September call-ups and the Giants

The Giants called up Brett Pill, a second baseman. Here is what you need to know about Brett Pill.

  • Brett Pill is not a second baseman.

Other than that, he should be a fine second baseman. But he interests me. His first breakout season was in 2009, when he hit .298/.348/.480 in AA. Not a bad year, especially considering that it was in Dodd Stadium, which is a stadium that makes me think of Petco Park with Saturn's gravity. No one could hit there. Pill did. But he was a 24-year-old (strike one) first baseman (strike two) who didn't walk (foul-tip, catcher couldn't hang on). He wasn't a prospect.

Since then, he's played a couple of innings at third and left, and a substantial number at second base. He's being groomed to be a utility guy, which makes him far, far more interesting of a young player. Well, he's 26 now, so let's not get too carried away -- he's closer in age to Cody Ross than he is to Madison Bumgarner or Hector Sanchez. But a Brett Pill who can fill in at second and pinch-hit against lefties is an interesting player.

They're all interesting. I love roster expansion. I love the strategy of having a designated pinch-runner like Darren Ford. I love having extra Edlefsens in the bullpen so you don't have to keep grinding the same arms down. I know I'm in a small, freakish minority, but I'd love 40-man rosters all season long. You could let Lance Niekro futz around with his knuckleball for, like, six seasons. You could actually justify keeping an Aaron Rowand around as long as you're paying him. An extra 15 guys would make for some hilarious strategies. Nonuple switch, sucker!

Thanks to Marc Normandin, who did all of the hard work, I have a list of all the first-time September call-ups the Giants have blessed us with since 2001.

 


It seems like just yesterday that Buster Posey came up and didn't play. You can't start giving that guy Doug Clark playing time -- he has to earn it. 

I'm going to guess that 9/5/01 was a blowout, considering that four guys made their debuts that day. Hmm ... not really, but that box score really is overflowing with awesome names. Can you imagine what the Giants would have done if they were forced to rely on only one Edward Guzman?

But these lists are relevant as a reminder that a) no one getting called up will actually player, and b) sometimes you don't get the best idea of a player's talents over a 15 at-bat sample, as it was with Posey, though he was probably weirded out by sitting on the bench for the first time in his life.

Over the next few days, the Giants will welcome a trickle of minor leaguers. The Grizzlies aren't anywhere near the playoffs, so anyone from there is fair game (Pill, Waldis Joaquin, Brandon Crawford, Manny Burriss, and Conor Gillaspie). Maybe they'll get froggy and see if Justin Christian is worth a 40-man spot for the rest of the season, just to see if he's fifth-outfielder material. You know, now that the Giants are looking for a fifth outfielder.

Dang, it feels good to type that.

Richmond (AA) is scrapping for a playoff spot, so we might not see Darren Ford or Francisco Peguero just yet. Both are on the 40-man roster.

The Giants don't have to put Heath Hembree on the 40-man roster yet, so there's no real reason to call him up ... except for my own curiosity, which should probably be the Giants' primary concern. I'd love to watch Gary Brown, too, but that would really be an unnecessary jump. 

Rosters expand today! Let's all sit and wait for the trickle of names to come in over the next week, so we can finally know which young players won't play. It's about time.

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