Why acquiring Aaron Altherr won't impact Mac Williamson's playing time


SAN FRANCISCO -- Just four days after Giants decision-makers declared that Mac Williamson would get a long look in left field, the club acquired Aaron Altherr, a corner outfielder who is two years removed from a big season at the plate. So Giants manager Bruce Bochy felt it was necessary to check in with Williamson on Saturday. 

"Mac will be out there," he later told reporters. 

The Giants got Altherr on a waiver claim from the Phillies and plan to use him as a fourth outfielder. The 28-year-old arrives in San Francisco on Sunday but won't be activated until Tuesday. Even then he'll be eased in, because he hasn't played since May 3 and hasn't started since April 25. 

Altherr was just 1-for-29 when the Phillies DFA'd him and hit .181 in 243 at-bats last season, but the Giants are banking on his raw talent. Altherr had 19 homers in 2017 and a 122 OPS+, making him well above a league-average hitter even when you account for Citizens Bank Park. 

"He's a good athlete that became available," Bochy said. "He's a kid with some good skills, a high ceiling. He's had some struggles but you like what's in there ... obviously we feel this is a guy that has a high ceiling and has the potential to be an everyday guy at some point."

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The Giants inquired about Altherr after the Phillies beat them out for Bryce Harper, hoping that he would be available. Two months later, they're getting a free look.

Bochy said the Giants would go with five outfielders -- Altherr and Tyler Austin on the bench -- for now.

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