SF Giants: Outfield, Pitching Depth Added Through Waiver Claims
By Jeff Young
The SF Giants added outfield and pitching depth after a pair of recent waiver claims were outrighted to Triple-A.
SF Giants: Outfield, Pitching Depth Added Through Waiver
Outfielder Braden Bishop (brother of Hunter Bishop) and reliever Trevor Hildenberger both joined the organization recently as waiver claims from the Seattle Mariners and the New York Mets, respectively.
However, their time on the 40-man roster was short-lived as each player was placed on waivers in recent days. That being said, they will remain with the organization as Alex Pavlovic of CSN Bay Area reports:
The Giants’ front office believes that no move is too small and this is an example of it. The addition of Braden Bishop gives Sacramento a right-handed-hitting outfielder. Currently, the roster consists of a lot of left-handed-hitting outfielders including LaMonte Wade Jr., Drew Robinson, and Joe McCarthy, so Bishop gives them a little more balance.
Bryce Johnson plays the outfielder as well and he a switch-hitter, but he hits better from the left side.
In six minor league seasons, Bishop has slashed .290/.365/.394 with 289 runs, 24 home runs, and 177 RBI. He brings a solid, contact-heavy approach to the plate as he has an 8.6 percent walk rate against a 16.9 percent strikeout rate. Furthermore, the 27-year-old adds more speed on the bases.
On the other hand, keeping Trevor Hildenberger gives Sacramento an experienced, funky reliever. The River Cats have lost several key arms with the promotions to Zack Littell, Nick Tropeano, and Scott Kazmir to the Giants roster. Hildenberger gives them a reliable arm out of the bullpen.
The 30-year-old relies on a side-arm delivery to generate outs, and when he is at his best, Hildenberger induces a lot of ground balls. If this sounds like Tyler Rogers, it is because they are similar in more ways than one.
The righty features a fastball that sits in the high 80’s that he pairs with a slider and a changeup. The changeup is the better of his two secondary offerings as opposing hitters have posted a .183 batting average against it since his debut in 2017.
Hildenberger has appeared in parts of four seasons with the Minnesota Twins and New York Mets. His best season came in 2017 when he posted a 3.21 ERA with 44 strikeouts in 42 frames.
Besides this, Hildenberger has pitched well at every minor league stop across six seasons. In that time, he has registered a 1.96 ER, 0.932 WHIP, and 10.3 K/9.
The Giants claimed both players with the intent of sneaking them through waivers. Given that they had one of the best records in baseball at the time of either waiver claim, they must have felt good about this strategy. It does not work every time, but the front office’s strategy of building depth through waivers yields two new players to the organization.