In a mixed bag of news yesterday, Dan Runzler was cut from camp and reassigned yesterday. So was George Kontos (who was optioned to AAA Fresno). I’ll let you decide which one I’m happy about, and which one I’m bummed about. (Hint: I’m not sad about Runzler)
Kontos optioned to Fresno. Runzler reassigned. Both will report to minor league camp tomorrow. #sfgiants.
— Henry Schulman (@hankschulman) March 23, 2014
Both pitchers threw pretty well this spring (yes, even Runzler), and both have big league experience under their belt, but there’s just too many arms in the bullpen right now. Personally, I would have liked to have kept Kontos and saw Jean Machi go, but Kontos has options, Machi would have to be released on waivers.
The biggest surprise so far has to be that Derek Law is still around. It’s not a surprised based on how he’s pitched, but just that he was in Single A last season with the San Jose Giants and was expected to start the season in Double A Richmond. That was the team’s expectation, and his own expectation as he left after the final game for San Jose last season. But he had a great fall, and a good spring. I can’t imagine he’ll make the final cut, but I think this is a clear indicator we’ll see him in San Francisco a lot sooner than anyone expected. I can’t wait.
But back to Kontos and Runzler. It’s not the end for them, especially for Kontos. Given Jeremy Affeldt propensity to injure himself
picking up his child, grilling hamburgers, doing everyday, normal things, we may see Kontos pretty early in the season.
But the key phrase when putting together an opening-day roster is “organizational inventory.” It takes a lot more than those initial 25 players to make it through a 162-game season. And with a four-game series at lively Chase Field to start the season, Giants manager Bruce Bochy wants maximum coverage with long guys Petit and Huff. The Giants also know from last season that a lack of pitching depth usually comes back to bite you. And if they exposed Huff or Petit to waivers, they’d probably lose them.
Kontos had a minor league option remaining, and if he keeps pitching well at Fresno, odds are he’ll be up soon enough. The same goes for Heath Hembree, who was optioned on Friday. And Runzler, too, although he faces the additional hurdle of getting back onto the 40-man roster.
It really was a night-and-day difference for Runzler when he received the bad news this time. A year ago, he angrily stormed out of Scottsdale Stadium when informed he wouldn’t make the club. This time, it was a placid scene as he slowly packed his bag.
At least Runzler seems to have accepted the new better this time. Hopefully he can put his time in, make it back to a 40-man roster, and earn a spot with a team, be it the Giants or otherwise.
Kontos Spring 2014 Line
Runzler Spring 2014 Line