In a somewhat surprising move, the Giants have designated Travis Ishikawa for assignment to make room for 28-year-old utility player Ryan Lollis. It's a move that makes baseball sense, sure. But it's still weird to keep saying goodbye to Ishikawa.
Lollis hit .353/.422/.517 in Triple-A this year, with two homers in 116 at-bats. The left-hander started the year doing the same thing in San Jose, and went 8-for-17 in a brief Double-A stop. More importantly, he's played all three outfield positions this season, as well as a little first base.
Now, he's probably not a true .353 hitter -- just a guess -- which means that he's a somewhat patient, average-dependent hitter without power. A good comparison might be what we were expecting Joe Panik to be before he leveled up. Lollis's career .291/.359/.398 line in the minors suggests as much.
However, he fits the roster much better than Ishikawa does because he can play the outfield, and the Giants have several outfielders in various states of disrepair. Ishikawa was a left-handed first baseman on a team that starts a lefty first baseman and spells that first baseman regularly with the starting catcher. In order to stick behind that situation, a player has to hit a lot off the bench. Ishikawa was never going to do that.
It's kind of depressing, but, well, Ishikawa was on the waiver wire last year for a reason, and then he became a freaking hero. John Bowker didn't get that chance. Lance Niekro didn't get that chance. We should probably be happy for the good times, rather than sad that there probably aren't going to be any more left.
For happier thoughts, please think of the 37th-rounder who got to call his friends and family with the good news after seven seasons riding buses and eating Arby's. Welcome to the majors, Ryan Lollis. We promise that we will only use LOLOLOLOLlis when it's called for. It's a responsibility that we can't take lightly.
(Note: groug DM'd me 12 hours ago to let me know that Lollis was coming up, and I had no idea what in the heck to do with the information without the corresponding roster move. So ... please check in with groug for your scoops from now on. He's basically the Chris Cotillo of the River Cats. )