SF Giants release a pair of minor league pitchers including one with local ties
It may be tough to remember but both pitchers briefly occupied spots on the Giants' 40-man roster in recent seasons. Hildenberger was selected off of waivers from the New York Mets in 2021. The righty was placed back on waivers and cleared while remaining with the organization due in part to the fact that he is from Mountain View, California.
Similar story for Fletcher. He was claimed off of waivers from the Pittsburgh Pirates during a period of time where it felt like the Giants were just claiming every pitcher on waivers in 2022. Eventually, the the lefty passed through waivers but remained with the club.
Hildenberger did officially receive an invite to spring training, whereas Fletcher was on the lineup card at times. Neither one had a realistic shot of making the club out of camp, but both were expected to be serviceable depth options.
Hildenberger has appeared in parts of four seasons with the Minnesota Twins and the Mets. He has registered a 5.52 ERA, 4.19 FIP, 1,40 WHIP, 9.0 K/9, and a 3.17 SO/W ratio in 134 career appearances. The 32-year-old throws from a funky, sidearm delivery that features a sinker, slider, and a changeup.
None of the pitchers regularly touch 90 MPH, so he relies on deception to generate outs. Unfortunately, Hildenberger was off to a rough start with the Sacramento River Cats, allowing nine earned runs in 5.2 frames to start the year.
On the other hand, Fletcher has pitched in parts of three seasons with the Seattle Mariners and the Pirates. It would not be a true Giants move if the Giants-Mariners connection did not exist but it certainly does with the left-handed hurler. Fletcher has tallied a 9.15 ERA with 15 strikeouts against 12 walks in 19 career appearances. Like Hildenberger, the 27-year-old was off to a rough start as he yielded eight earned runs across three innings in the Pacific Coast League.
These moves were needed to create space on Sacramento's roster. Both Chris Wright and Daniel Tillo were added to the Triple-A roster after beginning the year in Double-A.