Giants

Bond, Peguero among candidates for Sept. call-up

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Bond, Peguero among candidates for Sept. call-up

September 1st is a day that fans and hopeful minor leaguers look forward to each season. As that fateful day inches closer, fans and beat writers speculate who might be called up when rosters expand.

Prospects like Francisco Peguero and Heath Hembree could be sporting the black and orange in a few short weeks. There are several other minor leaguers who have had successful seasons as well, like infielder Brock Bond and relievers Jean Machi and Mitch Lively, that could be called up. The San Francisco Giants will most likely call up first baseman Brett Pill, catcher Eli Whiteside and relief pitchers Dan Otero and Steve Edlefsen, who have all spent time at the big league level this season.In the wake of Melky Cabreras 50-game suspension, outfielder Peguero has been brought up by beat writers and fans as a possible option down the stretch. Peguero is on the 40-man roster and has had a consistent first season at the Triple-A level.I am working hard and its not up to me, Peguero said when asked about being a potential call up in the next few weeks.In 100 games, the Giants number two prospect is hitting .274 (118-for-430) with 20 doubles, ten triples, and five home runs. On Saturday night, he extended his current hit streak to 18 games after going 2-for-4. Over the 18-game streak, Peguero is hitting .338 with eight doubles, a triple and 11 RBI.I have been working on my mechanics, Peguero said. And trying to get better pitches to hit.Bond has been hitting a quiet .330 plus all season with Triple-A Fresno. Last year, Bonds season was cut short when he was hit with a line drive in the head during batting practice. He suffered a concussion and wasnt even able to run on a treadmill without feeling dizzy for several months. In 19 games in 2011, he batted .246 (14-for-57) with one double, two triples and three runs batted in.

Prior to 2011's season-ending injury, Bond posted solid numbers at each minor league level. In 2010, he split time between Triple-A Fresno and Double-A Richmond, knocking in a combined 39 runs, with 27 doubles and five triples in 129 games. This season is no exception for the utility infielder; he is currently batting .343 (97-for-283) with 11 doubles, two triples and 28 RBI in 90 games.This season I have learned to be more consistent, Bond said. Not playing everyday and sitting the bench for a while and then going in randomly, I feel like I have been ready.He has played second base, third base and left field but spent the majority of his time being the designated hitter. As a pinch hitter he is hitting .421 (8-for-19) with a double and an RBI. Bond would be a great bat off the bench for the San Francisco Giants; the only problem is that he is not on the 40-man roster.I have always wanted to play in the big leagues, Bond said. Its been on my mind since I was a little kid. That is my goal and if it happened I would be really excited.Heath Hembree has been the topic of conversation since he was drafted in the 5th round of the 2010 first-year player draft. When closer Brian Wilson hit the disabled list a few games into the season, fans were hoping that the flame-thrower would get the call to the big leagues. That didnt happen, but Hembree still has a very good shot at being a September call-up. Hembree had a great start to his Triple-A career, posting a 2.00 ERA in nine games with five saves in April. From April 26th to May 5th, Hembree saved six consecutive games without giving up a hit or a run. In mid-April the Fresno Grizzlies stopped using him in back-to-back games. Hembree was placed on the disabled list on July 5th with a strained flexor muscle in his forearm after giving up five runs in two-thirds of an inning the night before. Before heading back to Triple-A Fresno, Hembree made five relief appearances for High-A San Jose from August 8th to August 17th. In five games, he struck out seven and walked one without giving up a run or allowing a hit. He was activated in Triple-A Fresno on Sunday.Machi and Lively are two right-handed pitchers that deserve to be considered for a September call-up. Several scouts have mentioned to me over the season that both of them are major league ready. Machi, 30, has shared the closer position with Heath Hembree all season. He is 2-1 with 12 saves and a 3.88 ERA. Fans might remember him almost breaking spring training with the Giants. Lively, 26, is used in the seventh and eighth innings for Triple-A Fresno. He is 6-4 with a 3.26 in 41 games. In the month of August, he is 1-0 with a 1.50 ERA. In 12 innings he has struck out 13 while only allowing two runs and six hits.

Good news, bad news for Chris Shaw's first week in the Arizona Fall League

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MiLB/Sacramento River Cats

Good news, bad news for Chris Shaw's first week in the Arizona Fall League

Every time the Journey song “Lights” plays throughout AT&T Park, the lyrics When the lights go down in the City ring too true for the Giants’ offense. There’s a power outage in San Francisco. 

