The SF Giants welcomed back outfield prospect Heliot Ramos on Saturday. However, veteran reliever Scott Alexander was placed on the injured list with a hamstring strain according to the team's transaction log.
Veteran SF Giants reliever's tenure potentially comes to an end after landing on injured list
The Giants added Alexander to a minor league deal at the beginning of the 2022 season. He had a track record of success but struggled to stay on the mound, so this was one of those low-risk moves with a potential for a nice payoff.
The early returns were encouraging as the left-handed reliever posted a 1.04 ERA with 10 strikeouts against one walk across 17.1 innings for the Giants down the stretch last year. He was still on his rookie deal, so the Giants tendered him a contract at $1.2 million for 2023.
They had hoped that he would become a leverage reliever for them this season, but that did not necessarily come to fruition. Alexander produced a 4.66 ERA, 1.36 WHIP, 3.26 FIP, 5.8 K/9, and a 2.82 SO/W ratio in 48.1 innings. This included a stellar 60.7 percent ground ball rate.
The innings workload was the most he had tallied since he completed 66 innings for the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2018. Despite the subpar ERA, there is plenty of numbers to suggest that his run-prevention skills were a tad inflated.
He should have some interest in free agency if he so chooses to continue his career. It may not be with the Giants as they could look for better value on the market. That said, Alexander is local to the area as he grew up in Santa Rosa and attended Sonoma State University before being selected in the sixth round of the 2010 draft by the Kansas City Royals.
On the other side of the transaction, Heliot Ramos returns to the club. The Giants have not shown a lot of confidence in him and it feels like he will fill a fifth-outfielder role as the season winds down.
The 24-year-old prospect has had a very nice season in Triple-A, slashing .300/.382/.546 (120 wRC+) with 12 home runs, 45 RBI, and 44 runs in 263 plate appearances. This includes a 10.3 percent walk rate, 25.1 percent strikeout rate, and a .247 ISO.
In his brief time with the Giants this year, Ramos has produced a .611 OPS in 53 sporadic at-bats. They have not given him an extended look despite the fact that he was considered one of the best prospects in the organization not that long ago. That approach does not seem like it will change this year.