Everything about San Francisco Giants top prospect Gary Brown says he’s a Major League center fielder. Any scout will say the same (well, at least about his position), so, it was a bit odd when reports surfaced that Brown started in left field for the Richmond Squirrels tonight – a left field that was recently vacated by the Melky Cabrera suspension.
The start in left field marked the first time Brown had played any position other than center in his two plus years of minor league ball and certainly raised some eyebrows among the orange and black faithful. There were rumblings that the Giants had intentions to potentially call up Brown when the rosters expanded in September before the Melky Cabrera suspension, but they were quieted when some of the Giants’ brass (through “sources”) said they preferred to keep the Cal Fullerton product on the farm. Who knows just how truthful either of those scenarios were, but the move to left field (at least for one night) has fueled the fire of an upcoming call-up.
With two weeks until the roster expansion, my guess is they’re simply grooming Brown for a potential cup of coffee – nothing imminent, just doing their due diligence if he does come up when rosters expand. With the Giants currently in first, any player they’d attempt to acquire via trade (assuming they haven’t already been placed on waivers) would most likely be blocked by either the Diamondbacks or Dodgers, so the G’s may be planning for the scenario of not being able to deal for a left fielder. It’s a smart move that gives Brown some experience in left IF he and the Giants need it. If not – no big deal, but it’s a preventive measure for a scenario they probably would prefer to avoid.