SF Giants promote top catching prospect in wave of moves

Oakland Athletics v San Francisco Giants
Oakland Athletics v San Francisco Giants / Abbie Parr/GettyImages

The SF Giants had a very busy morning on Friday. Top catching prospect Patrick Bailey along with bullpen arm Ryan Walker was added to the active roster. Ross Stripling (back), Joey Bart (groin), and Heliot Ramos (oblique) were all added to the injured list.

SF Giants promote top catching prospect in wave of moves

Additionally, outfielder Cal Stevenson was designated for assignment. There was a lot that happened today, so let's take a step back. The Giants' 40-man roster was full, so they had to create two spots for Bailey and Walker.

That was done in two transactions. The first was Stevenson being placed on waivers. The second was Ramos being recalled and then placed on the 60-day injured list with an oblique strain. Transferring a place to the 60-day injured list temporarily removes them from the 40-man roster.

To create room on the active roster, both Bart and Stripling hit the injured list. In essence, four moves were made to create space for Bailey and Walker as well as add them to the active roster.

For Bailey, his arrival comes sooner than expected. That said, after a quick promotion to Triple-A in 2023, it was only a matter of time. The switch-hitter slashed .333/.400/.482 with two home runs, 10 RBI, and nine runs in 60 Double-A plate appearances before earning a promotion to the Sacramento River Cats.

With Sacramento, his overall production might not look great as he registered just a .670 OPS in 60 plate appearances, but his at-bats did look better in recent games. Anything he produces with the bat is a bonus as defense is his calling card.

The 23-year-old won a Minor League Gold Glove award behind the dish last year. He is an excellent framer and flashes a strong arm that he often uses in back picks to see if any base runners are sleeping. He is easily the Giants' best defensive catcher and that has become an area of need due to Blake Sabol's inexperience and with Bart landing on the injured list.

On the other hand, Ryan Walker has been a steady producer throughout his minor league career. Originally a 31st round pick out of Washington State University in 2018, the right-hander has posted a 3.15 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, 10.3 K/9, and a 3.57 SO/W ratio in five minor league seasons.

He was the River Cats' best reliever in 2023, posting a 0.89 ERA with 23 strikeouts against 8 walks in 20.1 frames. Walker has some sidearm-funkiness that leads to a lot of uncomfortable swings and at-bats. He flashes a mid-90's sinker with a good slider and gets plenty of swinging strikes and ground balls with both pitches. Due to his release point, both pitches get a lot of tailing action away from right-handed hitters.

This is an exciting time for the Giants as the infusion of young talent is beginning to take place.