Bond, Peguero among candidates for Sept. call-up

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Bond, Peguero among candidates for Sept. call-up

September 1st is a day that fans and hopeful minor leaguers look forward to each season. As that fateful day inches closer, fans and beat writers speculate who might be called up when rosters expand.

Prospects like Francisco Peguero and Heath Hembree could be sporting the black and orange in a few short weeks. There are several other minor leaguers who have had successful seasons as well, like infielder Brock Bond and relievers Jean Machi and Mitch Lively, that could be called up. The San Francisco Giants will most likely call up first baseman Brett Pill, catcher Eli Whiteside and relief pitchers Dan Otero and Steve Edlefsen, who have all spent time at the big league level this season.In the wake of Melky Cabreras 50-game suspension, outfielder Peguero has been brought up by beat writers and fans as a possible option down the stretch. Peguero is on the 40-man roster and has had a consistent first season at the Triple-A level.I am working hard and its not up to me, Peguero said when asked about being a potential call up in the next few weeks.In 100 games, the Giants number two prospect is hitting .274 (118-for-430) with 20 doubles, ten triples, and five home runs. On Saturday night, he extended his current hit streak to 18 games after going 2-for-4. Over the 18-game streak, Peguero is hitting .338 with eight doubles, a triple and 11 RBI.I have been working on my mechanics, Peguero said. And trying to get better pitches to hit.Bond has been hitting a quiet .330 plus all season with Triple-A Fresno. Last year, Bonds season was cut short when he was hit with a line drive in the head during batting practice. He suffered a concussion and wasnt even able to run on a treadmill without feeling dizzy for several months. In 19 games in 2011, he batted .246 (14-for-57) with one double, two triples and three runs batted in.

Prior to 2011's season-ending injury, Bond posted solid numbers at each minor league level. In 2010, he split time between Triple-A Fresno and Double-A Richmond, knocking in a combined 39 runs, with 27 doubles and five triples in 129 games. This season is no exception for the utility infielder; he is currently batting .343 (97-for-283) with 11 doubles, two triples and 28 RBI in 90 games.This season I have learned to be more consistent, Bond said. Not playing everyday and sitting the bench for a while and then going in randomly, I feel like I have been ready.He has played second base, third base and left field but spent the majority of his time being the designated hitter. As a pinch hitter he is hitting .421 (8-for-19) with a double and an RBI. Bond would be a great bat off the bench for the San Francisco Giants; the only problem is that he is not on the 40-man roster.I have always wanted to play in the big leagues, Bond said. Its been on my mind since I was a little kid. That is my goal and if it happened I would be really excited.Heath Hembree has been the topic of conversation since he was drafted in the 5th round of the 2010 first-year player draft. When closer Brian Wilson hit the disabled list a few games into the season, fans were hoping that the flame-thrower would get the call to the big leagues. That didnt happen, but Hembree still has a very good shot at being a September call-up. Hembree had a great start to his Triple-A career, posting a 2.00 ERA in nine games with five saves in April. From April 26th to May 5th, Hembree saved six consecutive games without giving up a hit or a run. In mid-April the Fresno Grizzlies stopped using him in back-to-back games. Hembree was placed on the disabled list on July 5th with a strained flexor muscle in his forearm after giving up five runs in two-thirds of an inning the night before. Before heading back to Triple-A Fresno, Hembree made five relief appearances for High-A San Jose from August 8th to August 17th. In five games, he struck out seven and walked one without giving up a run or allowing a hit. He was activated in Triple-A Fresno on Sunday.Machi and Lively are two right-handed pitchers that deserve to be considered for a September call-up. Several scouts have mentioned to me over the season that both of them are major league ready. Machi, 30, has shared the closer position with Heath Hembree all season. He is 2-1 with 12 saves and a 3.88 ERA. Fans might remember him almost breaking spring training with the Giants. Lively, 26, is used in the seventh and eighth innings for Triple-A Fresno. He is 6-4 with a 3.26 in 41 games. In the month of August, he is 1-0 with a 1.50 ERA. In 12 innings he has struck out 13 while only allowing two runs and six hits.

Former top prospect Andy Marte dies from car accident in Dominican Republic

Former top prospect Andy Marte dies from car accident in Dominican Republic

Former major leaguer Andy Marte died early Sunday from a traffic accident in his native Dominican Republic.

Metropolitan traffic authorities say Marte died when the Mercedes Benz he was driving hit a house along a road between San Francisco de Macoris and Pimentel, about 95 miles (150 kilometers) north of the capital.

Marte, a 33-year-old infielder, played for several Major League teams, including Atlanta, Cleveland and Arizona, and was most recently playing in the Korean league.

Marte was playing in the Dominican winter league with the Aguilas Cibaenas team.

"We have awoken this Sunday with this sad news that we have lost a special being," club president Winston Llenas said in a statement about Marte.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

Santiago Casilla says he never received offer from Giants

Santiago Casilla says he never received offer from Giants

SAN FRANCISCO — Over the final month of his time with the Giants, it became clear that Santiago Casilla and the team would part ways. On Friday, Casilla confirmed that he never had the opportunity to return. 

On a conference call to announce a two-year deal with the Oakland A’s, Casilla said he “would have been happy to return to the Giants, but I never got an offer from them. I understood.”

Casilla said he had several opportunities to go elsewhere and close, mentioning the Milwaukee Brewers as one interested team. Casilla signed a two-year, $11 million deal with the A’s, who likely won’t need him to pitch in the ninth. The Brewers went on to bring in Neftali Feliz for one year and $5.35 million; he is expected to close. 

“I preferred to return to the Athletics because that’s where my career started,” Casilla said through interpreter Manolo Hernández Douen. “And I’m very excited.”

Casilla spent the first six years of his career with the A’s before crossing the bridge and becoming a key figure in three title runs. In seven seasons in San Francisco, he posted a 2.42 ERA and saved 123 games. Casilla had a 0.92 ERA in the postseason, but he was stripped of a prominent role in the weeks leading up to the 2016 playoffs. 

Casilla, 36, blew nine saves before being pulled from the ninth inning. He appeared just three times in the final 14 regular season games and just once in the playoffs. He did not take the mound in Game 4 of the NLDS, watching as five other relievers teamed up to give back a three-run lead. 

That moment stung Casilla, and it affected Bruce Bochy, too. The Giants struck quickly in December to bring Mark Melancon in as their new closer, but at the Winter Meetings, Bochy said he would welcome Casilla back in a setup role. 

“He’s a great team player (and) teammate,” Bochy said. “(I) certainly wouldn’t rule it out because he still has great stuff. And he had some hiccups there in that closing role, but I would take him anytime.”

As it turned out, that opportunity was never there for Casilla. The Giants didn’t make another move after the big deal with Melancon, and they’ll rely on younger arms to record most of the outs in the seventh and eighth. Casilla said he’s not bitter about the way it all ended. 

“I have left that in the past,” he said. “It’s a new year, it’s a new year. I have left this in the past.”