The SF Giants bullpen is set to receive a boost soon enough as hard-throwing righty Luke Jackson is nearing a return. Jackson began the year on the 60-day injured list, so the Giants will need to make a move to add him back to the 40-man roster and the active roster.
SF Giants have decision looming on hard-throwing righty
At times, teams can accomplish both with one move, but that does not seem likely as everyone on the active roster is performing in their role. This could lead to a difficult decision or two depending on the move that needs to be made.
To add him back to the 40-man roster, the Giants could transfer Isan Díaz to the 60-day injured list. The veteran middle infielder missed most of the season with an undisclosed injury, returned for three games, and then landed back on the injured list. Ross Stripling, who landed on the injured list with a back injury, is a candidate for this as well.
In the case of Díaz, this would require the team to add him to the active roster and then move him to the 60-day injured list, which means that he would accrue major league service time at the league minimum. This would be minimal in terms of financial implications, but the Giants have seen other teams avoid this by designating a player for assignment.
Luis González is one example of this, but so are Colton Welker and Sam Delaplane. In all three instances, the prior team tried to sneak a player through waivers to absolve themselves of the financial commitment, but the Giants had no problem with taking that on.
The Giants' 40-man roster has depth in some areas, but there are soft spots as well. Candidates to be placed on waivers include players like Matt Beaty, Sean Hjelle, and Randy Rodriguez. Beaty and Hjelle have appeared briefly with the Giants in 2023, whereas Rodriguez has not pitched for the Giants since being added to the 40-man roster two offseasons ago.
One way or the other, it could be a tough move. Jackson is returning from Tommy John surgery that he underwent in April of 2022. He was coming off of a career year in 2021 as he posted a 1.98 ERA in 71 appearances for an Atlanta Braves team that went on to win the World Series.
Jackson has made six rehab appearances so far with five of them coming with the Sacramento River Cats. Five of those appearances have been scoreless outings. The 31-year-old is eligible to come off of the injured list on May 29, which would be a boost for a Giants bullpen that appears to be finding its footing.