We can all agree that mountains are stupid, right? Specifically the Rocky Mountains. What a terrible weekend.
Madison Bumgarner is out for the remainder of time, though the team has yet to comment on his official timetable for recovery, Hunter Pence is banged up after an awkward slide while in right field on Friday, Denard Span ran into a wall, which has been happening entirely too much if you ask me, and the Giants managed just eight runs in three games at Colorado and five of those runs came on the coldest night at the ballpark.
The Giants aren't looking good right now, and their pitching staff, meant to be the bright spot of the team, is not performing up to expectations. As a team the Giants rank 24th in team ERA at 4.19, but their starter's ERA (you know, Bumgarner, Cueto and the boys) hold a MLB worst 4.69 mark. The pitching is supposed to get better, and it probably will, but the one cause for pause is that as the weather warms up, so too do the bats. That goes for the opposition as well. This pitching staff should be dominating in the cold weather.
Ok, that's enough of the rant portion of this piece. Lets talk about Christian Arroyo!
He's Making His Case
The word out of Giants camp all spring was that Arroyo would have to force his way onto the Giants roster. Every time he gets a hit the main beat writers make a point of mentioning it on social media and say that he is forcing his way up.
Well, here are the stats from the last ten games to illustrate that point: 19-for-41 (.463), 3 HR, 10 RBI, 8 runs, BB, 4 K, SB. Arroyo is batting .446 for the season and just completed his second four-hit game in five days. He has five multi-hit games in his last ten, eight on the season, and has only gone hitless in one game all year. In other words, he's doing pretty well.
Finding a spot for him is going to be the hard part for the Giants, however. He is currently not on the 40-man roster, which isn't necessarily an issue, just another hurdle to clear, and unless Bruce Bochy wants to play Eduardo Nunez or one of his typical third basemen in left on a regular basis, then the question of where to put Arroyo is a legitimate one. The middle of the infield is secured, unless Bobby Evans decides to move Joe Panik in a trade a la Matt Duffy. That would leave third base open for Jae-Gyun Hwang who has seen the majority of his playing time at the hot corner this season, but is also the presumed landing spot for Arroyo once he makes it to the bigs.
Of course all of this still leaves left field wide open which makes everyone feel completely uneasy.
Hey, Another Veteran Outfielder is on the Market!
Over the offseason I made the case that the Giants should go for a player like Colby Rasmus who could seal his value defensively in left field, and any offense you happen to get out of him would be a plus. Well, a lower upside version of Rasmus may have just become available, as the Seattle Mariners have designated Leonys Martin for assignment.
Martin will provide Gorkys Hernandez level offense (he's batting .111 to start the season), but if given the playing time he'll finish the season as at least a 2 WAR player based solely on the merits of his defense. Is this a great option? Well, no. Is it worse than what they already have? Also no. The one problem with this beyond excellent plan is that it would take something to acquire Martin from Seattle (maybe just paying the rest of his $4.85M salary would do it), and while the price tag wouldn't be high it's still more than an internal option.
One of those internal options is veteran outfielder Drew Stubbs, who like Michael Morse (currently rehabbing with Sacramento) has some pop in his bat. Unlike Morse though, he can play an average-ish center field.
The only outfield options that are on the 40-man are Orlando Calixte (batting .208) and Mac Williamson, who debuted in Sacramento on Saturday before sitting on Sunday. Williamson getting healthy would solve a lot of problems for the San Francisco squad, but staying healthy has always been rough for Mac. The team is going to need to build upon their depth moving forward in order to stay in the playoff hunt. Leonys Martin may be a nice low-cost option in adding to that depth and could definitely come in handy if Span or Pence is set to miss an extended period of time.