2024 Barney Nugent winner among 4 players sent to minor league camp by SF Giants

2024 San Francisco Giants Spring Training
2024 San Francisco Giants Spring Training / Zac BonDurant/San Francisco Giants/GettyImages

The SF Giants should be active in preparation for Opening Day. On Tuesday, they reassigned a trio of minor leaguers including Ismael Munguia, Mason Black, and Juan Sánchez, per Maria Guardado of MLB.Com. Blake Sabol was optioned as well.

2024 Barney Nugent winner among 4 players sent to minor league camp by SF Giants

Perhaps, the most surprising move was sending Sánchez down to minor league camp. As currently constructed, the Giants do not have a second left-handed reliever in the bullpen behind Taylor Rogers.

Erik Miller, Ethan Small, and Amir Garrett were competing with Sánchez for that spot. Miller had been optioned, whereas Small will likely begin the year on the injured list and Garrett was released. Sánchez was the last remaining lefty and he performed well. He tallied a 2.61 ERA in 10.1 innings this spring.

It does sound like Miller could be back in the mix. There is a chance that the Giants just do not have the roster space to add Sánchez. On the other hand, Miller is already on the 40-man roster.

Munguia opened a lot of eyes this spring and deservedly won the Barney Nugent Award for his strong performance in his first camp. It could be seen as a sign of how the Giants view the speedy outfielder given that he remained in camp longer than other outfielders on the 40-man roster such as Heliot Ramos and Wade Meckler. Munguia recorded 16 hits in 39 at-bats while stealing five bags in as many opportunities.

The Giants' pitching depth took a hit earlier in the spring as the injuries piled up. This presented a potential opportunity for Mason Black. He struggled to the tune of a 6.97 ERA in 10.1 innings, but the Cactus League can be a tough environment for pitchers. The pitching prospect is now slated to begin the year in Triple-A.

Lastly, Blake Sabol was optioned. There was no clear path to playing time for him in either the outfield or at catcher. However, the Giants have tasked him with learning first base as well. The lefty bat should see the bulk of his playing time behind the dish at Triple-A as that is where his bat profiles best.

The final roster cuts and moves will be announced before the first game of the year against the San Diego Padres on Thursday.