The Brandons (Crawford and Belt) shouldered an increased workload while Bruce Bochy masterfully worked his call-ups into the best defensive mold he could, said Bochy:
“It’s getting to the point where we need to give guys a break.”
An upgrade to the inconsistent bullpen may seem like the most glaring issue the Giants would address before the trade deadline — they do have four more days — but infield depth became an immediate priority.
Minnesota’s All-Star infielder Eduardo Nuñez, the Giants decided, would fill that role perfectly. Before Wednesday’s game, the team traded LHP pitching prospect Adalberto Mejia to the Twins for Nuñez.
Nuñez brings speed and a hot bat to this offensively-lulled Giants team — he leads the American League with 27 stolen bases and holds a .300 average. That kind of presence could inspire some lineup changes, say, at the top of the lineup.
Bruce Bochy said he’s considered how he could tweak the lineup, but wouldn’t divulge further information until he speaks with his team. Nuñez’s immediate impact role is a that of a top-notch utility player; he’ll be the go-to guy when Crawford, Panik or Duffy need a day. What’s more, his presence could provide a much needed spark, said Bochy:
“This gives us coverage at every spot in the infield … This gives us another way to, hopefully, get some runs on the board.”
He and Bobby Evans said Nuñez’s arrival does not jeopardize Duffy’s everyday role at third base. Duffy will start his rehab assignment this Sunday, Nuñez arrived in San Francisco just in time to be activated and ready to play off the bench.
His first action as a Giant was a game-ending strike out. Still, he’s excited to be part of a contending team:
“You always want to play for something.”
The Giants lost a top-100 pitching prospect in 23-year-old Mejia, who held a 7-3 record with a 2.81 ERA this season with the Richmond Flying Squirrels and Sacramento River Cats.