11:02am: The Giants announced that they’ve selected Schmitt’s contract. In a corresponding move, they reinstated first baseman/outfielder Darin Ruf from the injured list and designated him for assignment. Outfielder Cal Stevenson was also optioned to Sacramento.
11:00am: The Giants will select the contract of infield prospect Casey Schmitt prior to tonight’s game, reports Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area. The 2020 second-round pick will be making his Major League debut.
Schmitt, 24, has gotten out to a .313/.352/.410 start in Triple-A Sacrmento, striking out at a 19.3% clip against a more tepid 5.5% walk rate. For the season’s first few weeks, Schmitt was hitting for average but doing little else, walking at only a 3.6% clip with just a .367 slugging percentage. He’s picked up the pace of late, however, hitting .327/.393/.473 with a homer, five doubles, three stolen bases, an 8.2% walk rate and just a 13.1% strikeout rate over his past 14 games and 55 plate appearances.
While Schmitt has played primarily shortstop so far in 2023, the bulk of his minor league work has come at third base. In all, he has 512 career innings at shortstop and 1223 innings at the hot corner. The Giants have also played him at second base three times this month — the first three appearances of his career at that position — likely in an effort to increase his versatility and his utility on the big league roster.
The Giants have received outstanding production from infielders Thairo Estrada (.344/.394/.534) and J.D. Davis (.287/.360/.515), but with Brandon Crawford shelved by a calf strain (and struggling even when healthy), the infield has been thinned out. Brett Wisely and David Villar have both gotten looks at second base, with Estrada sliding over to shortstop in place of Crawford, but neither has hit well at all in 2023. Schmitt can give the Giants an option at either middle-infield slot, with Estrada handling the other, and hopefully provide a spark to the lineup in the process.
Scouting reports on Schmitt peg him as a plus defender on the left side of the infield, so it stands to reason that he can handle whichever of shortstop, second base or third base the Giants ask of him on a given day. What remains to be seen is whether this proves to be a short-term call-up until Crawford returns or whether Schmitt will get the chance to play his way into a more permanent role with the club. Given the team’s 15-19 start, it’s sensible to take a look at Schmitt and adjust the roster around him if he adapts well at the big league level. If he’s indeed in the Majors for good, he’d be on track to reach arbitration as a likely Super Two player following the 2025 season and reach free agency following the 2029 season — though future optional assignments can of course alter both trajectories.
As for Ruf, the 36-year-old’s return to the Giants will prove quite brief. Released by the Mets earlier this year, he quickly re-signed with the Giants and appeared in nine games before landing on the injured list due to a wrist injury. In 27 plate appearances prior to that IL stint, Ruf posted a solid .261/.370/.348 batting line.
The veteran Ruf was an outstanding find for the Giants in his return from a productive three-year run in the KBO, batting .248/.358/.455 in 726 plate appearances with San Francisco from 2020 through the 2022 trade deadline, when he was traded to the Mets in exchange for the aforementioned Davis and three others. It proved to be a disastrous trade for the Mets, as Davis immediately began hitting in San Francisco, while Ruf’s bat cratered in Queens; he hit just .152/.216/.197 in 74 plate appearances with the Mets last year and didn’t appear in a single game in 2023 before being cut loose.
The Giants will have a week to trade Ruf, place him on outright waiver or place him on release waivers. He has enough service time to reject an outright assignment and still retain his full $3MM salary. The Mets are on the hook for that sum as part of last summer’s trade, so any team that picks Ruf up will only be required to pay him the prorated league minimum for any time spent on the MLB roster. That’d be subtracted from what the Mets owe to him. In 727 career plate appearances against left-handed pitching, Ruf is a .271/.368/.519 hitter (142 wRC+).
My boy!!!! Go get ‘em Casey!!! I am STOKED!!!!
Sorry to see Ruf go so quickly, but can hardly wait to see what Schmitt can do in SF.
Just bought some River cats tickets a few days ago in the hopes to see Schmitt hahaha.
Good move, no matter what. Keep bringing them up, give them a real chance and see what they can do. That’s better than waiting for the extremely well paid veterans to do what they’re no longer capable of doing. Good for Schmitt.
Bart Harley Jarvis
With regard to a career as an MLB third baseman, here’s hoping he’s more like ‘Mike’ and less like ‘McGehee’.
I wonder if this is more about Schmitt being ready or if it’s more a commentary on Crawford’s health/ability. Seems also like a vote of no confidence in Villar/Wisely.
Hope the rookie gets a long leash and this is the start of the new look SF Giants infield. Wade/Estrada/Davis/Schmitt. 3 nothing trades and a 2nd round pick. Who would’ve guessed it!
Wisely had a lot of “at em balls” this season that are now starting to drop. Plus he’s only 23. I think he can still be a key player on this team. Villar, not sure. His confidence has seemed to bottom out.
Sadly appears Ruf is washed. Can happen just like that
Ruf will send ill collect Mets money. No downside for Ruf in this. Time to practice your golf swing, Darren. Well, once your wrist heals.
“ill collect Met’s money” is too good of a typo to overlook – given what’s happening with that team right now.
Best news of today so far!
The infield could potentially solidify with him at short, pending Crawford can’t get healthy and figure out what a slider down and away looks like.
Wonder if the Astros will pick him up given Abreu’s lack of production.
The Giants won’t give him any real playing time. They never do with rookies. He’ll play a game here and there, never getting regular at bats, just like Heliot Ramos and a ton of guys before. He’ll be back in the minors after 18 ABs and a .213 BA.
