Because Guillermo Mota decided to take an illegal substance, or children’s cough syrup (I guess that’s what they’re calling it these days), the Giants needed to add someone to the 25-man roster to replace him. Aubrey Huff was ready to return to the squad, so he became the clear choice. But that left the Giants with only 11 pitchers, which brings us to the current conundrum: Which position player exits for a 12th pitcher?
Here are some things to consider:
- Other than his two-hit performance last night, the struggling Brandon Crawford is a miserable 6-for-47 (.128) in his last 15 games with only 2 RBIs and 10 strikeouts. He looks baffled by any offspeed pitch thrown low and in. To make matters worse, he leads the team in errors with six. There is really nothing going well for Crawford right now. With just two walks all year, his OBP is just .221. The Giants “future Gold-Glove” shortstop cannot continue to play like this, both offensively and defensively, if he wants to remain on Bochy’s good side, especially with the recent play of Joaquin Arias.
- Arias has provided infield depth that no one else on the roster has/can provide. He’s started at third, short and second (mostly short) and made just one error in 12 games. He’s already drawn as many walks as Crawford has all year and is batting .308 with 5 RBIs.
- With Arias able to play third, there might be no need for Conor Gillaspie, who hasn’t exactly turned any heads in his first six games. Just three hits and no walks in 20 at-bats with multiple errors already have him on the bench in favor of Arias the last two games. Plus, Brett Pill might be able to play a little third until Sandoval returns.
- Pill and Belt are going nowhere. Obviously. Pill took Clayton Kershaw deep on Tuesday and although Belt is in a 1-for-12 slump, he is drawing walks and hitting the ball hard (i.e. his bomb to right-center last night off Billingsley last night that Kemp tracked down against the wall).
My guess is this: Gillaspie gets sent down because Arias and Pill can both play third and provide better offensive upside. And maybe the Giants add RHP Shane Loux from Fresno to the bullpen. Check out these numbers in 13 relief appearances: 0.43 ERA, 11 hits and 3 walks in 21 innings. He is 3-1 and opposing hitters are batting just .157 off him.