The lineup got a boost on Monday as power-hitting catcher Joey Bart was activated from the injured list after a brief rehab assignment according to the team's transaction page. He had been out since the start of the season with a mild back strain.
SF Giants activate Joey Bart after brief rehab assignment
Veteran catcher Austin Wynns was designated for assignment in a corresponding roster move. He had just returned to the active roster when Roberto Pérez was placed on the 60-day injured list with a shoulder strain.
The Giants will have 10 days to find a trade partner for Wynns. Otherwise, he will clear waivers and have a choice as to whether he wants to accept a Triple-A assignment or become a free agent. The 32-year-old backstop recorded two hitless at-bats with San Francisco.
The Giants originally planned to start the year with three catchers given the relative inexperience of Blake Sabol. However, due to injuries to both Bart and Pérez, they had to make a pivot.
The Giants are slated to face a handful of left-handed starters this week, paving the way for some immediate playing time for Bart. The Giants do not really have another catching option at the moment, so this is a chance for the 26-year-old to make a claim in the starting spot.
Gary Sánchez was just added on a minor league deal recently, but he has just two games in Triple-A under his belt. This is after an offseason in which the right-handed bat did not get a proper spring training. He will very likely become an option in the next couple of weeks, but needs some time to prepare.
The Giants have struggled to get any meaningful production out of the catcher position, so Bart should be an immediate upgrade in that regard. The backstop slashed .215/.296/.364 (86 OPS+) with 11 home runs, 25 RBI, and 34 runs in 291 plate appearances last year.
San Francisco pursued catching upgrades in the offseason and just as the season was getting underway, Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi indicated that this could be a make-or-break year for Bart.
The right-handed bat has shown flashes of promise in the past but he has not been able to sustain it. He will get an extended look as he is, by far, the most experienced catcher on the 40-man roster.