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San Francisco Giants: The Bullpen Revolving Door Continues

SEATTLE, WA - SEPTEMBER 29: Reliever Nick Vincent #50 of the Seattle Mariners delivers a pitch during the seventh inning a game against the Texas Rangers at Safeco Field on September 29, 2018 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)
SEATTLE, WA - SEPTEMBER 29: Reliever Nick Vincent #50 of the Seattle Mariners delivers a pitch during the seventh inning a game against the Texas Rangers at Safeco Field on September 29, 2018 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)
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San Francisco Giants
SEATTLE, WA – SEPTEMBER 29: Reliever Nick Vincent #50 of the Seattle Mariners delivers a pitch during the seventh inning a game against the Texas Rangers at Safeco Field on September 29, 2018 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)

The San Francisco Giants are proving that adding depth is a never-ending challenge. They have added Nick Vincent and Fernando Abad to the bullpen competition this week.

In addition to this, they have designated Jake Barrett and Josh Osich for assignment. The San Francisco Giants lost Osich to a waiver claim, whereas Barrett remains in DFA limbo. Jake Barrett Bobblehead Night will be on hold for now.

The additions of Vincent and Abad represent intriguing depth options. Both are being brought in on minor league deals, but have extensive major league experience.

Vincent, in particular, is an interesting addition. On the surface, he has been an effective and durable reliever for a long time. Throughout his career, Vincent has posted a 3.17 ERA and 3.09 FIP along with a 9.0 K/9 and 2.2 BB/9.

Despite these results, the Seattle Mariners decided not to retain him. The ERA has been solid, and FIP suggests that it is not a fluke either.

Vincent does not have closer stuff, but he is a solid middle relief option. It is odd that he remained on the market for this long. It is even weirder that he had to settle for a minor league deal. However, he jumped at the Giants opportunity just to get back on the field:

So, why was a player like Vincent even available? If you squint at his stats, you can see a concerning trend: His home run rate does appear to trending in the wrong direction. There is an added level of concern because he has pitched primarily in pitcher-friendly ballparks.

Despite this, the addition of Vincent seems like a good move by the San Francisco Giants. They are taking advantage of a slow free agent market by continuing to add depth.

Given Vincent’s extensive experience, he should get a long look this spring. If he performs, he will likely be wearing a San Francisco Giants uniform on opening day.

In addition to Vincent, Fernando Abad brings extensive experience. Though, Abad has not been a steady performer compared to Vincent.

Abad does have a blemish on his resume as well:

The suspension is likely a reason Abad remained on the market until now. Abad, however, is a left-handed reliever. Similar to backup catchers, teams can never have enough left-handed relievers.

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The San Francisco Giants are proving this point. They will have a small village of left-handed relievers in camp. The expectation is they will carry two or three left-handed relievers when the season begins.

Abad has posted a 3.65 ERA throughout his career, but this comes with a less encouraging 4.22 FIP. Abad’s career numbers show some high volatility in terms of year-to-year performance. This is more than enough cause for teams to shy away from offering him a major league contract.

Vincent and Abad join a crowded bullpen competition. The San Francisco Giants might only have one or two spots available in the bullpen. This competition becomes increasingly crowded when starting pitchers are factored in as well.

Abad should get a look. However, he may have difficulty separating himself from the rest of the left-handed relievers.

The addition of Vincent and Abad represent extra competition for the final bullpen spot. These moves likely made both Osich and Barrett expendable.

Next.

The outlook for the bullpen looks much brighter whether one or both make the team when compared to recent Giants teams. Adding Vincent and Abad should force the San Francisco Giants to make some tough decisions this spring.

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