The Giants’ 26-man roster is taking shape, as president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi has indicated that the club will break camp with at least two players from outside the 40-man. In speaking with reporters (including Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle and Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area) over the last couple of days, Zaidi hinted that catcher Roberto Perez and outfielder Bryce Johnson will each make the team. Perez signed a minor league deal with San Francisco this winter, while Johnson was outrighted off the 40-man back in November.
Perez has “done a great job, the pitchers love him,” Zaidi said. Since Perez only played 21 games last season due to hamstring surgery, Zaidi noted that “I think really the evaluation has just been from a health standpoint, how he’s moving around, how his shoulder feels, how his lower body feels…and how much of the catching would we think he can handle. He’s felt really good and he’s ready to catch more, so that part of the evaluation has been very positive.”
Because Perez is an Article XX(b) free agent, today marks the first of three automatic opt-out dates within Perez’s minor league contract, but that looks like it will be a moot point given the Giants’ apparent desire to put him on their Opening Day roster. Perez will be one of three catchers on the 26-man (along with Joey Bart and Rule 5 Draft pick Blake Sabol), though Zaidi and manager Gabe Kapler have both intimated that the team probably isn’t likely to have a three-catcher formulation for all season, or perhaps even for very long into the season.
There’s plenty of uncertainty behind the plate for the Giants, given that former top-prospect Bart has yet to establish himself as a true regular at the big league level. As such, the Giants brought Perez and Austin Wynns into camp as non-roster invitees, and Slusser writes that Wynns isn’t yet out of the running either. Since Bart still has a minor league option remaining, it’s possible he could yet be moved down to Triple-A for more seasoning.
As a Rule 5 player, Sabol must remain on San Francisco’s active roster for the entire season or else be offered back to the Pirates, his original team. Sabol’s roster chances are improved by his positional versatility, since he can also play the outfield in addition to catching. With the Giants’ outfield thinned out by injuries, it has opened the door for both Sabol and Johnson to make the Opening Day roster, even if Zaidi said that the club is ultimately still prioritizing Sabol as a catcher.
“When Mitch Haniger and Austin Slater get back, Blake’s got to fit more firmly in the catching mix,” Zaidi said. “For us to get through the full season with Blake on the roster, he’s going to have to be able to prove himself to be a viable Major League catcher, and I think we’ve seen a lot of progress with that.”
Luis Gonzalez will miss at least half the season due to back surgery, while Slater will begin the season on the injured list due to a hamstring strain. Haniger suffered a Grade 1 oblique strain two weeks ago and the Giants had been hopeful that the outfielder would recover in time for Opening Day, but it now seems as if Haniger will need at least a brief IL stint to fully recover.
Gonzalez will be placed on the 60-day injured list prior to Opening Day, joining Thomas Szapucki and Luke Jackson as longer-term injury absences for the Giants. With three 40-man roster spots opened by these forthcoming 60-man placements, the Giants will have plenty of room to select the contracts of Perez, Johnson, and possibly Wynns or any other minor league signings. Given how actively Zaidi searches the waiver wire, it also wouldn’t be a surprise if San Francisco adds a player from outside the organization who becomes available when another team makes an end-of-camp roster cut.
As for spots on the 26-man roster, Alex Cobb isn’t yet a guarantee to avoid the injured list, as the veteran righty is still battling some knee soreness after being hit with a Miguel Vargas line drive on March 11. Cobb was able to pitch again five days later but hasn’t pitched since, so the Giants could perhaps place him on the IL to both provide more recovery time and to give the team more roster flexibility. San Francisco has two off-days within the first six days of the regular season schedule, thus delaying the club’s need for a fifth starter.
If Cobb is sidelined, it would make it a bit easier for San Francisco to fit right-hander Sean Hjelle onto the roster, though Zaidi said that “I think he could be on the team in either configuration” regardless of Cobb’s status. A second-round pick for the Giants in the 2018 draft, Hjelle has had unspectacular numbers in the minors as a starter, though he did climb the ladder and make his MLB debut with 25 relief innings in 2022.
Hjelle was deployed as a long reliever and as a bulk pitcher behind an opener, so the Giants might be eyeing him as something of a piggyback option to keep starters’ arms fresh early in the season. Regardless of role, Hjelle has certainly looked the part of a big league-caliber pitcher this spring, with a 1.80 ERA and 18 strikeouts over 15 innings, with only two walks allowed.
