Brett Wisely

Wisely shows Giants he deserves to stick around as Ahmed return looms

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SAN FRANCISCO – Bob Melvin declined to say what the Giants will do when Nick Ahmed is ready to come off the injured list, but Brett Wisely is making a serious case to be the one sticking around.

A day after homering for San Francisco’s only run in a 3-1 loss to the Houston Astros, Wisely slapped out two more hits and scored a run Wednesday to help the Giants win 5-3 and capture their second consecutive series victory.

For a team that has had offensive problems all season, Wisely has provided a big boost at the plate since getting called up at the beginning of May.

“I feel like I’m just trying to do my job and help the team win,” Wisely told NBC Sports Bay Area after Wednesday's win. “Nick Ahmed’s a really good infielder, a Gold Glove guy, can swing the bat well. So I’m just trying to fill in his shoes while he’s gone. When he gets back, shortstop’s his position, so I just want to stay up here and help the team win as much as I can.”

The Giants clearly like what they’ve seen from the 25-year-old infielder. Wisely has been in various spots in the lineup, hitting as far down as ninth or as high up as the leadoff spot.

“Brett’s been awesome,” pitcher Logan Webb said. “It’s been fun to watch his development. You can tell he’s getting more comfortable, which is huge. I think that was the big thing, him kind of relaxing and finding comfort and just being himself.”

Wisely agreed and said he’s definitely more confident in himself, to the point that he doesn’t feel a pressing need to impress the team brass.

“I don’t feel like I need to impress anybody. I just feel like I just got to play my game,” Wisely said. “I know I’m capable of playing up here now and I got a little confidence under my belt, so it’s not that I have to impress anybody. I just need to play my game and stick to what I do good.”

An indication of which way the Giants might be leaning can be found in the team’s clubhouse.

For the first few weeks after he was called up from Triple-A Sacramento, Wisely had his gear stored in a temporary locker, a spot usually reserved for players going back and forth between the minors or for newcomers to the team.

However, Wisely recently was moved to a spot along the far wall, sitting not far away from regulars Mike Yastrzemski, Heliot Ramos and others.

Asked if he though that was a good signal, Wisely shrugged.

“Maybe a little bit,” he said. “It’s not a big deal.”

What is a big deal is how well Wisely has been swinging the bat. Over his last 16 games, he’s batting a solid .345 (19-for-55) while playing near-flawless defense.

“He’s playing the position like he belongs there and has played it,” Melvin said. “That’s the most impressive thing right now is how well he’s playing shortstop.”

The deciding factor when Ahmed returns could come down to matchups. Ahmed is a right-handed hitter, while Wisely is a lefty. Casey Schmitt, the other variable in the puzzle, also is a right-hander.

Wisely potentially would give the Giants more flexibility, although he has proven to be more effective against lefties than righties. He carried an OPS of 1.083 against left-handed pitchers into Wednesday’s game, then raised his average to .500 against left-handed pitchers with a single and double off Houston ace Framber Valdez.

“All I know is Brett has done a great job, and he’s gotten really good at-bats against lefties as well,” Melvin said. “Had really good at-bats across the board.”

Whether it has been enough to warrant Wisely staying in the big leagues is undetermined. But he definitely has made the decision a lot more difficult.

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