Time to Play the Youngsters
Now that Clayton Kershaw has disabused the Giants of any further dreams of an historic comeback, it’s time to play all the youngsters, so we can find out who might actually be able to help the team in 2016. At this point there is no good reason why Jarrett Parker, Mac Williamson and Trevor Brown should not be starting every single day (or in the case of catcher Brown, at least four of the remaining five games).
Kelby Tomlinson, of course, will continue to play in all the remaining games barring injury, because the Gints don’t have anyone else healthy. At this point, it looks all but certain that Tomlinson has earned a back-up job with the 2016 Giants anyway.
It’s hard to know what to make of Jarrett Parker. The power and raw talent are undeniable, but so his strikeout rate. Parker is batting .667 (12 for 18) when not striking out, and no one can keep that up. Parker has always struck out a tremendous amount, and you have to think that it’s just a matter of time before the National League’s pitchers all figure out the holes in his swing.
The last five games are a chance to get him some more MLB at-bats and perhaps add some clarity on his making the team as a fourth outfielder out of Spring Training next year. However, his Spring Training performance will have more to say about that.
Mac Williamson needs all the major league at-bats he can get. Trevor Brown’s performance has been eye-opening, although I definitely think both he and Williamson need to start next year at AAA Sacramento so they can play every day and continue to develop as hitters.
As for the Giants September call-up pitchers, none has looked particularly impressive and all will need an exceptional 2016 Spring Training to avoid being sent back to AAA. It would be nice to see Clayton Blackburn get a start, but since the Giants did not promote him in spite of his fine season at Sacramento, where he led the Pacific Coast League in ERA and finished 10th in strikeouts, it looks like the Giants have decided to shut him down for the year.
No rush — he’s still only 22. However, I hope the team gives Blackburn a chance to make the team out of Spring Training next year.