In a move reported by beat writer Henry Schulman in the San Francisco Chronicle, the Giants have called up outfielder Francisco Peguero from Triple-A Fresno, where he is batting .415 and scorching the baseball.
To make room on the roster San Francisco optioned their #3 catcher, Hector Sanchez, to Fresno. The 23 year old Sanchez was Buster Posey's back-up throughout the team's 2012 Championship season, and a switch-hitting pinch hitter off the bench.
But management was not pleased when Sanchez reported to Spring Training out of condition and then proceeded to go into a hitting slump. His OPS in 11 April games was .411 and he was less than agile behind the plate.
Francisco Peguero, 24, had an outstanding 2013 Spring, hitting .328 with an .833 OPS. and would likely have made the team but the math worked against him. Hoping that Sanchez would straighten out at the plate, the Giants took the rare step of going with three catchers to start the 2013 season. And Peguero was shipped to Fresno.
Despite a good 16-12 start to the Giants' season, two things have become very clear: first, the Andres Torres/Gregor Blanco platoon in left field is not only hurting the offense but Torres' average-at-best defense is declining right before our eyes.
Secondly, veteran catcher Guillermo Quiroz demonstrated to management he could be a solid defensive back-up to Posey and was not lost at the plate.
So Francisco Peguero, who had a 1.017 OPS and .433 OBP so far this season for the Fresno Grizzlies, will have a chance to to add power, speed and defense to the Giants attack.
Peguero will likely start out platooning with Gregor Blanco in left field, but the hope is that he will step up and take over full-time in left and bring another potent bat to the everyday line-up. Gregor Blanco's potential role as the fourth outfielder would also improve the team's bench with the addition of his excellent defense and pinch running abilities .
Francisco Peguero's call-up should not be a short-term audition. This is a serious promotion for a top-notch organizational prospect and the Giants should be all-in with Peguero until at least the All Star break. No matter how he starts out.
For now, the pressure is off. San Francisco's positive start to the season should allow management to relax and really see what this potentially outstanding young hitter can do.