The news isn’t good for another recent high draft pick, as Pavlovic reports that outfielder Hunter Bishop will require elbow surgery. It would seem that Bishop is facing either a full Tommy John procedure or the better-case scenario of an elbow-brace surgery, yet Pavlovic notes that Bishop’s status won’t be known until the surgery is actually underway. Bishop was the 10th overall pick of the 2019 draft and was still drawing top-100 attention as recently as the 2021 preseason, but he has been hampered by injuries. Between his health problems and the canceled 2020 minor league season, Bishop has played in only 134 minor league games since being drafted.
That’s big-time news.
Per other MLB trade rumors, I hope Faidi does a swap of busted prospects with the Angels: Ramos for Adell (who just got optioned).
Not sure either of those guys is going to amount to squat.
Ramos had value like two years ago, but now not so much.
Bart for Adell
Hunter Bishop has been a total bust and it looks worse when Alek Manoah and Brett Baty were the two picks made directly after him. Dude hasn’t hit at all in the minors when he’s healthy, which has been rare.
Harsh. 134 games of very possibly not being really healthy. Give him a chance.
The supposed “these guys were picked after him” bad look is ridiculous. After all, Logan Webb was picked in the 4th round.
It’s been 4 years since he was taken out of college. Didn’t even bother protecting him from the rule 5 draft. Didnt do anything in tbe minors and now likely out for the season. He’s a complete bust. They passed on multiple good players for him because he’s a Bay Area guy
Ok. Let’s assume he is a bust. It happens. Every single team passes on guys hindsight shows they shouldn’t have. I love the local guy preference. It’s a good thing for everyone involved, and there’s a player comfort logic to it. Why would a Dodger fan care ?
If it were just Bishop who the Giants missed on it wouldn’t be that big of a deal. But it’s not just Bishop.
Looking at the list is depressing:
2013 Christian Arroyo (decent career), 2014 Tyler Beede (Japan), 2015 Phil Bickford (Dodger reliever) 2015 Chris Shaw (bust), 2016 (None but they took Bryan Reynolds in the 2nd round) 2017 Heliot Ramos (the jury is out, not looking good) 2018 (the jury is out), 2019 Hunter Bishop (TJ surgery) 2020 Pat Bailey (hopeful) 2021 Will Bednar (still early but looking like another Beede).2022 Reggie Crawford (we shall see)
So criticism of SF 1st round picks is warranted.
2018 Joey Bart (the jury is out)
I’ve got the whole 1st round hoopla as exaggerated. It’s just MLB marketing in my opinion. It’s years before they are expected to reach the MLB. So much can happen when it comes to the variables associated with talent development in that time. I’d suggest that just about every team can produce a list similar to that. Top 100 list is similar. Webb and Doval were nowhere to be seen on those lists. You are going to hit, and you are going to miss. Outside of a few uber talented exceptions, I’ve got what number is assigned to them as largely meaningless.
That history is spread over different FOs. And some of those earlier picks were made by the same guys that drafted Lincecum, Bumgarner, Crawford, Vogelsong, and signed Sandoval. All contributed to the 3 WS titles, so maybe balance out that criticism with some context.
Any baseball exec will tell you the hardest thing in the game is projecting kids into what they’ll be in the future. There’s a huge amount of luck involved. But part of the disappointing results is the draft position the Giants have had. In the last 10 years their average pick was 17.6.
Also, in their history the Giants have never had a #1 overall pick. Look at how successful the Astros have been, but look also at some of their failures. Over a 4 year span they had 3 #1 overall picks. They hit big with Carlos Correa, but the other 2 were Mark Appel, and Brady Aiken. Neither of those guys had even a cup of coffee. There’s just a huge amount of luck involved.
Don’t forget Corbin Carroll
Every team in baseball passed on Will Smith (the catcher) in 2016 when he went 32nd overall. He’s already accumulated a WAR of 10.7 in his short career. Every team in baseball passed on Austin Riley who went 41st overall in 2015. 12 teams, not including the Giants, passed on Trea Turner in 2014. 31 teams passed on Aaron Judge in 2013.
