Scooter Gennett wasn’t meant to replace Joe Panik, he was meant to replace the lack of production from shortstop, second base, catcher, and first base that had dogged the Giants all season.
But he was also a lottery ticket, with 20 strikeouts to just one walk and 15 hits in 72 plate appearances with the Reds this year. But the previous two seasons, where Gennett combined for 50 home runs, was the first of three cherries Zaidi needed in order to win that jackpot. The hope was that he could rediscover that 2017-2018 power stroke and help the Giants push for a Wild Card spot. Instead, he struck out 21 times and walked just once in 67 plate appearances with the Giants. Farhan Zaidi has finished scratching that ticket and discovered it’s not a winner, so onto the DFA pile he goes.
Still, if you want to get wistful, in 52 plate appearances with the Mets, Panik has put up a line of .292/.333/.354, 60 points higher in OPS (.687) than he had with the Giants this year. That’s not a line worth cheering about, though. It’s a line you’d probably try to improve if you could, and at the end of July, Gennett figured to have the potential to be an upgrade.
Now we know that he wasn’t and so we move on. Donovan Solano has seemingly solidified a starting role, but whether that’s at second base or shortstop over the season’s final 29 games remains to be seen. And then there’s the not-at-all-small matter of infielder Mauricio Dubon’s call-up. The middle infield mix of Solano, Crawford, and Dubon appealed to the Giants more than Solano, Crawford, and Gennett, and I think I agree.
I might not agree with optioning Abiatal Avelino down after he blew a stop sign last night, though, but if the Giants see him ultimately as a bench player, then yeah, I can see the utility in wanting to simply go with the 25-year old who projects to be a starter and has hit 60 points higher (by OPS) in his minor league career over the 24-year old who needs some more seasoning in the minors.
This is more than seeing what they have in Dubon, though. The Giants aren’t tanking the rest of the year. They’re bringing him up before the September 1st roster expansion because they think he can help them now (though, just not today, as he’s not in the lineup). Starting Thursday, the Giants play 18 games in a row, and they’re all really tough. Dubon will travel with the team to Fenway to get his ass handed to him along with his teammates, but maybe before and after that, he’ll get his feet wet and get comfortable in a Giants uniform.
It’s tempting to want Dubon to become the next Chris Taylor, but I’m good with “the next Matt Duffy” or Freddy Sanchez. I don’t need dingers, I don’t even need walks. Give me low K rates, plenty of doubles, and even more good defense. We might not see that this year, but it’s exciting to think of 2020 in late August 2019.
Trevor Gott appears to have dodged surgery on his elbow, but he’ll hit the IL for the next couple of weeks, hurting the Giants’ already beleaguered August bullpen. Taking his place (for now) is the submariner, Tyler Rogers.
After seven minor league seasons, the funky reliever finally gets to do this in a major league game:
The 28-year old has 55 strikeouts in 62 IP this year, and a 4.50 ERA. For his minor league career, that ERA is 2.52 and a K per 9 of 7.9. Dude gets groundballs.
You can tell that the new ball in Triple-A has had an effect, though. His career home runs per 9 is 0.4, but this year it’s 0.9. His walk rate has also jumped from 3.1 (career) to 4.1 (2019).
But back to Gott and 2020 for a moment:
Trevor Gott has a strained flexor tendon and Grade 1 UCL sprain. Will be shut down for 2 weeks. #sfgiants— Amy Gutierrez (@AmyGGiants) August 27, 2019
Sprains and strains are tears, which means that Trevor Gott has a partially torn elbow. Maybe that can heal up without surgery and he’ll have flare-ups of pain through the rest of his career, or maybe he will go down for 2 weeks and come back only to hurt it and need surgery a la Johnny Cueto last year. In that case, the Giants’ bullpen next year figures to be a graveyard. The pitching staff as a whole feels Oriolesesque.
SP Johnny Cueto
SP Jeff Samardzija
SP Logan Webb
SP Shaun Anderson
SP Dereck Rodriguez
RP Andy Suarez
RP Sam Coonrod
RP Melvin Adon?
RP Williams Jerez?
RP Jandel Gustave
RP Tony Watson
CL Reyes Moronta
The final move of the afternoon saw Joey Rickard recalled from Triple-A. The Giants still have a spot available on the 40-man roster (Tyler Rogers’ addition gets canceled out by Gennett’s DFA), but it’s clear they’re not ready to push Jaylin Davis up.
But his time will come. The Giants are not shy about such things. Oh, and here’s who’s on the team right now:
C — Buster Posey, Stephen Vogt
1B — Brandon Belt
2B — Donovan Solano
SS — Brandon Crawford, Mauricio Dubon
3B — Evan Longoria
LF — Alex Dickerson
CF — Kevin Pillar, Joey Rickard
RF — Mike Yastrzemski, Austin Slater
SP — Bumgarner, Samardzija, Beede, Webb, Rodriguez
RP — Anderson, Rogers, Coonrod, Abad, Gustave, Watson, Moronta, Smith