By Michelle Dingley
It’s now confirmed: Carlos Beltran is officially a Giant. In return, top pitching prospect Zack Wheeler is now part of the Mets organization. To make room for Beltran, the Giants have made two corresponding roster moves. Bill Hall has been activated from the DL and released. Emmanuel Burriss is being sent back down to Triple-A Fresno.
Bill Hall joined the team after Freddy Sanchez was sent to the DL. Freddy, the starting second baseman, dislocated his shoulder diving for a ball. He is currently rehabbing in an attempt to rejoin the team later in the season. Hall himself was put on the DL after he was spiked by a runner at second. Taking his spot was Jeff Keppinger, received by trade with the Astros. Hall’s offense has not been great for the Giants. In his 16 games with San Francisco, Hall hit only .158 with a .220 OBP, no home runs and 1 RBI.
To make room for Beltran on the active roster, Manny Burriss has been demoted to the minors. An infield utilityman who mostly played at second, Burriss has been up with the major-league club multiple times this year. In 48 games with San Francisco, he hit .217 with a .268 OBP, no home runs and 4 RBI. He has not played since July 20, the day Jeff Keppinger joined the team as the everyday second baseman.
Carlos Beltran may disrupt more than just the roster. For the last two seasons, the Giants have not had one big, star player. They had a different hero every night. Is Beltran now “the guy,” the one Giant expected to win the game for us? Will too much pressure be put on Beltran to save the struggling offense? Beltran is expected to take over right field, evicting Nate Schierholtz, who will move to left. Playing right field was, evidently, a stipulation of the deal made with the Giants. In a press conference, Beltran noted that he feels most comfortable in right, but he says he is willing to move if that is what’s best for the team. Beltran will take jersey #15, previously Bruce Bochy’s number. It is rare for a manager to give up his number for a player, but Bochy claims he has no sentimental attachment to the number and was more than willing to part with it. (Bochy now wears #16.) It seems the Giants are giving Beltran anything and everything he wants. From his demeanor in the press conference, Beltran appears to appreciate the warm welcome. Will bowing down to Beltran’s every whim give the other Giants the impression that he matters more than they do? Will this disrupt clubhouse chemistry? We’ll have to wait and see. Carlos Beltran will make his Giants debut tonight, starting in right field and batting third. First pitch is at 4:05.