SF Giants: Veteran Catcher, Outfielder Find Homes for 2021
By Jeff Young
The Philadelphia Phillies and Boston Red Sox made a pair of depth moves on Wednesday involving a pair of former SF Giants players.
Outfielder Matt Joyce and catcher Chris Herrmann had brief stints with the SF Giants organization in recent years and they will begin the 2021 season with Phillies and Red Sox, respectively.
SF Giants catcher, outfielder find homes for 2021
Joyce had one of the briefest Giants careers that I can remember. He signed a minor-league pact with the Giants in late March of 2019, and his contract was purchased by the Atlanta Braves just a couple of days later. That said, I still remember seeing at least one Cactus League at-bat of Joyce in a Giants uniform!
In 13 seasons, Joyce has slashed a .244/.343/.428 line (112 OP+) with 147 home runs and 496 RBI. However, he excels as a platoon hitter as he has posted an .803 OPS (.355 OBP) against right-handed pitching.
He has been on the move a lot in recent years as he has played with the Los Angeles Angels (2015), Oakland A’s (2017-2018), Braves (2019), and the Miami Marlins (2020). Oftentimes, he is brought in on minor-league deals with a chance to compete for a roster spot.
His role on any team is an obvious one in that he is there to play an adequate outfield while handing righties and being a high on-base threat. He will have a chance to crack the Phillies Opening Day roster given that they do not have any established outfielders outside of Bryce Harper and Andrew McCutchen.
On the other hand, Chris Herrmann is heading to Boston. Similar to Joyce, the backstop did not actually accrue a major-league at-bat in a Giants jersey, but he was part of the Giants organization in 2020.
Herrmann had a brief stint with the Tampa Bay Rays organization before signing with the Giants and working out at the alternate training site in Sacramento. The 33-year-old has appeared in eight major-league seasons where he has registered a .205/.282/.344 line (67 OPS+) with 25 home runs and 103 RBI.
This includes a couple of solid seasons at the plate (116 OPS+ in 2016 and 107 OPS+ in 2018) as well as a reputation as a decent receiver. As a left-handed bat, Herrmann brings an interesting skill to the table at a position that is not known for having many options from the left side.
He does not have a platoon split (.640 OPS against RHP, .560 OPS against LHP) that teams can necessarily leverage but he does bring modest power to the table. More than likely, Herrmann will serve as a depth option behind Kevin Plawecki, Christian Vazquez, and Connor Wong.
Teams are checking one more box off of the list tomorrow in preparation for Spring Training as the list of camp invites must be submitted by 1 PM PT. Joyce and Herrmann have found a home, for now, to prove that they can still help a team win.