SF Giants attempt to shore up the bullpen with latest roster move

Los Angeles Dodgers v San Francisco Giants
Los Angeles Dodgers v San Francisco Giants / Lachlan Cunningham/GettyImages

The SF Giants have the third-worst bullpen in baseball with a 6.40 ERA. It is no secret that bullpen composition has been a major issue, but the Giants are trying to fix that by recalling right-handed hurler Cole Waites.

SF Giants attempt to shore up the bullpen with latest roster move

Sean Hjelle was optioned in a corresponding roster move according to the team's transaction log. San Francisco had a surplus of bulk innings relievers with Hjelle, Tristan Beck, and Jakob Junis. This led to tough some tough usage situations including Monday night's 7-3 loss against the Astros.

The 6-foot-11 pitcher yielded five earned runs in just one inning of work. It was pretty clear that the Giants needed to make a roster move as Hjelle struggled to the tune of a 10.13 ERA, 4.67 FIP, 2.32 WHIP, 10.8 K/9, and a 1.60 SO/W ratio across10 appearances in 2023.

The 25-year-old put together a strong camp while flashing a couple of extra ticks on his fastball, but he struggled to command it. It bears mentioning that Hjelle's struggles could be due partly to being used as a reliever. The pitching prospect has pitched exclusively out of the rotation in the minors, so working out as a reliever might not be a great fit.

Cole Waites debuted with the Giants at the end of last season. He remains the only draft pick since Farhan Zaidi took over the front office in 2018 to play for the club. The right-handed hurler yielded two earned runs with four strikeouts against four walks in 5.2 frames in a cameo appearance.

He had a good chance at making the Opening Day roster, but sustained a lat strain early in spring training. Waites did not necessarily have a true spring training, so the first month of the minor league season was a bit rough.

The 24-year-old tallied a 9.31 ERA, 2.37 WHIP, 9.3 K/9, and a 0.83 SO/W ratio in 11 appearances for the Sacramento River Cats. His command has been very shaky as he has allowed 12 walks.

The righty features a high 90's four-seam fastball with good spin to go along with a slider. Given the Giants' struggles in the bullpen, it would behoove them to see what they have in the organization. Waites is off to a rough start, but he has the experience out of the bullpen, which should make him a better fit than Hjelle.