8/26/2014 9:19 P.M. ET
Blackburn leads six SF prospects named to AFL
By Ryan Hood / MLB.com
SAN FRANCISCO -- The Arizona Fall League announced its preliminary rosters for the 2014 season Tuesday, with six Giants prospects tabbed for the league.
They are pitchers Clayton Blackburn, Erik Cordier, Steven Okert and Hunter Strickland as well as infielder Blake Miller and outfielder Daniel Carbonell. They will team with prospects from the Mets, Phillies, Pirates and Yankees to form the Scottsdale Scorpions.
MLB.com's prospects rankings have Blackburn pegged as the Giants' seventh-best prospect, while Okert is rated the organization's 10th-best.
At Double-A Richmond, Blackburn is 4-5 with a 2.64 ERA in 16 starts, Okert is 1-0 with a 3.03 ERA in 21 appearances and Strickland is 1-0 with a 2.08 ERA in 36 appearances this season.
The 28-year-old Cordier is 3-3 with a 3.75 ERA in 44 appearances at Triple-A Fresno.
Miller has hit .333 with 11 RBIs in 20 games this season at Double-A Richmond, and Carbonell has hit .273 with three home runs and nine RBIs in 15 games with Class A Advanced San Jose.
The six-week league begins its season Oct. 7 and runs through Nov. 15, with a championship game held at Scottsdale Stadium. The league's Fall Stars Game, which will feature a handful of Top 100 prospects, will be held Nov. 1 at Salt River Fields.
Giants sticking with struggling Crawford
SAN FRANCISCO -- A pair of errors Monday night added angst to a fan base growing weary of Brandon Crawford's play, but the Giants shortstop isn't going anywhere -- and that includes extended trips to the bench.
In his last 19 games entering Tuesday, Crawford, who's well-liked in the clubhouse, was hitting .159 (10-for-63) and had struck out 22 times. His average hasn't been north of .250 since the end of June, and it's been below .240 since Aug. 2.
His .201 average against right-handed throwers is the lowest among qualifying National League hitters. He's hitting .283 against lefties.
"We're getting to the point where we'd like to run these guys [the regular starters] out there as much as we can," manager Bruce Bochy said before Tuesday night's game. "At the same time, we got to start getting some runs on the board and we have to do something there to help the cause."
Susac's progress opening Giants' eyes
SAN FRANCISCO -- Angel Pagan was next to manager Bruce Bochy in the Giants dugout Monday night when Andrew Susac hit a home run where home runs rarely go at AT&T Park: to straightaway center field.
Bochy was thoroughly impressed and made even moreso after Pagan leaned over and told him the wind was blowing in out there.
"That home run was one of the more impressive ones we've had this year," Bochy said Tuesday. "He's probably done as much improving as any of our prospects."
After recording just one hit in his first 13 at-bats, Susac has made strides of late, as he entered Tuesday hitting .304 (7-for-23) with two home runs and seven RBIs in eight games since. Combined with the acumen he's displayed behind the plate, he's making a case to be a viable option as the Giants' catcher of the future, if the team opts to spare Buster Posey wear and tear by shifting him to a corner-infield position.
"He's been right on the money throwing the ball, too," Bochy said. "He hasn't had an easy job back there, for the most part catching Timmy [Lincecum]. When you're a kid, that's not easy."
• Lincecum worked on cleaning up his delivery while throwing an eight-minute bullpen session under the supervision of pitching coach Dave Righetti on Tuesday afternoon.
• Matt Duffy got the start at second base Tuesday night, in place of Joe Panik. Bochy planned for Joaquin Arias to start, but he arrived to the park with a stiff neck that was "a little jacked up," so Bochy opted for Duffy instead.
Ryan Hood is an associate reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ryanhood19. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.