The Giants come off the All-Star break with seven games in six days, three of those games against division-leading Arizona and four against Cincinnati. How those games fall will start to determine what the Giants and general manager Brian Sabean do at the deadline. Get swept out and the team could sell off assets to contending teams; come out roaring and San Fran could be buyers at the July 31st non-waiver trade deadline. But either way, says Sabean, Lincecum shouldn’t expect to be moved.
In an interview on KNBR Thursday Sabean pooh-poohed the idea of moving Lincecum, saying, “I find it hard to believe that we’ll see Timmy in another uniform this year.” This is encouraging for fans of the diminutive pitcher, who had a career day last week in San Diego when he threw the seventh no-hitter in the San Francisco era.
A team grasping at straws, the Giants made two moves before Tuesday’s game against the Mets.
First, they placed Hector Sanchez on the disabled list with an injury I care less about than Phish cares about brevity. Mike Kickham gets his third trip to the big-league roster to replace the Giants’ thirdÂ catcher. But the bizarre move was the call-up of Kensuke Tanaka, the Japanese import that lost a backup infield role when his bat and glove failed him in Spring Training.
The move was so bizarre it almost worked. Upon being recalled, Tanaka was immediately written into the lineup as the starting left fielder and No. 2 hitter. Who he was vexed the more casual fan, while the Lunatic Fringe was curious why a guy who has played nine games in American outfields was ready for a corner spot in AT&T.
Then there was The Catch. No, Dwight Clark or T.O. didn’t show up. But this happened:
Monday was turbulent day in Giants-dom. Not only did Giants fans get to experience Puig-mania for the first time, but the roster got a complete overhaul.
Pablo Sandoval returned from a foot injury that kept him out for the better part of three weeks, going 2-4 in last night’s loss to Los Angeles. To make room on the roster, infielder Nick Noonan was sent down to Triple-A Fresno. The 24-year-old Noonan hit just .212 in 85 at-bats, plying his trade at multiple infield positions.
Fill-in starter Chad Gaudin hits the disabled list after taking a line drive off his pitching arm. Gaudin slid into the rotation after Vogelsong was himself struck with a ball, and pitched admirably. In four starts Gaudin posted a 3.38 ERA, notching wins in the first two games he started.
Lefty Mike Kickham was recalled for the second time this season, having previously made a spot start in Oakland in May. Kickham didn’t make it out of the third inning in his debut, giving up four earned runs in 4.1 innings. The No. 3 prospect in the Giants’ system according to Baseball America, Kickham has a career 3.85 minor league ERA.
The Giants made a non-injury roster move as well, sending down right-handed reliever Jean Machi and recalling George Kontos from Fresno. Machi gave up five runs on seven hits across his last two appearances, registering just two outs in the process. Kontos was demoted on June 12th in favor of Sandy Rosario, and may still face a suspension for beaning Andrew McCutcheon. He is available because the 3-game suspension is under review.