SF Giants righty Dominic Leone was placed o the injured list a couple of days ago with right elbow inflammation. However, he will not return to the Giants this season as he was released with a chance to catch on with another team to finish out the season.
SF Giants release hard-throwing righty after disappointing season
There could be a couple more moves like this as the Giants take a look at what they have in the organization. For example, Lewis Brinson and Austin Dean have been added to the 40-man roster since the start of September.
The Giants are giving auditions to players for a potential shot at a role for next season. This means that roster space needs to be created on the 40-man roster, so moves like releasing Leone have to happen, especially considering that the hard-throwing righty is slated to hit free agency in the offseason.
There has been no corresponding move yet, so the Giants have an open 40-man roster spot. Relievers Shelby Miller and Cole Waites are both on the taxi squad and would need to be added to the 40-man roster, so the Leone move could be a precursor to either one of those pitchers being added.
Leone was unable to replicate his success from last season in which he posted a 1.51 ERA, 3.08 FIP, 1.09 WHIP, 8.4 K/9, and a 2.27 SO/W ratio in 57 appearances. His regression is similar to what the bullpen as a whole has experienced as the Giants went from having the best bullpen in baseball last season with a 2.99 ERA to one of the worst with a 4.24 ERA.
That is often the case with bullpens as they are typically the most volatile area on any roster. The Giants returned nearly every reliever from last season, but the problem with stability is that performance can vary widely from year to year.
That was the case with Leone as he struggled to the tune of a 4.01 ERA, 4.05 FIP, 1.60 WHIP, 9.5 K/9, and a 2.17 SO/W ratio. The fastball velocity still sits in the mid-90's, but his control was not nearly as sharp as it was last season. That has been a theme throughout Leone's nine-year career.
Leone's time with the Giants has come to an end but Giants fans will fondly remember when he closed out the 11-4 victory against the San Diego Padres in the final game of the season to clinch the NL West. His energy coming off of the mound was matched by the excitement in the stands as the Giants clinched their first playoff birth in five seasons.