SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- For now, the Giants figured it was easier to say see you later to Mac Williamson rather than bid Jarrett Parker farewell.Despite sustaining one of the most dynamic Cactus League performances among Giants position players, Williamson was optioned to Triple-A Sacramento on Monday as the club made
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- For now, the Giants figured it was easier to say see you later to Mac Williamson rather than bid Jarrett Parker farewell.
Despite sustaining one of the most dynamic Cactus League performances among Giants position players, Williamson was optioned to Triple-A Sacramento on Monday as the club made its largest round of roster cuts this spring. Fifteen players were either optioned to Sacramento or reassigned to Minor League camp, leaving 31 players in big league camp -- six over the Opening Day limit.
• Giants Spring Training info | Tickets | Schedule
Williamson clearly outperformed Parker in the ongoing competition for reserve outfield spots. Revitalized by an altered hitting technique, Williamson hit .318 with four homers and a team-high 14 RBIs in 20 games. By comparison, Parker's hitting .243, though he homered and threw out a runner at home plate from right field in a 5-4 loss to the Indians on Monday.
The primary factor in the decision was obvious: Williamson had a Minor League option remaining. Parker did not. In order to send Parker to the Minors, he would have had to clear waivers first. Giants management apparently believed Parker would have been claimed and lost for good.
:: Spring Training coverage presented by Camping World ::
Instead, the Giants bought themselves time. Before they open the regular season against the Dodgers on March 29, they could try to engineer a trade involving Parker to avoid losing him while gaining nothing in return. Given the profiles of the other six outfielders in camp -- projected everyday cornermen Hunter Pence and Andrew McCutchen, veteran Austin Jackson, non-roster invitee Gregor Blanco, rookie center field candidate Steven Duggar and Gorkys Hernandez, who's also out of options -- envisioning a complementary role for Parker is difficult.
Until this spring, the same could have been said of Williamson -- who, like the 29-year-old Parker, has divided each of the previous three seasons between Triple-A and the Giants. At the very least, Williamson aligned himself for a promotion later in the season if injury or ineffectiveness should arise with the Major League club.
"We want to see him carry this into Sacramento," manager Bruce Bochy said. "We think the way he looks right now, he's a guy who could be called out here every day."
Williamson, 27, remained stoic as he discussed his fate with reporters.
"I don't think it would have mattered if I had hit 1.000," he said, articulating the impossibility of unseating Pence or McCutchen. "I don't think that's what they were looking for me to do. Nor was I looking to do that. It was important for me to come in this spring and prove I was worthy of another shot down the line."
Among the younger aspirants who were sent down to continue their development, the most notable one was right-hander Tyler Beede, who is ranked as the club's No. 4 prospect by MLB Pipeline. Beede remained optimistic despite recording a 10.80 ERA in four spring appearances.
"It's just a matter of refining my craft and being consistent," said Beede, the club's No. 1 pick in the 2014 MLB Draft. "The name of the game is being consistent."
Asked about Bochy's recent mention of possibly converting Beede to relieving, the 24-year-old replied, "I will literally do anything they want me to."
In addition to Williamson and Beede, right-handers Derek Law and Roberto Gomez and outfielder Austin Slater were optioned to Triple-A.
Reassigned to Minor League camp were left-hander Andrew Suarez, right-handers Joan Gregorio and Jose Valdez, catchers Justin O'Conner, Trevor Brown and Hector Sanchez, infielders Orlando Calixte, Chase d'Arnaud and Kyle Jensen and outfielder Chris Shaw.
Chris Haft has covered the Giants since 2005, and for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast.