The Giants made a flurry of moves on Thursday, shuffling players on and off the 25-man roster and removing one from the 40-man roster. Jake Dunning, a right-handed reliever, and Hector Sanchez, a World Series-winning catcher, are up from Fresno. Brett Pill is going back to Fresno, and Ramon Ramirez might be joining him if he clears waivers.
Dunning was added to the 40-man roster over the offseason to protect him from the Rule 5 draft. The 24-year-old was drafted as a shortstop, though the Giants probably had more of an eye on his arm the whole time. They gave him 88 at-bats in the Arizona League before sitting him down and telling him to watch The Joe Nathan Story, in which Nathan was played by Matthew Lillard for some reason.
Dunning has shown pretty good control for a converted reliever, and while he's never had gaudy strikeout numbers, I'm a sucker for the conversion stories. He's thrown just over 200 innings in the minors. Maybe in inning #218, he becomes Joe Nathan.
He's pretty much Joe Nathan, everybody.
While I wasn't exactly a champion of the Brett Pill experience, he probably makes more sense on the roster than Hector Sanchez. Still, the Pilltoon is off, and we're probably going to see a lot more of Buster Posey at first base and Sanchez behind the plate against left-handers.
There's no reason why Sanchez shouldn't be in Fresno learning how to catch. You've seen the improvement of Wilin Rosario after he caught every day, right? He moved from the catchpocalypse to merely bad, and that's kind of a big deal. Sanchez was never as bad as Rosario, but he could still use the innings and repetition. Instead, he's the Giants' ace pinch-hitter.
Ramirez looked like a shell of the version who was on the Giants a couple years ago. He was pretty good then, but he's never had a lot of margin for error. I could see a team on tough times picking him up on waivers, but he's probably heading down to Fresno again.
Welcome, Jake Dunning. Oh, hey, Hector Sanchez. And thanks for the ... that ... Brett Pill and Ramon Ramirez. I'm not sure if the Giants are a lot better on Thursday than they were on Wednesday, but they probably aren't worse.