With a dismal 10-18 August, something had to change for the San Francisco Giants. Today, the first big steps were taken as they designated outfielder Aaron Rowand and infielder Miguel Tejada for assignment. Outfielder Pat Burrell was reinstated from the 15-day disabled list and infielder Brett Pill has been brought up from triple-A Fresno to take their places on the roster.
With all the struggles that the defending World Champions have been through, much of the criticism has been directed toward the underperforming veterans. At the end of July, the Giants were up by two games above the Arizona Diamondbacks. Going into the last game of August, they now sit at second place trailing the Diamondbacks by six games. Throughout this span, the veterans couldn’t produce the way they did last season and it was time to make moves before the playoffs are too far out of reach.
As Tejada left AT&T Park, according to Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury, he told reporters, “I wish those guys well” and “I wish it had been different.”
As he cleared his locker, Rowand refused to comment. Later he told John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle that being DFA’d was “probably the right move for both parties. For myself and for the team.”
The clubhouse has been thick with unspoken frustration. The move today is one step in trying to revive the sinking spirits of the team and get back on the winning path.
Rowand, who the Giants still owe $14 million, has a .233 BA, .275 OBP, .347 SLG, .621 OPS with four home runs and 21 RBI in 108 games this season. In his four years with the Giants, he has a .253 BA, .310 OBP, .394 SLG, .704 OPS—numbers clearly lower than his five years spent with the Chicago White Sox and two years with the Philadelphia Phillies.
Tejada has a .239 BA, .270 OBP, .326 SLG, .596 OPS with four home runs, 16 doubles, 26 RBI in 91 games this season. His numbers have been in steady decline since his 2009 season with the Houston Astros in which he hit .313 and led the National League with 46 doubles.
Veteran outfielder Burrell returns with hopes of an offensive boost riding on his shoulders. Sidelined for 43 games with a mild foot strain, in the 80 games he did play this season, he has hit .233 with seven home runs and 21 RBI. In his four rehab games, he has gone .231 with two RBI.
Pill, who has proved to be an offensive force in the minors, joins the team with a .312 batting average, 25 home runs, and Pacific Coast League leading 167 hits, 107 RBI, 36 doubles, and 64 extra base hits.
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