Why did San Francisco Giants call up Christian Arroyo? It’s all about one number

 

No13

Recently, San Francisco Giants Bobby Evans spoke about the possibility of bringing up prospect Christian Arroyo.

“I’m not saying that Arroyo is not ready. I’m not going in that direction,” Evans told reporters. “I’m just saying you want him to push you to make that decision. What he’s done so far is a great beginning to that, but we’re only two weeks in.”

That was just five days ago.

On Monday, the Giants called up Arroyo to the big league and put him in the starting lineup at third base against the Los Angeles Dodgers. He’ll wear No. 22.

Arroyo

So what happened between then and now?

Well, Madison Bumgarner fell off a dirt bike in Denver and the Giants were swept by the Rockies, falling to 6-13, their worst 19-game start since moving to San Francisco.

Oh, and Arroyo kept on hitting in Sacramento, including going 4-for-6 on Sunday.

This decision by the Giants really boils down to one number: 13.

In their past seven games, that’s the total number of runs the Giants have scored.

It is also the total number of hits Arroyo has collected in his past seven games with the RiverCats.

With Brandon Crawford expected to leave the team on a bereavement leave for his sister-in-law’s funeral later this week, the timing made sense to call on Arroyo.

The Giants actually made two moves on Monday, also calling up outfielder Drew Stubbs. Stubbs also was in Monday’s starting lineup, batting eighth and playing center field.

Chris Marrero was designated for assignment, and Aaron Hill was placed on the disabled list with a forearm strain.

Why was Marrero and his .132 average DFA’d instead of Gorkys Hernandez and his .108 average? Well, Gorkys can play defense, and his bat has shown a little bit more life recently (which is not saying much, I know).

It also means Denard Span’s shoulder injury must not be that severe. The Giants will continue with a four-player bench. Monday night it consists of Span, Hernandez, Conor Gillaspie and Nick Hundley. Not a lot of pop there.

So what can expect from Arroyo, the first 21-year-old position player to be called up by the Giants since Hector Sanchez in 2011?

Well, his game is a lot like that of Joe Panik or Matt Duffy.

Although Arroyo has three home runs already for the RiverCats, he only hit three homers all of last season with Double-A Richmond and has never hit more than nine in any of his four professional seasons (that came In 90 games at High-A San Jose in 2014). He’s a put-the-bat-on-the-ball guy, striking out once every 6.7 plate appearances as a pro.

By comparsion, Marco Scutaro, a prolific bat-on-ball guy, struck once every 9.6 PAs in his big-league career. Free-swinging Jarrett Parker fans once every 3.04 PAs in his short big-league career.

Arroyo also doesn’t walk much (one walk in every 17.5 PAs).

He turns 22 on May 30, so much of that minor league resume came at age 18, 19, 20 and 21.

Giants manager Bruce Bochy has him hitting sixth between lefties Brandon Crawford and Joe Panik. And he’s playing third base, where the Giants hope he finds a permanent home with them. Eduardo Nunez moves to left field to make room for Arroyo in the starting lineup. Look for Nunez to cover shortstop when Crawford goes on leave.

Arroyo’s arrival also means they will have four of their own first-round draft picks in the lineup Monday

  • SP Matt Cain (2002)
  • C Buster Posey (2008)
  • 2B Joe Panik (2011)
  • 3B Christian Arroyo (2013)

Not to mention 2012 top pick Chris Stratton is in the bullpen.

So good luck, Christian Arroyo. We hope you’re here to stay.

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