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You Can't Spell Gillaspie Without "Gasp!"

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As in, good golly Miss Molly, the Giants just called up their #2 draft pick Conor Gillaspie, the fastest a draftee has reached the majors in club history. So he must have been absolutely killing the ball in his few minor league at-bats, no?

No. But the front office guys say they want to see how he handles himself at the plate and at third base before they go out and sign Casey Blake to a three-year contract this winter. If that's really true, it's a self-delusion, what Joan Didion would call magical thinking -- even if they start Gillaspie every game the rest of the way, it's not enough data to make important decisions in the off-season. There must be some other motive at play, perhaps contractual small print that forced the Giants to add Gillaspie to the 40-man roster, which they're not willing or able to make public.

According to the complicated rules, a team can keep a player on the 40-man roster for three years and move him back and forth without subjecting him to waivers. (If I'm wrong, please correct me.) So for a while it won't matter if Gillaspie is in S.F. or in the minors. But this move shortens the deadline for the Giants to decide what to do with him. It gives the team less control.

Perhaps they feel that if he's not on the big club for good by his fourth professional year, he won't ever be a legitimate major leaguer. That would be a dumb assumption; he's only just turned 21. The more I mull it over, the more it seems a contractual obligation. And with that, I hope he starts Wednesday because I've got tickets.

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