The A.J. Pollock era in San Francisco is over after five games.
The Giants waived the veteran outfielder Tuesday to clear a 40-man roster spot for reliever John Brebbia, who was activated from the 60-day injured list. Tristan Beck, who seemed to be vying for a rotation spot not long ago, was optioned to Triple-A Sacramento.
Pollock, 35, was acquired alongside minor-league infielder Mark Mathias for a still-undisclosed player to be named later or cash in the Giants’ only move at the trade deadline. In five games, he came to the plate six times, failed to get a hit and struck out twice. He was on a rehab assignment from a strained oblique when the Giants waived him.
With Mitch Haniger back and Heliot Ramos and Luis Matos at Triple-A Sacramento, it was going to be difficult for Pollock to find a spot when he was ready to return from the oblique strain that knocked him out a week into his brief Giants tenure. The writing was on the wall when they passed at the chance to claim Randal Grichuk, another right-handed outfield bat who was part of the Angels’ waiver-wire firesale.
However not Haniger, nor post-deadline addition Paul DeJong, has provided a fix for their long-broken offense. Since returning from a 10-week absence, Haniger has one hit and has struck out in half his 16 trips to the plate. DeJong, whom the Giants passed on at the deadline only to sign as a free agent after being waived weeks later, is 1-for-28 after going 3-for-5 in his first game.
Since the All-Star break, no team has scored fewer runs or hit for a worse average than the Giants, who must be having some non-buyer’s remorse, especially watching Jeimer Candelario on the other side this series against the Cubs. Once thought to be possible sellers, the Cubs went in the other direction, acquired the corner infielder from the Nationals, and he’s posted a .255/.328/.481 batting line in 31 games since, an .809 OPS that outranks every Giants hitter except Wilmer Flores.
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The team is in a much different place than when Brebbia landed on the injured list.
The offense was firing on all cylinders and they were in the middle of a 10-game win streak when Brebbia strained the muscle in right shoulder in an outing against the Dodgers. Brebbia’s gregarious presence and 3.14 ERA will both be welcome back in the bullpen, though their leverage relievers haven’t been particularly taxed while dropping four of their past five games.
Beck started one of the losses and appeared in relief in another. After excelling in back-to-back outings against his former organization, the high-powered Atlanta Braves, Beck was rewarded with his second start in San Diego. The Padres hammered him — six runs on nine hits in 2⅔ — and on Monday, he was performing mop-up duty behind Logan Webb in a 5-0 loss to the Cubs.
The Giants will appear twice on ESPN’s “Sunday Night Baseball” over the final month of the season.
Their meeting at Dodger Stadium on September 24 was the latest selection to the primetime schedule. Their game this upcoming Sunday, against the Colorado Rockies, was already on the docket, with a later-than-usual 5:10 p.m. PT start. First pitch against the Dodgers will be at 4:10 p.m.