San Jose Team Report | May 23

Apparently the patience with a slump has a limit, and that limit is about a month and a half. With top pick Emmanuel Burriss demoted in favor of hot-hitting Brian Bocock, can the Giants get back their winning ways?

RECORD: 27-18 (.600); First in the Northern Division (three games ahead of the second place Modesto Nuts)

Almost a year ago, the Giants 2006 draft occurred. Most will remember it for the drafting of now-major leaguer and apparent superstar Tim Lincecum. But some will forget that the Giants made one curious move: they drafted four college shortstops in the first 13 rounds.

Earlier this week, they swapped two of them in the system.

Emmanuel Burriss, picked No. 33 overall, had an awful start to the season in San Jose. Through 36 games, he batted .165 (23-for-139) with just two doubles as his only extra-base hits. He's been successful on the basepaths with 17 steals in 20 tries, but that was about the only bright spot this year.

Meanwhile Brian Bocock, the 266th overall pick (Ninth round), had gotten off to a hot start in Augusta. He batted .292 in 39 games with nine doubles, a triple, and a home run. More notably, he got off to a hot start, leading the pros for much of the season in stolen bases, ending up with 26 in 34 tries.

To see the demotion of a top pick like Burriss is as tough to see as it was probably tough to take for him, but this seems like it was the right move. San Jose's offense had been floundering. Burriss has done better in four games since the demotion, batting .250 and already having stolen four bases. Bocock has played in just two games since his promotion, but his first hit was a home run, to announce his presence with authority.

The change in the Giants lineup could be pretty big, but Bocock will need to find a home in it. It's probably at the No. 2 spot in the order, with one of the Giants fast outfielders in Antoan Richardson or Alex Requena ahead of him, and some of the more powerful hitters behind him (notably, the No. 3 hitter behind Bocock so far has been Brad Boyer, another one of the 2006 shortstops, a 13th round pick, playing mostly second base).

Bocock could be an ideal fit at the No. 2 spot. Most of his on-base numbers came from singles rather than walks, a good thing with guys like Richardson and Requena likely on base in front of him. And he'll get on base a lot for the rest of the lineup, a dynamic missing from the Giants offense in the past month or so.

That'll be key as the Giants are in the midst of a five-game series against second place Modesto. It could go a long way toward determining who will get the first-half seed from the Northern division into the playoffs, a spot that has belonged to San Jose for the past two years.

Roster Moves: In case you haven't heard yet, the Giants got Brian Bocock from Augusta, while demoting Emmanuel Burriss. The Giants also got Tyler Von Schell back from Fresno. Von Schell had been batting .261 in Fresno overall this season, but had only played in one game since leaving San Jose to return to Fresno on May 12th, so he has been brought back to San Jose. He's batting .381 with three home runs in his first 10 games in San Jose.

Player of the Week: Mike Mooney

Mooney, a key offensive player for the currently offensively-challenged Giants, is beginning to show signs of breaking out. He's batted .364 (8-for-22) since May 16th, with two doubles and a home run. He's also contributed four runs scored, four RBI, and three walks over four strikeouts. Mooney, batting .269 overall for the season, has not had a truly bad season, per se, but it has definitely been disappointing so far. If he can come out of it, however, he could team with Von Schell and the (hopefully eventually) returning Ben Copeland to give San Jose the offensive heart it needs.

By The Numbers: 5

Five is the number of games in the current series the Giants are playing at Modesto, the second place team in the division. The Nuts came into the series four games behind San Jose, and took the first game from San Jose on Tuesday. The rest of the series should be a big indicator of who will take the first-half playoff seed from the Northern Division, but it won't be the last word. The Nuts will come to town on June 15-17 to close out the first half.

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