The Giants designated right-handed pitchers Ray Black and Ian Gardeck for assignment to help make room for Chris Marrero, Aaron Hill, and Neil Ramirez on the 40-man roster, with Will Smith going to the 60-day DL to create the final spot. The organization is just full of surprises today.
Ray Black can throw a baseball 103 miles per hour. As such, he’s been one of the most interesting Giants prospects over the past decade. He’s faced 395 batters in his minor-league career, and 175 of them have struck out. That’s amazing.
Unfortunately for Black, he walked or hit 76 of those batters, and he threw 11 wild pitches just last year. More importantly, he was unable to stay healthy, with a career high of 35⅓ innings and just 91⅔ career innings since being drafted in 2011, and he never advanced past Double-A. As such, the team figured that it was likelier that Hill, Marrero, or Ramirez all had a much greater chance of ever helping a Giants roster, and they’ll hope they can sneak Black through waivers.
Gardeck has been DFA’d and re-signed before, back in 2016 after Tommy John surgery, and it looks like the Giants are hoping to do it again. He was added to the 40-man this offseason to keep him away from the Rule 5 draft, even though he hasn’t pitched since 2015. That last season was impressive, though, with him striking out nearly 11 batters per nine innings at San Jose, which was enough for the Giants to adjust their roster for him this winter.
Eyeballing the current 40-man roster, it looks like Albert Suarez is the likeliest future roster casualty, and it’s at least a touch surprising that he wasn’t jettisoned before one of the young-ish relievers. Considering that Suarez is about 100 times more likely to help the Giants in 2017 than either Black or Gardeck, though, it’s not that surprising.
And if everything works out, Neil Ramirez just might be the reliever they were hoping one of these guys was supposed to be in the first place.
We’ll see if the Giants can sneak both of these guys through waivers. It’s certainly a possibility at the start of the season, with 30 different teams going through the same roster crunch at every level of their organization. At the very least, let’s look back at the date of this article, read the names within, and laugh at how very stupid it was for me to write that.