The Giants announced a series of roster moves to reporters today, including Maria I. Guardado of MLB.com. Right-hander Sean Hjelle has been recalled from Triple-A Sacramento, while outfielder LaMonte Wade Jr. has been activated off the injured list. Sam Long and Mauricio Llovera were both sent to Triple-A to create roster space.
Hjelle was a second round selection of the Giants in the 2018 draft and has been working his way up the minor league ladder since then. His promotion is something of an early birthday present, as he turns 25 years old tomorrow. The 6’11” right-hander was ranked #5 in the club’s system by Baseball America back in 2019, though he has slid a bit in those rankings as he has struggled with higher levels of competition.
In 2019, he reached Double-A for the first time, throwing 25 1/3 innings with a 6.04 ERA. After the minor leagues were canceled in 2020, Hjelle returned to Double-A in 2021 and fared much better, putting up an ERA of 3.15 in 14 starts, along with a 25.2% strikeout rate, 6.9% walk rate and 54.6% ground ball rate. In Triple-A last year, however, his ERA shot up to 5.74. He was still getting grounders at a 54.1% clip, but saw the strikeouts dip down to 14.1% and the walks bump up to 11.7%. This year, he’s made five Triple-A starts and has improved those results somewhat, getting his ERA to 4.37 and his walks down to 5.1%, along with a 54.8% grounder rate. He’s still not racking up Ks though, with a 14.3% rate on the year. Whenever he gets into a game, it will be his major league debut.
Wade is coming off an excellent breakout campaign in 2021, where he hit 18 home runs and slashed .253/.326/.482, 117 wRC+. This year, he’s yet to make his season debut due to inflammation and a bone bruise in his left knee. After a seven-game rehab assignment, he’s now back on the roster and should slot into regular action in the outfield next to Mike Yastrzemski, with Luis Gonzalez, Joc Pederson, Austin Slater, Darin Ruf and Mauricio Dubon also in the mix.
As for Long and Llovera, Guardado’s tweet says that Long was optioned and Llovera was returned to Triple-A. The language different could be significant. Under the 2022 health and safety protocols, the commissioner’s office has the sole discretion to determine whether a team has been sufficiently impacted by COVID to call up “substitute” players. If granted permission, the team can then return those substitutes back to Triple-A (and, if he was not previously on the 40-man, off the roster entirely) without utilizing a minor league option or passing the player through waivers. Llovera was selected to the club’s 40-man roster a week ago amid a run of positive tests among Giants’ players. The fact that he has been “returned” to Triple-A, suggests that he is no longer on the roster. However, Llovera’s transactions tracker at MLB.com says he was optioned, meaning it’s possible he still has that roster spot.
Peanut butter Hjelle time.
I don’t think you’re ready for this Hjelle
I hate that I didn’t think of this. Well done.
Do you know the difference between jam and hjelle?
Bart Harley Jarvis
I can’t hjelle my ___ into your ___
World Series Bound !!
Although his last name is pronounced Jelly I can see him also gaining the nicknames of stretch or giraffe.
Bart Harley Jarvis
I was going to say “Hjelle Yeah!” but thought better of it.
Kapler's Coconut Oil
Good choice, since it’s pronounced like Jelly
Glad Hjelle finally getting his chance.
I would love a glimpse into San Francisco’s evaluation and acquisition processes. Look at that collection of outfielders. Take away Pederson and the most frequent response most of those names would get is “who?”. And for good reason. From their draft pedigree, to their minor league stats, to their major league stats, those guys are just guys. They are not particularly big or athletic, they’re just guys. But gather them together, put them in a Giants uniform, and watch them go win a bunch of games. It’s interesting and sure to cause other teams to want to follow suit. I still hope the Cards knock a little of the intrigue down this weekend.
Maybe he’s ready (or not) to contribute at the big-league level – but finally getting his chance? He’s barely pitched 300 innings in the minors (drafted in 2018 and zero reps 2020) and it’s not exactly like he’s covered himself in glory or anything down there.
They might need him to make a spot start – the bullpen has been ridden hard the last couple of weeks, with 2 starters on the IL – and Cobb, who’s back now, not even making it out of the 1st inning when he came off the IL a few days ago.
Whenever he does make his debut though, it would be cool if he gets out of a jam to preserve a lead.
Throwing him out there in a jam for his debut could be jarring, and should get someone canned. I’d check the spread if they ever announce Hjelle as a starter for a game, I bet the return on such a wager would be sweet.
it’s insane to me that SF has only scored 3 runs across their last 3 games, even though they suited up a bunch of scrubs
This is a Bad Team. Not sure they can finish above .500
It’s only May and They’ve just dropped 7 of their last 8
Zero impact bats. A bunch of old guys mixed in with waiver wire cast offs .
Their moronic fans will scream we won a 107 games last year . Indeed….LAST year . It’s 2022 and this is just a Bad team
I remember this same sentiment of yours pre 107 wins. It took the giants losing 7 out of 8 for the Padres to finally catch up to them.
Don’t feed the troll.
once he debuts he’ll be tied for tallest player in ML history.
he must not have been a very good basketball player
There’s an interview from his time at UK where he says people came up to him excited thinking he played basketball at Kentucky, and they seemed disappointed when he told them he played baseball.
For a second I thought you meant UK as in England
Bart Harley Jarvis
Or Scotland or Northern Ireland.
Tall = good basketball player is like big + fat = good sumo wrestler. It’s far from automatic.
Happy birthday Hjelle. Maybe you’ll get in a game on your birthday.
Bart Harley Jarvis
So, who was his first mlb KY, I mean K victim?