Citing individual players that the Giants had a chance to draft, but didn’t, is just plain stupid, and indicates a lack of understanding of what is involved. Every team has hit and missed, because there’s no surefire way to project kids
Every team has their share of getting it wrong no doubt. But the Giants have one good first round pick since 2010. And that was Panik who kind of flamed out fast. Not many consequential players drafted in the later rounds either. Bryan Reynolds and a couple of guys from 2020 in Harrison and Schmitt are it for a DECADE. They are frankly terrible at drafting.
So go ahead and totally ignore their poor draft position over the last 10 years. Luck plays too big a role for a blanket statement like they’re terrible a drafting. Not only did 31 teams pass on Will Smith, the Dodgers were one of those teams. Smith was their 2nd pick. They took Lux 12 picks earlier, but in retrospect Smith has been the far better, more valuable player. They would have taken Smith first if they’d had a crystal ball.
2018 did not have a ton of talent. The Giants took Bart 2nd, but look who went #1 overall. Casey Mize who’s not exactly lit things up. Alec Boehm was selected after Bart, and he’s been less valuable than Bart so far. In that draft the guy that has produced the best value is Nico Hoerner, taken 24th overall. Bad luck to have a great pick in a bad year.
Given the difficulty and complexity involved, to say any team is just terrible at drafting is about as over-simplified a statement as one can make.
Dodgers draft among the playoff teams every year and that doesn’t hurt them. So clearly they know what they are doing. It takes some serious coping to try and justify the extreme lack of homegrown talent Giants have had since their championships. Again every team has some misses. But the Giants miss almost every time! Name a single player they developed to a good major leauger who wasn’t on their 2014 team. Decade of nothing.
10 drafts is too short a sample to tell you anything. Do the Dodgers know what they’re doing, or have they been somewhat lucky? Over the last 10 drafts they’ve done well, but their #1 picks have included Chris Anderson (2013), Clint Holmes (2014), and Jeren Kendall (2017), none of which has seen any time at the ML level. They also selected Jordan Sheffield, whom they lost in the Rule 5 draft by the Rockies, and was later released. They also drafted Kyle Funkhouser (also 2016, 4 picks behind Smith) and J.T. Ginn (2018) but neither signed.
The Dodgers have had their share of flops, and been lucky on a few others. The reality is it’s somewhere in between luck and competency. The very fact that guys like Logan Webb, Corbin Burnes, and Shane Bieber, went in the 4th round, is obvious to anyone without an axe to grind that there’s a huge amount of luck involved.
I’ll name 2, Bryan Reynolds and Zack Wheeler. Reynolds more so than Wheeler, who was 2 years away from his debut. Reynolds, a college player, was close to ML ready when traded.
10 years being too short of a sample size is certainly a take. If you’re 3rd best pick (I forgot Webb) has to go back to 2009….that’s a problem. Dodgers 2016 draft was one of the best of all time so trying to nitpick that one is hilarious. Yes they drafted 6 major leaugers but their 3rd pick was a bust, really cancels pit everything. Luck is getting the best player in modern history with Mike Trout in the 20s. Consistently drafting all star level players takes skill. Giants have had major philosophical issues once Brian Sabean took a step back. Under Farhan they have had a heavy focus on college players and it hasn’t worked out. 2021 is the epitome of it. Will Bednar was not a guy you take that high just for having a good college World Series. And their 2nd round pick was a pitcher from so name school in New York while the Padres who went the high school route got pieces for the Soto trade. Giants need to take some risks instead of these half measure college picks.
So amk, who was the last player drafted in 1988. Do you even know? I mean, aren’t we picking and choosing good/bad picks and how could teams miss out…blah blah blah. Are you gonna brag about all the picks wasted before your Dodgers drafted Piazza? 23 teams whiffed on Piazza? You can’t pick and choose. Clemente was Dodger but they didn’t protect him in rule 5 draft so should we focus on the Dodgers for letting Clemente go and ignore their drafting Piazza the very last pick of 88. I want to pick and choose so what were Dodgers thinking regarding Clemente? How stupid that is. Why the hell did Boston get rid of Babe Ruth. How far back do we go with the picking and choosing. Mark Appel was a #1 pick and he’s never achieved. Teams go through stages of successful and unsuccessful draft picks and player decisions. You mentioned the Padres and them able to get Soto because of organization depth. Boy, amk keeps coming up with these pick/choose examples. He’s brilliant I guess. Those Padres? They traded Trea Turner.
