So, after an incredibly difficult week, welcome to the Prospect Roundup! Where we aim to bring you good feelings and wonderful-
Wait, no, there’s happy stu-
Official word from #SFGiants GM Bobby Evans: Melvin Upton Jr. had surgery to repair a torn thumb ligament. Out eight weeks minimum.— Andrew Baggarly (@extrabaggs) April 22, 2017
Stop that! This week has been a-
More #SJGiants roster moves: Aramis Garcia (concussion) and Dillon Dobson (elbow) have been placed on the 7-day DL.— Joe Ritzo (@JoeRitzo) April 21, 2017
No, please, I can’t-
Our team bus backed into a car on way to Coors. Stay hot Giants— Dave Flemming (@FlemmingDave) April 21, 2017
For hell’s sake-
SAC RHP Chase Johnson leaves game in the middle of an AB in the 8th. Trainer came out. Brief conversation, no practice pitches. #SFGiants— Matt Kawahara (@matthewkawahara) April 23, 2017
And by “he”, I mean hope for 2017, or something like that. Okay, this week has sucked up and down the system, injury wise. There’s no cheering you up. So don’t look at me like that. At the very least, I can try to inform you.
The Arroyo Watch
Talked to Evans just now. #SFGiants want Arroyo to force his way up here, and tho he's hitting .442, team won't base decision on 2 weeks.— Henry Schulman (@hankschulman) April 19, 2017
I’m sure Christian Arroyo’s response was “Hold my beer.” (Don’t worry, he’s 21, I can make this joke. Also, he’s 21 in Triple-A.)
Well, for everything that’s going wrong for the Giants, Christian Arroyo isn’t one of them. Although Arroyo didn’t quite keep up the pace from mid-week when he hit home runs in back-to-back games, the kid has a .429/.458/.679 batting line with as many home runs in 14 games as he had in 119 with Richmond at Double-A the entirety of last season.
As this recent writeup about his performance shows, Arroyo, to start the season, is having the best time of his career. The spray chart in this link in particular shows just how great Arroyo has been.
(Is that a single in foul territory? Damn, when you’re hot, anything can be a hit!)
In fact, if there’s anything that it appears Arroyo is doing wrong, it’s where he’s playing in field…which isn’t left field. Arroyo has played the majority of his games at shortstop (8 starts), but has also had three starts at second and third. However, despite the wide range of fans suggesting that Arroyo should be easily able to make the switch, the beat writers have had to continually repeat that the team has no interest in trying the career-long infielder in the outfield. But that hasn’t stopped the inquiries. To the point that this one beat writer adopted an interesting profile picture for his non-sports twitter persona.
And despite there not being a spot available to bring up Arroyo right now in the infield, it doesn’t sound like the team is interested in bringing him up yet, as this interview with Krukow describes.
In the meantime, the brass of the team may start to dread hearing Arroyo’s name, because the questions will not stop, especially as the team continues to struggle. I mean, imagine if a spot opened up at shortstop for a few days…
When we spoke to Bochy about Crawford's 3-day replacement next week I said, "So, Arroyo, right?" I wish I could describe look Boch shot back— Henry Schulman (@hankschulman) April 22, 2017
PS - This was an interesting little tweet this week, in regards that story I linked to. Beede is a “Hit Doctor”? That’s not a label most pitchers would want. And I wonder why Chris Shaw, Steven Duggar, Hunter Cole and Brandon Bednar are linked on this...
Some journalist with better press access than me should asked Beede about that sometime...
Clayton Blackburn Traded After Being DFA’d
Seeing that tweet, one has to be happy for him (and classy response by the Rangers), but it was still disappointing and surprising to see him go (even though Bobby Evans had suggested he had been the target of trade musings all offseason).
Blackburn had been a 16th round pick in 2011 out of high school, and was a bit of a surprise to sign as he had committed to Oklahoma. Blackburn rose through the ranks quickly with excellent strikeout-to-walk numbers in the lower levels, but struggled by being a bit hittable at the upper levels. That didn’t stop him from being the 2015 PCL ERA leader with a 2.85 ERA in 23 outings, with 99 K’s to 32 BB’s in 123 innings.
However, especially after a subpar 2016 and increasing competition from guys named (or nicknamed) Ty, Blackburn was getting squeezed out of chances. He had a brief callup to San Francisco in 2016, but did not get into a game. That is unlikely to be his only chance, but in his first game with Sacramento this year, he gave up 5 runs in 3 innings.
In return, the Giants picked up 21-year old Frandy De La Rosa, an infielder who the Rockies should want by name alone. He signed as a free agent out of the Dominican in 2012 for a decent-sized $700,000 bonus. The Cubs traded him to the Rangers in 2015 for major league mop-up man Spencer Patton. De La Rosa has been a streaky hitter with raw speed, and pretty raw everything. His last full season was with Hickory in the South Atlantlic League, batting .250/.330/.351 with 7 home runs, and a 45% Successful SB rate (19-of-42). He was 3-for-28 with High-A Down East in the Carolina League before the trade, and the Giants sent him to Augusta, probably partially due to the crowding in the infield at San Jose.
