Spring training is just getting underway, but the regular season is quickly approaching. Given the shortened camp, baseball announced a change that may benefit a few SF Giants players.
3 SF Giants players who will benefit from Opening Day expended rosters
Joel Sherman of the New York Post confirmed that teams will be able to expand active rosters to 28 players for the first month of the season. Baseball enacted a similar rule during the pandemic-shortened 2020 season. Once the calendar turns to May, active rosters will be reduced to 26 yet again.
The extra roster spots will provide added time for evaluation for Giants players who are out of options, especially players on the roster bubble. Thairo Estrada, Mauricio Dubón, and Tyler Beede are three players who will benefit the most from expanded rosters.
After a strong finish to the 2021 season, Estrada has the firmest grasp on a role for the upcoming season of the three players mentioned above. The Giants originally acquired the versatile infielder in exchange for cash from the New York Yankees last April.
This is a move that has quietly paid dividends for the Giants as Estrada slashed .273/.333/.479 (118 OPS+) with seven home runs, 19 runs, and 22 RBI in 132 plate appearances last season. The 26-year-old thrived by demonstrating a more selective approach at the plate, setting a career-best by swinging at only 30% (O-Zone%) of pitches outside of the strike zone.
In the field, Estrada flashed the type of versatility that the Giants' front office values. He appeared primarily at shortstop with San Francisco, but he saw time at second base, third base, right field, and left field as well.
After a performance like last season, it would be easy to envision a role for Estrada. However, the Giants only saw him briefly, so he is working off of a limited track record. That said, he has the inside track to remain on the roster beyond April.