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SF Giants: José Quintana DFA’d in flurry of roster moves

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 05: Jose Quintana #63 of the San Francisco Giants pitches against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the top of the fourth inning at Oracle Park on September 05, 2021 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 05: Jose Quintana #63 of the San Francisco Giants pitches against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the top of the fourth inning at Oracle Park on September 05, 2021 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
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SF Giants, Darin Ruf
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA – SEPTEMBER 14: Darin Ruf #33 of the San Francisco Giants at bat against the San Diego Padres at Oracle Park on September 14, 2021 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)

The SF Giants announced a flurry of roster moves on Thursday including designating left-handed pitcher José Quintana for assignment. Perhaps, the most encouraging news was that Darin Ruf was activated from the injured list.

SF Giants: José Quintana DFA’d in flurry of roster moves

The good news did not stop there as Johnny Cueto was also activated from the injured list. However, Tony Watson was placed on the injured list with a left shoulder strain.

There is a lot to unfold here. For starters, the Quintana news is not terribly surprising as he was buried on the team’s depth chart. The Giants claimed him off of waivers at the end of August but he was typically used only in mop-up duty.

The Giants have a surplus of left-handed relievers including Watson, Jake McGee, José Álvarez, and Jarlin García so it was going to be difficult for Quintana to carve out a meaningful role in the final month of the season with San Francisco.

In total, the left-handed hurler appeared in five games with the Giants where he allowed five earned runs across 9.2 frames. He did manage to record 12 strikeouts but he allowed six walks and yielded three home runs, so it was a mixed bag.

The Giants welcomed back Darin Ruf to the roster. The right-handed bat has mashed since signing with the Giants on a minor league deal before the 2020 season. This season, in particular, has been strong as he has slashed .272/.388/.516 (144 OPS+) with 15 home runs, 42 RBI, and 40 runs scored in 305 plate appearances.

The SF Giants will need his bat in the lineup given that Brandon Belt may not return during the playoffs after he fractured his thumb on Sunday. The good news is that Ruf can carry the load, especially considering that he has hammered left-handed pitching (1.015 OPS) while holding his own against righties (.814 OPS). He should see plenty of time in the playoffs.

Johnny Cueto returned as well, whereas Tony Watson was placed on the injured list. Cueto appeared in Thursday night’s game but he might see one more appearance before the season ends. He is definitely on the roster bubble for the playoffs and could work in a bulk innings role.

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The Watson news is tough to digest. The veteran reliever has been solid, registering a 2.96 ERA in 26 appearances since being traded to the Giants. The hope is that he can return during the playoffs because he gives the Giants another funky arm out of the bullpen.

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