Late Thursday afternoon the San Francisco Giants called up John Bowker from Triple-A Fresno.
Giants manager Bruce Bochy indicated in a pregame show recently there were almost daily discussions about Bowker's activity in Fresno and a possible call-up.
An outfielder by trade, Bowker first saw action as a big league player with the Giants in 2008. The rookie was adapted to play first base in an effort to bring some pop to an already deficient offense.
Bowker burst onto the scene in 2008 with two home runs and seven RBI in two games. Did the Giants finally produce the offensive stud they had been so lacking?
Actually, the Giants did produce a hitting stud in Pablo Sandoval—but that came much later in the season. Bowker's bat cooled down immensely, showing some very disappointing plate discipline.
San Francisco has exceeded the league's expectations in 2009, sporting the second best record in the National League behind the hated division rival Dodgers.
This has put the Giants right into the hunt for the NL wild card. While the Pitching has been stellar, the Giants clearly need a bat or two to be considered serious contenders in 2009 and years to come.
Rumors have come and gone. Mark DeRosa was passed on. Jermaine Dye's name has come up repeatedly, among others.
Meanwhile, John Bowker has been tearing it up in Fresno. In 249 plate appearances, Bowker is hitting a consistent .345. He has 17 homers and 63 RBI thus far in Triple-A.
Perhaps more importantly, he has more walks (53) than strikeouts (52). This is a far cry from his disappointing finish with the Giants in 2008 where he seemed to strikeout four times to every walk.
Tonight against the Padres, Bowker has another golden opportunity to prove himself worthy of the Majors. He gets the start in Left Field. Now whether that means Nate Schierholtz or Randy Winn will sit is unclear.
It is also quite possible that Bowker is being put on display in an attempt to spark some trade value before the deadline. Either way, the Giants need hits, they need runs.
San Francisco also moved rookie pitcher Ryan Sadowski back down to San Jose after getting his first loss last night. Overall, Sadowski's poise was impressive in his three stint with the Giants.
I think it's fair to assume we will see more of Sadowski throughout the season.
Batter up, Bowker...go get 'em, kid.