The Giants have signed left-handed pitcher Daniel Tillo. Although no official announcement has come from the team, the player himself broadcasted the news on Twitter. Presumably, it’s a minor league deal, as Tillo just cleared release waivers a few days ago.
Tillo, turning 26 in June, was drafted by the Royals in the third round in 2017. He was added to the team’s 40-man roster in the 2020-2021 offseason despite having undergone Tommy John surgery in July of 2020. He eventually made his way back to the mound in 2021, throwing 5 2/3 innings in the Arizona Complex League, followed by 23 1/3 innings in Double-A. His 4.63 ERA in Double-A wasn’t especially impressive, nor was his 14.7% walk rate, though he did rack up grounders at a 53.1% mark. That’s actually a bit lower than previous seasons, where he got worm-burners around 60% of the time in most stops up the minor league ladder.
For the Giants, there’s no real risk in taking a flier on Tillo. He’s still young, has two option years remaining and less than a year of MLB service time. (He was on the MLB injured list while rehabbing from Tommy John but hasn’t made his MLB debut yet.) If he can improve his control as he gets farther away from his surgery, he could improve the club’s depth, either in the rotation or the bullpen. Tillo had worked primarily as a starter until that 2021 season where he was building up strength after the surgery. The Giants have two lefties in their big league rotation and four in the bullpen, but no other options on their 40-man roster than can be called up from the minors if a need should arise.