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Why Giants called up the other sizzling outfielder

Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

It wasn’t Jaylin Davis, who would have to be added to a 40-man roster that already has nine outfielders.

It wasn’t Chris Shaw, who has torn up the Pacific Coast League and hit 15 homers in 53 games.

No, it was the other outfielder — the less intriguing but similarly raking one — who was summoned when the Giants placed Steven Duggar on the injured list Thursday.

Why Joey Rickard?

“Start with how he’s played down there,” Bruce Bochy said before the Giants opened a series with the Phillies at Oracle Park. “He’s been great on both sides of the ball. Plays all three outfield positions. He gives us another right-handed bat.”

Shaw’s a lefty who only plays the corner spots in the outfield, and Bochy signaled that Stephen Vogt and his left-handed bat will get more time at left field. Davis, the jewel of the Sam Dyson trade, has been (in a very short sample size) destroying PCL pitching, slashing .588/.667/1.118 in five games with Sacramento.

But Rickard has “earned it,” Bochy said. Acquired from Baltimore in June, the 28-year-old, who had bounced from the minors to the majors since 2016 with the Orioles, lit up a league that many are lighting up this season. In 38 games, he batted .358, but doesn’t have the power the other options have; he hit four homers in 148 at-bats.

The Giants now feature two major league outfielders whom the Orioles deemed not good enough.

“He’s just a ball player,” Mike Yastrzemski told KNBR. “He does everything well. He can hit, he can run. Plays good defense. A good personality to have in the clubhouse. I think he’ll help us win some games.”

Yastrzemski has kept in touch with Rickard, whom he played with often at Baltimore’s Triple-A affiliate. Rickard was glad to have a friend to show him around.

He also appreciated being in Sacramento, where Rickard, from Las Vegas, said much of his family is.

“They’ve been able to come see me play,” said Rickard, who played in 42 games with Baltimore this season. “It’s awesome, it’s really awesome.”

After the Orioles designated him for assignment, the next opportunity — or whether there would be one — was murky. Rickard said he tried to put a positive spin on his situation.

“A lot of my friends have gone through it,” Rickard said. “Their advice was just stay positive. There’s always a team out there, is my mindset.”


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