San Francisco Giants fans got their wish on Tuesday. They found someone better than Michael Reed, which really should not have been that hard.
The Giants designated Reed for assignment to make room for outfielder Kevin Pillar, who was acquired in a trade with the Toronto Blue Jays for utility man Alen Hanson, reliever Derek Law and minor-league pitcher Juan De Paula.
The price for Pillar wasn’t too steep. Hanson had been DFA’d last week when he didn’t make the Opening Day roster. Law was DFA’d this past winter, cleared waivers and was sent back to the minors. De Paula was acquired by the Giants from the Yankees in the Andrew McCutchen trade. De Paula, who is 21, has not pitched above low-A ball.
In Pillar, the Giants got an excellent defensive outfielder, a right-handed outfielder with the ability to spell Steven Duggar in center field.
That’s the role Reed was supposed to fill when he was acquired from the Twins the final week of spring training after the other options this spring did not pan out.
Drew Ferguson, a Rule 5 pickup, couldn’t hit and was sent back to the Astros. And the only thing Cameron Maybin could hit was apparently bars. After being hit with a DUI in Arizona, he was released after signing a minor-league deal.
Then Reed had what could be the worst hitting performance of any San Francisco Giants position player ever.
In four games in this young 2019 season, Reed went 0 for 8 with six strikeouts in eight plate appearances. That included one start, batting in the leadoff spot, no less.
Assuming Reed doesn’t clear waivers, accept an assignment to Triple-A Sacramento and eventually get another chance with the Giants, that will be quite an impressive Giants career for Reed.
The last player to have at least eight at-bats in his Giants tenure without collecting a hit was Dan Uggla, who went 0 for 11 with six strikeouts in 2014.
Uggla did eventually receive a World Series ring, so Reed has that to hope for – although I wouldn’t hold my breath.
However, Uggla did receive one walk in 12 plate appearances with the Giants and scored a run.
To find another Giants hitter who had at least eight plate appearances in his Giants tenure without collecting a hit or a walk, you’d have to go back a long way.
In fact, if you tracked all the way back to when the Giants arrived in San Francisco in 1958, you wouldn’t find another hitter to match Reed’s futility as a Giant.
You’d find several hitters who went hitless in their tenure as a Giant.
- Gordon Beckham went 0 for 5 with a sacrifice fly and two strikeouts in six plate appearance over three games as a Giant in 2016.
- Cole Gillespie went 0 for 9 with a walk in 10 plate appearances in three games as a Giant in 2013.
- Doug Clark went 0 for 5 with a walk in six plate appearances in eight games as a Giant in 2005.
- Andres Santana went 0 for 2 with an RBI in two plate appearances in six games as a Giant in 1990.
- Mackey Sasser went 0 for 4 in four plate appearances over two games as a Giant in 1987.
- Chris Jones went 0 for 1 in one plate appearance over three games as a Giant in 1986.
- Bob Kearney went 0 for 0 with a walk in one plate appearance over two games as a Giant in 1979.
- Art Gardner went 0 for 3 with two strikeouts in three plate appearances over seven games as a Giant in 1978.
- Dick Phillip went 0 for 3 with a walk and a strikeout in four plate appearances over five games as a Giant in 1962.
- Neil Wilson went 0 for 10 with a walk and a strikeout in 11 plate appearances over six games as a Giant in 1960.
- Roger McCardell went 0 for 4 in four plate appearances over four games as a Giant in 1959.
- And Nick Testa went 0 for 0 in no plate appearance in one game as a Giant in 1958 – kind of the San Francisco version of Moonlight Graham.
But to find a Giants player who had eight or more plate appearances with a hit or a walk for his entire Giants tenure, you’d have to go all the way back to 1942 when the Giants were playing in New York.
That’s when Howie Moss went 0 for 14 with four strikeouts in 14 plate appearances over seven games as a Giant.
Moss was one of the more feared hitters of the International League in the 1940s, playing for the Baltimore Orioles. He had three failed major league tryouts – in 1942 with the Giants and then two in 1946 with the Reds and Indians. For his major league career, Moss hit .097 (7 for 72) in 22 games.