Blach, Williamson among Giants' September 1 call-ups


Blach, Williamson among Giants' September 1 call-ups

When roster expand on Thursday, the Giants will add six players to their roster.

Outfielder Mac Williamson and reliever Josh Osich will be activated from rehab assignments while pitchers Ty Blach, Matt Reynolds, Steven Okert and infielder Kelby Tomlinson will be recalled by the Giants, the team announced shortly after beating Arizona on Wednesday.

Williamson, on the disabled list since August 2 with a jammed left shoulder, had been rehabbing with Triple-A Sacramento since August 14. On August 23, when the Giants called up Gorkys Hernandez, Bruce Bochy deemed Williamson "not 100 percent." In 42 games with the Giants this season, Williamson is hitting .245 with three doubles, six home runs and 15 RBI.

On Monday, the 25-year-old Blach was named to the 2016 All-PCL team after posting a 14-7 record with a 3.43 ERA and 113 strikeouts in 162.2 innings for Triple-A Sacramento. PostPCL All-Star break, the 2012 fifth round pick has posted a 2.42 ERA in 52 innings.

Osich, who made 48 appearances for the Giants through July 23, was placed on the DL at the end of July with a left forearm strain. While on a rehab assignment with Sacramento, the Giants had Osich overhaul parts of his game, notably by having him move towards the first base side of the rubber. Osich was also instructed to throw his change up more.

A sprained left thumb landed Tomlinson on the 60-day-DL on June 10. In 49 games with Sacramento this season, Tomlinson hit .286 with eight doubles, no home runs and 20 RBI.

Reynolds joined the Giants organization on June 24 and made a two-game cameo in late July. In 20 games between Double-A Richmond and Triple-A Sacramento, Reynolds pitched 18.2 scoreless innings.

Okert, who made seven appearances for the Giants this season, posted a 3.80 ERA in 41 relief appearance for the River Cats.

Giants Review: In limited time, Avelino was 'a breath of fresh air'


Giants Review: In limited time, Avelino was 'a breath of fresh air'

SAN FRANCISCO — Abiatal Avelino had just 11 at-bats in the big leagues in 2018, three of which resulted in singles. He left a much larger impact on the front office, though. 

When Larry Baer, Brian Sabean and Bruce Bochy met with beat reporters before the season’s final day, Bochy smiled as he recalled a conversation he had with the rookie in his office a day earlier. Sabean called Avelino “a beautiful young kid” and “very passionate.”

“He has a lot of fun playing the game, and that’s half the battle,” Sabean said. “He’s an interesting personality and I mean that in a positive way. He was a breath of fresh air, even though he didn’t play that much.”

Giants coaches noticed how Avelino seemed to grow two feet the second he got that first hit out of the way, brimming with confidence in subsequent at-bats. They noticed that he was often the first one out of the dugout, greeting teammates who had never heard of him a week or two earlier. He did all the right things off the field, and on the field, there’s plenty of talent. 

Here, Avelino is the latest profiled in our look at the 2018 Giants. If you missed any of them , here are Pablo Sandoval, Ty Blach and Nick Hundley. You can find the rest of them here

What Went Right

Avelino broke through with Double-A Trenton, hitting .337 with 10 homers, 28 RBI and 15 stolen bases in 49 games. That earned him a promotion to the Yankees’ Triple-A affiliate. His numbers took a dip there, but overall, he hit .283 in the minors in 2018, totaling 15 homers, eight triples, 13 doubles and 27 stolen bases for three affiliates. 

Avelino made his MLB debut on Sept. 8 and picked up his first two hits on Sept. 26. He singled off Clayton Kershaw in his second-to-last appearance of the season. 

Avelino did not play enough to make any kind of real determination about his defense, but he appears to be a true shortstop with the skills to play other infield spots, and team officials want to see if he can play the outfield, too. 

(Also he had one of the funniest celebrations of the season.)

What Went Wrong

It’s hard to take too much away from the Major League numbers. At two Triple-A stops, Avelino struggled a bit, posting a .663 OPS after a promotion with the Yankees and then going 2-for-13 with the River Cats. He was 23 and repeating Double-A, so perhaps it shouldn’t be a surprise that he dominated the level in 2018.

The Giants would like to see more from him in Triple-A early next season. 

Avelino is certainly fast, but some on staff believe he’s more of an above-average runner than the elite burner that his minor league stat lines say he is. That’s to be determined. He didn’t get to run much in September. 

Contract Status

Avelino was added to a 40-man roster for the first time in September. He has not used any minor league options. 

The Future

Avelino, acquired in the Andrew McCutchen trade, will play winter ball this offseason and the Giants will be open-minded about him when he arrives in Scottsdale. But a number of things will have to go wrong elsewhere for him to be in the big leagues early next season. He needs more minor league at-bats, but he should be a factor at some point in 2019.

It’s been a while since the Giants had a true backup for Brandon Crawford, and Avelino could become interesting quickly if he shows he can be a super-utility player.

Giants executive David Bell named finalist for Reds next manager


Giants executive David Bell named finalist for Reds next manager

SAN FRANCISCO -- As the Giants continue their search for a new head of baseball operations, one of their top executives may be headed elsewhere.

The Cincinnati Reds announced Thursday morning that three men will get second interviews in their search for a new manager: Joe Girardi, Brad Ausmus and David Bell, currently serving as the Giants' vice president of player development. 

Bell, who joined the Giants last offseason, also reportedly has interviewed with the Rangers and Blue Jays. Some within the Giants organization have viewed him as their future manager, but it seems a decent bet that he'll get his shot well before then.

Bell was a manager in the Reds' minor league system earlier in his career and his father played for the Reds. 

The Reds had 12 candidates interview initially, according to Bell was joined by, among others, current Giants bench coach Hensley Meulens.