4 arrivals Giants will evaluate this month

Bochy after Thursday's loss: 'This is part of their development'

September 5th, 2019

ST. LOUIS -- The Giants made a quiet exit from Busch Stadium on Thursday, falling 10-0 to the Cardinals one day after breaking out for nine runs in a back-and-forth victory.

It was reminiscent of how the week started for San Francisco, which scored one combined run on seven hits while losing the first two games of the series. The Cardinals’ starters proved particularly perplexing. They didn’t allow a run over 23 frames, with Dakota Hudson twirling six innings of one-hit ball in the series finale.

“I don’t know what we did right today,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said after being shut out for the 13th time this year. “Just an all-around ugly game for us.”

But while the Giants fell for the fifth time in six games, this series kickstarted a month in which the club will closely evaluate players who could fit into their future. And over the course of their four-day stay in St. Louis, the Giants debuted four of them.

Here’s a more detailed look at how the Giants will use the remainder of the season to audition how these four, in particular, may find a future fit.

RHP Burch Smith (recalled from Minors on Sunday)

made his first appearance on Thursday, entering in relief after the Cardinals batted around against starter in the third. His four-up, four-down appearance was arguably the Giants’ highlight of the afternoon.

Smith isn’t new to the Majors -- he made his big league debut in 2013 with San Diego -- but this is San Francisco’s first look at the 29-year-old right-hander, who was claimed off waivers from Milwaukee in August. He understands that this month is an audition for 2020.

“I feel like they claimed me for a reason,” Smith said. “Hopefully I have a good September here and put myself in a good position for next year with these guys. I’m going to go out there and pitch to the best of my abilities and let the cards fall as they may.”

Burch will fall short of qualifying for arbitration this year, which means he could be a cost-effective pitching option for the Giants to bring back. He has made 13 starts in his Major League career, and Bochy said the club hasn’t ruled out giving him a spot start before the season ends.

“I’ll try to get him as much work as I can so he can show what he can do,” Bochy said.

RHP Kyle Barraclough (contract purchased from Minors on Monday)

The Giants, who claimed off waivers in August, brought him up from Triple-A hoping he could prove ready to pitch in high-leverage situations. But the first impression hasn’t been strong.

Barraclough allowed two baserunners in his Giants debut on Monday, then served up a two-run blast in the eighth inning on Thursday. Encouraged by the Giants to start throwing his offspeed pitches more liberally, Barraclough still leaned heavily on his fastball on Thursday.

The 29-year-old right-hander threw 18 of them, including one that was tattooed by Rangel Ravelo for his first career homer, in a 24-pitch outing.

For Barraclough, the task this month is to find a way to begin replicating the success he once had as a reliable late-inning arm for the Marlins. This year, in comparison, Barraclough had a 6.66 ERA in 33 appearances with the Nationals before being designated for assignment.

“I’d just like to reestablish some of the stuff I was doing the first couple years of my career,” Barraclough said.

INF Corban Joseph (acquired off waivers on Tuesday)

showcased his defensive versatility by starting at second base on Wednesday and third base on Thursday. The latter is where he’s likely to get more opportunities moving forward, though, since playing regularly remains a priority.

But for Joseph to intrigue the Giants, he’ll also have to show more with his bat. A .197 career hitter upon joining the team, Joseph has yet to replicate his Minor League success (.803 OPS) at the big league level. In this series, the infielder went 1-for-9 with two strikeouts.

“I’m just excited to come to this group,” Joseph said. “I’m really excited to be here with an opportunity to hopefully help this team win.”

Joseph doesn’t appear to have an obvious fit in the organization beyond this year, especially with Dubon -- the organization’s eighth-ranked prospect per MLB Pipeline -- having graduated to the Majors. But he could help his chances at being considered for a utility role by playing a capable third base this month.

OF Jaylin Davis (contract purchased from Minors on Wednesday)

The power numbers -- 35 home runs in 126 Minor League games -- jump off the page immediately. But will that power translate one level higher for Jaylin Davis?

The 25-year-old outfielder, who started in right on Wednesday and Thursday, collected an infield single in his Major League debut before going hitless in his final five at-bats of the series.

“We’re trying to put our best team here, and he’s been playing very well and we think he can help us,” Bochy said. “He’ll get some playing time.”

How much remains to be seen. The Giants still intend to keep , and in the outfield rotation, which means Davis won’t be a full-time regular. But the unique speed-power combo he brings is something the Giants would like to evaluate before making decisions regarding their outfield this winter.

“Sometimes you’re going to have some bumps in the road with young players,” Bochy said, speaking of the group collectively. “You know that. But you just hope they get better, more comfortable. This is important for them. This is part of their development.”