SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants only had one player listed on the Arizona Fall League rosters released Tuesday: shortstop Brandon Crawford.
Crawford will report to play for the Scottsdale Scorpions this fall along with five to-be-determined players (four pitchers and one outfielder). The 24-year-old shortstop batted .190 with a .536 OPS (on-base plus slugging percentage) in 50 games for the Giants this season. He was called up after a rash of injuries in late May and instantly made a big splash, hitting a grand slam for his first Major League hit and displaying the kind of athletic defense the Giants have long been without.
But Crawford was rushed to the Majors, as he was on his way to Double-A Richmond from Class A San Jose when injuries forced his promotion. General manager Brian Sabean said Tuesday that Crawford needed to learn how to fail in the big leagues as much as he needed to experience success, and he is hopeful the young shortstop will benefit from his time in the Fall League.
"The more at-bats that he has against higher-level or better pitching, the faster he's going to get straight mechanically and he'll be a factor up here," Sabean said. ""He was up here out of duress on our part. Did he earn his way? No. Does he still have a lot to learn? Yes. ... It's unforgiving on those guys because the speed of the game is ahead of what their experience is or what their learning curve is."
Giants GM says deadline trades unlikely
SAN FRANCISCO -- A team hoping to fortify itself must complete trades by Wednesday for the acquired players to be eligible to perform in the postseason. But don't anticipate the struggling Giants to make any last-minute additions."Nobody's going to save the day," general manager Brian Sabean said Tuesday. "I don't expect us to do anything." During last August, the Giants obtained infielder Mike Fontenot and outfielder Cody Ross to accelerate their march toward the World Series. This time, San Francisco will supplement its roster with Minor Leaguers promoted after roster limits expand to 40 on Thursday. Given the Giants' collective offensive funk, much curiosity has surrounded 26-year-old first baseman Brett Pill, who entered Tuesday batting .310 with 24 home runs and 104 RBIs for Triple-A Fresno. Sabean was noncommittal when asked about the Giants' interest in promoting Pill. "It has been discussed," Sabean said. "We have a couple of days to figure it out. He's had a nice year statistically." Somewhat ominously, Sabean added, "If we were sold with any of those guys, they already would have been up here trying to help us."
Wilson unlikely to be activated Wednesday
SAN FRANCISCO -- Giants closer Brian Wilson is eligible to come off the 15-day disabled list Wednesday, but don't expect him to be back on the mound anytime too soon.
Manager Bruce Bochy said Tuesday afternoon that the Giants are "still a few days away from thinking about activating him" -- not a particularly positive way to phrase how soon the All-Star closer will be fully recovered from an inflamed right elbow. Wilson threw on flat ground for six or seven minutes earlier in the afternoon and stopped by Bochy's office afterward to report how good he felt about his progress.
Wilson's latest session took place in front of head athletic trainer Dave Groeschner, pitching coach Dave Righetti and a small group of observers that included dominoes partner Tim Lincecum. Bochy said the staff will decide Wednesday what the next step is for Wilson, but he assumed the closer would play catch one more time before throwing off the bullpen mound.
"We'll talk about what the next step is tomorrow and see how he comes out of it," Bochy said.
Pat Burrell took batting practice in AT&T Park for the second straight afternoon, facing Bochy on Monday and left-handed batting-practice pitcher John Yandle on Tuesday "to see different pitches," Bochy said. Bochy added there's a "good chance" Burrell will be activated off the 15-day disabled list Friday, serving mostly as a pinch-hitter but potentially getting some outfield starts as well.
"It's obvious that we're struggling offensively," Bochy said. "If we continue to do that, then we'll have to find a spot for him out there and see if he can help jump-start us offfensively."
The September outlook for Gary Brown, meanwhile, is not as positive. Brown, the star center fielder for Class A San Jose, will not be called up in September, Sabean said Tuesday. Brown's speed on the basepaths, defensive range and ability to hit for average could provide a boost for a Giants lineup that has struggled to field a consistent leadoff hitter all season, but the club doesn't want to rush one of their top hitting prospects.
"I come from the old school. Years ago, before you went to the next level, you mastered the first level," Sabean said. "[But] he's done exactly what he needed to do -- put up a real big year, try to make him more ready when he gets moved up to whatever level."
Left-hander Clayton Tanner, designated for assignment to clear room for Eric Surkamp on the Giants' 40-man roster, was officially released by the club Monday. Tanner can, and likely will, re-sign with the Giants.
Six Flags Discovery Kingdom named a newborn baby giraffe Brandon after Giants rookie Brandon Belt, whose occasionally awkward movements have earned him the nickname "Baby Giraffe." Brandon -- the giraffe, not the baseball player -- was born Friday morning and will get a visit from Belt later this week.