The defending champion San Francisco Giants weren't expecting to head into September in last place. However, even with two straight wins over the Pittsburgh Pirates, they will go into the season's final month out of the race. Thus, the club has started to look at some younger players.
Roger Kieschnick was recalled from Triple-A Fresno after hitting .273/.339/.497 with 13 home runs. He's hit just .246/.319/.277 over 65 at-bats in the big leagues, but he's playing every day against right-handed pitchers. He doesn't look like he'll be the answer in left field for next season, but he'll likely get another month to try to earn the job.
23-year-old catcher Hector Sanchez is back with the Giants after a demotion earlier this season. He still looks raw behind the plate, but he's having better plate appearances with the bat since being recalled.
Brett Pill is also back with the team after hitting .344 with 18 home runs at Fresno. Pill will be 29 next month, so he isn't really a prospect. However, he could help San Francisco in a bench role next season.
Instead of defending a title in the heat of a pennant race, the Giants are now looking to the future. With Matt Cain, Madison Bumgarner, Buster Posey, Brandon Belt, Brandon Crawford and other talented players coming back, the club should be able to reload over the winter.
The farm system isn't likely to provide much help in the immediate future, as most of the Giants' top prospects are in the lower levels of the minor leagues. Let's take a look at how they fared in the season's 21st week.