Rohlinger looks to contribute to pennant race
SAN FRANCISCO—Grand slams, walk-off hits, pinch heroics—Ryan Rohlinger has done it all in a Giants uniform. All in spring training, though.
Rohlinger, who was promoted to San Francisco Aug. 25, hopes to start contributing in games that matter. That's something he wasn't able to do last season, when he batted .094 in 32 at-bats after making his major league debut in August.
A dependable defensive player, Rohlinger also committed three errors in just 22 total chances. He acknowledged he was physically exhausted toward the end of the season. It's a problem he's worked to address.
"Not that it's an excuse, but I didn't work out as much," Rohlinger said. "This year, I've been in the gym a lot more. I haven't lost as much weight. It's allowed me to be more consistent."
Rohlinger, 25, was batting .281/.351/.468 with 16 home runs and 78 RBI for Triple-A Fresno when the Giants recalled him to replace disabled infielder Freddy Sanchez. Giants manager Bruce Bochy said Rohlinger is a candidate to fit in a utility role next season, lauding his ability to play four infield positions.
The native of West Bend, Wis., has one other special talent: crushing the Brewers. He had so many big hits against them in spring training, Milwaukee manager Ken Macha joked that Rohlinger would win the triple crown.
The Giants play at Miller Park Sept. 4-6, by the way.
"Oh, I know," Rohlinger said, smiling.
• Lefthander Geno Espineli was named to USA Baseball's roster for the World Cup tournament to be held in Europe. Double-A infielder Sharlon Schoop will participate for the Netherlands.
• Righthander Cameron Lamb, a high profile sign from Australia two years ago, was 3-0 through 11 starts. The 20-year-old's 1.48 ERA was the lowest in the Rookie-level Arizona League.