The SF Giants welcomed back a couple of familiar faces in Casey Schmitt and Sean Hjelle on Saturday. In corresponding roster moves, Ross Stripling (back) was placed on the injured list, whereas Ryan Walker went on the paternity list, per the team's transaction log.
SF Giants bring back Casey Schmitt in flurry of roster moves
First off, congratulations to the Walker family as they welcome a newborn into their lives. We wish his family the best as they go through this exciting time.
Walker has been an excellent addition to the bullpen in 2023, posting a 2.23 ERA with 50 strikeouts against only 13 walks in 44.1 innings for the Giants. Oftentimes, he has worked as an opener with the ability to cover multiple innings. It would be nice to see him work in a leverage role later in the games as well. He has certainly deserved it.
On the other hand, Stripling is coming off a rough outing in which he allowed five earned runs on 11 hits, including three home runs, against the Tampa Bay Rays earlier this week. Despite this, his numbers have been improving lately, so the Giants hope that he can return soon enough.
Casey Schmitt returns after a brief stay with the Sacramento River Cats. The rookie infielder was sent down earlier this month as he struggled to the tune of a .548 OPS in 218 plate appearances with the Giants. He has tallied an .887 OPS with two home runs in 48 plate appearances since returning to Sacramento.
While the Giants likely wanted him to get more reps in Triple-A, there is a clear need on the roster as Brandon Crawford is battling a forearm issue as well as a lingering knee ailment. Schmitt's ability to handle shortstop should help alleviate some of the workload from Crawford.
Schmitt will be bringing Sean Hjelle with him back to San Francisco. The 6-foot-11 pitcher struggled to the tune of a 7.79 ERA in 11 outings earlier this season while working as a bulk innings pitcher.
Hjelle's numbers in Sacramento have not been much better as he has registered a 6.32 ERA, 1.52 WHIP, 6.6 K/9, and a 1.89 SO/W ratio in 17 starts. He is just not missing enough bats right now. That said, Hjelle should provide the Giants with some insurance innings if the bullpen has to soak up a lot of innings against the Atlanta Braves this weekend.