SAN FRANCISCO -- Josh Osich was supposed to pitch for the Sacramento River Cats tonight, but he was told to stay in San Francisco since he'll be on Wednesday's flight to Chicago. It sounds like a lot of current minor leaguers will be headed to Wrigley.
"Quite a few guys will be joining us in Chicago," manager Bruce Bochy said. "We want to get that clubhouse really small."
The visiting clubhouse at Wrigley is the smallest in the league and the dugout is even more cramped, but the Giants aren't concerned. While last year's September additions came in waves, Bochy said it'll be one big wave this time with "maybe one or two stragglers."
The Giants currently have a full 40-man roster and Chris Heston will need to be brought off the 60-day DL, so space is tight. They can put Heston back on the 60-day, but the first open spot will go to a third catcher, either Tony Sanchez or Miguel Olivo. Mac Williamson and Kelby Tomlinson can return to bolster the bench, but the other position players on the 40-man are all either here already or hurt.
The pitching staff could get a a big boost. Chris Stratton, Steven Okert and Matt Reynolds are among the candidates to come help out the 'pen, and Ty Blach hasn't been ruled out as a September spot starter after a big season for the River Cats. Joan Gregorio hasn't put up significant numbers since his promotion to Triple-A, but he's an option if the Giants want another innings-eater.
Then there are the non-40-man names, and they're interesting. Joe Nathan has made five scoreless appearances since joining the Double-A Richmond Flying Squirrels.
"He wouldn't be pitching there just to be pitching at Double-A," Bochy said when asked if Nathan is a possibility. "It's a matter of getting things worked out with the roster. We're looking at all the possibilities right now. He knows what he's doing out there. He's a pitcher and he's good against lefties and righties. He's doing what we were hoping and that's throwing the ball well."
Bobby Evans has proven to be creative with his roster management, and it wouldn't be a surprise if he finds a way to squeeze Nathan onto the roster. It'll be tough to find too many additional spots because the Giants don't want to part with young 40-man pitchers like Kyle Crick and Ray Black, and it'll be equally tough to find September at-bats for young bats, so Austin Slater is a long shot even though he's basically hitting a homer every other day in Triple-A.
"He's swinging the hottest bat at Triple-A for sure, and day in and day out, a couple hits and showing power," Evans said on SportsTalk Live. "We really see him being able to play all three outfield positions but like him better in the corners. Not yet a guy that has to be added to a (40-man roster) but he's making a good case for himself."
Then there's Tyler Beede, who lowered his ERA to 2.87 with an 11-strikeout shutout last night. Beede has some wiggle room in his innings cap, so that won't be an issue, but the Giants are not the type of organization that bumps a young pitcher from Double-A to the majors in September. Still, there's a lot to be excited about in future years. Beede hit 98 mph twice in the ninth inning of his shutout.
"He looks pretty doggone good right now," Evans said.
--- Hunter Pence is back in the lineup but Bochy said he'll "keep an eye on him." Pence has been told to take it easy where he can.
--- With Derek Law sidelined, Bochy said Sergio Romo will be his main eighth-inning guy, with Javier Lopez and Will Smith helping out against lefties.
--- Bochy said he considered having Brandon Crawford in the three-spot with Buster Posey behind him, but he didn't want to mess with a good thing after Sunday's success. Crawford, though, seems to be the next Brandon up if a new No. 3 hitter is needed.
--- If you thought Jake Peavy's injury was one of those fake-ish ones, well, he had a cortisone shot today. Peavy's back was really bothering him in the days before he was pulled from a scheduled start.
--- The Giants had a scout at Tim Tebow's showcase. They, uhh, did not seem particularly impressed.
--- Grant Brisbee of McCovey Chronicles is my latest podcast guest. We tried to make sense of this second half and discussed the trade deadline, Matt Duffy, the schedule, the NL postseason field and much more. You can stream it here or download it on iTunes here.