SF Giants add depth to the organization, sign veteran minor league catcher to deal

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The SF Giants added a catcher to the organization for the second time this week. Donny Sands has inked a minor league deal and been assigned to the Sacramento River Cats, per the team's transaction log.

SF Giants add depth to the organization, sign veteran minor league catcher to deal

Sands started the year with the Detroit Tigers but was released at the end of spring training. He caught on with the Toros de Tijuana of the Mexican League where he registered a .245/.339/.490 line with four home runs, 13 RBI, and seven runs in 56 plate appearances.

The Toros released him earlier this week to pursue an opportunity with the Giants. On the other hand, the Giants' catching depth has been depleted over the past few weeks due to injuries. Patrick Bailey landed on the concussion list for the second time due to lingering symptoms from the concussion he initially sustained at the start of the month.

His backup, Tom Murphy, also went on the injured list with a knee sprain. The severity of it was serious enough that he was transferred to the 60-day injured list. For a handful of games, the Giants went with Black Sabol and Jakson Reetz as the primary catchers. However, this left a lot to be desired in terms of defense behind the plate.

With all of the player movement, the Giants moved both Brandon Martorano and Drew Cavanaugh up to the River Cats to provide some coverage at catcher. Martorano has plenty of experience as a pro, but Cavanaugh was facing college pitching at this point last season.

So, the addition of Sands does give the Giants more depth at an important position like catcher. Sands was originally an eighth-round pick by the New York Yankees out of Salpointe Catholic High School in Tucson, Arizona.

Sands had a deliberate climb up the minor league ladder as he adjusted to pro pitching and the nuances of being a young catcher. He reached Triple-A for the first time in 2021. Across eight minor league seasons, he has registered a .722 OPS with a 9.5 percent walk rate against a 16.8 percent strikeout rate. He has also collected three hitless at-bats in the majors with the Philadelphia Phillies in 2022.

The right-handed bat does not hit for much power despite a max-effort swing. However, he does work the count and can grind out at-bats. Behind the dish, Sands is a quality receiver and has an accurate arm to defend against the running game. He may not be a starter in Triple-A, but should see time as a reliable backup if that is the case.