Following last night’s game, the Giants designated third baseman Conor Gillaspie for assignment and optioned infielder Jae-gyun Hwang back to Triple-A Sacramento, as Alex Pavlovic of CSN Bay Area writes. In their place, the Giants have recalled infield/outfield prospect Ryder Jones from Sacramento and activated outfielder Jarrett Parker from the disabled list.
Gillaspie, 30, returned to the Giants organization for a second stint in 2016 and hit ..262/.307/.440 in 205 regular-season plate appearance before emerging as a postseason hero and cementing himself in Giants lore. With the Giants and Mets locked into a scoreless Madison Bumgarner vs. Noah Syndergaard pitching duel, it was Gillaspie who eventually broke the deadlock with a dramatic one-out, three-run homer in the ninth inning against New York closer Jeurys Familia. Gillaspie would later have a 4-for-4 showing in the decisive Game 4 of the NLDS, though the Giants nonetheless dropped that game and series to the eventual World Champion Cubs.
This season, however, has been entirely different for Gillaspie. He’s spent roughly two months of the year on the disabled list due to ongoing back spasms and back discomfort, and when he’s been healthy enough to take the field, he’s been unproductive in a limited role. Through 87 plate appearances, he’s hitting .163/.218/.288 with a pair of homers.
Notably, Pavlovic suggests that Jones will get the opportunity to establish himself as an everyday player in the wake of Wednesday’s late-night moves. The 23-year-old former second-round pick (2013) has enjoyed an excellent season in Triple-A, hitting .312/.396/.574 with 13 homers, 19 doubles and a pair of triples through 273 plate appearances. He didn’t get a lengthy look in his initial audition with the Giants earlier in 2017, but it seems that San Francisco decision-makers are prepared to see what they have on their hands in Jones as they seek to evaluate their needs for the 2018 campaign.
Jones also has experience in the outfield corners and at first base, so he could settle in as a versatile semi-regular, even if Christian Arroyo returns in 2018 and lays claim to the third base role. However, Pavlovic explains that Arroyo, like fellow prospects Austin Slater and Tyler Beede, may not make it back to the field at all in 2017 due to injury. Arroyo suffered a fractured hand when he was hit by a pitch in Triple-A earlier this month.