2 SF Giants roster battles to monitor in spring training

Los Angeles Dodgers v San Francisco Giants
Los Angeles Dodgers v San Francisco Giants / Andy Kuno/San Francisco Giants/GettyImages
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Blake Sabol, Amir Garrett, SF Giants
2024 San Francisco Giants Spring Training / Zac BonDurant/San Francisco Giants/GettyImages

2 SF Giants roster battles to monitor in spring training

2. Left-handed reliever

This might not be the most exciting battle to watch. However, they will want to carry more than one left-handed reliever. Taylor Rogers will be tabbed as the high-leverage option from the left side, but there is not an obvious alternative beyond that.

The Giants have Erik Miller and Ethan Small on the 40-man roster. And, they recently addeed seven-year veteran Amir Garrett on a minor league deal. Given that Miller and Small are already on the 40-man roster, they could conceivably have the inside track. However, Garrett has more experience among the group.

Miller is coming off of a really nice season last year. The 26-year-old pitcher tallied a 2.45 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, 12.7 K/9, and a 1.96 SO/W ratio in 62.1 frames, most of which took place in Triple-A. He allowed just two home runs. He has a starter's repertoire with a mid-90's sinker along with a changeup and a slider. However, he is limited by below-average command but he has enough strike-throwing ability to serve a functional role in the bullpen.

On the other hand, Small was a first-round pick by the Milwaukee Brewers in 2019. He was acquired by the Giants in a trade with the Brewers earlier in the month. He has tallied a 3.14 ERA, 1.25 WHIP, 10.8 K/9, and a 2.37 SO/W ratio in four minor league seasons. Small flashes a low-90's fastball with a changeup and an occasional slider. The changeup is his best pitch, but the lefty prospect hides the ball well with a three-quarters arm slot, so the perceived velocity of his velocity plays up.

Lastly, Amir Garrett has the edge in terms of experience. He has posted a 4.95 ERA across seven seasons with the Cincinnati Reds and Kansas City Royals. Garrett does have a 44.8 percent ground ball rate in his career, so he gets a healthy number of ground balls.

His 2023 campaign was a mixed bag. He tallied a 3.33 ERA, but it came with a less-promising 5.56 FIP in 24.1 frames. He was released by the Royals in July and did not resurface in the majors.

He has experience but has rarely been consistent in the majors. On the mound, Garrett has a mid-90's sinker with a slider. The slider is his best pitch as opposing hitters registered just a .218 batting average against it last season. His best chance for success might just be an increase in his slider usage.

Similar to Miller and Small, Garrett has below-average control. No one will necessarily differentiate themselves in terms of strike rate, but each one offers a different look. Miller is coming off of a solid season in Triple-A, but the Giants might want to keep Garrett in the organization. It feels like Miller has an edge, but Garrett could break camp with the club if he performs.