De La Rosa is listed as an infielder, and he started as a shortstop but has played all four infield positions (only 1B this year, again, due to roster crowding in Down East). But he’s played the most games at second base. He made his Augusta debut at first, but got into second on Tuesday.
In the meantime, I am convinced that one day I shall write a western novel or movie, and Clayton Blackburn will be the name of a character in the book. Because if I’ve ever heard a cowboy name, that is it.
Aramis Garcia - California League Player Of The Week
He wasn’t our player of the week last week, but Garcia was named the Player of the Week for the Cali League. That came on the 17th of April (despite the date on that tweet), and was for his performance over the season’s first 8 games. Garcia hit .351 (13-37) with three home runs and 12 RBI, a nice run that was helped a bit by being down south to start the season.
Unfortunately, Garcia’s found his way onto the DL, after a foul ball on Thursday, April 20th, left him diagnosed with a concussion.
That said, Garcia was doing pretty good all the way up until his concussion in Thursday’s game., batting .348/.488/.674 with four home runs, although he has struck out 13 times.
Helmets…Just Wear Helmets 24/7
This season, we’ve seen six people get hit in the head by baseballs in the Giants system, and it’s far beyond ridiculous.
Kyle Crick was hit in the head by a foul ball while sitting in the visiting dugout in Las Vegas on Sunday, and is on the DL thanks to a concussion. He’s been on the DL and hasn’t pitched since April 14th.
In Spring Training, SF 1st base coach (and former Sacramento manager) Jose Aguacil took a foul while sitting by the dugout watching the game. Then Ryder Jones got beaned in a pre-season exhibition game between Sacramento and San Jose. Jae-gyun Hwang took a ball to the head after a bad hop during batting practice, though it was called just a contusion. You’ve ready about Aramis Garcia. And, of course, Buster got hit in the big leagues.
The 24-year old Crick should get together with all those River Cats and talk about it. Crick had reportedly impressed the brass in Spring Training, and is in his first season at Triple-A after three in Richmond. He has a save and a blown save so far in 3 appearances, with 5 strikeouts, 5 hits allowed, but notably no walks in 4 innings of work.
Keep An Eye On - Patrick Ruotolo
Who is he? - Currently a reliever at Augusta, Ruotolo was a 27th round draft pick in the 2016 draft. Described as “Short and Thick”, the 5’10, 218 lb right-hander has been lighting things up since he got drafted.
Why should we pay attention? - 50 K’s in 30.2 IP since being drafted last year. Got your attention yet?
What’s he got? - He seemed to have put a little extra oomph on his fastball since being drafted. A pre-draft scouting report had him at 88-92 MPH with a 94 peak on his fastball. In Salem-Keizer, a scouting report had him at low-to-mid-90’s, peaking at 96. But he also has a sharp cutter and a potentially excellent curve. Combined with some mechanics that give him deception, and the under-sized reliever roars with performance, at least at the lower levels.
Bryan Morris - Now A Giant, Finally
Offseason free agent signing Bryan Morris joined the San Jose Giants this week. Morris, a former teammate of Mark Melancon’s, joined the Giants after Melancon talked with him about the Giants. Morris has dealt with injuries much of his career, most significantly a Lumbar Disc Herniation in June of last year. He did get in some rehab late last season, but in spring training, he suffered a hairline fracture in his right foot during a batting practice drill.
Morris did not allow a run in two appearances this week with San Jose. He joined Mac Williamson and Michael Morse on the bus to Sacramento later in the week. Boy, I wish I could have heard Greg Papa say that on Post-Game Live this week, just for laughs.
Hitter of the Week - Christian Arroyo
There were a few great candidates this week to consider, but Arroyo comes out on top.
Powered by big games earlier in the week, Arroyo finished the week with a .360/.384/.720 line, including three doubles and two home runs, and just three strikeouts in 25 at-bats. The only place he didn’t look good was where he had 0 walks, but when you’re hitting, why take the free pass?
Arroyo now has a .424/.460/.678 line on the season, with 6 doubles and 3 triples. You can read more about him above.
Pitcher of the Week - Carlos Diaz
It was a tough week for pitchers in the system, by Carlos Diaz held it down working middle relief.
Diaz, a 23-year old reliever for San Jose, worked 6.1 innings this week, and allowed just two baserunners, a hit and a walk on Saturday. But more impressively, Diaz struck out 7 batters during that span.
Diaz has mostly taken chunks of innings for San Jose this season, only working less than two innings twice in 7 outing this season. He has a 3.00 ERA after allowing four runs in his first two games of work, but he has settled down nicely since then. However, the strikeouts have been there consistently, as he has 17 in 12 innings of work.
|Las Vegas||3||11||0||POSTPONED||San Jose||0||3||1||Augusta||1||1||0|
|SAC||Chase Johnson (L, 0-2)||0.2||1||1||1||0||0||0||4.35|
|SJ||Mike Connolly (L, 1-2)||4.0||5||2||0||1||6||0||1.26|
|AUG||Caleb Baragar (L, 0-1)||5.0||5||3||3||2||1||1||3.21|
- Don’t look here for happiness. San Jose and Augusta combined for a total of 4 hits.
