Giants prospect Christian Arroyo has been crushing the ball with the Sacramento River Cats so far this season.
Arroyo, ranked as the 89th best prospect in baseball, is hitting .479 in his first 12 games at the Triple-A level, while posting an OPS of 1.260 and smacking three home runs in just 48 at-bats.
Arroyo’s hot start has led many, including our own Brian Murphy, to question why the Giants’ have’t called him up yet, especially since the major league club is currently without an every day starter in left field, after the injury to Jarrett Parker last weekend.
General manager Bobby Evans offered a rational about why the club is in no rush to call up Arroyo when he joined Kevin Frandsen and Larry Krueger Wednesday morning, citing primarily that they don’t want him playing for the big league club unless he can play his best position, third base.
“There’s no doubt that the best position for him on the big league club would be third base, but we’ve got a third baseman, to bring a young player up and play him out of position, I think it really works against him developmentally as well as what he can contribute offensively,” Evans said. “That would be sticking him in the outfield. If we come to a point where we feel like we want to make a position change for Nunez, that would be a different issue, but right now we don’t see that happening, and our focal point for Arroyo is just getting time in Triple-A. This is his first run there, and you don’t want a young player to come up here and not feel entirely ready, especially someone who’s just turned or about to turn 22 years old, you want to be sure you’re in for the long haul when he comes up, and that he’s gonna get everyday playing time, and you’ve got to make sure the rest of the club is in a good position to support him when he struggles. We don’t want him to feel like he’s bearing the weight of the world on his shoulders when he comes up.”
Evans did admit the team is in a pickle with the left field position, with a number of viable options recovering from injuries, and the unproven Chris Marrero being forced into an everyday role by default. He did not rule out the possibility of eventually moving Nunez to left field if the team is without any other option. Nunez hasn’t started a game in left field since 2015.
“The challenge is not only offensively, it’s also making sure that we’re strong enough defensively out there. We’re in a tough spot. Without Parker, even with Marrero here, Marrero is intended to be more of a platoon and now we’re in a position where he almost has to play every day. We gotta get Gorkys (Hernandez) going where he can play more, but he hasn’t had a real strong start to the season either, so we’re evaluating (Mike) Morse in San Jose, but soon to be Triple-A, and we’ll also continue to pay attention to what (Kelby) Tomlinson can do off the bench. Again, not ideal for us, for him in left field, but there’s other scenarios — you could give Nunez time in left, you could give Belt time in left — there’s a number of different scenarios, not to mention (Justin) Ruggiano and (Drew) Stubbs. Again, we’re day to day with it, we’ll probably stay pretty steady through the Colorado series as we sit now and continue to evaluate.”