SF Giants: Three ways to create a 40-man roster spot

SF Giants, Tommy La Stella

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA – APRIL 23: Tommy La Stella #18 of the SF Giants fields a ball during the game against the Miami Marlins at Oracle Park on April 23, 2021 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Daniel Shirey/Getty Images)

Inevitably, the SF Giants will have a roster crunch to maneuver around as a trio of players are set to rejoin the 40-man roster within the next month. Specifically, Tyler Beede (Tommy John surgery), John Brebbia (Tommy John surgery), and Tommy La Stella (hamstring strain) are all due back soon.

In the case of Beede and Brebbia, they have both begun their respective rehab assignments. Beede’s assignment has been extended as he rebuilds his arm strength to handle a starter’s workload. Furthermore, Sam Long is set to make his MLB debut on Wednesday, filling the final spot on the team’s 40-man roster.

SF Giants: Three forthcoming roster options to consider

The Giants’ front office has shown more patience with this roster than in recent years. Though, that is very likely the product of having the best record in baseball. With that being said, San Francisco will have some tough decisions coming up. Given that each player is returning from the 60-day injured list, the Giants will need to add them back to the 40-man roster. Only La Stella has to be added back to the 26-man roster, whereas Brebbia (2) and Beede (1) have minor league options remaining.

So, what roster decisions could the Giants pursue to bring each of these players back?

Evan Longoria to the 60-day injured list

Unfortunately, Evan Longoria injured his shoulder on a play after running into Brandon Crawford. He was diagnosed with a dislocated SC joint in his left shoulder. The initial timetable was 4-6 weeks, but that timetable seems much vaguer following the diagnosis.

Brebbia and Beede will be added back to the 40-man roster once their respective rehab assignments are complete. Moving Longoria to the 60-day injured list would open up a 40-man roster spot. However, it would prevent him from returning until the first week of August.

Designate Matt Wisler for assignment

Matt Wisler’s hold on a roster spot has been skating on thin ice for some time now. The SF Giants have proven to be patient with the right-handed hurler, but that could change as the roster crunch surfaces.

On the year, the 28-year-old has posted a 6.16 ERA across 19 innings. However, there are some encouraging underlying numbers such as a 4.19 FIP and an 11.8 K/9 ratio. The Giants must feel like he is better than what we have seen so far.

That said, manager Gabe Kapler has not used him in any leverage situation recently. It is evident that Kapler has more faith in other right-handed relievers such as Zack Littell and Tyler Rogers. With Brebbia set to return soon, the Giants may consider moving Wisler off of the 40-man to make this move work.

Designate Sam Selman for assignment

I am a believer in Sam Selman, but it is apparent that he has fallen down the team’s depth chart. He has been recalled to the MLB roster on a couple of occasions, but only when the bullpen has been overused and the SF Giants need an emergency arm.

In that time, the left-handed hurler has yielded four earned runs with eight strikeouts across eight innings. He features a devastating slider, but his command of it lacks the consistency that would allow him to thrive in a leverage role.

The Giants have a surplus of reliable lefties with Jake McGeeJarlin García, Caleb Baragar, and Connor Menez on the 40-man roster. The amount of left-handed bullpen depth may make Selman expendable.

Nevertheless, the SF Giants have several forthcoming roster decisions to consider. They have relied on roster depth in 2021, but they may need to trim some of that depth to create roster spots for a handful of key players. Some interesting roster decisions will be made soon as the 40-man roster will likely see its most significant changes so far this season.