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San Francisco Giants: Chris Shaw Showing Improvement, Must Play More

SF Giants slugger Chris Shaw. (Photo by Stephen Lam/Getty Images)
SF Giants slugger Chris Shaw. (Photo by Stephen Lam/Getty Images)
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The San Francisco Giants called up Chris Shaw after they sent McCutchen to the Yankees for a few “fringe” prospects. They’ve yet to give him a real consistent look in games. That’s gotta change through the next two weeks.

Most of the San Francisco Giants fanbase let out a little rejoice when they finally called up Chris Shaw. The slugger has been a top power prospect in the organization, and a discussion of “when” not “if” for the last two years. Now he’s here, he hasn’t gotten the consistent playing time, despite management saying he’d get the majority share of playing time in left field.

However, Chris Shaw has shown some improvement in handling pitching at the big league level, as he’s been drawing a few walks, and posted two hits yesterday against the Rockies. According to Mercury News’ Kerry Crowley, Shaw has been tinkering with his swing and approach a bit.

"While manager Bruce Bochy promised Shaw would play regularly against right-handed pitchers, the Giants have at times held Shaw out in favor of veteran and pending free agent Hunter Pence. Though the decision is unpopular among a contingent of fans who want to see the Giants develop their young talent, Bochy explained the coaching staff is tinkering with Shaw’s mechanics at the plate."

This bit I understand. But at some point, he’s got to get some reps at the big league level. Let’s take a look at the Kansas City Royals, whose season was going to be a loss anyways at the start of the year.

They’ve given some serious playing time to a few of their prospects in Ryan O’Hearn and Raul Mondesi. Mondesi and O’Hearn struggled a lot, and while their playing time was curtailed a bit at the beginning, they’ve all been given the reigns the last month. In turn, the Royals have gone 13-7 since August 24. So why haven’t the Giants been comfortable enough to turn significant playing time reigns over to the prospects?

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Part of that is pride on Bruce Bochy and the management’s part. They may not feel that letting young guys feel it out and struggle for a week or two in the big leagues is good for their resumés’ come this offseason.

After all, it’s pretty clear that those named Bobby Evans are definitely on the hot seat. But frankly, he sealed his fate two months ago when he saw this team, as decrepit and wavering as it was at the trade deadline, and felt they had enough to really give it a go and compete. So, to me, and many others, it seems lame that they’d sacrifice development for padding the win column in an already lost season.

I’m never an advocate for going into a season with the idea of tanking. That’s already terrible. Wagering an entire season on development and tanking for draft picks isn’t fun for anyone.

However, when you did give it an honest go, and were close, but just too injured and cold at the wrong time, you can then sacrifice results for development. The season is already a failure from the winning standpoint, so you have to find a way to take a silver lining, or help yourself in the long run.

Read. What Happened the Last Time Posey Was Hurt?

I understand the Giants holding him out a bit while they tinker with his swing and such, but ten games under .500, and six games against the Padres coming up might be a good time to get him into the fire and see consistent AB’s, and apply the things he’s been working on with the Giants’ staff since the call-up. It seems logical, which is why I have little doubt the Giants will end up doing that at this rate.

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