The Giants have designated catcher Johnny Monell and outfielder Francisco Peguero for assignment to clear two 40-man roster spots, reports Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle. As Schulman explains, the slots were needed to make room for the club's claim of lefty Jose De Paula and the previously unreported signing of righty Erik Cordier, who has been added to the 40-man. (Twitter links.)
Monell, 27, has spent his entire career in the San Francisco organization but has seen just nine MLB plate appearances. In his first full season at Triple-A last year, Monell supplied a pleasing .275/.364/.494 line in 481 plate appearances. He did not appear among Baseball America's ranking of the organization's top thirty prospects.
Peguero, on the other hand, opened the 2013 campaign at eighth on that list, with BA saying he had "the most exciting combination of speed and power in the system" while explaining that he still needed to translate his raw power to game action and improve his strike zone awareness. Now 25 years of age, the Dominican native has seen very sparse big league action but played both of the last two years at the highest minor league level. After a meager .691 OPS campaign in 2012, he managed to bump his slash up to a .315/.350/.416 level in 314 plate appearances in 2013. He only contributed four long balls and three steals, however, and took 53 strikeouts against just 13 walks (though that was an improvement over the 82 K to 15 BB ratio he put up in his first season of Triple-A ball).
Meanwhile, Cordier, who will turn 28 before the start of the 2014 season, has been a fixture in the upper minors for the last several seasons but has yet to break into the bigs. A starter for most of his career after being drafted in the 2nd round back in 2004, Cordier worked out of the pen last year for the Pirates' top affiliate. He notched 11.0 K/9 against 4.8 BB/9 but allowed nearly a hit per inning, resulting in a 4.58 ERA in 53 innings. He had never previously flashed that kind of strikeout potential while working in the Royals and Braves systems, which could be the reason that San Francisco saw fit to trust him with a valuable roster position.