Dalton Guthrie's time in the SF Giants organization was brief. The Giants placed the speedy outfielder on waivers last weekend and his status was resolved on Thursday as the Atlanta Braves were awarded the claim according to the team's transaction log.
Speedy outfielder scooped up off of waivers by the Braves after brief stint with SF Giants
The Giants needed Guthrie's spot on the 40-man roster to make room for Mauricio Llovera. Llovera, who appeared briefly for San Francisco last year, recorded a scoreless outing with three strikeouts across two innings in a game against the Colorado Rockies. He remains with the club.
The Giants swung a trade to acquire Guthrie at the end of June from the Philadelphia Phillies in exhchange for cash considerations. With Thairo Estrada's hand injury, we looked at internal options to replace Estrada, which included Guthrie.
Estrada was having a nice year prior to the injury. The 27-year-old posted a .272/.327/.434 line (107 OPS+) with nine home runs, 31 RBI, and 46 runs in 315 plate appearances. This included 18 stolen bases in 22 opportunities.
And, he has been excellent defensively as he has been worth +5 Defensive Runs Saved (DRS) and +11 Outs Above Average (OAA) at second base. The latter metric leads baseball at that position.
Replacing that type of production is a tall task and few internal options are capable of doing that. That said, Guthrie can replicate some of Estrada's baserunning instincts. It is a moot point now.
The rookie outfielder posted a .685 OPS with just one RBI and four runs in 42 plate appearances for the Sacramento River Cats. He displayed his usual versatility as he appeared at several positions for Sacramento, including center field and shortstop.
Guthrie has appeared in parts of two seasons with the Phillies as well. He has registered a .244/.393/.333 (106 OPS+) with one home run, five RBI, and seven runs in 56 career plate appearances. While those numbers sound good, the right-handed bat has an 81.5-MPH average exit velocity in the majors, suggesting that he was not hitting the ball with much force.
Anything he produces with the bat is a bonus. Guthrie has a track record of good defense and a quality arm while being able to play multiple positions. He joins a Braves organization that is sitting comfortably in first place in the NL East with a 60-29 overall record.