The SF Giants added bullpen depth to the organization recently as they signed former Minnesota Twins reliever Cody Stashak to a minor league deal. Stashak confirmed the signing in a recent post on social media and made his organizational debut on Friday night for the Sacramento River Cats.
SF Giants add former Twins reliever on a minor league deal
That debut did not go as planned as he yielded two earned runs in one inning of work but struck out two in a 6-3 victory over the El Paso Chihuahuas. I will reiterate once again that minor league baseball team names are the best in sports. Nothing inspires fear in the opposing team quite like a Chihuahua mascot running around the park.
I digress. The addition of Stashak is similar to when the Giants signed Scott Alexander to a minor league deal last season. Stashak like Alexander has posted solid numbers when healthy, but both had spent considerable time on the injured list.
Stashak was originally drafted in the 13th round of the 2015 draft by the Twins out of St. John's University in Queens, New York. Four years before that, the Giants selected Joe Panik in the first round out of the same school, but they were never teammates.
Stashak originally came up a starter, but transitioned to the bullpen as he progressed through the minors. His minor league numbers have been solid as he has posted a 3.16 ERA, 1.07 WHIP, 9.2 K/9, and a 4.41 SO/W ratio in eight seasons.
He debuted with the Twins in 2019 and pitched sporadically with the club over the next four seasons. When healthy, his overall numbers were good as he posted a 4.13 ERA, 2.98 FIP, 1.19 WHIP, 10.4 K/9, and a 5.93 SO/W ratio in 55 appearances.
His ERA is not too promising, but the his FIP and SO/W rate might be more indicative of his ability. Ability certainly might not be the issue, but the 29-year-old reliever has battled major injuries including major back and shoulder ailments in recent years.
This led to the Twins to cut ties with the four-year veteran after the 2022 season. He caught on with the Lancaster Barnstormers of the Atlantic League in 2023 as he continued to recover from surgery to repair a torn labrum that he underwent in 2022. He collected two scoreless outings before joining the Giants.
This is the type of move that has the chance to pay sneaky dividends. If Stashak is healthy, he has proven to be an effective reliever. And, he has multiple years of team control with two minor league options if the Giants do decide to add him to the 40-man roster. However, it is fair to say that the Giants have invested a little too heavily in injury risk in recent years, but this is also a no-risk type of move given that it is a minor league deal.