I don't think I've ever been more wrong about a player than I have with Todd Linden. It's time to take care of my Matt Williams late-blooming comparisons with a rag soaked in chloroform, a burlap sack, and the trunk of '72 Dodge Dart. If the Giants' outfield were analogous to the leaky transmission in that Dart, they would have the following tools with which to fix it:
- A stack of Post-it notes
- A solar-powered calculator missing the "4" key
- The Makita Transmission Leak Enlarger 5000.
It would have been interesting to see Nate Schierholtz get some regular time in Roberts's potential absence, but Schierholtz was just rowanded by a AAA wall. Even if he was able to play immediately, interesting does not equal productive. Schierholtz might be one of those prospects who hits .430 in his first month until the league takes time to figure out his weaknesses, after which he'd hit .230. He could also struggle right out of the gate. It's probably a moot point now, even though Schierholtz wasn't seriously injured.
Fred Lewis does have a sparkly .455 batting average at the major league level, and he's hitting .263/.349/.500 in Fresno - good, but not great for AAA. He could replace the lefty bat lost by Roberts. Todd Linden would get the at-bats against lefty pitching. With Roberts out, maybe Linden becomes the de facto starter. That 22 OPS+ is bound to rise, perhaps even to 23 or 24.
I give up on finding a productive outfielder. I really, really, really wish Todd Linden could have been that productive outfielder, and I really thought he was going to be a productive outfielder. The Giants best course of action is to just wait for Roberts to heal and help with his on-base skills. In the meantime, call up Lewis or, if healthy, Schierholtz, and give either of them the full-time job in Roberts's place. Anything that doesn't involve more Linden is the right move.