Raiders go through the final stages of preparation, we're hearing all sorts of rumblings and rumors.

We'll start out with some baseball talk, as the A's and Giants haven't exactly gotten out to scorching starts. For a second straight start, Tim Lincecum was lit up pretty good, this time in Colorado by the Rockies. Not the start he was looking for after getting lit up for 5 runs in the five innings on Opening Day vs. Arizona last week, and if it weren't for Barry Zito's terrific outing and Madison Bumgarner's gem Thursday, this team could have been looking at coming home for Friday's opener at 0-6. Luckily for them, they took the Colorado series and are sitting at 2-4 and appear to be at least moving in the right direction. The A's have fared a little better, as their schedule has been a lot easier than the Giants early on here, but they're just 3-4 going into play Friday. However, opposite of San Francisco's start, Oakland has gotten terrific starting pitching but hardly any offensive support. The only exception to that has been young Yeonis Cespedes, who's really started out the year well with the bat. He's got 3 long balls and 7 RBI and leads everyday players with a .273 average. Johnny Gomes has also had a couple big home runs for the A's early on, but that's been about it, as he's 3 of 18 on the season. The real rough starts though have come from guys the A's were hoping would be offensive catalysts. Coco Crisp (.192) has not adjusted to hitting 3rd, and Kurt Suzuki (.200) has struggled out the gate once again, making everyone wonder if he'll ever return to that .275/15/80 guy he was in his 3rd season in the bigs in '09. Since then though, he's hit just .240, although he did drive in 74 runs in 2010.

Another big topic, outside of the beginning of the baseball season, has been the rising coverage of the NFL draft, which always go hand in hand. This is one of the most busy times of year to cover sports because of it and all the attention the draft gets, by far and away the biggest draft of all the major sports. The Raiders and 49ers each enter the 2012 draft in completely different modes. The Raiders, as we all remember, gave up this years 1st rounder and next years for QB Carson Palmer, a move that I'm sure their new GM is non to thrilled about. The 49ers will be the only Bay Area team with a first round pick in this draft, and the next one, barring any trades, and their could be. Matt Barrows was on KNBR Thursday to talk a bit about the draft and who the 49ers may target and a few different names he mentioned interested me. Supposedly, the 49ers have had Notre Dame WR Michael Floyd, an expected top-10 pick in for a workout, as well as LSU's Rueben Randle, another guy expected to go way before the 49ers select at pick 30. There's been plenty of talk about the 49ers possibly moving up in the draft to grab talented Stanford guard, David Decastro (pictured), who would be an ideal fit in Harbough's system. That's really the only spot the 49ers need to find another starter at, that right guard spot on the O-line and DeCastro is one of the best in this class. My guess is that the 49ers will stand pat and take the best available player on the board when they're number is called, whether it's a wide receiver, safety or a good young lineman, either defensive or offensive. I think if they had their choice, they'd get another corner or a good young D-lineman like DeCastro, but again, unless they trade up or down to target a specific player, I expect them to go after talent rather than positional needs with their first rounder.

No comments: