NEW YORK -- Matt Duffy spent Thursday morning doing the same thing most baseball fans were doing, but with a twist. Duffy and Jarrett Parker had been told not to get on Double-A Richmond's bus to Altoona, Pa., and both thought they were getting traded. After a few hours of reading trade rumors on Twitter, Duffy gave up.
"I got tired of thinking about it and took a nap," he said, smiling.
Shortly after the trade deadline, assistant general manager Bobby Evans called Duffy and Parker separately to tell them they had not been traded. Both were headed to the big leagues after the Giants decided Dan Uggla and Tyler Colvin would be designated for assignment.
"It was a huge shock," Parker said. "But I'm super-excited. My dad didn't understand what I was telling him. He thought I was getting traded."
Parker's mom was with him Thursday and both Virginia-based parents are now at Citi Field. Duffy's parents, sister and uncle flew to New York from Long Beach and arrived in time to see the second baseman penciled into the second spot in the Giants lineup.
Manager Bruce Bochy said Duffy would platoon with Joe Panik at second base and back up Brandon Crawford and Pablo Sandoval. Parker can play all three outfield positions but will primarily be used as a left-handed power bat off the bench until Angel Pagan and Brandon Belt return to the lineup.
Duffy has moved quickly, going from Low-A Augusta to the big leagues in just over a year. Parker has been slowed by strikeout issues, but is red hot and remains an intriguing prospect. General manager Brian Sabean said this isn't a sign that the Giants are already thinking about the future. They just needed fresh blood after a 1-5 homestand and a trade deadline that failed to bring the right deal.
"If you can't do anything from the outside, you have to turn internally, and that's exactly what we're doing," Sabean said. "There are times you try to win and develop at the same time."
Duffy, 23, hit .332 in the pitcher-friendly Eastern League. Sabean said the slender infielder has a "base-hit bat."
"There are not many guys in any organization who can hit .330 in the Eastern League," Sabean said.
Duffy said he was held up in the low minors because he spent too much time thinking about mechanics. Now it's "see the ball, hit it hard," he said. That strategy and a discerning eye at the plate have him up in the big leagues far sooner than he expected.
"If you would have told me last year that I would be here, I wouldn't have believed you," he said. "I definitely worked hard, but I wasn't expecting this to happen this fast. There were a lot of scenarios (going through my head yesterday), whether I'd be traded or if Parker and I would have to drive to Altoona. A lot of things crossed my mind, but this was not one of them."
Duffy had two at-bats in big league camp this spring but didn't get a chance make much of an impression. Parker did, hitting a monstrous grand slam on the final day of Cactus League play. The 25-year-old earned a promotion by hitting .330 in July with five homers, five doubles and 16 RBIs.
"He's got the tools," Sabean said. "He's a borderline five-tool player."
While Parker was surprised that the call came Thursday, he's not surprised by his recent success. He said he has worked hard to limit his strikeouts and improve his focus and mental toughness at the plate.
"I've always been a late bloomer," he said. "I'm just trying to drive the baseball and win games every time I go out there."
"There" is now the big leagues for both young position players. That means they're spending the weekend at a swanky Manhattan hotel.
"It's not the Super 8 in Altoona," Parker said.
When told that Parker wasn't a big fan of that particular stop on the Double-A schedule, Duffy cringed and nodded his head.
"It smells like a casino," he said. "It's rough."