The Giants and A’s have made a couple of recent moves that are interesting. First, the Giants have decided to call up 2B prospect Joe Panik.
Panik was slashing .321/.382/.447 in 326 plate appearances at AAA Fresno, which certainly sounds like the Giants aren’t calling him up too soon. He’d also turned 51 double plays in 61 games at second base while making only three errors, suggesting his defense is also major league ready.
The move was apparently motivated by the facts that the Giants have lost six games in a row and are trying to shake things up, and the fact that Brandon Hicks‘ hitting has steadily declined since May 2nd, and Joaquin Arias and Ehire Adrianza have been utterly incapable of picking up the slack.
No word yet on what roster moves are going to be made to allow Panik a major league roster spot, but the most likely possibilities are that Angel Pagan goes on the disabled list for back problems or Hicks gets sent down. While Hicks has certainly played better than Arias or Adrianza, the Giants are much more financially committed to Arias and Adrianza is young and out of options.
The San Francisco Chronicle’s Henry Schulman also says he’s heard from team officials that they want to get a look at Panik before the July 31 trade deadline as the team tries to decide exactly what they need to make their run for the post-season.
Meanwhile, a couple of days ago the A’s acquired a starting pitcher for a dollar. At least that is what Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports is reporting. The pitcher is 29 year old Brad Mills, who was having a terrific season at AAA Nashville. His old team, the Brewers, didn’t have a spot for him in their rotation, and Mills had an opt-out clause he could exercise at any time another team was willing to offer him a major league roster spot.
Thus, the reason for the $1 sale seems to have had more to do with MLB protocol or decorum than anything else. Still, if Mills helps the A’s make the post-season and beyond this year in any significant way, it will become one of the great stories of the A’s 2014 season.