As the calendar turns from August to September, teams are allowed to expand their rosters by two players. The SF Giants brought back a couple of familiar names in reliever John Brebbia and versatile infielder Thairo Estrada. On top of this, Mauricio Dubón was recalled to take over for Wilmer Flores, who was placed on the injured list.
SF Giants: Familiar faces return as rosters expand for September
Both Dubón and Estrada made a favorable impact for the Giants in a 5-1 victory against the Milwaukee Brewers on Thursday. Dubón made a diving catch to rob Luis Urias of a hit in the ninth inning, whereas Estrada blasted a clutch, three-run homer to give the Giants insurance runs before closing out the victory.
On the other hand, Brebbia is still trying to regain the consistency he demonstrated before he underwent Tommy John Surgery in June of 2020. The right-handed hurler allowed two runs in the ninth inning of a 5-2 loss against the Brewers on Wednesday night.
In Dubón and Estrada, the Giants get a couple of versatile players who can move all around the field. Giants fans have seen a lot of Estrada over the past couple of months and it looks like he will remain with the club down the stretch. The right-handed bat has slashed .277/.340/.426 with four home runs, 17 RBI, and 14 runs scored in 103 plate appearances with the Giants.
He has displayed surprising power while being able to play a handful of positions. If he can hit enough, Estrada’s mix of modest power and versatility should help him carve out a role for the Giants in September and beyond.
Similar to Estrada, there was plenty of excitement surrounding Dubón’s return. The 27-year-old began the year with the club but struggled to the tune of a .646 OPS in 169 plate appearances before being demoted to Triple-A. His plate discipline seemingly disappeared as he recorded a walk in only 4.7 percent of his plate appearances.
The Giants wanted Dubón to work on his selectivity and the early returns were promising. In 205 plate appearances, he registered a .333/.415/.463 line with three home runs, 22 RBI, and 29 runs scored with the Sacramento River Cats. This included a stout11.2 percent walk rate against a 15.1 percent strikeout rate.
The question remains, can his control of the strike zone translate against major league pitching. He has shown glimpses of it in the past, but he will need to find more consistency at the plate to stick.
On the pitching side, John Brebbia returns to the roster after an up-and-down year in his first season with the Giants. The good news is that the young reliever is healthy but he has not been the same pitcher since returning from surgery.
That last detail is not too surprising. Oftentimes, it takes a lot of game repetitions to fully return to form after major elbow surgery. Brebbia has yielded 12 earned runs in 17 innings with the Giants so far, which is not great. However, this includes 20 strikeouts against only three walks so he is still posting some strong underlying numbers.
Given that the starting rotation is struggling to stay healthy, the Giants need all the pitching help they can get. This bodes well for Brebbia, who is looking to rebound after a rough appearance in his last outing.
The good news is that the Giants have added a few reinforcements to help them through a tough, final month. That said, any of the three players added could be an option for the playoff roster in October. With four weeks remaining, they will each get a chance to prove that they can contribute in a favorable way.