The cavalry is here! Disclaimer: The cavalry is comprised of players already in the Giants’ system, so we’re talking mostly about a couple of coughing burros carrying sacks filled with pancake mix. But pancake mix can be useful! Be thankful for the pancake mix, you lout.
The list of September call-ups for the 2016 San Francisco Giants, in rough order of general excitement:
Matt Cain is coming off the DL to start against the Cubs. He’s not a September call-up, but it felt like the roster move should be acknowledged. This should go well.
Mac Williamson also isn’t a call-up, technically, but he’ll be important off the bench for the rest of the season, with implications that could extend into the offseason. But more on that later. It’s good to have him back. Dingers off the bench, what a world.
Kelby Tomlinson is back where he belongs. A victim of Ehire Adrianza’s lack of options, Tomlinson is a perfectly fine player off the bench, so long as you don’t overextend him defensively. It’s also delightful to have him back on the bench.
Josh Osich is also back, and, wait a second, none of these guys are new. We’re supposed to get new, exciting players, not these guys we got used to a long time ago. Anyway, Osich still has the gaudy stuff, but hopefully he rediscovers his strikeout pitch. Because if he doesn’t, he’ll have some competition from ...
Steven Okert had a marvelous season at Triple-A when it came to walks and strikeouts, even if it was underwhelming with regards to his ERA. I’ll take that every time over the other way around, especially for relievers. Considering Will Smith’s contract status, the Osich/Okert will be a dandy of a battle. If Osich were to outdo Okert often, or Okert outdo Osich often, the well-oiled bullpen order ought to outdo ... uh ... the oomph ... with ... offal odors ... okay, I’m running out of five-letter O-words, give me a minute.
It really is something of a spring battle, just a few months earlier, though. And that’s before you get to ...
Matt Reynolds, who could be the wild card. Reynolds threw 18⅔ innings between Double-A and Triple-A after the Giants signed him, and he didn’t allow a single earned run, striking out 19, walking three, and allowing just seven hits. He gave up two doubles to the 70 batters he’s faced this year, and those are the only extra-base hits he’s allowed. I was bummed we didn’t get a great look at him the last time he was called up, so I was glad to see he wasn’t a 40-man casualty.
Ty Blach probably won’t get a start in September, not unless it’s the end of the season and the postseason is already decided. That’s okay. He’s a fascinating prospect, considering he throws just a smidgen harder than you might expect based on the numbers, and that he’ll be served well by an improved defense at the major-league level. Especially with the pitch-framing of Buster Posey. It won’t turn Blach into a super-prospect or anything, but I’m interested to see how the cocktail works out.
That’s it for now, which is a touch curious. A third catcher would allow the Giants to use Buster Posey as a pinch-hitter more in the games he doesn’t start. They already do, but it’s a move that comes with certain risks.
Right. And there’s no Joe Nathan, which seemed like a possibility, considering his limited success for the Richmond Flying Squirrels. Austin Slater was a longshot, considering the roster crunch, and he’s still a longshot. He would have been fascinating, though.
This is the cavalry, though. The bench is much improved. And the bullpen is suddenly saturated with left-handed options. Which I’m sure Bruce Bochy will use responsibly. And not just to play matchups with every single batter and make the last three innings take six hours to finish oh no hellllllllllp
Even though there isn’t a blue-chip prospect in the bunch, I’m most excited to watch Reynolds. A little more speed with Tomlinson and power with Williamson is a good thing, indeed. And after that, I’m most excited to watch everyone in the bullpen get just a little more rest. Watching them right now makes my arm hurt.