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San Francisco Giants: How the second-half bullpen audition impacts 2020

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 07: Catcher Stephen Vogt #21 and closing pitcher Jandel Gustave #74 of the San Francisco Giants celebrate after the last out in the MLB game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium on September 07, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. The Giants defeated the Dodgers 1-0. (Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 07: Catcher Stephen Vogt #21 and closing pitcher Jandel Gustave #74 of the San Francisco Giants celebrate after the last out in the MLB game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium on September 07, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. The Giants defeated the Dodgers 1-0. (Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images)
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San Francisco Giants
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – SEPTEMBER 07: Catcher Stephen Vogt #21 and closing pitcher Jandel Gustave #74 of the San Francisco Giants celebrate after the last out in the MLB game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium on September 07, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. The Giants defeated the Dodgers 1-0. (Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images)

The San Francisco Giants have used the expanded September rosters as an opportunity to evaluate all of the bullpen arms on their 40-man roster.

All season, San Francisco Giants team president Farhan Zaidi has scoured the waiver wire, placing claims on any and all hard-throwing relievers that become available. That has included bringing Kyle Barraclough, Burch Smith, Wandy Peralta, and Ricardo Pinto into the organization.

Who are these guys? Their track record is limited, but they throw hard and should be able to rack up the strikeouts.

In addition, Zaidi has also brought up a number of relievers who were already in the organization, including Tyler Rogers, Enderson Franco, Sam Selman, and Jandel Gustave.

This is typical of how Zaidi builds a bullpen. He does it through minor league signings, waiver claims, and minor trades. Rarely will he bring in a reliever on a lucrative contract.

The team’s bullpen depth has been hit hard by trades and injuries. At the July 31 trade deadline, the San Francisco Giants traded away Mark Melancon, Drew Pomeranz, and Sam Dyson.

Meanwhile, Tony Watson, Trevor Gott, and Reyes Moronta all sustained season-ending injuries, making Will Smith the longest-tenured pitcher in the current Giants bullpen to work strictly as a reliever.

Behind him is Sam Coonrod, who made his major league debut just over three months ago.

That means the Giants have turned over nearly their entire bullpen. The current bullpen configuration is far less effective at holding leads, but that does not mean it is devoid of intriguing arms.

Many of these arms are not long-term pieces. Rather, they were brought in to audition their services. If they do well enough, they will stick.

Excluded from the mix are Conner Menez, Andrew Suarez, and Dereck Rodriguez, as their long-term roles are still being determined.

Ricardo Pinto is also not included. He was claimed by the Giants in August but finished the season at Triple-A.

The Giants are in the midst of a full-blown audition for future bullpen roles. Who will definitively return? Who is on the bubble? And, who will be playing for another organization next season?

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