San Francisco Giants: It’s Time for Mac Williamson
By Michael Saltzman
As the San Francisco Giants begin a series with the National League West leading Arizona Diamondbacks, they are coming off a brutal series against the San Diego Padres, which left plenty of cause for concern.
The Giants lost three of four to a Padres team who is year two of a rebuild without their best player, Wil Myers and one of their best young players, Manuel Margot.
This morning on the Giants flagship station, KNBR-680, Giants longtime broadcaster Duane Kuiper called three of the most disappointing losses he’s ever broadcasted.
Meanwhile, Mac Williamson won Minor League Player of the Week as he is now hitting .548 on the season. Williamson has completely reinvented his swing and it has led to a transformation the team saw throughout Spring Training and the start of the season.
Hunter Pence, the team’s regular left fielder, has struggled. He is no longer hitting for power, which is magnified by others in the lineup struggling during the early part of the season.
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Pence has also been below average in the outfield, specifically with his arm. Hitters are routinely taking an extra 90 feet on him and it is making for bigger innings that might not happen if the Giants had someone better defensively to replace him with.
Williamson would be a huge upgrade in the outfield and in the lineup and it is time to see if his light tower power will finally translate consistently at the major league level. While Mac has shown flashes throughout his career of how powerful he can be at the plate, he has never taken an outfield job outright.
Now, with his consistency through Spring and into April, it is time to see if that power can continue.
Pence moving to the bench would mean the Giants could designate Gregor Blanco or Gorkys Hernandez for assignment. Both players have started strong to the season and also bring a similar skill set, so while they may seem redundant, they are both contributing. With $18.5 million being paid to Pence, it is highly unlikely he gets released.
With Johnny Cueto and Jeff Samardzija returning soon from injury along with Will Smith, the Giants may be able to add Williamson without having to decide between one of their outfielders for who to demote.
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However the Giants decide to shuffle their 25 man roster, it is clear that Mac Williamson is ready to be a part of it again.