Is Christian Arroyo Buster Posey 2.0?
Let's just look at it for a second here. The Giants had some talent on their 2010 roster, especially that strong rotation with Matt Cain and Tim Lincecum in their primes while Jonathan Sanchez (remember him?) had himself a career year and it was Ryan Vogelsong's reclamation year. However, they ran into early offensive problems and their answer wasn't to go out and swing a deal to bring in a hitter, but rather thrust one of their own highly touted prospects into the fire and see how things went. That prospect was a 23 year-old Buster Posey and all the Giants have done since making that decision including winning 3 tittles in 7 years and become one of the better teams and top MLB dynasty's of the new millennium (all thanks in large part to Buster).
Fast forward 7 years later, and the Giants find themselves in somewhat similar circumstances. Expectations are higher than ever, they have a lot of money tied up into this roster but things just haven't come together or even shown signs of coming together for most of April. So what do the Bruce Bochy, Bobby Evans and Brian Sabean do? They made that similar call-up to the one that turned their season around 7 years ago and ultimately led them to a ring, this time bringing up top prospect Christian Arroyo, who was tearing the cover off the ball in AAA Sacramento and certainly appeared ready. Couple that with the fact the Giants have gotten zero production from left field and have the option of moving Eduardo Nunez out there to open up third base for the 21 year-old phenom. Nunez is well versed enough to take on left field regularly and be more than serviceable out there. He's got great speed and good instincts but sometimes takes risks that can come back and bite him. Still, he's good enough in left to warrant playing him there most nights to allow Arroyo into the linuep. The kid just has "it:" and I think he's going to be the real deal. Maybe not quite a perennial all-star like Posey, but definitely as good as Belt and Crawford, if not better.
So, how will that leave the rest of the Giants lineup moving forward (especially when Span gets back next week like expected and another roster move will be preceding that) you ask? Well, I certainly have my ideas and guys I would like to see stick around. First off, Drew Stubbs should absolutely stick on this team over Gorkys Hernandez, at least in my opinion. Stubbs has had multiple successful seasons at the big league level and has gained a certain baseball IQ in the process. Gorkys hasn't spent near the time Stubbs has in the bigs and has never made much of an impact. Hernandez is younger though and may have a step on Stubbs right now, but Stubbs is a former 40-SB guy and stole 20 as recent as 2014, the last year he received over 400 plate appearances. Not to mention Stubbs is a more than capable center fielder and I know Gorkys has a reputation for being a defensive stud, I've see him both multiple balls already this year which have resulted in runs. Now, in no way and I saying Drew Stubbs is the next coming and is going to be a starting outfielder for the Giants moving forward, hit 20 jacks and steal 20 bases. He does, however, have experience that Hernandez doesn't have and can do pretty much everything Gorkys can do, better in many cases.
All in all, I'm very excited to see the Giants being proactive in their attempt to turn things around sooner rather than later. Why wait until June when your seeing the same things hurt your team over and over in April? Aside from their bringing up of Arroyo and Stubbs, the Giants activated Michael Morse from the DL Wednesday afternoon and all he did was go out as a pinch hitter and tie the game in the 8th with a huge home run. Morse is a guy I'm sure Boch would love to take over left field on a daily basis but I just don't think his health is there at this point and may not be again this season. He can still swing a bat, as evident by his shot on Wednesday, but I don't think the guy can move around enough to cover the spacious left field dimensions at AT&T Park. And I highly doubt the Giants would move Brandon Belt out from first to left on a daily basis, though its definitely a move we could see happen on occasion as we see Bochy throw some random lineups out there sometimes in effort to wake up the bats. I think everyone is happy to see Morse back in the Giants dugout though, from the players who won with him in '14 to the fans that grew accustomed to his clutch ways in that memorable season!
Extras: Denard Span and Bruce Bochy both expressed optimism regarding the center fielder's banged up shoulder that he roughed up running into the wall in Colorado. Span is eligible to come off the 10-day DL on May 2nd and that is the plan barring any set-backs. Although Pence has filled into the leadoff spot minus Span, I expect to see him reclaim that spot, at least to start with. Span was hitting .200 before the injury and if that doesn't pick up ASAP, he's going to find himself down in the 8th spot or even on the bench... Unfortunately the guy I was really stoked for after the signing, Melvin Upton, hurt his thumb in one of his first games with AAA Sacramento and required surgery which may keep him out the rest of year. Needless to say, Upton is an option no longer for the Giants.
We'll talk more about Madison Bumgarner and Denard Span updates, as well as take a look down on the farm and check out who could be the next wave of players to arrive in San Francisco. The Giants and Dodgers also finish up their series Thursday, a game in which I'll be in attendance for so look for some thoughts on that game as well... Plenty on deck here at The Giants Baseball Blog the next couple of days, so stay tuned, and most importantly, hopefully the Giants can start stringing together some victories!