For San Francisco Giants fans looking for some help in the form of starting pitching, the Giants on Friday moved up one of their better arms this season up the organizational chain on Friday.
Justin Fitzgerald was promoted from Double-A Richmond to Triple-A Fresno on Friday and will make his Triple-A debut on Friday night. Reliever Mitch Lively was placed on the disabled list.
Fitzgerald threw seven solid innings, giving up no earned runs or walks against Trenton on Sunday for the Flying Squirrels. He is 3-0 with a 1.09 ERA and 41 Ks and 8 BBs in 33 innings at Richmond.
Drafted in the 11th round of the 2008 draft out of UC Davis, Fitzgerald, 27, started his third season for Richmond this year. He went 9-9 with a 3.51 ERA in 2011 and 7-8 with 3.22 ERA in 2012.
It’s unclear if Fitzgerald will bump one of the Grizzlies’ starting pitchers from the rotation. Right now, the rotation consists of Chris Heston, Mike Kickham (both teammates of Fitzgerald at Richmond last season), Yusmeiro Petit, Boof Bonser and Shane Loux.
Or could it be that the Giants are considering giving one of the other Fresno starters a call-up in the wake of Ryan Vogelsong’s struggles?
- 2B TONY ABREU: Abreu opened his rehab stint with the Grizzlies last Friday, but played just two games, and has not played since Sunday. So it appears his leg issues are not behind him.
- C HECTOR SANCHEZ: Sanchez got sent down this week to find his swing. He hasn’t found it yet in his first three games. He’s 2 for 11.
- OF GARY BROWN: Signs of life from the former first-rounder. Brown has collected a hit in 7 of his last 8 games, but he’s still striking out WAY to much — 15 Ks against 2 walks in his last 10 games.
- RP HEATH HEMBREE: Hembree picked up two more saves this week. He’s 1-0 with 2.25 ERA with 9 saves. He has 16 K and 4 BB in 16 innings this season.
- C ANDREW SUSAC: The catcher continues to have a solid season, hitting .307 with a .408 OBP and 4 HRs, 15 RBI.
- SS JOE PANIK: After a slow start, Panik continues to swing a solid bat, .307 AVG, .380 OBP with 16 BB to 12 K in 125 ABs.
San Jose (high A)
- OF MAC WILLIAMSON: We haven’t seen the power from Williamson. It appears he’s focusing on making better contact. He’s hitting .368 with .415 OBP over the past 10 games, but only one home run.
- RP JOSH OSICH and HUNTER STRICKLAND: San Jose has been using a two-man closing team, and it’s been working. Osich is 1-0 with 1.06 ERA and four saves. He has 21 K and 3 BB in 17 IP. Strickland is 1-0 with 1.29 ERA and four saves, with 11 Ks and 3 BB in 14 IP.
- SP CHRIS MARLOWE: Marlowe had two solid outings in the past week, giving up two earned runs in 11 IP. He’s 2-0 with 1.69 ERA. He has 22 K and 14 BB in 32 IP, but he’s only walked four in his last four outings (23 IP).
- SP TYLER BLACH: The fifth-round pick out of Creighton in the 2012 draft is off to a very nice start in San Jose. He’s 4-1 with 1.87 ERA, 24 K, 3 BB in 33.2 innings.
- 2B RYAN CAVAN: Cavan is riding a 17-game hitting streak during which he is hitting .389 (28 for 72) with nine RBI. He leads the California League in hitting (.363), hits (49) and is tied for the lead in doubles (12). He has 17 multi-hit games this season, and he’s the toughest hitter in the league to strike out (one whiff every 12.3 at bats).
Augusta (low A)
- SP CHRIS STRATTON: The 2012 first-round pick picked up his third win on Thursday, pitching 7 IP with 3 ER, 1 BB and 6 K. He’s 3-2 with a 3.03 ERA and 42 K against 12 BB in 35.2 IP.
- SP MARTIN AGOTA: Agosta struck out 10 batters in 5.1 innings on Monday. He’s 4-1 with 2.01 ERA and 45 K and 13 BB in 31.1 innings.