About a month ago, before the whole baseball world stood at a standstill, there were tough choices to be made in terms of who to add to the SF Giants 40-man roster. The Giants do love to shove in as much big-league talent as possible and every spot in the 40-man roster is made with the incoming season in mind. And so, when the 40-man protection deadline came and went, three prospects were protected. The first two, Heliot Ramos and Sean Hjelle, were easy and logical choices. Both finished their 2021 season in Triple-A and even though the expectation is that they will be spending most of their 2022 season in Sacramento, both will have a shot in Spring Training and are on the cusp of making the big league roster.
Examining SF Giants Randy Rodriguez's Viability As A Starter
The third addition, however, is rather intriguing. Randy Rodriguez was added to the 40-man roster over other notable top-30 prospects like Diego Rincones, Prelander Berroa, and Seth Corry. Picking Rodriguez over Rincones and Berroa is interesting for a couple of reasons. The first is that in terms of the public view, Rincones and Berroa are ranked higher than Rodriguez in any prospect rankings as Rodriguez was a relatively unknown prospect heading into 2021. The second and more intriguing reason is that Rincones performed well in AA this year and to leave him unprotected where a team could pluck his bat out of the farm system.
As mentioned earlier, every spot in the 40-man roster is made with the incoming season in mind so when Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi commented that Rodriguez might not be put on the fast track and might even have the chance to start unlike the trio of Camilo Doval, Kervin Castro, and Gregory Santos in last season's 40-man roster crunch, it sparked a big question in my mind: can Randy Rodriguez actually be a starting pitcher long-term? Join me as we talk through Randy Rodriguez's 2021 by the numbers, what I saw on the film that made the Giants protect him over other highly-regarded prospects in the organization, and answer the question of whether he can be stretched out in a rotation role in 2022 and beyond.