With Major League Baseball's re-scheduled Opening Day looming just a few days away, teams are in the process of deciding who will make their 28-man roster for the first games that count. On Sunday, the SF Giants made decisions to drop the camp roster to 34 players, optioning or reassigning nine.
Unlike the team optioning of a pair of top prospects at the end of March, this paring down was more focused on removing some fringe-roster and depth pieces after having another look at them.
Andrew Baggarly, The Athletic's Giants beat writer, put the list on Twitter:
Breaking things down, the first two names are players who are on the 40-man roster but are allowed to be sent to the minor leagues without being taken off the 40-man and put on waivers.
Castro was on SF Giants playoff roster
Kervin Castro, a 22-year-old reliever, made his MLB debut last September and allowed just one earned run in 13 1/3 innings over 10 appearances. He should be one of the first relief pitchers called up when a spot opens.
The other player optioned, Jakob Junis, was a recent free agent signing who had spent the entirety of his professional career in the Kansas City Royals organization. Mainly a starting pitcher for most of his career, Junis made 10 relief appearances and six starts for the Royals in 2021. Though his surface numbers of a 4.82 ERA and 1.6 home runs per nine innings aren't too impressive, he clearly had abilities the Giants were intrigued by. Junis could be the first called upon if one of the set starting pitchers has to miss time.
The other players listed were all non-roster invitees to Major League camp in Spring Training or were on the 40-man roster but removed when space was needed for another player.
Infielder Alex Blandino, a Bay Area native who played at Stanford before becoming a first-round draft choice of the Reds in 2014, was impressing with a .429 batting average and two homers in nine Spring Training games. Jason Krizan, a minor-league journeyman who was angling for his first Major League callup in 2021 with a .316 average and 16 home runs at Triple-A Sacramento, batted .333 in the spring and should also serve as depth for the infield.
The other players reassigned to minor league camp should all go to the high-minors and be ready in case of injuries to Giants regulars.
As Opening Day approaches, the Giants will make a few more moves to get down to the 28-man active roster allowed in April