As the San Francisco Giants reach a healthier state, they face an unenviable problem of having too many players doing well. With multiple rehab stints coming to an end, the question for the Giants is, who will be utilized and who won’t?
While no one likes to beat a dead horse, it bears repeating that Austin Slater is TORCHING Triple-A pitching. In 131 at-bats he maintains a .366 batting average on 48 hits, with 24 of those being extra base hits.
With such incredible sustained production, it is a constant wonder how Slater is not with the big league club yet. Now with a number of roster moves on the horizon, there may be some interesting DL stints in order to make room for Austin Slater.
Although news has consistently floated around the San Francisco Giants farm system, not enough has been said about the performance of Hunter Pence. With a newly changed batting stance, Pence has managed an average hovering around .316 in 98 at-bats.
Though it is a small sample size, Pence has shown an impressive improvement as compared to his awful start to the year. With all that being said, Pence should be viewed as someone who could be a trade piece as the season approaches the trade deadline.
An aged veteran, Hunter Pence could bring value with his championship experience and consistent performance in the minors.
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Big Name to Watch: Ray Black
Ray Black struggled early in the year in Sacramento. After being sent down to Double-A, Black has asserted his dominance out of the bullpen. Black has a huge fastball and changes speeds with his slider well.
His ability to keep batters off-balance has led to 20 strikeouts in 10 innings pitched at Double-A.
If Black is able to show a continued ability to get batters out at a high rate, there is a chance he will be making some appearances out of the big league bullpen come September.
Finally, nothing can be anticipated more than the return of Madison Bumgarner and Joe Panik. Alex Pavlovic reports that a return from Panik is coming Friday.
A return from Panik would be greatly welcomed and would bring an important bat back to the lineup. As it stands, the NL West is wide open and a healthy Giants lineup could be primed to make a run for the top spot.