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Kuip wants Mac to show Giants he’s here to stay long term

It’s the Return of The Mac. Again.  The Giants have called up outfielder Mac Williamson from Triple-A Sacramento on Tuesday, a source told NBC Sports Bay Area’s Alex Pavlovic. Giants fans have been begging to see Williamson’s power back in the big leagues now that he’s healthy and red-hot in the minors, and their wish has…

 

It’s the Return of The Mac. Again.

The Giants have called up outfielder Mac Williamson from Triple-A Sacramento on Tuesday, a source told NBC Sports Bay Area’s Alex Pavlovic. Giants fans have been begging to see Williamson’s power back in the big leagues now that he’s healthy and red-hot in the minors, and their wish has been answered.

“At some point you have to call him up or otherwise you lied to him and you can’t lie to a player,” Giants broadcaster Duane Kuiper said Tuesday morning on KNBR. “And the Giants were true to their word.”

Williamson crushed three home runs on Monday night for the Sacramento River Cats. One of the deep flies was even estimated to go a whopping 511 feet.

Mac Williamson. 511 feet.

GET OUT BALL #SCTop10 pic.twitter.com/bVBMlT53cE

— Sacramento River Cats (@RiverCats)

Through 23 games, the 28-year-old was hitting .378 with nine home runs and a 1.215 OPS for Sacramento. He’s also improved his walk to strikeout ratio and has 11 walks to nine strikeouts in his last 10 games.

“He has hit his way back,” Kuiper said. “… His job is to force the Giants to keep him on this roster, not just for this year, but for the next five years. Or 10 years.”

“Good for him. He’s earned his way back.”

[RELATED: Watch Mac Williamson hit 511-foot homer in Triple-A]

Last season, Williamson earned his way up after a swing change saw his power unleashed in Triple-A, but he suffered a concussion tripping over the left field bullpen in San Francisco and never recovered. After a disappointing spring training, he was designated for assignment and sent to Sacramento after clearing waivers.

Williamson is not on the 40-man roster, and a corresponding move will have to take place before Tuesday’s scheduled 5:40 p.m. PT first pitch against the Rockies at Coors Field.

 

SAN FRANCISCO — For a second straight year, Mac Williamson has forced the issue.

Williamson will join the Giants on Tuesday in Denver, NBC Sports Bay Area has learned, after being called up from the minors.

The outfielder hit three homers for Triple-A Sacramento on Monday night, giving nine for the season. He has a .378 average and 1.215 OPS, and in recent days has shown more plate discipline, something new Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi was looking for as he evaluated Williamson’s powerful start to the season.

Williamson has 11 walks in his last seven games, raising his on-base percentage to .459.

Williamson did this same thing last year, slugging his way to the big leagues by April 20. He hit three homers in his first five games in place of Hunter Pence and appeared poised for an everyday role, but a concussion suffered when he tripped over a bullpen mound put him on the sidelines. Williamson was never right when he returned, and his season ended prematurely as he tried to get his concussion symptoms under control.

This year has been tumultuous in a different way. Williamson was designated for assignment at the end of the spring when the Giants opted to go with Michael Reed and Connor Joe in the corners on Opening Day. With a crowded outfield in Triple-A, it appeared the Giants wanted Williamson to try and find an opportunity elsewhere.

But he cleared waivers, ended up back in Sacramento and again has been the Triple-A club’s most feared hitter. One of his homers Monday was estimated in the 500-foot neighborhood.

It was unclear how the Giants would immediately clear roster spots on the active and 40-man rosters. In addition to Williamson, they are expected to add at least one pitcher — likely left-hander Williams Jerez — after a rough series for the staff in Cincinnati.

 

BOX SCORE

Mac Williamson again is doing crazy things in Triple-A.

The 28-year-old outfielder hit three home runs Monday night to power the Sacramento River Cats to a 12-6 win over the Reno Aces at Raley Field.

Mama there goes that man @mwilliamson7 pic.twitter.com/PMT7tRJsnl

— Sacramento River Cats (@RiverCats) May 7, 2019

One of those three homers traveled an eye-popping 511 feet, according to the River Cats.

Mac Williamson. 511 feet.

GET OUT BALL #SCTop10 pic.twitter.com/bVBMlT53cE

— Sacramento River Cats (@RiverCats) May 7, 2019

Williamson now is up to nine home runs in 23 games with Sacramento this season, and has pushed his OPS to a staggering 1.215. Meanwhile, Mike Gerber is 1-for-15 with nine strikeouts for the Giants since they promoted him from Sacramento earlier this week.

Williamson, who has 13 homers in 306 major-league at-bats over parts of four seasons, wasn’t the only former Giant to have a big night in Sacramento. First baseman Austin Slater hit two homers himself and is up to five on the season.

Slater 💣, anyone? pic.twitter.com/JkPhnVgNc3

— Sacramento River Cats (@RiverCats) May 7, 2019

Mac Williamson has three homers tonight, he’s up to nine for the year. Austin Slater has two tonight. Ball is absolutely flying in that league but they’re certainly pushing to come back.

— Alex Pavlovic (@PavlovicNBCS) May 7, 2019

While Williamson is crushing the ball, and the Giants surely could use him, he’s not on the 40-man roster right now. So in order for president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi to get Williamson on the 25-man roster, he’d have the cut another player.

[RELATED:Wild numbers behind Pablo’s big day]

“With a guy like Mac being out of options, we have to make sure when we pull the trigger on that, we have a long period where we can take a look at him,” Zaidi said Thursday on KNBR 680. “That’s what’s fair to him, and as an organization, we don’t want to risk exposing him to waivers.

“We’re gonna have to figure out the right time to do that. He’s certainly worked his way back into the picture.”

 

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