The churning of the back-end of the 40-man roster continues as the SF Giants made a roster move on Thursday involving an intriguing arm.
Dedniel Núñez was placed on the 60-day injured list after sustaining a UCL sprain in his pitching elbow. This opened up a 40-man roster spot for the SF Giants to place a claim on right-handed pitcher Ashton Goudeau off of waivers from the Baltimore Orioles.
Núñez to the 60-day injured list, Goudeau claimed by SF Giants
As soon as Núñez received the diagnosis, it seemed likely that the Giants would place him on the 60-day injured list and they did not waste any time. As a Rule 5 draftee, they could have returned him to the New York Mets, but they intend to bring the young hurler back to health before making a decision.
Núñez yielded four runs in 3.1 Cactus League innings. In his final appearance, his fastball velocity sat in the low 90’s after clocking in the mid-90’s for much of the spring, so that was a sign that something was amiss.
In Goudeau, the Giants are getting a pitcher who got his feet wet in 2020. The Kansas City Royals originally drafted Goudeau in the 27th round of the 2012 draft. He was traded to the Seattle Mariners in 2018 before signing with the Colorado Rockies in the 2019 offseason.
In eight minor-league seasons, he has registered a 4.81 ERA, 1.403 WHIP, and a 3.26 SO/W ratio while working out of both the bullpen and rotation. These are not the type of stats that get you added to the 40-man roster.
However, Goudeau had a breakout campaign in 2019 where he posted a 2.07 ERA, 0.919 WHIP, 10.5 K/9, and a 7.58 SO/W ratio in 16 starts with the Rockies’ Double-A affiliate. This caught the attention of Eric Logenhagen of Fangraphs:
"“He doesn’t have elite-looking stuff but throughout 2019 was generating near perfect backspin and seam uniformity on his heater, giving it bat-missing carry at the top of the strike zone where he would locate it perfectly over, and over, and over again. His plus curveball is almost indistinguishable from the fastball for most of its flight and Goudeau would also command that with precision… He’s a bounce-back candidate who I liked as an ultra-consistent middle relief option.”"
The right-handed pitcher had a tough time adjusting to Coors Field in 2020 as he yielded 15 hits, including three home runs, and seven earned runs in 8.1 frames with the Rockies. Following this, Goudeau was placed on waivers and made stops with the Pittsburgh Pirates and Orioles before landing with the Giants.
With Opening Day just a couple of weeks away, the Giants may try to sneak the 28-year-old through waivers as teams finalize their 40-man rosters. The waiver wire is typically full around then, so it is an opportunity to sneak an intriguing arm through. If they keep him, the hope is that he can regain some of what made him so special in 2019.