September 20, 2012; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants first baseman Brett Pill (6) in the dugout against the Colorado Rockies during the fourth inning at AT
Brett Pill is a promising young prospect with a plethora of pop and a solid glove at first base. He can play some outfield, too — in a pinch.
The problems with those assertions are: Pill isn’t young anymore – he turns 30 this coming season – and any of that promise has yet to be realized at the Major League level.
Sure, he hasn’t had a consistent shot. He has been blocked by Brandon Belt and others despite some fantastic minor league numbers. He hit .344/.379/.630 with 18 HRs and 79 RBI in just 68 games for AAA Fresno last year. There were days when I found myself shouting to — well, myself – “X-player stinks! Where is Brett Pill?!” in frustration.
May 13, 2012; Phoenix, AZ, USA; San Francisco Giants batter Brett Pill hits a two run home run in the fifth inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
The recent addition of Mike Morse as the everyday left fielder – and the fact that Morse can play first base – creates an even deeper abyss from which to climb. I’ve seen the Tweets, the signs, the Facebook and article comments pining for an everyday appearance for Mr. Pill. But, perhaps it’s time to set him free.
He isn’t going to get a chance with San Francisco. Not next year, maybe not ever. Belt further cemented his status as the everyday first baseman last season and Morse, aka “The Beast”, fulfills the exact same role Pill would hope to satisfy.
As CSN Bay Area’s Andrew Baggarly noted, having Pill and Morse is indeed a redundancy on the 40-man roster. A spot needs to be opened up when Morse finalizes his contract Tuesday, and Pill appears to be the odd-man-out this time.
He is out of minor league options.
Hank Schulman at the San Francisco Chronicle reported last week – and reminded us today – that the Giants have fielded at least one call for Pill’s services.
What kind of value does Pill have? Can he deliver the Giants a bullpen arm? A promising minor league bullpen arm? Some sweet, sweet cash? None whatsoever? The fact that he will be turning 30-years-old next September – and that he has only 259 MLB plate appearances – will undoubtedly limit any return and unfortunately points towards the latter.
September 15, 2013; Los Angeles, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants first baseman Brett Pill (6) is congratulated after hitting a solo home run in the seventh inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Pill may not be going anywhere at all. But, it certainly behooves the Giants to try considering the current state of the roster.
At this point it’s anyone’s guess what Brian Sabean and Co. might do to create room. Moving Pill does make an awful lot of sense though — unless the thinking is to keep him around as an insurance policy for the oft-injured Morse.
I hope he finds some success if he does move on. Obviously the same sentiment if he stays. There are plenty of examples of players his age and older that have blossomed into quality, even All Star players – look no further than the Giants’ own Ryan Vogelsong (and yes, it’s still strange that 29-30 is considered older in sports).
Pill may never get that shot if he continues to linger with San Francisco.