SF Giants send down young outfielder in pair of roster cuts

San Francisco Giants v Colorado Rockies
San Francisco Giants v Colorado Rockies / John E. Moore III/GettyImages

The SF Giants continued trimming down the roster with two moves announced on Wednesday. According to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle, the Giants cut outfielder Luis Matos and catcher Patrick Bailey.

SF Giants send down young outfielder in pair of roster cuts

Typically, teams do roster cuts in waves, but the Giants have been doing them in bits and pieces this week. The timing is not surprising given that exhibition games are beginning in minor league camp, so the move gives each prospect a better chance of playing time.

From a procedural standpoint, Matos was optioned to the minors, whereas Bailey was reassigned to minor league camp. The outcome is the same, but Matos occupies a spot on the 40-man roster, so a roster move was required. This move brings the total number of players on the 40-man roster in camp down to 31.

Neither Matos nor Bailey had a shot at breaking camp with the club. Matos justed turned 21 in January and does not have experience in the upper minors. On the other hand, Bailey is probably the fifth or sixth option on the catching depth chart in the organization at the moment.

The switch-hitting catcher had a nice showing in camp where he tallied four hits in 13 at-bats. Bailey, who is a former first round pick, has the defensive acumen to be an everyday catcher in the majors. He took home the minor league Gold Glove award at catcher in 2022 and has shown a good knack for framing, blocking, and throwing.

His bat has lagged behind as he has posted a .779 OPS since becoming a pro while not necessarily struggling in the lower minors, but you would like to see better production from a college bat. He should begin next season in Double-A.

On the other hand, Matos is coming off of a season in which he registered a .636 OPS across two levels while dealing with a leg injury. Similar to Bailey, Matos has flashed a quality glove at a premium position in center field. However, the bat will need to show improvement after a down season. The 21-year-old scratched six hits in 24 Cactus League at-bats, and while not an unusually strong showing, this can become a positive experience in his development.

For the most part, the Opening Day roster is settled with maybe one or two openings. That could change in the case of an injury.