While most of last season’s rule changes to accommodate the COVID-19 pandemic are no longer in effect this year, MLB has maintained the expanded five-player taxi squad. Members of the taxi squad travel with the big-league club and are just one roster move away from appearing in a game. To start the regular season, the SF Giants have placed Conner Menez, Trevor Gott, Nick Tropeano, Chadwick Tromp, and LaMonte Wade Jr on their taxi squad.
None of the names are particularly surprising. All five played MLB games last season and, aside from Tromp, they all were competing for a spot on the big-league team for most of spring training. Tropeano may have been the most surprising omission from the Opening Day roster. This preseason, he posted a 2.70 ERA across 10 innings in six appearances with 13 strikeouts.
The SF Giants placed Conner Menez, Trevor Gott, Nick Tropeano, Chadwick Tromp, and LaMonte Wade Jr on the taxi squad.
Gott was solid in the Giants bullpen in 2019 and started last season as the primary closer. However, he was nearly unusable in the pandemic-shortened season, finishing the year with a 10.03 ERA and as many walks as strikeouts (8) in 11.2 innings. This spring, Gott was more effective, finishing with a 4.15 ERA, 10 strikeouts, and three walks across 8.2 innings of work.
The Giants acquired Wade in a trade from the Minnesota Twins this offseason. He hit just .182/.302/.318 this spring but has a career .211/.336/.347 triple-slash in 113 MLB plate appearances. Capable of handling all three outfield positions and first base, the left-handed bat is the first in line for a promotion if an outfielder goes down with an injury on the big-league roster.
Tromp was the Giants’ primary catcher last season before Joey Bart was promoted. While he struck out in 31.3% of his plate appearances, he also generated an above-average 90.1 mph average exit velocity when he put the ball in play. He hit .213 and managed a .426 slugging percentage as well.
Menez made his big-league debut with the Giants in 2019 and made 8 appearances (3 starts), completed 17 innings, struck out 22, and recorded a 5.29 ERA. In 2020, Menez made the team’s Opening Day roster and was very effective in 7 appearances, holding opponents to a 2.38 ERA and 0.97 WHIP. However, he was optioned early in the season to the alternate site and was not recalled.
If the SF Giants roster depth gets tested, the players on the taxi squad will be the first in line for a big-league opportunity. To start the season, the five-player group is comprised of Nick Tropeano, Trevor Gott, Conner Menez, Chadwick Tromp, and LaMonte Wade Jr. Barring injury, fans should expect to see all five in Orange-and-Black at some point this year.