Aug. 31, 2011
Fullerton, Calif. - Former Titan first baseman Brett Pill's contract was purchased by the San Francisco Giants today, moving him from the AAA Fresno Grizzlies to the big league team's active roster. When he makes his first appearance, he will become the 51st Titan baseball player to play in a major league game.
With Pill's promotion comes bad news for another former Titan, Aaron Rowand. Both Rowand and infielder Miguel Tejada were designated for assignment by the Giants, creating an opening for Pill's arrival.
Pill, a Titan from 2004-2006, was hitting a cool .312 with 25 home runs and 107 RBI before the call-up, and sits just one RBI away from the Grizzlies' franchise record.
He did not play in the Giants' 4-0 win over the Cubs on Wednesday in San Francisco.
Giants manager Bruce Bochy sees Pill initially as a right-handed bat off the bench. The 27-year-old has turned into quite a power hitter the last three years, and hit a three-run homer, his 25th, Tuesday night with Fresno.
"I'd like to find some starts for him," Bochy said reported Adam Baggerly of the San Jose Mercury News. "He's a threat. He's had a good year down there. Anytime you knock in 100 runs, that's a nice year.
"I'll do what I can to give him some starts, but we still believe that we can climb back in this thing. I know we dug ourselves a pretty good hole here, but it's a tough and gritty group. We'll keep fighting until the end. If Pill makes us a better club out there, then he'll be out there."
Pill was a seventh-round selection for the Giants in the 2006 draft and was about to wrap up his sixth season at the minor league level. He has spent the past two years with Fresno and has hit 16-or-more home runs and driven in 84-or-more runs in each of the last 3 seasons.
Pill was the first baseman and clutch hitter for the Titans' fourth national championship squad in 2004. For his career, Pill hit .325 with 16 home runs and 114 RBI and helped lead the Titans to a pair of trips to the College World Series (2004 and 2006). Brett's brother, Tyler, just finished his three-year Titan career in 2011 and is enjoying his first summer of professional baseball in the New York Mets organization.
Giants General Manager Brian Sabean said he would try to trade Rowand by Wednesday night's 9 p.m. PT deadline so they could continue their careers and join a contender's postseason roster. If he can not be dealt, the veteran has 10 days to accept his assignment or be released.
Rowand, a Titan from 1996 to 1998, is amidst his 11th season in the major leagues, and has seen a decline in his performance that landed him a five-year, \$60 million contract with the Bay Area franchise in 2008.
"He was brought here for a reason," Sabean said of Rowand to MLB.com's Adam Berry. "He fulfilled his obligation as a professional, to try to put us in a spot to help us win a World Series, and he did just that. We learned from his work ethic and his commitment and his passion. As I told him, there's no regrets."
Rowand was a 2007 All-Star and Gold Glove Award winner and has two World Series Championships under his belt (San Francisco in 2010 and Chicago White Sox in 2005). He is one of five former Titans to have been crowned a World Series champion, one of three to have played in the Fall Classic, and is the only one to have won two in their career.