Needing shake-up, Giants welcome No. 2 prospect

The San Francisco Giants have lost four of their last five games. Their 6-13 record is the worst in the National League and the team’s worst since 1983. They’ve scored 69 runs, tied for ninth-worst in Major League Baseball.

The team just looked tired and rutter-less, off kilter, kind of sad.

So the club didn’t even wait until May to make their first big roster shake-up, calling 21-year-old Christian Arroyo up from Triple-A Sacramento for his MLB debut Monday. Arroyo was batting .446 with seven doubles, three home runs and 12 RBIs in 16 games with the River Cats.

Manager Bruce Bochy said the call-up was a perfect storm of Arroyo forcing the move paired with the team’s desperate attempt to salvage the early goings:

“Certainly, with what he’s done at Sacramento, he’s certainly opened up a lot of eyes and we have a need. … The way he swings the bat helped us make the move sooner than we were thinking about.”

Arroyo looked bright eyed and confident as he took batting practice at AT&T Park. Surprising, considering news of the move didn’t make its way to the club’s No. 2 prospect (pitcher Tyler Beede, No. 1) until he reported to Sacramento. That was when manager Dave Brundage called Arroyo into his office:

“My manager said you’re gonna play third base for the Giants today. … I was completely caught off guard.”

Arroyo called his mother, Kimberly, who cried, but still didn’t believe what her son was telling her:

“I was just persistent with like, ‘you gotta believe me. … I’m sure she’s still crying right now.”

Beede, Arroyo’s minor league roommate, tweeted out how Arroyo broke the news to his roommate, which pretty much summed up the surprise and excitement — the kind of jolt this Giants team needs desperately.

The Giants also purchased Drew Stubbs‘ contract and designated outfielder Chris Marrero for assignment before the game. The hope is that Marrero will accept a role in Sacramento where he can regain his Spring stride. Aaron Hill was placed on the 10-day DL with a forearm strain.

Along with the roster evolution, the G-Men may also be awakened when they look across the field and see the familiar shade of blue — Dodger Blue.

In a sea of familiar faces, one stands out. And not from years of hate and intense competition, rather years of adoration and camaraderie.

Sergio Romo, who had spent his previous nine big league season in San Francisco, was all smiles upon his return to AT&T Park, his first as a visitor.

Los Angeles Dodgers relief pitcher Sergio Romo (54) is acknowledged by the fans as he visits AT&T Park for the first time as a member of the Los Angeles Dodgers as they face the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park in San Francisco, Calif., on Monday, April 24, 2017.

He said he loved just being back in the city, and went to his favorite restaurant, La Taqueria even though he knew it was closed. He just wanted to go back:

“Best burrito in the world. I will definitely be there tomorrow.”

Romo expects the AT&T Park fans to cheer, at first, but won’t be surprised if the love ends there. Most of all, he expressed excitement to hear the Giants’ public address announcer Renel Brooks-Moon call his name again. Of course, Romo got to see his old teammates, too, and was excited to play against them:

“I can’t call them friendly foes because I have never played against them!”

Romo said he was worried about making the wrong turn back toward third rather than first after his first outing in the blue and white back in San Francisco. Overall, he was just excited to be back:

“This is where I started my career. This is where I made a name for myself.


Shayna Rubin is SFBay’s San Francisco Giants beat writer. Follow @SFBay and @ShaynaRubin on Twitter and at SFBay.ca for full coverage of Giants baseball.