The savior to this issue can soon be prospect Chris Shaw, who turns 24 years old on Oct. 20. Shaw, along with five other Giants prospects, is continuing his 2017 season among a multitude of baseball’s best young up-and-comers in the Arizona Fall League. As he takes the field for the Scottsdale Scorpions, Shaw’s bat is far from the top focus for the Giants. 

After playing right and left field at Boston College, the Giants turned Shaw into a first baseman once they selected the 6-foot-4, 235-pound lefty in 2015. This year, the Giants’ front office decided to make a change. As the big league team continued to look for their own answers, Shaw saw himself in left field in 94 of the 125 games he played between Double-A and Triple-A this season. 

“I saw improvements through the course of the year,” Brian Sabean said about Shaw’s outfield defense on The Giants Insider Podcast. “The problem is playing left field in our left field isn’t necessarily the easiest thing to do.” 

The AFL is all about reps in left field for Shaw as the Giants have already said he will get a long look in spring training. He earned that right after a breakout year at the plate.

One week into the AFL though, Shaw’s bat is way behind. Through four games, Shaw is batting a pedestrian .133 (2-for-15), both hits being singles. But even in such a slow start there are positives. 

Shaw has walked three times to only two strikeouts. His only downfall at the plate once he reached Triple-A Sacramento was his on-base percentage fell from .390 in Double-A to .328 at the higher level. With the River Cats, Shaw struck out 106 times, leading the team, while taking his base 20 times.

One week in the desert, Shaw is showing more patience and putting the ball into play more often. The ball simply isn’t finding grass.

In the outfield, every ball Shaw sees -- practice or game -- during the AFL is a step in the right direction for he and the Giants. He is yet to make an error in his short time at the AFL. The big lefty will never be a guy to make the spectacular play, but if he improves his instincts with the glove and improves his eye at the plate, the Giants can finally have their left fielder of the future. 

Former Giants infielder replaces Dodgers' star shortstop on NLCS roster

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USATSI

Former Giants infielder replaces Dodgers' star shortstop on NLCS roster

LOS ANGELES — Shortstop Corey Seager has been left off the Los Angeles Dodgers' roster for the NL Championship Series against the Chicago Cubs.

The Dodgers announced Seager's surprise omission due to a back injury on Saturday, several hours before Game 1 at Dodger Stadium.

Los Angeles also dropped reliever Pedro Baez from its roster. Infielder Charlie Culberson and outfielder Joc Pederson were added.

Chicago made only one change from the last playoff round, adding reliever Hector Rondon and removing reliever Justin Wilson.

Seager complained of back soreness during the Dodgers' NL Division Series clincher in Arizona on Monday, and 2016 NL Rookie of the Year didn't participate in team workouts this week. Still, manager Dave Roberts said Friday that he was very optimistic that Seager would play in the NLCS.

Seager was an All-Star selection this season while batting .295 with 22 homers and 77 RBIs as a key part of the top of the Dodgers' lineup.

Kike Hernandez, Chris Taylor and Culberson all worked out at shortstop Friday for the Dodgers. The versatile Taylor was the Dodgers' center fielder during the NLDS, but he made 96 appearances in the outfield this season and 44 in the infield, including 14 games at shortstop.

Pederson is batting .071 with no homers since July, but the Dodgers could need him in center field if Taylor plays shortstop.

Culberson famously homered to clinch the Dodgers' NL West title in announcer Vin Scully's final home game last season, but the infielder spent most of this season at Triple-A, appearing in only 14 games for the Dodgers.

Rondon was the Cubs' closer in 2014 and 2015, but moved to a setup role last season after Aroldis Chapman's arrival. He appeared in 61 regular-season games this year, going 4-1 with a 4.24 ERA in an up-and-down campaign.

Chicago acquired Wilson in a trade with Detroit on July 31, adding a veteran left-handed reliever who had 13 saves for the Tigers this season. The Southern California native wasn't great in his two months with the Cubs, posting a 5.09 ERA with 19 walks in 23 appearances.

Manager Joe Maddon chose Wilson for the NLDS over Rondon, only to switch it up against the Dodgers.