By John Shea @real_johnshea on July 8, 2014
The second place-San Francisco Giants were the best team in baseball through 63 games. Since then, things have spiraled out of control. The Giants are just 7-19 since June 9, the worst record in either league over that stretch. San Francisco is holding out hope that leadoff hitter Angel Pagan and second baseman Marco Scutaro can return in time to make a big time difference, but the Giants must consider a roster shakeup in order to claim the West.
The Giants have struggled to plug the fifth outfield spot in the wake of Pagan's back injury. Juan Perez flat out can't hit big league pitching, despite playing exceptional defense. The Giants need a shakeup in the outfield if Pagan remains on the shelf for an extended period of time. Darren Ford saw some action in 2011, recording four hits in 14 at bats with seven stolen bases. He currently owns a .403 OBP in 181 at bats at triple-A Fresno.
If the Giants begin to lose significant ground to the first place-Dodgers over the next few weeks, former first-round pick Gary Brown could receive his first big league call-up. Brown has been a relative disappointment in five minor league seasons, struggling to post consistently impressive numbers. He's managed to drive in 38 runs while bashing seven home runs and compiling a .270 average at triple-A this season.
Hard-throwing right-handed reliever Derek Law withheld an outside chance of earning a 25-man roster spot in Spring Training. The 23-year-old pitcher is a future staple in the Giants' bullpen. He's posted solid numbers at double-A Richmond in 2014, recording a 2.57 ERA with 13 saves and 29 strikeouts in 28.0 innings. While it remains unlikely for him to make the jump to the big leagues from triple-A, the Giants need help in middle relief.
The Giants aren't in need of another first baseman, considering the return of Brandon Belt and the versatile defensive abilities of Buster Posey. If the Giants are unable to improve their bench via trade, Adam Duvall could potentially rejoin the team as a valuable power bat off the bench though. The Giants would prefer Duvall play every day at the triple-A level, but his power could be an asset. He slugged a home run for his first big league hit.
After pitching 7.2 innings of shutout baseball with 12 Ks in garbage time of the 2013 season, Heath Hembree seemed to be a lock for the 2014 Opening Day roster. Hembree has spent the entire season in triple-A to date, but he could be on the verge of a call-up in the wake of Sergio Romo's struggles. Hembree is widely regarded as the Giants' future closer. He's recorded 15 saves with 39 Ks in 34.1 innings at Fresno this season.
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