He Who Hesitates…Looks Less Insightful

Casey McGehee Loses Roster Spot May 24, 2015

Casey McGehee Loses Roster Spot May 24, 2015

Four days ago, I made myself a note that said simply, “Time to bench McGehee?” I put it on my list of future blog posts. Then other more important things kept crowding it off my ToDo list so I never got around to writing it.

Here’s how Comcast SportsNet Bay Area announced this morning’s shocker:

The Giants made a surprise move on Sunday morning, designating the 32-year-old McGehee for assignment and installing 24-year-old Matt Duffy as their everyday third baseman. The move was made in part because the Giants wanted to keep 13 pitchers during this stretch, and that meant adding Hunter Strickland to the roster.

“Designated for assignment” is a baseball euphemism for “cut”. He’d have been sent straight to the AAA Sacramento River Cats but his status as a contract veteran made that impossible. He may choose to report there or he may try to catch on with some other MLB team. He said he’s going to talk to his family before making a final decision. Given his age, his pitiful performance at the plate, in the field and on the bases in the first 35 games of the season, he’s not likely to be an attractive candidate anywhere else in baseball but his age and status make a AAA assignment distasteful.

McGehee was picked up from the Marlins during the offseason as a potential replacement for last year’s third-sacker Pablo Sandoval. When they signed him, they knew he wouldn’t approach Panda’s power, but nobody expected this sputtering start. He was barely hitting .200, had struck out 24 times and knocked in a meager 9 runs. And he was leading the National League in one statistical category: GIDP. Which means “grounded into double plays.” Ouch.

MATT DUFFY settles in as new regular 3rd baseman

MATT DUFFY settles in as new regular 3rd baseman

The G-Men will go with Matt Duffy as their regular third basemen, which I think is clearly their best move and what I’d have suggested in my almost-written column. The swap marks a noticeable improvement for the team overall.

A lot of folks are probably asking themselves why Bruce Bochy didn’t make the move sooner. One reason is McGehee’s veteran status; you figure a guy with his playing time would find his way out of the terrible slump and inattentiveness. Another is that Duffy was still a bit of an unknown at the start of the season; that’s no longer the case. He’s hitting .299 with two homers and 19 RBIs. And he’s been solid, at times brilliant, with his glove. At the ripe old age of 24, I think it’s safe to say he’s our third baseman for some years to come.

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Jim & Laurie in Scottsdale Play Blog Correspondent for Me

Laurie Paegelow and Jim Staebler are hanging out in Scottsdale this week taking in the Giants’ third week of Spring Training. I asked Laurie how she’s enjoying the adventure so far. She answered:

It would be better if they actually won a game. 🙂
But that’s just the icing on the cake. We’re having fun even though its HOT.
Here are some of the pictures they’re sharing with us on this blog. I can feel the spring in the air and the itch in my travelin’ shoes!
New third-sacker Casey McGehee walking by the field box seats.

New third-sacker Casey McGehee walking by the field box seats.

Tim Hudson looking good as he starts for the G-Men

Tim Hudson looking good as he starts for the G-Men

Tim Lincecum on the mound, having a better-than-expected spring

Tim Lincecum on the mound, having a better-than-expected spring

Hunter Strickland takes his turn on the hill in what's been a disappointing spring

Hunter Strickland takes his turn on the hill in what’s been a disappointing spring

Possible closer Sergio Romo seems to be getting his groove back

Possible closer Sergio Romo seems to be getting his groove back

Thursday's lineup card in the Giants dugout. Looks nearly like I'd expect to see it most of the season.

Thursday’s lineup card in the Giants dugout. Looks nearly like I’d expect to see it most of the season.

Quick Flash: Giants Pick Up McGehee at Third

New Giants 3B Casey McGehee, late of the Marlins

New Giants 3B Casey McGehee, late of the Marlins

The Giants last night signed the Miami Marlins’ Casey McGehee to fill the gaping hole at third left when Pablo Sandoval was traded to the Boston Red Sox. McGeehee had been the subject of a lot of speculation about the Giants’ off-season maneuvering. From the beginning, he was viewed as a top prospect at the hot corner.

The Giants traded two minor league pitching prospects to the Marlins.

The 32-year-old McGehee won NL Comeback Player of the Year honors after hitting .287 with 29 doubles, four home runs and 76 RBIs for Miami following a season with the Rakuten Golden Eagles in Japan. He became expendable when the Marlins picked up Marin Prado from the Yankees. McGehee was easily the best third-sacker available via trade or free agency as the dust settled this week.

The Giants now have only a hole in left field to fill and may want to bolster their pitching staff, though prospects for that are a bit dimmer after the Romo and Peavy signings this week.

Two Up-and-Coming Righties Traded

The Giants sent two of their better pitching prospects — right-handers Kendry Flores and Luis Castillo — to the Marlins in the deal. Flores went 4-6 with a 4.09 ERA in 20 starts with High-A San Jose in 2014. Castillo, 22, posted a 2-2 record and 3.07 ERA with 10 saves in 48 relief outings with Low-A Augusta. Both will start their Marlin careers in the minors.