The Giants announced a flurry of roster moves on Tuesday, most notably requesting unconditional release waivers on second baseman Scooter Gennett. San Francisco also promoted infield prospect Mauricio Dubon (as had been previously reported), selected the contract of right-hander Tyler Rogers (the twin brother of Minnesota closer Taylor Rogers) and recalled outfielder Joey Rickard. Furthermore, Abiatal Avelino was optioned to Triple-A, while righty Trevor Gott was placed on the 10-day injured list due to a right elbow strain.
Gennett, 29, enjoyed a pair of excellent breakout seasons with the Reds in 2017-18, hitting a combined .303/.351/.508 with 50 homers in 1135 plate appearances, but his 2019 campaign has been a forgettable one. Gennett began the season on the injured list due to a severe groin strain and, after an absence of nearly three months, struggled to regain his footing in Cincinnati.
A deadline trade sending him to the Giants in exchange for a player to be named later didn’t prove to be a spark, either. In 139 plate appearances, he’s posted an ugly .226/.245/.323 batting line with an enormous spike in strikeout rate (19.6 percent in 2018; 29.5 percent in 2019) and a significant dip in walk rate (6.6 percent in ’18; 1.4 percent in ’19). With Gennett and the recently released Joe Panik out of the picture, Dubon (covered at greater length earlier today) will quite likely be in line for regular work at second base.
While another club could technically claim Gennett off release waivers, there’s almost no way to fathom that outcome. Gennett’s two excellent seasons in Cincinnati bolstered his salary to $9.75MM, and he’s owed the balance of that sum — about $1.78MM — between now and season’s end. Any claiming team would be on the hook for that amount. By contrast, signing Gennett after he clears would only cost Gennett the prorated league minimum — about $95K as of this Thursday (when he’d formally clear waivers).
Turning to the 28-year-old Rogers, this’ll be the first call to the big leagues for the former 10th-rounder. While he’s watched his twin brother rise to prominence as one of the game’s top lefty relievers, he’s been biding his time in Triple-A for parts of four seasons. In that time, the right-handed Rogers has worked to a 3.27 ERA with 6.8 K/9, 3.6 BB/9 and a whopping ground-ball rate north of 64 percent.
The sidearming Rogers features a funky delivery that has at times made him unhittable by opposing righties. While he’s not in the midst of his best season — what pitcher in the supercharged offensive environments in Triple-A is? — he held righties to a putrid .161/.239/.238 line through 159 plate appearances in 2018. For a Giants team that figures to have some extensive bullpen turnover moving forward, it’s worth getting a look at an intriguing righty who could be a piece in future seasons.