You should not place all your faith in Christian Arroyo. He got off to a hot start in Triple-A, but there are a lot of reasons to think he can’t save the Giants by himself. He’s young, coming off a so-so 2016 season, and forcing Eduardo Nuñez to the outfield. There are reasons to be excited; there are reasons to temper that excitement.
So let’s join hands and place all of our faith in Christian Arroyo.
He’s wearing #22, you know.
The Giants recalled the 21-year-old infielder from Sacramento on Monday, and they immediately put him into the starting lineup, hitting sixth and playing third base. To make room on the active roster, Chris Marrero was designated for assignment.
After a strong spring, Arroyo opened his Triple-A career by hitting .446/.478/.692 (!) in 69 plate appearances (!). He’s started games at second, shortstop, and third base this season, with the bulk of his starts coming at shortstop. While he’s struck out about twice as often as he’s walked in his minor-league career, he’s also shown an ability to hit for average and doubles power. This season, he’s turned some of those doubles into homers, hitting as many this season as he did in all of 2016.
In some ways, this is a panic move. This is the Giants doing something/anything to set the clubhouse on fire. They wanted Arroyo to thrive in a lower-pressure environment for most of this season, I’m guessing, and they probably aren’t keen on starting his arbitration clock so soon. At the same time, it was incredibly frustrating to have Arroyo hitting walkoff dingers in Sacramento while the Giants were getting shut out in Coors Field. This was the most obvious move the organization could make with any chance of a serious payoff, both statistically and emotionally.
However, the Giants have done this before, bringing up a young hitter, asking too much of him, and watching him thrive.
So, in some ways ... this is a Panik move.
Ha ha, but seriously, folks, I’m nervous and excited all at the same time. Nervous because this puts Eduardo Nuñez in left field, and, boy, was I not impressed with him in the limited innings I watched. Excited because Arroyo is an all-fields line-drive monster, just like they make ‘em down at the farm. The Giants could use a few more line drives.
Drew Stubbs is also in Monday’s lineup, coming up and starting in place of Denard Span, who is in that not-DL-worthy-but-injured category that the Giants specialize in. Aaron Hill suffered a right forearm strain, and he’ll head to the DL to make room. While I haven’t heard yet, I’m assuming Jarrett Parker was moved to the 60-day DL to make room for Stubbs on the 40-man roster. Stubbs is a defensive upgrade on Hill and Marrero, and he’s not likely to be much worse as a hitter, if he’s a downgrade at all. Still, set your expectations low there, too.
The Giants’ roster will look markedly different, at least for the next week or two. Considering what it looked like for the last three weeks, that’s the best possible news we could have hoped for. It might not be appropriate to expect Arroyo to hop in the lineup and not leave for the next decade, but it’s different. I’ll take different right now.