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San Francisco Giants: Time to end the Mac Williamson experiment

DENVER, CO - MAY 7: Mac Williamson #51 of the San Francisco Giants hits a three-run home run during the fourth inning against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field on May 7, 2019 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
DENVER, CO - MAY 7: Mac Williamson #51 of the San Francisco Giants hits a three-run home run during the fourth inning against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field on May 7, 2019 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images) /
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Is it time for the San Francisco Giants to pull the plug on the Mac Williamson experiment?

When Mac Williamson exploded out of the gates at Triple-A this season, the San Francisco Giants hoped he would provide a spark to their lackluster offense.

The 28-year-old was hitting .378/.459/.756 with nine home runs in 23 games when he got the call on May 7. He was also fresh off a three-homer game and swinging it as well as anyone in minor league baseball.

He was 2-for-4 with a home run in his first big league game of the season, and for a brief moment, it looked like the Giants might have an answer to the revolving door in left field.

Now it’s clear that performance was a mirage.

Williamson has gone just 4-for-43 since that impressive first game, posting a .093/.188/.116 line with one extra-base hit in 48 plate appearances.

The Giants have given him the extended look that was promised when he was promoted, and he hasn’t seized the opportunity. Now it looks like we’ve reached the tipping point after he went 0-for-5 with five strikeouts on Thursday.

“That was a tough day there,” manager Bruce Bochy told reporters. “We’ll huddle up and see what we can do to add some offense here.”

That’s about as far from a vote of confidence as you can get.

In all likelihood, Williamson will be designated for assignment before Friday’s game.

He’s been bumped from the 40-man roster once already this year, which means he can reject any minor league assignment in favor of free agency if he goes unclaimed on waivers.

In the meantime, calling up Austin Slater could provide the offensive spark the team is seeking.

Slater, 26, is hitting .321/.452/.597 with 10 doubles and nine home runs in 39 games and he has been tearing up Triple-A pitching of late. He’s hitting .417 with three home runs in his last six games.

Since he is already on the 40-man roster, the Giants would actually be opening up a slot for further shuffling if the swap Slater for Williamson.

The other option would be to add another arm for the time being. Lefty reliever Williams Jerez has been up once already this year, while Tyler Beede has bounced back and forth.

As far as playing time is concerned, Tyler Austin has homered in back-to-back games and continues to have a strong case for more at-bats. Backup catcher Stephen Vogt also saw a start in left field earlier this week, so he could see increased action as well.

Next. Sell-off Series: Building a trade with the Minnesota Twins

Regardless of the corresponding moves, it’s time for the San Francisco Giants to end the Mac Williamson experiment.

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