SAN FRANCISCO — The juggling act in the middle of the Giants infield continued Tuesday, with second baseman Miguel Gomez arriving from Class AA Richmond and Austin Slater getting a return trip to Class AAA Sacramento.
Slater, who walked, singled and stole two bases in Monday night’s 10-7 win over the Reds, knew all along he’d probably be headed back to the River Cats.
An outfielder by trade, Slater has played some infield but not enough so he’d be trusted at the major league level. Getting infield work could be a winter project some year for Slater, but for now he’ll remain an outfielder.
Gomez was hitting .297 in 27 games with no homers and nine RBIs. He hit .242 in 22 games with the Giants last year, but it isn’t the offense that manager Bruce Bochy was concerned about.
“More than anything, he’s worked hard on his defense,” Bochy said before the Giants played the Reds in the second game of a three-game series Tuesday night at AT&T Park. “The bat’s going to work. It’s a base-hit bat, a line-drive bat, both sides, uses the whole field. He’s done that, getting the barrel on the ball. The defense is what he needed to work on, and he’s improved quite a bit.”
With Gomez just arriving from Richmond, he didn’t start against the Reds, with Kelby Tomlinson drawing the start at second base as Joe Panik continues the long process of rehabbing a left thumb sprain.
Gomez will likely be in the lineup Wednesday afternoon, when the Giants close out the Reds’ series and face former Mets right-hander Matt Harvey.
The arrival of Gomez would allow Bochy to slide Tomlinson to shortstop and get a day of rest for shortstop Brandon Crawford.
One of the Giants hottest hitters, hit a pair doubles against the Reds Monday night, has hit in 11 of his last 13 games and his hitting .412 this month — second best in the National League behind Atlanta’s Nick Markakis.
Crawford played with back stiff from the cross country flight Sunday night from Pittsburgh. Bochy said Crawford is feels better, but still wants him to get a day of rest.
“This is when you talk to the player, when they help you out,” Bochy said. “As a player, when you’re going well, you don’t want a day off sometimes. But if the body is telling you you need a day . . . when you run them …read more
Source:: The Mercury News – Sports