Not exactly shanah tovah for Giants Brian Horwitz

Brian Horwitz, who made a brief splash with the San Francisco Giants back in June, was in the news again last week, but the news was not good for the Jewish outfielder.

In order to free up a spot for another player, the Giants took Horwitz off their 40-man roster on Sept. 18. Technically, they outrighted him to their Triple-A team in Fresno, but since the Grizzlies’ season is already over and since Horwitz was not one of the minor-leaguers the Giants called up this month, the move was highly procedural.

It does not bode well for Horwitz, who’ll turn 26 in November. Not being a September call-up and now being taken off the 40-man roster are indicators he doesn’t figure in the Giants’ future.

As of now, the former Cal player who grew up in the San Fernando Valley remains in the Giants’ farm system, still needing two more seasons in the organization to become a free agent. But the Giants are stacked with outfielders, meaning he’ll be hard-pressed to make the team coming out of spring training next year.

Horwitz began 2008 with Fresno and was hitting .294 when the Giants purchased his contract in late May. He smacked two homers in his first 14 major league at-bats, becoming a mini-sensation whose San Francisco teammates nicknamed him “The Rabbi.”

But regular playing time faded and his statistics fizzled, and the Giants optioned him back to Fresno in early July. Back in Triple-A, he failed to flourish, hitting only .253 over the final month to drop his final batting average to .277.

In four previous minor league seasons, he always hit above .300, often well above it.

He hit for more power this season (nine home runs for San Francisco and Fresno combined), but observers noted that he became less effective as a spray hitter and also struck out more often than he did in 2007.

The Giants removed Horwitz and a pitcher from their 40-man roster to free up spots for pitcher Merkin Valdez and infielder Kevin Frandsen coming off the 60-day disabled list.

“Too bad for Brian, he’s a good guy,” said Grizzlies radio announcer Doug Greenwald, the son of former Giants announcer Hank Greenwald. “But he’s still in the system.”

Andy Altman-Ohr

Andy Altman-Ohr was J.’s managing editor and Hardly Strictly Bagels columnist until he retired in 2016 to travel and live abroad. He and his wife have a home base in Mexico, where he continues his dalliance with Jewish journalism.