With Zack Littell and Mike Yastrzemski on the COVID injured list, the SF Giants have a couple of open spots on the 40-man roster. They have used these spots to bolster organizational depth with the latest roster move taking place on Wednesday.
SF Giants make a pair of opportunistic additions
The Giants welcomed Kevin Padlo on Tuesday in a trade with the Seattle Mariners and they have claimed left-handed hurler Darien Núñez from the Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday according to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle.
This is one of those moves with an eye toward 2023. Francys Romero reports that Núñez underwent Tommy John surgery earlier this week, so he will not see the mound until 2023. However, there is no risk in bringing him into the organization and placing him on the 60-day injured list.
The lefty reliever was designated for assignment over the weekend to make room for old friend Reyes Moronta on the Dodgers roster.
Núñez was a late bloomer as a pro, signing as a 25-year-old prospect with the Dodgers in 2018. Since signing with Los Angeles, the pitching prospect has, not surprisingly, moved quickly up the minor league ladder while proving to be an effective arm.
In four minor league seasons, Núñez registered a 2.49 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, 14.3 K/9, and a strong 4.19 SO/W ratio while working exclusively out of the bullpen. He debuted with the Dodgers in 2021 where he yielded seven earned runs on eight hits, including three home runs, with eight strikeouts against four walks in 7.2 frames.
The bullpen arm flashes a mid-90's fastball that he pairs with a changuep, a slider, and a curveball. He rarely uses the latter two pitches but the changeup grades out as an above-average pitch.
The Giants pulled a similar maneuver in the middle of last season when they claimed both Luis González and Same Delaplane. Both were recovering from season-ending injuries but the Giants used open roster spots to bring them into the organization. In the case of González, that is a move that has already paid dividends but Delaplane has had a similar career arc as Núñez in the minors.
In the case of the Giants, this is another example of the Giants' front office looking at ways to improve around the margins. Núñez may not make an impact anytime soon, but San Francisco has quietly added an intriguing arm to the organization in a no-risk move.