Well if he outhits Crawford by that much he might stick around for 42 at bats
I want to be angry at this comment, but I just can’t. It’s too accurate.
This is my 61st year of being a SF Giants fan, I have to say the they have not given a fair chance to many more players that they’ve given a chance. Give a kid regular playing time and around 200 at bats to see what he can do. If he’s like Ramos and looks overmatched then that’s a different story. One of the biggest guys they didn’t give an everyday chance to was George Foster. Look up his stats after he was traded to the Reds. How about Gary Maddox & Gary Mathew’s after they went to the Phillies. I can give you more names but the three are great examples. Typically the Giants wait to long to call guys up and then don’t give them a chance. It’s been that way for the last .50 years. How about the worst trade ever Gaylord Perry to the Indians for Sam McDowell or Orlando Cepeda to the Cardinals for Ray Sedeki those two trades still piss me off !!! That’s Giants Baseball
It’s not very relevant if you have to go all the way back to George Foster, et al, to make your point. Not only is it several iterations of the FO, but it’s not even the same ownership. I have no problem with any legitimate criticism of the current team, but it’s completely unfair to saddle them with sins from decades earlier. Especially since Foster was traded 6 years before Zaidi was born.
BTW this is also my 61st year of being a Giants’ fan.
It’s relevant to the identity of the poster as a fan, not to the identity of the current front office.
So I guess it’s okay for Red Sox fans to continue to berate the team for selling Babe Ruth to the Yankees? At some point you have to move on. Assuming the Giants will continue to make bad decisions based on decades old trades maybe relevant to the poster, but has no relevancy for those of us interested in the current state of the team.
talking, your examples are garbage. Your lead in has nothing to do with Foster, Maddox and Matthews. The owner who I bet you couldn’t tell me his name was cheap and attendance at Candlestick was nothing like attendance at Oracle, pre pandemic anyway. They had this Mays fella, Bonds, Ken Henderson (at that time he was a much better player than Foster) and Kingman. Foster was traded mid-season 1971. The year they won the division. The return they got was poor, but that’s a separate issue. Foster struggled with the Reds for his first 3 seasons. Yes he later blossomed but taking that long was not a Giants option. Maddox, played full time 3yrs with SF. He had his chance, and was great. It was a bad trade but had nothing to do with chances. Cheap owner. Matthews. Full time 4 yrs. Had his chance and was also great. Bad trade. Cheap owner. McDowell led AL in ks 5 years. won 20 before the trade to SF. Bad trade ONLY because of how it turned out. Cepeda was destined to be full time first baseman. McCovey same thing. A trade was inevitable. Unpopular trade cuz Cepeda was popular. But so was McCovey, so a necessary trade occurred. Your post led off talking about giving chances but your examples had nothing to do with that. So yes irrelevant post or more specifically a wasted misguided effort. Bad trades? Bonds for Murcer. Bobby Bonds was my favorite. Heard his debut in 68 on radio. Grand slam v Dodgers. How about Nathan and Liriano for Pyrszinski. Horrible. BUT AGAIN, these and your examples are just trades we hated and have nothing to do with “getting sufficient chances “
Btw, regarding a recently bashed trade–Dubon? 5 for his last 28abs. 0 walks, 0 sbs, 0 Xtra base hits. Last week many whined about his chances in SF. Other than horrible base running and throws to wrong bases, he was great.
Never? This isn’t tryouts. Villar has 95 PAs. At what point should he stop getting “regular at bats” as you call them. Sabol 80 at bats. Wisely has been playing regularly. They are all rookies “encyclopedia”. Villar got everyday at bats in September. Ramos was playing everyday and did ZIP and he’s continued ZIP in AAA. Bart is finally the #1 catcher cuz he’s healthy. Not a rookie but is still raw. This doesn’t look like “never” to me. So if Schmitt tears it up, you’re saying he’ll go back down? BTW, they just released Ruf further showing efforts to get younger. Why do posters keep spewing the same tired drivel?
Right, the Giants never give rookies any real playing time. It’s too bad LaMonte Wade didn’t get any real playing time. Or Thairo Estrada. Just not enough playing time. Luis Gonzalez? Too bad. Even though Yaz was relatively old he was still a rookie, and I wish they had given him decent playing time as well. They never seemed to trust Logan Webb enough to let him start. And Doval had closer stuff, but they didn’t give him a chance either.
Maybe Ramos just didn’t play well enough to earn regular playing time. It’s an erroneous assumption to think guys didn’t do well just because they didn’t get a long leash.
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Crawford can come off the IL tomorrow. I bet Villar gets sent down to hopefully find his stroke. Estrada’s defensive numbers are terrible at SS, so having him back at 2nd is the smart play. I can see Schmitt up for a few weeks, platooning with the LHH BCraw. If Schmitt can’t hit then Farhan will do a dumpster dive for a SS and send CS back down
absolutely a clueless take
This season has been Ruf for Darren…
19 comments in, and nobody has said, “Come back to Philly!!!” Unfortunately they already have Ruf, and his name is Nick Castellanos.
So excited to see Schmitt! I know there is a lot of pressure on the kid but I could actually see him as being a store brand Nolan Arenado. Really hyped.
What? They couldn’t trade him to the Mets again?
that is RUF do DF’a after hitting .261 when he is normally a .240 hitter
Casey starting out right with a homer in his debut. Good on ya’ kid!