The roster tweaking never ends with the SF Giants front office as they added a versatile glove to the 40-man roster. On Sunday, 29-year-old infielder Jose Rojas was claimed off of waivers from the Los Angeles Angels.
SF Giants add versatile glove on waiver claim from the Angels
To make room on the 40-man roster, Brandon Belt was transferred to the 60-day injured list after undergoing knee surgery over the weekend. Belt's season is over but his time in a Giants uniform may have come to an end as well.
The longtime Giants first baseman struggled in 2022, slashing .213/.326/.350 (96 wRC+) with eight home runs, 23 RBI, and 25 runs in 298 plate appearances. This included a solid 12.4 percent walk rate against a 27.2 percent strikeout rate. It was clear that Belt was bothered by the nagging knee injury as he did not look like the hitter who put up a combined .988 OPS in the previous two seasons.
The Giants are trying to get more athletic and versatile with some of the recent moves they have made and the addition of Rojas continues that trend. Rojas joins Lewis Brinson and Ford Proctor as versatile and athletic options in the field.
The left-handed bat was drafted in the 36th round of the 2016 draft by the Angels out of Vanguard University of Southern California in Costa Mesa, California. In six minor league seasons, Rojas has slashed .287/.347/.503 with an 8.4 percent walk rate against a 19.3 percent strikeout rate, so he does offer some power with decent contact skills.
This includes a strong 2022 campaign in Triple-A where he has registered a .275/.350/.571 line (120 wRC+) with 18 home runs, 50 RBI, and 46 runs in 280 plate appearances. That performance has not translated to the major just yet as Rojas has struggled to the tune of a .584 OPS in 241 plate appearances in parts of two seasons with the Angels.
However, he offers plenty of positional flexibility given that he has pro experience at first base, second base, third base, left field, and right field. The Giants value players who can move around the field and Rojas checks off that box. He could get a shot with the Giants before the season comes to an end, but for now, he will play for the Sacramento River Cats.