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Thursday, August 22, 2013

Giants Notes: Minor League Call-up Time

It's been a couple of weeks since my last post, in which time Brandon Belt won an NL Player of the Week award, but that's been about the only thing positive coming out of the Giants' world this August.

Obviously, the team has really been out of it for a month or so now, but what's surprising me is the fact we're not seeing more of an infusion of younger players onto the roster. Granted, the Giants do have a lot of youngsters in their starting lineup right now, and other spots are being taken up by veterans who you really can't sit (Pence, Sandoval, Scutaro), I would have thought we'd be seeing some new faces up here sooner than September. There are certainly a few names down in the farm system who are making strong cases for getting a look see this season, and of course there's always those first rounders like Joe Panik and Gary Brown who could get the call just based on pure expectations. There are a few players I'd like to see come up and get significant looks at the big league level before the end of this season. Eric Surkamp is one of them. He had a tumultuous debut start back in July, but that was when he had just returned from nearly 2 full seasons off with an arm injury. Plus, since his return to Fresno after that outing with the Giants his numbers have been ridiculous (5 starts, 4-0, 1.71 ERA, 0.90 WHIP, 25 K's in 35 innings). Needless to say, I think he's a better option than Mike Kickham right now and should be given another opportunity.

Heath Hembree and Johnny Monell are two others who I'd like to see up here before the year's done. While Hembree hasn't been exactly lights out in Fresno this year, he's still the Giants closer of the future, and as good as Sergio Romo has been in that role this season, I still think his best spot is the 8th. I'm pretty sure we'll see Hembree up in September, but I'd like to see him thrown into the fire in close games and throw the late innings. Even get some save chances. It's time the Giants see what they have in this kid.
And yes, Monell's catching skills aren't quite where they need to be, but he obviously can rake, and is leading the Giants organization in home runs right now with 20. He's another guy who I'm sure we'll see this September, and if he can prove he can handle major league pitchers, he could be a lead candidate to backup Buster in 2014.

Roger Kieschnick has been the one player who has gotten the call-up and has been inserted into the everyday lineup out in left field. Even though he hasn't exactly torn the cover off the ball, he's been steady and I'd like to see him given that spot the rest of the way. I think we'll start to see some more power come out of that bat, and I've been impressed with this ability to get on base (.349 OBP). I would really like to see Gary Brown brought up and placed in center field alongside Kieshnick just to see how it went. Brown is hitting .235 in Fresno, but he's hit for some surprising power, and he's at the point where he's going to have to get his feet wet in the big leagues at some point as he's nearing 25. With Pagan out, Blanco and Torres struggling, and the Giants out of the playoff picture, why not go young in the outfield? Keep Pence in right, and the infield is already pretty set moving forward, so you don't need to do much there, but it's time to start really experimenting with the outfield, and even some of the starting rotation spots.

Up at the big league level, there obviously haven't been a ton of positives to take out of this 2013 season to date, but one area the Giants should be pleased with is their ascending young Brandon's (Belt and Crawford). We've talked about BCraw here plenty this year, as his bat has come a long way and his glove has always been gold glove caliber, but lately, it's been "The Baby Giraffe" who's really burst onto the scene. All of the sudden Brandon Belt is looking like the hitter the Giants thought they'd be getting in 2011, as he's finally made some switches in his approach at the plate. Apparently Belt has loosened his grip on the bat and has closed off his stance a bit which has lessened his movement at the plate. Whatever he's doing, it's been working. He's already had the best month of his career this August, hitting .357 with 5 HR, 11 RBI and a 1.159 OPS, and there's still 9 days left. Next to Buster Posey, Belt has quietly taken over as the teams second best hitter over the last month and it doesn't appear to be an aberration.
The Giants Baseball Blog


  • At 10:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Francisco Peguero just got called up. At least that's a start. Am I the only one who didn't get why they weren't sellers at the trade deadline this year? They should have traded Pence then tried to re-sign him this offseason. Im just sick of watching the same players each night who we know won't be around next year.

  • At 11:07 PM, Anonymous hitnrun said…

    Actually the Giants should have started bringing in the young players right after the AS break when Sabean announced that he wasn't going to bring in help in a "bad penny"year. Bochy and Sabean still stick with their vets too long even in a lost season. Why are they running Zito out there at all for his weekly beatings when they absolutely should see what the youth could do. Granted the Giants upper minor teams suck, and I am not a fan of Surkamp or Kickham, Peguero, Noonan, Moscoso etc, but the vets are stinking up the won loss column anyway, so what is there to lose? Hate to admit it, but the Giants will definitely need more than cosmetic changes next season if they want to compete, and they are kidding themselves if they think that the fans will continue to come out and see 90 plus losses next season. Time to take a close look at Sabean's due dilligence too.

  • At 4:01 AM, Anonymous Daryl @ batting tee said…

    You are right. It's a great opportunity to get a look at the younger players and the experience for the players will be invaluable. Getting that big league time when the pressure is not as great is an ideal situation to help build a players confidence at this level.

  • At 10:27 AM, Blogger Berdj Rassam said…

    I agree let's put the youngsters out there especially with the season essentially over - we know what the vets are and are not capable of doing in the big leagues.

  • At 2:43 PM, Anonymous Dave said…

    could't agree more,
    great info, thanks for sharing

  • At 11:28 AM, Blogger kyle smith said…

    This was a great game. I won on my sports betting, thanks to the free sports picks by Dynamitepicks.com.


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