Giants Deal Bengie Molina to Texas
The Giants traded away one of their longest tenured position players on team, sending Bengie Molina to the Texas Rangers for reliever Chris Ray and a minor leaguer.
Bengie wasn't exactly tearing the cover off the ball lately, and started to lose more and more playing time after Buster Posey was called up towards the end of May. He'll always be remembered best for his clutch hitting, leadership and his ability to catch and call a very good game. A big reason why the Giants signed him to come back this year was because of the way he has handled their young staff and nurtured these guys along. He's been basically the only catcher the Giants' young arms (Cain, Lincecum, Sanchez, Bumgarner) have ever thrown to at this level and although I expect them to be fine on their own, they now have a new responsibility with Bengie Molina no longer back there for them. Eli Whiteside got the first start back there on Wednesday, but I fully expect Buster Posey to be the everyday catcher for this team by the end of the year. They still may play him a couple times a week at first base to keep his legs fresh, but he's going to be behind the plate more often than not.
The Molina trade also opens up the outfield log-jam a little bit. It will allow Aubrey Huff to return to first base full-time, leaving the 4-man rotation of Pat Burrell, Andres Torres, Aaron Rowand and Nate Schierholtz to carry the load. Unfortunately, this means Aaron Rowand gets his full-time gig in center back, which really is hurting the lineup with this funk he's in. The Giants just don't have many other options right now outside of Rowand though. Schierholtz isn't really hitting, and even though John Bowker keeps tearing up the PCL, he can't seem to get it together each time he gets called up to the show. The one guy who I'm keeping an eye on is a prospect who's been mentioned here plenty in the past, and that is Thomas Neal. He started off slowly in AA ball, bat has really come around of late. In his last 10 games in AA, he's hitting .341 with 4 homers, 12 RBI and a 1.107 OPS. In one of those games, he hit 3 home runs in 5 at-bats. Now, he's not getting a call-up anytime soon, but if this is a sign of things to come, he could definitely be on the radar come August.