A big “Thank You” to Toy Story for that gripping headline. Now let’s talk baseball. The Giants had been playing uninspired ball the past couple of weeks, but with the team winning their past 2, that all may be about to change. The Giants brought up Joe Panik on Saturday, and have won both games since his arrival.
With the Giants facing a plethora of injuries to key contributors, the promotion of Joe Panik could help the team significantly. With Angel Pagan‘s status up in the air, and Michael Morse experiencing back issues, the Giants had to shore up one of their weak spots.
That weak spot had been Brandon Hicks who is batting .172 this year. Early in the season, Hicks was hitting for a low average, but his hits always seemed big run producers. As the season has worn on, Hicks just began to hit for a low average with none of the thrill he had provided previous. Enter Joe Panik, who was hitting .321 with a .382 OBP in Triple-A Fresno. If Panik can hit anywhere around these figures, he’ll be an upgrade at 2nd, and will soften the blow if Pagan and Morse need to miss significant time.
Just around the bend, Brandon Belt will be returning. The baby giraffe (we still call him that right?) has been getting back into baseball shape, and should be ready to go fairly soon. Upon Belt’s return, assuming that injuries don’t keep piling up, the Giants will be in a good position offensively entering the 2nd half of the season.
In an odd twist of events, the pitching staff has been getting roughed up of late. Starters Tim Hudson, Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain and Ryan Vogelsong gave up 22 runs in 20 2/3 IP over the past week. On the bright side, the bullpen didn’t allow a run.
It’s hard to imagine all of these starters struggling for any prolonged stretch, especially Hudson. Even with the 7 runs and 12 hits he gave up against the White Sox last week, his ERA on the season still sits at just 2.39.
The Giants were due for a cold streak, but with the arrival of Joe Panik, the orange and black are ready to attack once more.