SF Giants select Mason Black's contract, place former 1st-round pick on waivers

San Francisco Giants v Philadelphia Phillies
San Francisco Giants v Philadelphia Phillies / Mitchell Leff/GettyImages

As expected, the SF Giants selected Mason Black's contract on Monday so that he could make his MLB debut. In a corresponding roster move, former first-round pick Daulton Jefferies was designated for assignment according to the team's transaction log.

SF Giants select Mason Black's contract, place former 1st-round pick on waivers

At one point, Black was a candidate to make the Opening Day roster. However, he struggled to the tune of a 6.97 ERA in four appearances during the Cactus League. Plus, the last-minute signing of Blake Snell pushed him down one peg on the depth chart.

It was only a matter of time before Black debuted with San Francisco. He had quickly become one of the Giants' top pitching prospects since being selected in the third round of the 2021 draft out of Lehigh University.

The righty pitcher reached Triple-A last year and posted a solid 3.86 ERA in 13 starts with the Sacramento River Cats. He has followed that up with a 1.01 ERA in six starts in 2024. At that point, it was clear that he did not have much left to prove in the minors.

The young pitcher was added to the roster on Monday and slated to face the Philadelphia Phillies. He grew up in Scranton, Pennsylvania, so this was a homecoming in some sense.

Black did not look bad in his major league debut. He allowed one earned run through his first four innings of work but was tagged for four more runs before being removed from the game in the fifth inning. The pitching prospect had not thrown more than 71 pitches in a game this season before today, but it felt like a misstep by Bob Melvin to use him in the fifth inning when he was already at his limit.

Black's stay in the rotation will likely be temporary. Veteran hurler Blake Snell should be returning soon, so optioning Black back to the minors feels like the obvious move barring an injury.

On the other side of that transaction, Daulton Jefferies was placed on waivers. He slumped through two outings where he yielded nine earned runs in 4.2 frames. The righty pitcher was considered one of the better prospects in baseball, but has suffered significant injury setbacks since then. He has undergone two Tommy John surgeries and Thoracic Outlet Syndrome surgery.

It is remarkable that Jefferies has even been able to make it back to the mound. There is a chance that he clears waivers and remains with the club as minor league depth. The Giants will know within the next 10 days.