SAN FRANCISCO - The Giants have spent the entire season dealing with injuries, so it should come as no surprise that their September call-up list will be defined in part by early-season bumps and bruises and their current health.
The list of call-ups is expected to be small, and injuries play a part in two different ways. All the early blows put many of the team's best Triple-A players in the majors early, and guys like Dereck Rodriguez, Andrew Suarez, Steven Duggar, Alen Hanson and Austin Slater have stuck.
After the rookies locked up roles, the Giants actually got relatively healthy, at least in terms of position players. That will have an impact on the September 1 call-ups, as well. Buster Posey and Pablo Sandoval are the only position players currently on the DL, and Aramis Garcia was going to be here in September as the third catcher anyway.
This could leave Chris Shaw on the outside, despite 23 homers in Triple-A this season. The Giants are said to be currently leaning against a Shaw promotion, although a final decision hasn't been made. The outfield is crowded. Unless Andrew McCutchen is traded, there's no playing time in right. The other corner spot will be filled by Slater, Gorkys Hernandez and Hunter Pence, who should get plenty of time in late September as a send-off in San Francisco.
Shaw is not on the 40-man roster, which hurts his cause, although he will have to be added over the offseason. Kelby Tomlinson, Miguel Gomez, Ryder Jones and Mac Williamson are the remaining position players on the 40-man. Williamson is in Arizona rehabbing after his concussion symptoms returned, and the Giants do not expect to add many bats.
"We have coverage in the outfield and infield," manager Bruce Bochy said. "There are guys that are going to be here. I don't want them to read this and think we're not bringing guys up - we are, of course. We need help on the pitching side but the numbers won't be what they've been in the past."
The Giants do not plan to add a third catcher. Bochy said one minor league catcher will keep working out just in case he's needed, and that figures to be Ronnie Freeman, who was chosen over Trevor Brown as the taxi squad catcher when the Giants needed one earlier this month.
Most of the additions will be on the pitching side and should be familiar names. Casey Kelly, Pierce Johnson and Derek Law are likely candidates to add pitching depth, which could be necessary as Rodriguez and Suarez approach innings limits and Bochy watches the workloads of relievers like Reyes Moronta and Will Smith. Ray Black is expected to return for a second shot at big league hitters.
The Giants have spent the entire season worrying about the tax line, but general manager Bobby Evans said they can operate freely in September without having to worry about going over, thanks to the Cory Gearrin-Austin Jackson salary dump. The 40-man is currently full, but Posey can be put on the 60-day DL to clear a spot, which leads us, finally, to intrigue.
Shaw is not expected to be here, but another Triple-A standout could finally get his shot. The staff has had plenty of discussions about reliever Tyler Rogers, a side-arming right-hander who has a 2.22 ERA this year and 2.28 ERA in his minor league career. Some in the organization are eager to get a look at him, which could lead to an audition in September.