They also trade 4 others including Joe Ross. Padres got Wil Myers in return.
Giants fans going back to the 20th century in response to their team not being good at drafting since the championships is wild. You guys haven’t developed a quality major league bat since Posey who is retired now lmao
amk1920, 10 years is too short a time, when luck plays such a large role, for an assessment of an organization’s draft selections. And Reynolds was drafted in 2016.
As recently as the year before last, the Giants farm system was ranked between 10th, and 12th, depending on where you looked. Then it dropped to 17th-18th. Yeah Hunter Bishop contributed to that, but the biggest factor was injuries. That’s just bad luck.
Plus, I’d appreciate it if you didn’t misinterpret my words to suit your point. In no way did I diminish the Dodgers 2016 selections overall. My point was, every team misses. Luck plays a role, and the fact that they drafted Kyle Funkhouser in the 1st round, and ahead of 4 major league players, shows that even good organizations miss badly.
You accuse me of cherry-picking a Dodger’s bad selection in the otherwise excellent 2016 draft, while ignoring all the other misses that I documented. And I suppose you weren’t cherry-picking the year Zack Wheeler was drafted while ignoring Bryan Reynolds being drafted in 2016.
Once again, Bryan Reynolds was drafted, and developed, by the Giants.
Basically a broken record here but the Dodgers supplement their mistakes by drafting good players elsewhere. Farm rankings are barley relevant as is, but SF was boosted by Luciano who was an IFA. Wheeler was a good pick but it was so long ago. Many players today didn’t even have a drivers license when that selection happened. And I’m not arguing that the Giants stink all time for the draft. Just recently, so even 2016 is pushing it. If they had just been an average team at development, they wouldn’t have needed to rebuild for 2017-20 and their 2021 run could’ve actually had a shot at the World Series. They had zero young bats to supplement career years from Posey, Belt and Crawford
Crawford was the only one of those 3 to have a career year. in 2021. And Belt only played 97 games that year.
The previous decade they drafted Cain , Lincecum, bumgarner, Crawford, Posey, Belt, sanchez, romo, Wilson. There are also some role players from the past decade they traded or came out of there system etc. Duvall, Colberson, Crick, Duffy, Otero, unfortunately the only star they traded for clutch.
Jim Barr amd Dick Tidrow were huge contributors to the Giants successful drafting in the 2000s.
With all the available starters on the roster look for Zaidi to manipulate the 10 day IL to cycle players in and out early in the season. Hjelle will probably mix in with this as well. Especially if they go to an opener type of strategy.
Giants should give a reasonable opportunity to guys in the minors (Schmitt, Johnson, Wilson). They burn guys down there(Ramos, Bart). The best thing that happened to Reynolds was to be traded. They gave Hanniger 43 million, and he’s already injured. Waste of money.
Agree on the guys in the minors kept too long in the past. Some were blocked by veterans that were used too much and some were simply not that good though.
Kinda seeing a change now. There are quite a few good looking prospects coming up. Jury is still out on Haniger. Way too early to call him a waste.
I see change. I can’t see Putila being hired to just be a “yes” man to existing philosophies.
The interesting thing to me is that he was reported to be a strength and conditioning guy, and multiple guys on the fringe of the roster were reported to have come into camp with noticeably more muscle. Luciano, Hjelle, Gonzales. Doval looks leaner. Joc looks leaner. Webb looks stronger. I like it.
Ramos did it to himself – he cannot hit for average – so far he is a bust and Bart got his chances too and K’s far too often
Too much negativity this close to opening day!
I like the team this year and I’m excited to see them play.
Also think Giants will be better than people think and use that underdog mentality as motivation.
Bart didn’t do much showing he deserved first round selection this spring and this competition in Sabol is quite ferocious as Sabol has been proving he belong thus far.
Perez didn’t show much with the bat as usual Wynns didn’t either.
At least Patrick Bailey did better this time than before.
I hope they give Sabol a real good look at the C, maybe Bart should be put into AAA
Sabol can hit.
Watching him trying to catch submarine twin was painful though. I think he had two passed balls and a catcher interference in one inning. He needs work behind the dish. Framing is jerky too.
90 wins. That’s my guess.