SF Giants option right-handed reliever in first round of roster cuts

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The SF Giants announced their first round of roster cuts on Sunday. There were not any major surprises, but one minor one was that Randy Rodriguez was among those who were sent to minor league camp. Rodriguez currently occupies a spot on the 40-man roster, so it is mildly surprising that he was cut so early in camp.

SF Giants option right-handed reliever in first round of roster cuts

Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area had the roster of the cuts:

Joe Ross (Tommy John surgery) and Donovan Walton (shoulder surgery) did not make an appearance in camp as they both recover from injury. Sean Newcomb, who was added late in the offseason, did not make an appearance in spring training as well. It is possible that he is recovering from injury as well, but that is not yet known at the moment.

The rest of the group will likely serve as depth in the upper minors. Colton Welker, in particular, is a name I like and somebody to monitor this season. That said, he is a right-handed-hitting corner infielder, which is an area where the Giants have a lot of options.

Rodriguez is the most notable name considering that he only made one scoreless outing in the Cactus League. The Giants added the 23-year-old to the 40-man roster last winter with the hopes of stretching him out as a starter. He began the year as a starter, posting a 3.86 ERA with 57 strikeouts in 44.1 frames for the Eugene Emeralds.

However, the Giants moved him back to the bullpen where he tallied a 5.64 ERA with 40 strikeouts against 20 walks in 22.1 innings with three affliliates. Once he returned to the bullpen, the Giants aggressively moved him to Double-A, and after six appearances, he was promoted to Triple-A.

The relief prospect could have been an option to help the Giants down the stretch but sustained a late-season injury. He will likely begin the season in Double-A or Triple-A so that he can continue to pitch against advanced hitters.

At some point, the Giants will want to see what he can do on the major league mound. They typically rely on every player on the 40-man roster, so there is a bit of mystery at the moment when it comes to Rodriguez.