The SF Giants will have a new face in Saturday's lineup as a newly-acquired catcher has been promoted to the active roster. On a down note, Curt Casali was placed on the concussion injured list, which will keep him on the shelf for a minimum of seven days.
SF Giants promoted newly-acquired catcher to the active roster
Michael Papierski is set to make his major league debut just a week after being acquired by the Giants in a move that sent infielder Mauricio Dubón to the Houston Astros. To make room on the 40-man roster, Luke Williams was designated for assignment.
Papierski is a switch-hitting catcher who was selected in the ninth round of the 2017 draft out of Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. In five minor league seasons, the catching prospect has registered a .219/.356/.327 line with 25 home runs, 145 RBI, and 173 runs. This includes a solid 15.5 percent walk rate against a 19.8 percent strikeout rate.
Since being traded, the 26-year-old recorded just one hit in 10 at-bats with the Sacramento River Cats.
He does bring a contact-heavy approach and a selective eye to the table, but his best quality is his work behind the dish. He does have a good arm, efficient pop time, and is a favorite of those who have worked with him.
Casali was removed from Friday night's game as a precaution after taking a foul ball off of the mask. Seven days is the minimum designation for the concussion injured list, but it is difficult to know exactly how long the veteran backstop might be out.
This is a tough blow as Casali was off to a strong start to the season. In 61 plate appearances, the right-handed bat slashed .264/.344/.472 (134 OPS+) with three homers, 10 RBI, and seven runs. He had been on a tear recently, recording nine hits, including all three of his home runs, in 23 at-bats during the month of May.
In a trend that has carried over from last season, San Francisco excels when the 33-year-old catcher is in the lineup. In games he has started, the Giants are 11-5 and pitchers have produced a 3.60 ERA when he is behind the dish.
The move to place Williams on waivers is a mild surprise as ther versatile infielder was acquired right before the season. However, the Giants might be comfortable with their depth given that they have added Kevin Padlo and Donovan Walton since then.