The San Francisco Giants cut ties with veteran reliever Nick Vincent on Sunday, designating him for assignment after he was activated from the injured list.
Team president Farhan Zaidi cast a wide net during the offseason in his efforts to improve the San Francisco Giants roster, adding a number of veteran pieces on low-risk minor league deals.
Reliever Nick Vincent was signed as part of that strategy, and he was a useful arm out of the bullpen before he fell apart and landed on the injured list.
On Sunday, he was officially designated for assignment after being activated from the 60-day injured list.
Really, this was just a case of bad luck for Vincent.
The 33-year-old started off the year pitching well, posting a 2.25 ERA with 25 strikeouts in 24 innings over his first 14 appearances.
His ability to work multiple innings made him the choice for the team’s ill-fated attempt at using an opener. He ended up allowing four hits and three earned runs in his lone inning of work in that role, rendering the opener experiment a disaster in the process.
That said, the strategy made sense at the time given how poorly the Giants were doing in the first inning of games. It seemed like every time out, they were behind the eight ball before the fans were even settled into their seats.
That outing marked the beginning of the end for Vincent.
He allowed 11 hits and 10 earned runs in 5.2 innings of work over his next three outings before landing on the injured list on May 29 with a pectoral strain. The 60-day limit arrived on Sunday, so the team either needed to clear a spot on the 40-man roster activate him or designate him for assignment. They chose the latter.
Given his strong early-season performance, Vincent being DFA’d is more a testament to the strength of the Giants bullpen than it is a knock on his ability to get big league hitters out.
The Giants simply have too many capable arms, including Trevor Gott, who has since taken over Vincent’s role as a middle-inning reliever. It’s a good problem to have.
There will surely be interest from teams looking to add a capable reliever for cheap, so it will be interesting to see if he gets claimed on waivers.
As we saw with Derek Holland, the Giants managed to trade him to the Chicago Cubs in exchange for cash after he was designated for assignment. Perhaps the Giants can work out a deal to extract some value from Vincent.
In the end, it really was just bad luck for Nick Vincent. Now, he will probably end up being a neat piece of trivia San Francisco Giants trivia as the lone “opener’ during the 2019 season.