Sure, Bruce Bochy led by saying the Giants’ two Saturday call-ups were here to “help us out more than anything.”
But in a clubhouse that is overflowing, more position players is not a priority. In explaining the Giants’ thinking in recalling Mike Gerber and selecting the contract of Cristhian Adames from Triple-A Sacramento, Bochy used the word “rewarding” twice.
The two earned their way to the majors, so even if there isn’t exactly a pressing need, the Giants wanted to see one player they hadn’t seen in a while and one they’d never seen in their uniform.
Gerber is the former, a 27-year-old who played 18 games with Detroit last year and four in early May with the Giants this season. He has torn up the minors, but has fallen flat in the majors, 5-for-57 (.088) total. He thinks he knows why his May 3-6 stint did not go well.
“It didn’t go the way I wanted to,” said Gerber, whose family is in New England and is excited for the trip to Fenway Park. “I looked at the video [once I got sent down], and for whatever reason I was just late with everything. When you get here, you try to tell yourself, ‘Relax, don’t put too much pressure on yourself.’ I think when I told myself to relax, everything started slower. I looked at video, I think the next day it clicked. And I was like, ‘Oh, this is why.'”
Both Gerber and Cristhian Adames were called into Sacramento manager Dave Brundage’s office about midnight, as Friday turned into Saturday, following their raucous celebration in Texas for winning the PCL championship. Gerber called his wife, who he was surprised was awake and was “super excited,” and he hopped on a plane a couple hours later. Adames called his parents in the Dominican Republic. His mother started crying.
“It felt like I got a call-up for my first time,” said Adames, a utility infielder who played in 166 games with Colorado from 2014-17, but has bounced around since.
The slick fielder, 28, was great in spring training with the Cubs this year, slashing .408/.455/.735 in 22 games, but just missed the cut and was sent to Triple-A. He tore a ligament in his hand sliding into second on May 1 and rehabbed until late June. As he tried to make it back to the field, the Cubs cut him, and the Giants were waiting.
“The Giants gave me an opportunity,” Adames, speaking carefully, told KNBR before they played the Marlins at Oracle Park. “I went there [to Sacramento] to play hard. And I did, and I’m here. I’m happy to be here now.
“God always takes me the right way.”
It was curious Adames got the call before Abiatal Avelino, but it seems as if the decision was more reward-based than anything. He likely won’t see much playing time. Bochy referred to Gerber as “probably [Sacramento’s] MVP,” and said he may start Sunday.
To make roster room for Adames, the Giants designated Corban Joseph for assignment.
The infielder went 1-for-16 in eight games with San Francisco.