Going into the 2017 season, the Giants had a pretty simple plan to find their Opening Day left fielder -- competition. The plan was for Jarrett Parker and Mac Williamson, two players who showed plenty of pop in Triple-A, to win the job.
“In a perfect world, one guy would win the job,” GM Bobby Evans said before spring training. “You’re not necessarily looking for a platoon. You’re looking for one guy to win the job.”
Well, sometimes plans take wild turns and plenty of them. Parker is on the 60-day DL with a broken right clavicle and Williamson is on a rehab assignment after straining his left quadriceps in spring training. The Giants' left fielder is now currently infielder Eduardo Nunez with the promotion of top prospect Christian Arroyo.
Williamson, 26, started his rehab assignment one week ago in Advanced Single-A with the San Jose Giants. In two games, he went 1-for-6 with three strikeouts. Still, the Giants advanced Williamson's rehab and assigned him to Triple-A with the Sacramento River Cats.
The results continued to waver for Williamson, going hitless in his first eight at-bats with two more strikeouts. On Tuesday, Williamson broke out of his slump and in grand fashion.
Williamson powered the River Cats to an 11-1 win over the Las Vegas 51s by going 3-for-4 with five RBI and a run scored. In the seventh inning, Williamson showed his knack for the long ball that has always intrigued the Giants.
With the scored all tied up at one run apiece in the bottom of the seventh inning, Las Vegas took a roll of the dice and intentionally walked Jae-Gyun Hawang to load the bases for Williamson. On the first pitch he saw from Erik Goeddel, Williamson launced a grand slam over the left-center field wall, giving the River Cats a 5-1 lead.
He collected his fifth and final RBI on a line-drive single to center field the next inning.
Williamson made his mark during the spring training competition. Over 11 games, he hit .324 and belted two home runs. He also hit six home runs in only 54 games last season in the majors.
The Giants currently rank dead last in the National League -- second in all of baseball behind just the Red Sox -- with only 13 home runs this season. Their 72 runs in 22 games puts them second to last in the NL, tied with the Padres. Williamson's fit on the team is not as clear as it was headed into the spring, but whenever he does arrive, he is sure to add some extra pop that this lineup can always use.
Around The Horn
—Giants minor leaguer and Walnut Creek native, Domenic Mazza, pitched a perfect game for the Augusta GreenJackets Tuesday night. It took him only 85 pitches. Check out the final out, right here.
—Jae-Gyun Hwang is swinging a hot bat right now for the River Cats. Hwang is hitting exactly .300 on the year after three straight two-hit games before going 1-for-4 with two runs scored and two RBI in Tuesday's win.
—Bryan Reynolds, the Giants' top pick in the 2016 draft is also swinging a hot stick. He now has six three-hit games this season and the switch hitter is slashing .309/.365/.441 in 16 games for the San Jose Giants.