Time for a new 2B!

Emmanuel Burris was sent down and Matt Downs was called up to take his spot. To make room on the 40-man roster, Steve Holm was designated for assignment.

A couple of observations:

Whiteside pretty much made Holm expendable, as they’re both essentially the same level of talent, except Whiteside has hit a little better in his time up in the majors than Holm did. However, Holm has probably shown enough to be a competent, if not capable, backup catcher in the major leagues. I’d be pleasantly surprised if nobody claimed him.

As for Burriss, he was essentially rushed to the major leagues. Folks forget that he jumped from Class A ball to the big leagues in 2007, so he really didn’t get much of a chance to really develop a game. It’s really shown these past few weeks. He’s already shown that he can play great defense- I think this stint in AAA will help him figure out his offensive philosophy, which needs to evolve. If I were his hitting coach, I’d recommend that he work on bunting for base hits, baserunning, and perhaps adjusting his swing to hit a few more ground balls that he could beat out. He should get another chance post-Renteria, if not sooner.

Downs was a 38th round draft pick out of Alabama in 2005. HIs minor league stats showed some power (20HRs last year splitting between San Jose and Fresno), and a little speed (24 steals, though caught a lot). He is of no known relation to former Giants pitcher Kelly Downs. Like how the Giants gave him Kelly’s old number though.

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This post was written by Hank on June 17, 2009

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As I guessed…

The Pablo-as-backup-catcher experiement didn’t last long. After Tuesday night’s game, Alex Hinshaw’s been sent down and Steve Holm was called up.  I think having the backup catcher provides much more flexibility than having 12 pitchers- there were several situations over this homestand where Bengie Molina got on base late in the game but they couldn’t pinch run for him. Well, now they can. If the starting pitching can remain consistent, I think they can get by with 11 pitchers.

While on the subject of pitching, the Giants also adjusted the pitching rotation to a slightly modified five-man format. With the two off days this week, Jonathan Sanchez will be skipped and be available for long relief.

So this weekend against Arizona, instead of Sanchez/Lincecum/Johnson, it will be Lincecum/Johnson/Cain.  Sanchez presumably will rejoin the rotation with the second Dodgers game on 4/28. I think this is a good move for a few reasons:

  • Sanchez has pitched relief before so it shouldn’t be a big deal
  • Lincecum can now pitch the last game against the Dodgers on 4/29
  • The pitch counts for the starters have been relatively low thus far
  • Any chance you get to give your top starters an extra start while still giving them normal rest, you gotta do it.

So, good move, Bruce Bochy- hope it works out.

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This post was written by Hank on April 22, 2009

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