Despite his recent demotion to the minor leagues, San Francisco Giants infielder Hwang Jae-gyun may not have to wait long for his next call-up. When asked about Hwang’s future with the club in a recent interview with MLB.com, Giants manager Bruce Bochy indicated at an eventual return, saying there is “a strong possibility” he will be called back up.
San Francisco Giants' third baseman Hwang Jae-gyun dives for a ground ball. (Yonhap)
Bochy explained the team’s decision to demote Hwang as one of availability. Following the All-Star Game break, veteran third baseman Eduardo Nunez returned from the disabled list, pushing Hwang out of his starting role and onto the bench. This meant Hwang, who was hitting .167, was unable to get adequate chances to work out of his slump and adjust to major league pitching.
“He just wasn’t getting a lot of playing time with Nunez here,” Bochy said, “(He) needs consistent at-bats right now.”
Bochy also explained the move as one of roster flexibility, saying, “We felt like we needed an outfielder today. We’re a little thin in the outfield, and so we made the change.” Sending Hwang down the minors allowed the Giants to call up Orlando Calixte, who can play both infield and outfield.
Bochy closed the interview by reiterating his belief in Hwang, saying “It’s tough. He’s a good player, and there’s a very good possibility that he’ll be back.”
Hwang will report to the Sacramento River Cats, the Giants’ Triple-A affiliate, on Thursday. But with Bochy’s confidence, and the fact that the Giants have been exploring trade options involving Nunez, Hwang may not be in the minors for long.
By Alex Park / Intern reporter (firstname.lastname@example.org)