- Richmond’s game was rained out. It will be made up as a doubleheader on August 12th.
- In one of the only highlights of the night, Drew Stubbs hit his second home run in as many games. Center Fielder Drew Stubbs. Hm.
- Michael Roth made only his second start with Sacramento; he’s also made three relief appearances this season. He’s allowed 8 hits in each of his two starts, and has allowed 21 in 12.2 innings total.
- As noted above, Chase Johnson was injured during the game, but the reason has not yet been announced.
In regards to Chase Johnson https://t.co/oGkvvrpOvT— Giant Potential (@giant_potential) April 23, 2017
- Christoph Bono’s 1-for-3 game for San Jose was his first game of the season.
- Augusta’s game was completed after six innings due to rain.
- Despite getting only one hit, the GreenJackets did collect five walks.
- Sandro Fabian’s double was the team’s only hit, but it was not what scored the GreenJackets’ only run. Fabian had a sacrifice fly to do that.
- San Francisco recalled Steven Okert - Okert wasn’t going to stay long in Sacramento anyway.
- 2B Frandy De La Rosa activated by Augusta - Initial transactions said he went to San Jose after being acquired in the Blackburn trade, but he actually started in Augusta.
✅ - 3B Ryder Jones activated from the 7-Day DL by Sacramento - Good news for the concussed third baseman.
- LF Michael Morse assigned to San Jose from Sacramento - Technically, this wasn’t an injury rehab move. He went to San Jose because Sacramento was on the road.
- RHP Bryan Morris assigned to San Jose from Sacramento - See Morse.
- RHP Kyle Crick placed on the 7-Day DL by Sacramento with a concussion, retroactive to April 16th - Ugh
- LF Shawon Dunston Jr. placed on the 7-Day DL by Augusta
✅ - LHP Matt Reynolds activated from the 7-Day DL by Sacramento - Reynolds had been on the DL since April 11th.
- C Trevor Brown sent to Sacramento on a rehab assignment - Brown had been out since Spring Training.
- RHP Yordy Cabrera placed on the 7-Day DL by San Jose retroactive to 4/16 - No word on the injury. Cabrera allowed 4 runs on 4/15 to pop his ERA to 9.00.
- 2B Michael Bernal placed on the 7-Day DL - Bernal had a .280/.400/.320 line over 7 games played.
- RF Mac Williamson sent to San Jose on a rehab assignment
- CF Justin Ruggiano placed on the 7-Day DL by Sacramento - As if the Giants were going to keep replacement outfielders healthy.
- San Francisco recalled RHP Chris Stratton from Sacramento - This move was the result of Bumgarner’s injury. Stratton takes Ty Blach’s place in the bullpen, so Blach can move into the rotation.
- C John Riley assigned to San Jose
- LF Christoph Bono assigned to San Jose
- RHP Connor Kaden assigned to San Jose
- 2B Ali Castillo assigned to San Jose
- OF Mac Williamson sent to Sacramento on a rehab assignment
- OF Michael Morse assigned to Sacramento from San Jose
- RHP Bryan Morris assigned to Sacramento from San Jose
- C Tim Federowicz sent to Sacramento outright from San Francisco - Federowicz had been DFA’d earlier in the week when Posey was activated.
- C Trevor Brown optioned to Sacramento from San Jose - Brown was already in Sacramento rehabbing, so this wasn’t a big move.
- 1B Dillon Dobson placed on the 7-Day DL by San Jose
- C Aramis Garcia placed on the 7-Day DL by San Jose
- RHP Luis Pino assigned to Richmond - The 22-year old Pino pitched for Augusta in 2016, with a 3.77 ERA over 17 appearances, mostly in relief.
- RF Dylan Davis assigned to Richmond - Davis finished last year in San Jose. He had a combined .283/.356/.521 line between Augusta and San Jose, with 26 home runs.
- 2B Brandon Bednar placed on the 7-Day DL by Richmond - Bednar had been hitting .340/.421/.340 for Richmond.
- RHP Pat Young placed on the 7-Day DL by Richmond - Young had been struggling, giving up 7 runs in his last three appearances. He had a 8.59 ERA with a 2.73 WHIP in 7.1 innings.
How All Giants Fans Feel This Week
I only share vertical videos for really good reasons, but Todd Linden going all PCL tirade on an ump is worth it.
Crap, I'm horrible at this video thing. I missed Linden being tossed out but here's him getting his money's worth. pic.twitter.com/3YtWTEJ34Y— Julie (@phibear35) April 20, 2017
If you haven’t seen it yet…well done Cincinnati