Brian Sabean

Castillo, Bowker and Holm gone, Walker still employed

In a flurry of moves that makes one wonder just how bad Brian Sabean’s tantrum was last night, today the San Francisco Giants sent John Bowker and Steve Holm to the Triple-A Fresno Grizzlies and designated Jose Castillo for assignment.

Last night, in Brian Sabean’s office

(Brian Sabean is pacing around and smoking a cigarette, cursing to himself after Hunter Pence homered to give Houston an 11-4 lead. Trusty sidekick Dick Tidrow is on the phone, crouching in the corner of Sabean’s office.)

Sabes: Is that Buster Posey’s agent again? Tell him I’ll call him back when I’m ready. I’m making moves, dammit.

Tids: Brian, do you want pepperoni or sausage?

Sabes: What?!?! Oh, s*%t, Tidrow! Get off the phone and help me pick some players!

Tids (whispering into the phone): Just make it one combo and one pepperoni. That’s right…(suddenly yelling) Hell yeah, I want parmesan and peppers!!!

Sabes: Tidrow, now!

Tids (hangs up): I think we should bring up Mark Sweeney. He’s a gamer. And my sources say Todd Linden is tearing the cover off the ball in Phoenix.

Sabes: I already told you, our Triple-A team is in Fresno now! Not Phoenix!!!..I knew I’d have to do this myself. I’ve been tossing Winn and Richie on waivers so often I’m getting carpal tunnel, and nothing’s working. We have to give Richie some more at-bats to showcase him. And Bowker needs to know you can’t be young and have cold streaks and expect to stay in the Majors, not with Vizquel and Roberts around for that purpose.

Tids: Maybe we should call up Francisco Liriano!

Sabes: Good one, dips&%t. Real funny. I know Walker and Tasch has screwed the pooch lately, but we’ve already brought up every decent reliever we have in the Minors. We can drop Bowker cause he hasn’t hit a homer in 90 at-bats, and nobody would notice Holm was gone. And to show the team how mad we are, we’re cutting Castillo too. Even I know that if he’s here next year we won’t be up here in this office ordering f$*king pizza.

Tids: But Sabes, it’s Amici’s! The one with Ralph Barbieri on the box!

Sabes: I need a smoke.

And that’s pretty much why first baseman Travis Ishikawa, third baseman Ryan Rohlinger and catcher/first baseman Pablo Sandoval are with the big club as of today.

Ishikawa’s a familiar face, a player who was called up in 2006 who later fell off the map. Ishikawa redeemed himself this year, hitting 24 home runs combined between Double-A Connecticut and Fresno, with 16 of those taters (isn’t it about time to bring that word back?) coming in only 48 games with the Grizzlies.

The Giants purchased the contracts of Rohlinger and Sandoval from Connecticut. Both players started the year in San Jose, but Sandoval’s definitely the crown jewel of this group promotion. A switch-hitter, Sandoval hit a combined .350 with 20 homers in 2008, with an astounding 157 hits in 112 games.

Obviously this move is the culmination of a year of horrible offense, and while the bullpen nonsense of yesterday was unsettling to say the least, Jonathan Sanchez throwing five no-hit innings and losing 3-1 two nights ago (along with only 65 homers as a team this year, when no other team has fewer than 81) probably put these moves in motion as much as anything.

Getting rid of Castillo is nice, because the oldest looking 27-year-old in baseball reminded everyone of a cheaper post-Mets Edgardo Alfonzo: below average-to-mediocre at every phase of the game. At least Castillo didn’t have quite the boiler that Alfonzo was packing underneath his jersey while with the Giants, but the guy was an absolute double-play machine at the plate.

Bowker has to be disappointed after leading the Giants in homers at one point in the season, but those are the breaks when your bat goes ice cold and you have Minor League options left.

Holm wasn’t doing badly, even going 6-for-12 over his past six games, but Sandoval is having the best offensive season of anybody in the Giants’ system and he plays Holm’s position. And let’s face it; we’d all rather watch Sandoval behind Bengie Molina than Holm, who the Colorado Rockies will probably acquire any day now.

Of course, after all this, who’s starting at shortstop tonight? Vizquel. Two steps forward, one step back.


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