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SF Giants: Could Chris Shaw Finally be the Answer in Left Field?

May 21, 2017; St. Louis, MO, USA; San Francisco Giants left fielder Eduardo Nunez (10) dives to catch a ball hit by St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Adam Wainwright (not pictured) during the fourth inning at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
May 21, 2017; St. Louis, MO, USA; San Francisco Giants left fielder Eduardo Nunez (10) dives to catch a ball hit by St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Adam Wainwright (not pictured) during the fourth inning at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
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As the SF Giants battle through a 20-27 start to the 2017 season, one question has been looming over the organization for several months: Who is going to be their every day left fielder?

The answer to this riddle might finally be clearer as Chris Shaw was promoted today to Triple-A to play for the Sacramento River Cats. A former first baseman, Shaw has moved to left field to open the door for him to make it to the major leagues sooner.

His bat has remained strong in the middle of the order, but his position now could send him to San Francisco.

Shaw is a former first round pick, 31st overall, out of Boston College in the 2015 June Draft. He has risen up the minor leagues quickly and is now on the doorstep of the major leagues.

Seven months ago, I wrote my first piece for Around the Foghorn. It began “The San Francisco Giants have tried 31 different left fielders since Barry Bonds left.”

In 2017, the Giants have added Jarrett Parker, Chris Marrero, and Aaron Hill to that list. Gorkys Hernandez, Justin Ruggiano, and Mac Williamson have also played in left. Not to mention third baseman Eduardo Nunez and first baseman Brandon Belt have been asked to play out of position and join the ranks in the outfield.

Parker broke his collarbone, Marrero is working out a deal to be sent overseas, and Hill is on rehab assignment in Sacramento.

In the same article I wrote 30 weeks ago, I suggested Williamson should be the Giants starting left fielder in 2017. He still could be.

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Because of an injury to Hunter Pence, Williamson has been playing more right field than left since he was called up to the major leagues.

Williamson hasn’t yet been the answer the team hoped for when they decided to trade Adam Duvall to the Cincinnati Reds in favor Parker and Williamson.

Injuries have kept Williamson from showing the promise he had shown throughout the minor leagues.

Now with Shaw getting a promotion to Triple-A, the writing’s on the wall for both players. Promoting Shaw should be a clear message to Williamson that his chance to take left field and be the everyday player is closing.

This does not mean it is closed, and sometimes that is all the motivation a player needs. Knowing that the next prospect is on his heels could be the best thing for both players.

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In the meantime, it is clear that Shaw could be the next left fielder given a chance to finally stop the revolving door.

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