San Francisco Giants’ September Call-Ups

The Giants have called up ten minor leaguers over the last two days, apparently in the hopes that quantity will make up for a lack of quality as they battle for a play-off spot.  They also moved four players to the 60-day disabled list to clear space on the 40-man roster for all the call-ups.

Except for Adam Duvall, Chris Heston and Hunter Strickland, the call-ups didn’t do a whole lot in the minors this season.  Chris Heston finished the season strong, posting a 3.38 ERA over 28 starts at AAA Fresno, but there’s a question whether the 26 year old has enough stuff to get major league hitters out consistently.

Hunter Strickland had a terrific season for AA Richmond and his fastball touches 100 mph.  However, he’s already 26 years old, and he’s already had both elbow transplant surgery and rotator cuff surgery during his professional career.  He missed all of the 2011 season and much of the 2013 season to injuries  As hard as he throws and as good as his command was this season, he could help the Giants at least until he hurts his arm again.

Now that Adam Duvall is on his fourth major league cup of coffee this season, perhaps he’ll get hot in the final month of the season, although he’ll almost certainly have to do it as a pinch hitter.  The same goes for Juan Perez, although he’ll likely be used mostly as a late inning defensive replacement and pinch runner.

Gary Brown and Chris Dominguez seem like courtesy promotions for a couple of guys who were once highly drafted.  Brown was a lot better in his second full season at AAA Fresno, but still wasn’t very good (.722 OPS and 36 stolen bases in 56 attempts, which isn’t much better than just keeping still).  Chris Dominguez has some power and can play a lot of different positions in a pinch, but he didn’t improve at all in his second full season in AAA at age 27.

Erik Cordier and Mike Kickham have live arms, but both are too wild to help the Giants much unless they can catch major league hitters by surprise in the brief period before the season ends.  Brett Bochy is a nice story, but he didn’t really deserve a call-up, except the Giants didn’t really have anyone better, except maybe Steven Okert who pitched well at AA Richmond.  Most likely, Cordier, Kickham and Bochy pitch in nothing but blow-outs and extra inning games.

Last and certainly least is veteran catcher Guillermo Quiroz, who serves the purpose of giving the Giants an emergency catcher should they need one.

The Giants’ September call-ups would certainly have been lot more impressive, if Joe Panik and Andrew Susac hadn’t already been called up and established themselves as major league players earlier in the second half of the 2014 season.  While there is still plenty of time in the future for either or both of Panik and Susac to fall on their faces, I’m feeling pretty good about the fact that I rated them 1st and 9th among the Giants’ prospects before the season started, much higher than any of the other Giants’ prospect lists I saw this past off-season.

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