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Who are the Giants going to send down for Joe Panik?

Probably not Brandon Crawford. Just a guess.

San Francisco Giants v Colorado Rockies Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

The bad news is that at this very moment, the Giants are playing so badly that the term “garbage fire” has been determined to be a cliche, and if you stare at them too long they’ll climb through your TV and haunt you for the rest of your days. Even happens if you see them in person. Pretty neat trick, really.

The good news is that help is on the way. Joe Panik is said to be a few days away from coming back from his concussion, and Hunter Pence should follow pretty shortly thereafter. Then everything will be better forever, right? They’ll definitely fix the problems with the pitching staff and the team will be good again. Problem solved.

But to put them back on the roster, the Giants need to make room on said roster, which means that someone will have to go. Panik’s closer, so we’ll start with him. Who’s the most likely candidate to get sent down for Joe Panik?

Gregor Blanco, if he’s secretly hurt and can be put on the DL

Blanco’s been struggling mightily lately, and hasn’t been getting the playing time to work his way out of it. He started just three of the games on the recent road trip, and only six total in July. This is not a very Giants move. Yes, he’s struggling, but he’s been on the team for long enough that you’d expect him to get more of that veteran rope, and it’s not happening. There is definitely something wrong with Blanco right now. If it’s an injury and he’s been fighting through it, the Giants clearly have the roster depth to let it heal.

Technically, there are a lot of guys who could have nagging injuries, but the headline “Anyone with a nagging injury we haven’t heard about” doesn’t really grab you, does it?

Jarrett Parker

He has options, the team has spent long, long stretches this year with only four outfielders on the roster, and Mac Williamson sure seems to have overtaken him on the depth chart.

That’s it. I mean, sure, there are lots of other guys who could get taken off the roster, but then you lose inventory, and the Giants hate to lose inventory. They’ll put up with slightly funny roster construction for a little while if it means that they don’t lose someone unnecessarily. That’s been their MO for years.

But, since I’m really avoiding the tough question, what about when Pence comes back? At that point, assuming Williamson’s still impressing with his all-around game, it becomes a harder call. Who could get sent down then?

A pitcher

Have ... have you seen how the Giants are pitching? If anything, they need more pitchers. No way.

Mac Williamson

Sometimes the Giants are not 100% fair with how major league and minor league assignments are doled out. But then, is it really more fair to Williamson for him to be a fifth outfielder in San Francisco than a first outfielder in Sacramento? I’m sure he’d rather be in the majors, and I sure enjoy watching him, but letting him get consistent playing time to keep his swing sharp wouldn’t be an utterly terrible thing.

Ramiro Pena

No. He’s a switch hitter, he can play multiple infield positions, and he’s been great. There’s not really any chance he gets DFA’d unless he slumps horribly.

Grant Green

Grant Green can play second and third base without embarrassing himself at either one, and so far this year, in limited PAs, he been hitting well. The Giants have been using him mostly as a pinch hitter or platoon bat; in fact, he hasn’t even started a game in the second half. If that’s what they think about him, then he could certainly be the one to go. But then ...

Conor Gillaspie

Gillaspie’s been a nice story this year: the former Giant who was kind of a jerk before, and has come back to not be a jerk and also maybe help the team win. Tale as old as time, really. But he’s limited defensively, he’s a lefty on a team that is probably too heavily left-handed, and he hasn’t been hitting that well this year.

So, who will it be? Remember, Panik and Pence are both (supposedly) coming back soon. Twist: so is Ehire Adrianza, who I definitely didn’t forget and then add in here at the last minute. Ha ha ha, nope, not that, definitely not that. If I were to guess, I’d say Parker gets sent down, Green gets DFA’d, and then, for the last spot, Williamson gets sent down too. I was really convinced I’d say Gillaspie will lose his spot, but I think they like him and so I think he stays, at least until Matt Duffy comes back.

Comment starter: What three players do you think will lose their spots for Panik, Pence, and Adrianza?