There were plenty of surprises on Thursday when the SF Giants finalized their Opening Day roster. Perhaps, one that was overlooked was that veteran outfielder Stephen Piscotty was granted his release.
SF Giants grant 8-year veteran outfielder his release
It was a surprise for a couple of reasons. The first is that the Giants' Triple-A affiliate resides in Sacramento, so he would not be too far away from his hometown of Pleasanton, California.
The second reason is that it seemed like he was signed to a minor league deal with the expectation that he would begin the year in Triple-A. The right-handed bat was released from the Oakland A's midway through the 2022 season before finishing the year with the Cincinnati Reds organization.
It has been years since Piscotty has been a productive player. In his first season with the A's in 2018, he posted a 128 OPS+ with 27 home runs, 88 RBI, and 78 runs in 605 plate appearances.
Since then, he has been a below-average hitter, registering an 84 OPS+ with 28 homers in the ensuing four seasons.
The 32-year-old did have a nice spring as he recorded eight hits, including three doubles, with seven RBI in 25 at-bats. It felt like he was playing his way into an Opening Day role. Or, at the very least, he would position himself for a midseason promotion to the major league club.
However, this has all become a moot point as Piscotty was released at his request. Perhaps, it is a sign that he feels like he can find a better opportunity elsewhere.
Or, it could be an indicator that he felt like he was overlooked for a spot on the roster. The Giants began the year with two key injuries to the outfield including Austin Slater (hamstring) and Mitch Haniger (oblique).
With the injuries, Piscotty could have been a candidate to be added. That said, the fact that the Giants made a last-minute addition to acquire outfielder Matt Beaty was a sign that the front office did not view him as an option in 2023. Beaty has been a fringe major leaguer throughout his four years with the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres.
Hopefully, Piscotty finds a home for the upcoming season as his story is remarkable. Though, he has had a successful career and hanging up his spikes could be an option at some point soon.