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Roster Remix: D.J. Snelten DFA’d to make room for Dereck Rodriguez

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The Giants weren’t shy about clearing a roster spot for their surprising pitching prospect.

San Francisco Giants v Philadelphia Phillies Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images

Five years after drafting him and 4 innings of Major League experience, the Giants deemed lefty reliever D.J. Snelten fungible by designating him for assignment. Tomorrow is his 26th birthday, so, this is quite the kick in the pants, I’d imagine, but also a great inciting incident for his quarter life crisis.

All gentle kidding aside, it will be somewhat interesting to see what the Giants’ intentions are here. Most likely, they want him to clear waivers so they can outright him to AAA, but given that they exposed him there in the first place, they might not care. They might also think he has a great chance to clear them, and they may be right. I say somewhat interesting because I can’t help but think that they’re simply aging the organizational chart more by removing a sub-28 year old player, even if he hasn’t been effective at all in his brief flashes.

Okay, let me just say it: I’m surprised Josh Osich is still on the team.

Moving on, this is all actually great news in that the Giants cleared the path to call up pitcher Dereck Rodriguez, son of Pudge Rodriguez, destroyer of competitive windows. What is there to know about this right-handed pitcher? He was drafted by the Twins back in 2011 to be an outfielder. Then, as Roger notes in a Minor Lines from a couple of weeks back:

In 2014, the Twins approached Dereck with the idea of converting to pitching. Rodriguez spent two years in rookie and short season ball before making the jump to A ball in 2016. It was a rugged landing as he piled up a 5.08 ERA in the pitcher friendly Midwest League, mostly due to control problems (walking 40 in 132.2 IP). He showed improvements across the board in 2017, getting pushed up to AA by the end of the year. He still walked too many batters but showed improvement in both K rates and run prevention.

By that point he had played seven years in the pros. So the Twins lost control of him just as he might have been turning a corner and getting the hang of the pitching thing. The Giants snapped Rodriguez up as a minor league FA, gave him a Spring Training invite and by all accounts grew [fond] of Rodriguez’s live arm.

It’s possible he’ll just be there to help out in the bullpen for this Coors series, but it’s not difficult to imagine him piggybacking on a busted Andy Suarez start roundabout the 4th inning, either. The Giants are in desperate need of strikeout stuff (53 K in 50 Triple-A innings), and he’s their best option at the moment.

Miguel Gomez was sent back to AAA to make room for Not-Pudge (nickname still a work in progress, obviously) which means that Pablo Sandoval remains the backup middle infielder for at least the next 10 days. The beat writers’ news dump of this mid-afternoon suggested that Panik could be back in a week and Alen Hanson (remember him?) could be back maybe just a few days after him, so, Pablo won’t have to hold the line for long, but I imagine that means he’ll get only 1-2 more starts at second base instead of 3-4.

Finally, Madison Bumgarner and Mark Melancon could be back by week’s end, and that’s where some things might happen, not just in terms of the roster, but in-game, as Bochy and the organization figures out who fits where best and who can do what in their present condition at any given moment.

Their record isn’t good, but at least the Giants have been interesting.