The San Francisco Giants have decided to give their youth an opportunity up the middle.
Amidst a flurry of roster moves on Tuesday, the San Francisco Giants released second baseman Scooter Gennett and called up top prospect Mauricio Dubon.
Roughly a month ago, the Giants were sitting within striking distance of the second NL wild-card spot and rumors swirled on whether they would buy or sell.
It turned out they did a bit of both. They gambled on a second-half bounce back from second baseman Scooter Gennett, made some minor roster swaps, and traded some bullpen depth for a collection of prospects.
While the decision to move on from Gennett could be debated, the details of the original trade may have played a role. The original terms of the trade cost the Giants cash or a player to be named later. It’s not out of the question to think that Sept. 1 was the cut-off where cash became a player.
This will also allow Gennett an opportunity to catch on with another team before the postseason roster deadline.
Dubon, who was another trade deadline acquisition, will now get the next chance to be the San Francisco Giants everyday second baseman. The 25-year-old had been tied to the Giants throughout trade season, most prominently in connection with ace Madison Bumgarner and closer Will smith.
Instead, the Giants packaged Drew Pomeranz and Ray Black to acquire the up-and-coming infielder from the Milwaukee Brewers.
He’s already an above-average defender at shortstop and has handled second base well. He’s also shown the ability to make consistent contact. Still, he’s viewed as more of a high-floor than a high-ceiling prospect.
Between the Triple-A affiliates of both teams this year, Dubon has hit .302/.345/.477 with 26 doubles and 20 home runs in 539 plate appearances. Those power numbers are no doubt influenced by a juiced ball in the minors, but he’s hitting nonetheless.
The Giants will now give Dubon a chance to prove his worth as an everyday player. Even if not, his contact skills and defensive versatility give him a very good chance to be a valuable role player.
Alongside the addition of Dubon and subtraction of Gennett, the Giants also placed Trevor Gott on the injured list. This doesn’t come as a shock after one of the best surprises of the season left his last outing with elbow soreness. Sidearming right-hander Tyler Rogers, a longtime performer in the Giants minor league system, will replace Gott in the San Francisco Giants pen.
The addition of Dubon also made fellow infielder Abiatal Avelino somewhat redundant on the 25-man roster. That led the team to recall outfielder Joey Rickard while optioning Avelino back to the minors.
Given the recent play of slugging outfielder Jaylin Davis at Triple-A, many Giants fans might be surprised Dubon will be the first prospect acquired at the deadline to suit up in San Francisco. However, the emergence of Mike Yastrzemski, Alex Dickerson, and Kevin Pillar has made the infield a greater area of need than the outfield for the first time in over a decade.
The San Francisco Giants front office has shown they are not afraid to make roster moves. There won’t be any more trades, but expect plenty more shuffling with rosters set to expand in a handful of days.