It was a move looming large over the front office, a decision no one expected Bobby Evans and Bruce Bochy to make this early in the season.
Bochy is, after all, known for unusually tall tolerance for slumping veterans. But Matt Duffy just couldn’t be ignored.
Casey McGehee was designated for assignment Sunday; the veteran hit into a league-leading 12 double plays and posted a .200 BA in 110 at bats. Duffy, in contrast, has posted a .299 BA in 97 at bats.
But beyond basic stats, Duffy is a comforting sight at the plate. He’s contributed 19 RBIs, third on the team behind Brandon Crawford and Buster Posey, who both have at least 40 more at bats than the 24-year old rookie.
Throughout the early season, Bochy lauded Duffy for his ability to handle whatever the skipper throws his way. He’s quick on the base paths, able to turn almost any hit into an RBI. He isn’t perfect at third, but can adjust accordingly as he faces more consistent starts.
McGehee is still guaranteed all of his one-year $4.8 million contract; a contract that will probably scare away teams scouring the waiver wire. If he clears, the Santa Cruz veteran can choose to play at Triple-A Sacramento or become a free agent.
The Chronicle’s Henry Shulman, who is with the team in Denver, said McGehee hasn’t decided whether he will go to Sacramento. He will discuss the move with his family, Shulman reports.
The Mercury News’ Andrew Baggarly said McGehee pulled Duffy aside to assure the rookie that there were no hard feelings.
The move was a precursor to another imminent roster shuffle that must be made once Travis Ishikawa is activated off the DL.