Opening Day of the 2023 MLB season is finally upon us. After going 14-15 in Spring Training, the SF Giants are right around .500, which is where they finished the 2022 season with an 81-81 record.
While there are plenty of returning faces, there are also a ton of new names to know on the club; including Michael Conforto, Blake Sabol, Ross Stripling and Roberto Pérez, to name a few.
As Opening Day rosters around the league are set, there are bound to be some players ticketed for Triple-A who are going to be big league contributors for their clubs at some point in the coming season. The Giants are no exception to this.
Let's check out 3 SF Giants players aren't on the Opening Day roster but will contribute a lot in 2023.
LHP Sam Long
Long, 27, struggled in spring and ultimately lost his spot on the Opening Day roster because of it. In four outings, he surrendered six earned runs on 11 hits. Last year during the regular season, he had an ERA+ of 112 in 42 innings across 28 appearances. He has shown in each of his two big league seasons so far that he can be a successful pitcher who is capable of either starting or relieving. He'll be back.
Johnson, also 27, lost what looked to be a guaranteed spot on the season opening roster after the Giants made a last minute acquisition of utilityman Matt Beaty from the Royals. Johnson, a switch-hitter, made it into 11 big league games last year, going two-for-18 with a pair of runs batted in. He was expected to have a larger role after tearing it up in Spring Training (.310 AVG, eight RBI, 12 stolen bases in 16 games) but will instead report to Triple-A. He should be first on the list to receive a callup when injuries arise.
RHP Keaton Winn
Winn, 25, made just three spring appearances before being reassigned to minors camp. In that time, he pitched in five innings and allowed just a single earned run, good for an ERA of 1.80. He is on the 40-man roster and is another pitcher the Giants could see down the road as either a starter or long reliever. Winn has emerged as one of the top strikeout artists in the system (12.2 K's per nine last year) and will surely make his big league debut in the coming season, perhaps even early on.