The SF Giants reinstated outfielder Alex Dickerson from paternity leave on Monday and designated Justin Smoak for assignment. The moves clear a spot on the 40-man roster that could enable another transaction soon.
While Mike Yastrzemski has been out with a tight right calf, the SF Giants haven’t had many options in the outfield. They got a little more flexibility on Monday. The team reinstated corner outfielder Alex Dickerson from paternity leave. To make room on the active-roster, recently acquired Justin Smoak was designated for assignment.
Dickerson has been one of the best finds of Farhan Zaidi’s tenure in San Francisco. Since coming to the Giants, Dickerson has posted an impressive .284/.350/.528 triple-slash over 314 plate appearances.
Over his 11-year career, Smoak has hit 196 home runs against a .229/.322/.419 triple-slash. However, his Giants career will end after just 6 plate appearances. He never reached base for the team.
Since his peak campaign in 2017, Smoak has steadily declined. Over the last two seasons, he averaged 24 home runs and hit .226/.346/.434. A respectable, but unexceptional line.
This season, Smoak maintained his power (ISO of .185) but saw his strikeout rate soar (31.8%) and his walk-rate drop to it’s lowest career level (7.6%). His expected batting average (.195) and slugging (.337) don’t suggest his .176/.250/.361 triple-slash was a symptom of bad luck, but just poor performance.
The Giants signed Smoak to replace fan-favorite Pablo Sandoval as a lefthanded DH and bench bat. The numbers really didn’t suggest there was much reason to believe positive regression was coming. To be fair to Smoak, he didn’t really get much of a chance to prove himself. Regardless, he failed to deliver any more production than the Kung Fu Panda.
DFAing Smoak does open an interesting door over the next few days. The Giants now have an open spot on their 40-man roster and recently added the 28th best prospect in the organization Camilo Doval to the taxi squad. Moving on from Smoak could open the door to give the right-handed reliever a chance to make his big-league debut before the end of the season.
The SF Giants are in the middle of an incredibly tight fight for the National League’s final wild-card spots. While Justin Smoak was not able to contribute like team brass had hoped, bringing Alex Dickerson back into the fold for the final stretch should be a big help over the team’s final week of regular-season action. Dickerson and the Giants will take on the Colorado Rockies at 6:45 PM Pacific Standard Time later today.