The SF Giants officially welcomed back veteran catcher Austin Wynns on Saturday. We speculated that this move might be in the works after Wynns was a last-minute scratch from the Sacramento River Cats' lineup on Friday night.
SF Giants add veteran catcher back to the active roster
Unfortunately, Wynns is taking the place of Roberto Pérez, who was immediately added to the 60-day injured list after he sustained a rotator cuff strain in Friday's game. This roster move opened up a spot on the 40-man roster for Wynns. Pérez recorded just two hits in 15 at-bats with the Giants this season before hitting the shelf.
The veteran catcher has had some bad luck with the injury bug in recent seasons. Pérez has appeared in just 101 games since the start of 2020. This includes a 2022 campaign in which he appeared in just 21 games with the Pittsburgh Pirates after sustaining a hamstring strain that required season-ending surgery.
The Giants began the year with a catching contingent that was either inexperienced or unproven. They brought in Pérez to mitigate some of that experience deficit, but the signing did come with a fair bit of injury risk.
Wynns returns to the Giants after finishing with the club last season. The right-handed bat slashed .259/.313/.358 ( 90 OPS+) with three home runs, 21 RBI, and 14 runs in 177 plate appearances in a Giants uniform. This included a 5.7 percent walk rate against a 21.5 percent strikeout rate.
He does not offer a ton of offensive upside, but Wynns was a quality defensive backstop and became the preferred catching option for a few pitchers down the stretch. Though, his time with the Giants could be brief as Joey Bart is beginning a rehab assignment after suffering a back strain at the start of the year.
Given that he was placed on the injured list on the first day of the season, Bart is not eligible to return until the start of next week. So, it is possible that his rehab assignment could be brief, especially considering that he will miss minimal time barring a setback.
The Giants could, in theory, still decide to carry three catchers on the active roster, meaning that Wynns could stick. Given that Blake Sabol is light on experience and has experience in the outfield, the three-catcher dynamic is one that they could still maintain when Bart returns.