When Matt Duffy and Jarrett Parker were told Thursday not to board the Richmond Flying Squirrels team bus for Altoona, they thought that they had been traded as part of a deadline deal.
That would be completely logical.
Instead, both Class AA players were getting promoted to the San Francisco Giants.
The Giants made no deadline deals Thursday to go with the acquisition of Jake Peavy. Instead, the Giants will make a playoff push with the players they have.
That started Friday, when Duffy, an infielder, and Parker, an outfielder, were called up to fill the roster spots vacated when second baseman Dan Uggla and outfielder Tyler Colvin were designated for assignment.
It was the first time since August of 2011 that the Giants have promoted a player midseason from Double-A. Back then it was pitcher Erik Surkamp.
A position player had not been called up from Double-A since Darren Ford earned a September call-up in 2010 as used strictly as a pinch-runner and defender.
The Giants are expecting Duffy and Parker to contribute more than that.
As for Duffy, the move is intriguing. Duffy, drafted as a shortstop, was an 18th-round pick out of Long Beach State in 2012. He has hit at every level: .247/.361 OBP in shortseason A Salem-Keizer in 2012, .307/.405 for Low-A Augusta in 2013, .292/.342 in high-A San Jose in 2013.
He’s hitting .332 with .398 OBP for Double-A Richmond in a pitcher-friendly Eastern League. He led Richmond in hitting by a long shot. And through his minor-league career, he’s walked about as much as he has struck out.
Jarrett Parker is another story. Parker, a second-round pick in 2010, has struggled at the start of every season in the minors, then recovered toward respectability. He hit .253 for San Jose in 2011, .247 for San Jose in 2012, .245 for Richmond in 2013 and .275 with 12 HRs and 58 RBI in 99 games for Richmond this year.
But he’s a big-time swing-and-miss guy: 144 Ks in 127 games in 2011, 175 Ks in 122 games in 2012, 161 Ks in 131 games in 2013, and 103 Ks already in 99 games in 2014.
But he may not be with the club for long. Brandon Belt is expected to be activated from the seven-day concussion disabled list this weekend. When that happens, look for Parker to return to Richmond.
Even if the Giants opt to jettison Travis Ishikawa when Belt returns, look to Parker to get a return bus trip to Richmond by next week when Angel Pagan is expected back from the DL.
Pagan played in an Arizona Rookie League game Friday night, and looked good. Barring setbacks, Pagan could return to the Giants when they arrive in Milwaukee on Tuesday.
But Duffy, as one of two middle infield reserves — along with Joaquin Arias — figures to stick around longer. At least until Ehire Adrianza comes off the disabled list. But that likely won’t happen until the Giants return from this 10-game road trip.
As for Uggla and Colvin, their stints with the Giants may not be over. If both players clear waivers, and they should (Uggla for sure), they could be sent to Fresno, if they accept the assignment.