The San Francisco Giants promoted infielder/outfielder Austin Slater from Triple-A Sacramento on Monday afternoon.
The 26-year-old was already a member of the 40-man roster heading into the season after spending parts of 2017 and 2018 with the big league club, and he’s been one of the team’s most productive hitters this season at the minor league level.
With the San Diego Padres set to toss three straight left-handed starters during the Giants upcoming series, the right-handed hitting Slater officially received the call on Monday.
Slater has been tearing up the Triple-A Pacific Coast League all season and the front office could no longer ignore his production. With the team employing more of a platoon approach this season and the outfield production lacking, it was the perfect time to give him a shot.
With a .308/.436/.529 line that includes 12 home runs and 45 RBI, he’s been one of the biggest standouts at the minor league level. The Stanford product saw 108 games in the majors the past two seasons, posting a .263/.335/.342 line with four home runs and 39 RBI in 352 plate appearances. He’s also a .292 career hitter against lefties at the MLB level, which ties back to the platoon approach and the forthcoming lefty starters.
Heading the other way in the roster shuffle is Dereck Rodriguez, and it’s a move that could prove beneficial for him as well.
With Madison Bumgarner expected to be dealt at the deadline, rather than having Rodriguez fill a mop-up reliever role, he can now get regular work as a starter in Triple-A in preparation for a return to the rotation in August.
Henry Schulman touched on some of those same points:
In order to add more value to his game, Slater has taken on a utility role at the minor league level. So far this year, he has started games at first base, second base, third base, and all three outfield positions. For a team that is turning the page and utilizing versatile players that can start at different positions, Slater has a chance to carve out a long-term role.
With the roster bound to change as the trade deadline approaches, Slater has a prime opportunity to solidify a permanent spot on the San Francisco Giants 25-man roster with a strong showing in the days and weeks to come.