Sunday, May 24, 2015

Casey McGehee has been Designated for Assignment

Yesterday, Hunter Strickland was activated, and pitched in Saturday's first game.  The Giants and Rockies were allowed to add an extra person to the roster for the make-up double header.  Today, the Giants, needed to get back to a 25-man roster, so they designated internet whipping-boy Casey McGehee for assignment.  Because McGehee is a veteran, he has the option of becoming a free agent.  Or he can accept an assignment to the minor leagues or be traded (which seems unlikely because he kind of sucks).  The Giants retained Hunter Strickland.

So, the net as of right now is that, of the Giants' two off-season acquisitions, only Nori Aoki is still with the team.  It's only May.  I know that Matt Duffy has been doing a terrific job.  I know that Casey McGehee is batting .200 only because of a recent "surge."  I know that he managed to slide into home yesterday but not touch the plate (one of two dumb baserunning mistakes by the Giants in a 5 - 3 loss).  Still, I'm not so sure this is such a good idea.

Casey McGehee had 177 hits last year.  Were he to get to 170 hits last year, that would mean he would hit about .300 the rest of the season.  Matt Duffy might not continue hitting at his current torrid pace. He is, after all, a very young player.  That means that the Giants have 13 pitchers and 12 position players (besides the starters, that now include Duffy, that is Joaquin Arias, Andrew Susac, Gregor Blanco and Justin Maxwell.

My guess is that the Giants are gambling.  They have 10 games in the next 10 days after today's freak show in Coors.  3 in Milwaukee, then 7 at home against Atlanta (4) and Pittsburgh before their next day off June 4.  They may figure they need a pitcher more than a hitter just now and hope that McGehee is willing to accept an assignment to the minor leagues and still be there after that.  I'm guessing, of course.  Generally, though, going with the lunatic fringe's rant-du-jour is not the way to build long term success.


Ron said...

I don't like rosters with more Pitchers than Position Players. And, I don't trust Hunter Strickland. I wish, if they were going to send McGehee packing, they would have promoted Duvall.

M.C. O'Connor said...

I'm guessing he'll take the minor-league assignment (and will clear waivers with his age and salary) and be ready for an injury-related or September call-up. I hope he does, in fact, as he's got something left (despite the poor play) and could be just the guy to come up later and provide a spark.

I wanted Duffy to get the job from the start. The Giants were smart enough to have "veteran insurance" and not put too much pressure on the youngster, but Duffy has shown a lot in his two stints in the bigs. If he's the man for the rest of the year then I'm OK with that. Sure, he and Panik will have their slumps and bad stretches but that's OK, it happens to them all.

Draft picks all the way around the diamond from 1st rounders Panik and Buster to 4th rounder BCraw, 5th rounder Belt and 18th rounder Duffy! Remember when the Dodgers had that golden infield of Yeager, Cey, Russell, Lopes and Garvey? I never thought that was possible again. I'm thinking maybe the Giants have just put one together--wouldn't that be something?

M.C. O'Connor said...

Duvall seems to be thriving at AAA and probably has nothing left to prove in the minors. His issue is most likely his glove--he'd most likely be a step down at 3B, 1B, or LF. Power bat off the bench and spot starter seems to be where he'll end up. Question is, which is better, an extra pitcher or extra pinch-hitter?

campanari said...

I don't think DFAing McGehee had anything to do with the rants of the lunatic fringe. He started the year with pressure as replacement for Sandoval and with a bum knee; his (probably) resulting slump worsened both, as he kept off the DL, tried to do too much at the plate, hit the ball hard but ran poorly (= DPs), and heard booing while also feeling Duffy's hot breath. He needs the spell in AAA or at any rate somewhere else. If he goes somewhere else, Ehire Adrianza is ready, hitting .350 in AAA.

Duvall is doing well in AAA too, but has never shown he can either hit or field at an MLB level. Were the Giants to be able reasonably to pursue trading for A. Beltre, as both Grantland and Grant Brisbee have speculated, then Duvall might be a handy trade chip, if a team that uses the DH believed in his bat.

obsessivegiantscompulsive said...

To be technical, Strickland was optioned back to AAA Sat night, after the game, as part of the 26th man rule, then brought back to the team today, which necessitated dropping someone off the 25-man roster, at which point McGehee was DFAed to make the space.

I agree, the Giants are gambling. I think they preferred to keep Casey around, as a bench player, but they felt that they really needed another reliever. But the odds of another team picking up his contract is close to nil, so the main risk is that he'll bolt given this treatment.

Given his classy statements after the announcement, and after he has time to gather his thoughts better, he'll realize that going to the minors with the Giants is the best choice, as I assume the Giants will tell him their plan is to let him get back into hitting shape (and full health) in the minors, a la his 2014 self, at which point they will bring him back onto the team, either as a bench player who is used often, or perhaps back as starting 3B and utilize Duffy as a super-utility guy playing the majority of the time somewhere.

obsessivegiantscompulsive said...

It's not ideal, Ron, but you got to admit this is a rough stretch of games, it's like the scheduler really wanted to make it really hard for the Giants to repeat, by putting them in these long stretches of road games with no rest.

I trust Strickland at RP more than Duvall trying to field 3B.

obsessivegiantscompulsive said...

While true this is draft picks all the way around, I would note that it was homegrown all the way around last season with Posey, Belt, Panik, Sandoval, Crawford.

That would be something!

I think risk mitigation moves are best for maximizing the chances of reaching the playoffs again. I believe in Duffy too, after last season, and wanted to see him in the job eventually, but it don't hurt to have a vet as insurance in case Duffy had one of those years in 2014 where the player then turns back into a pumpkin. The vet didn't work, but the rookie did, I would still make that move.

I expect to see Arias play more often, with Duffy getting rests against top RHP (and maybe even LHP, like Kershaw).

obsessivegiantscompulsive said...

Oh, the scenario I am hoping for right now is that McGehee comes back at some point, then become our ace in the hole DH should we be good enough to make the World Series again.

M.C. O'Connor said...

Yup, with Panik last year it was homegrown all around, Sandoval being an amateur free agent the Giants signed when he was 16! Pretty cool the Giants could pull off a title with their "own" infield, and are contending again with "one of their own" stepping in.

Four off days in June coming up after this long stretch, maybe they'll be back to 12 pitchers by then.