Down on the Farm: Arroyo's hit streak ends, still leads Triple-A in batting average

Down on the Farm: Arroyo's hit streak ends, still leads Triple-A in batting average

Christian Arroyo finally found his match Thursday night in the Salt Lake Bees. For the first time in the 21-year-old's Triple-A career, he ended a game without a hit.

Arroyo, the Giants' top hitting prospect, started off the season with a 12-game hit streak. The streak ended with an 0-for-4 night in which he also struck out twice. 

Despite the rough game, Arroyo not only still leads the entire Pacific Coast League in batting average at .442, he leads all of Triple-A as well, in 13 games with the Sacramento River Cats. Arroyo also ranks among Triple-A's leaders in OPS (second, 1.165), total bases (second, 36), hits (third, 23), on-base percentage (fifth, .473), and slugging percentage (sixth, .692). 

With all of Arroyo's success to start the season, the Giants may actually be happy he ran into his first taste of adversity. 

"You just want guys to experience the challenge of the higher levels in the minor leagues, so when they come up, when they do struggle or have difficulty, they can rely on the fact that they're where they need to be at the right point in time," Giants GM Bobby Evans explained before the season. "And if they come up too soon and struggle, they might have doubt that they really shouldn't be there."

Through only 13 games, Arroyo has already matched his home run total of three from last season. The PCL is full of hitter-friendly parks, but Arroyo is also showing power to all fields. 

"From his standpoint, he's probably most proud that of his three homers," River Cats hitting coach Dave Brundage said to "One's gone to center, one to left and one to right. That ability to hit to all fields is huge.

"Doing that is a benchmark. Base hits to right and left, line drives up the middle, it's all part of finding himself. That's who he wants to be."

Arroyo is a natural shortstop who has also played three games at second base this season and two at third base. While the Giants' fan base is begging for him to be the savior in left field, the Giants will not rush a prospect to the majors and force him to play out of position. If you do see him in left field on a River Cats lineup soon, it may be a joke and I apologize in advance. 

Whenever Arroyo gets the call up to the bigs, and at whatever position that may be, Brundage trusts the Giants' front office. 

"There's no set time table, no set position," Brundage said. "If he swings the bat, they'll find a spot for him. They always do."

Around The Horn

— Mac Williamson is off to a slow start in his rehab assignment in Advanced Single-A with the San Jose Giants. He went 0-for-3 with three strikeouts Thursday. Williamson has now played in two games and is 1-for-6 in those contests. 

—Tyler Beede tossed his first scoreless outing in Triple-A on Wednesday. The 2014 first-round pick went 6 2/3 innings and only allowed three hits with four strikeouts. 

—Kelby Tomlinson broke an 0-for-14 slump on Thursday. The utility infielder is struggling in Triple-A, slashing just .229/.288/.271 in 11 games. 

Giants CEO Larry Baer won't face criminal charges over incident with wife


Giants CEO Larry Baer won't face criminal charges over incident with wife

The San Francisco district attorney's office announced Tuesday that it has decided not to charge Giants CEO Larry Baer in relation to the March 1 incident with his wife, Pam.

"After a careful review of the relevant evidence, including multiple videos, statements from several witnesses and the parties themselves, the evidence does not support filing criminal charges," Alex Bastian, a district attorney’s office spokesman, told the San Francisco Chronicle.

The Giants said March 4 that Baer was stepping away from day-to-day operations of the Giants. MLB said on the day of the incident that it was “aware of the incident and, just like any other situation like this, will immediately begin to gather the facts. We will have no further comment until this process is completed."

Giants' new role players must step up for team to have successful 2019

Giants' new role players must step up for team to have successful 2019

SAN FRANCISCO -- Before you start reading this, knock on wood a couple dozen times. 

The Giants have stayed healthy this spring, and that's the first step towards being better than they were the last two years. 

But that could change at any moment. After all, Madison Bumgarner got hurt in his final start last spring. Whether it's next week or next month, the Giants will need to start dipping into their depth, and while this has been a remarkably quiet offseason, they have done a decent job of upgrading the back ends of the active and 40-man rosters. 

The 2018 Giants were bad, but the 2018 Sacramento River Cats were also bad, which gave the big league club little hope of finding adequate replacements when injuries popped up, or regulars became ineffective. 

That's one area where this year's team should be better, and if you're looking for a way Farhan Zaidi can automatically pick up a few wins in Year 1, look no further than last year's roster. This is some of what he has had to replace:

Gorkys Hernandez: Despite the homers, he had a .656 OPS in 451 plate appearances
Hunter Pence: He is beloved, but posted a .226/.258/.332 line in 248 plate appearances
Gregor Blanco: Also a #ForeverGiant, but he hit .217/.262/.317 in 203 plate appearances 
Austin Jackson: Had a .604 OPS in 59 games before he was salary-dumped
Kelby Tomlinson: Great dude, fan favorite ... slugged .264 in 152 plate appearances
Chase d'Arnaud: Great dude, great with fans ... had a .618 OPS in 100 plate appearances

The pitching staff was better, but the Giants still had a lot of appearances Zaidi believes can be more effectively replaced. Notably, Hunter Strickland, who was non-tendered, had a 3.97 ERA and 1.41 WHIP in 49 appearances and Pierce Johnson had a 5.56 ERA in 37 appearances. This year's bullpen is deeper and the rotation is deep enough that Andrew Suarez won't be in it to start the year. 

Of all the players listed above, Hernandez (0.5) was the only one with a positive WAR. The rest combined for negative four Wins Above Replacement.  

[RELATED: How will Giants narrow bullpen options before Opening Day?]

Will Yangervis Solarte make better use of those spare infield at-bats? Will Travis Bergen or Trevor Gott be better than the relievers who were let go? Will Mac Williamson, Gerardo Parra and Cameron Maybin greatly outperform Hernandez, Pence and Blanco? 

We'll see, but the standard set in 2018 was not at all a high one, and improvement from the complementary pieces on this year's roster would help the Giants inch a bit closer to meaningful September baseball.