The Conor Gillaspie story, as beautiful and weird as it was, had just one likely ending. We’ve seen the narrative arc with Travis Ishikawa, so it shouldn’t have been a surprise. While it would have been nice for Gillaspie to pull a Justin Turner and announce that he’s excellent at baseball now, the bench players who rise from the ashes to create a postseason legend are almost always fated to return to those ashes.
I’ll miss Gillaspie. Or, rather, the idea of him. And, yes, there will be a video or two at the end of this post.
Gillaspie was designated for assignment on Wednesday night, and assuming he’ll clear waivers, he’ll have to make a choice about going to Sacramento. The Giants were hoping he would be the ace pinch-hitter off the bench, but other than a couple of magical pinch-hit home runs that somehow led to even more painful extra-inning losses, he was mostly invisible. When your one tool is hitting for average, a .163 average isn’t going to create a lot of supporters in the front office.
Still, we had some times, didn’t we? We sure had some times.
Gillaspie was removed from the roster at the same time Jae-gyun Hwang was sent down, which is telling as to what their plans are. Ryder Jones is back up, and he’ll almost certainly be the everyday third basemen, at least until Larger, Previously Successful Gillaspie is the designated say-I-remember-that-guy player on the roster. I would assume that Kelby Tomlinson would play third against tough lefties, but, really, we’re all just making this up as we go.
I’m looking forward to watching more Jones. Of all the things that went into the toilet this season, Jones’ renaissance in Triple-A was one of the few things that went right. All Ryder Jones and Kyle Crick for the rest of the season, that’s my motto.
Coming along with Jones is Jarrett Parker, who was the starting left fielder for the Giants seven years ago, give or take. Looking back, it’s amazing how sour I was on his start, considering he got only 21 freaking at-bats. He was one 3-for-4 game from having a normal line, and there I was, fretting about his start. Ah, times were so innocent back then, when we thought things mattered. He wasn’t lighting Sacramento on fire, but I’m intrigued by the spike in his walk rate (21 walks in 133 plate appearances), and he’s earned a long, hard looksee.
More interesting is the fact that he played mostly center in Triple-A. That is a total thinking-face emoji of a sentence.
Bochy said he spoke to Span about "something else" besides playing time yesterday. Maybe it was about moving from CF to LF?— Andrew Baggarly (@extrabaggs) August 3, 2017
Yeah, we’re probably seeing a lot of Parker in center. And why not? This is the spiritual successor to Nate Schierholtz, really. Always wondered how he would have done in center. While I think we have a pretty good idea how Parker will do — I’m thinking the ceiling is average, and the floor isn’t pretty — we know that the incumbent center fielder is pretty, pretty bad. The DRS stats are ghastly, and the eyeballs tell the same story.
Lots of deck chairs are being shuffled, but that analogy doesn’t work unless the Titanic was pulled out of the sea, patched up with whatever was on hand, and set afloat again the next year. These guys are the patches? Lemme workshop that. In the meantime, we have an old friend leaving, a newer friend hanging out in Sacramento for a month, and two younger players coming up to make the lineup half-interesting. It’s not much, but it probably needed to happen.
Man. Those were fun. Can’t believe it’s been 13 years since they happened.