The SF Giants welcomed back Austin Slater from the injured list on Saturday. Plus, they added an intriguing bullpen arm to the 40-man roster.
SF Giants activate Austin Slater and add intriguing arm in series of roster moves
Slater experienced discomfort in his left wrist a couple of weeks ago that landed him on the injured list. The good news is that it does not appear serious given that the outfielder was able to return almost as soon as he was eligible.
Slater recorded one hitless at-bat in a 6-5 loss against the Miami Marlins on Saturday. The right-handed bat is off to a nice start to the season, slashing .246/.383/.385 (119 OPS+) with two home runs, 11 RBI, and 12 runs in 81 plate appearances. This includes a solid 18.5 percent walk rate against a 27.2 percent strikeout rate.
Sean Hjelle was optioned to make room for Slater. The 6-foot-11 pitching prospect yielded two earned runs with five strikeouts across three innings in a bullpen game on Friday against the Marlins. He was tabbed as the bulk innings arm and did a nice job in that role on short notice.
The Giants also made two more roster moves, adding bullpen arm Sam Delaplane to the 40-man roster while placing outfielder Stuart Fairchild on waivers. The latter recorded eight hitless at-bats in a Giants uniform while serving as a depth outfield option with LaMonte Wade Jr. and Slater on the shelf.
Delaplane was optioned to Triple-A, but he is on a rehab assignment in Low-A. The right-handed reliever underwent Tommy John surgery in April of 2021 but he was designated for assignment by the Seattle Mariners midway through the season rather than placed on the 60-day injured list.
Similar to Luis González , the Giants decided to add and stash Delaplane in the organization while he recovered from major surgery. There was no risk other than cost.
Prior to the injury, the 27-year-old reliever posted some intriguing numbers. Across four minor league seasons, Delaplane registered a 2.41 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, 15.3 K/9, and a 4.63 SO/W ratio while working exclusively out of the bullpen.
Tallying 278 strikeouts in 164 innings in the minors will certainly get you noticed. The roster musical chairs continue as the Giants inch closer to full strength starting with the return of Slater. Though, last time I said that, four players hit the injured list in successive days. Hopefully, that does not happen again.