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These infielders at some point wore a Giants jersey

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More like (In)Field of Harsh Reality, amirite?

Colorado Rockies v San Francisco Giants Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Yangervis Solarte

.205/.247/.315, 1 HR, 7 RBI, 49 OPS+, -0.2 rWAR

This is your periodic reminder that Bryan Murphy, managing editor of McCovey Chronicles and my son

Where are our milkshakes?!

… believed that Yangervis Solarte would be the best get of the Giants offseason.

Boy, was he ever wrong! Solarte lasted only 78 plate appearances before becoming one of the churn’s first victims.

Role on the 2019 team

Team MVP, obvs.

Joking aside, Solarte was emblematic of Farhan Zaidi’s initial approach as the newly crowned PBO: collecting veterans who had shown some upside in the not-so-recent past.

“Not-so-recent” for Solarte equals 2016, the last time he posted an OPS+ over 100. He wasn’t going to blow up the leaderboards, but then again, he didn’t need to. A utility infielder who could hover around league average at the plate is a valuable commodity, whether on the bench or the trade block.

He could not manage that. He could not manage below average. He could not even manage to beat out the 2018 version of Kelby Tomlinson.

Solarte was bad. Really bad. Following his release, he signed a minor league deal with the Miami Marlins. He was released 23 days later. Then, he went overseas and signed with the Hanshin Tigers of the NPB. He was released in September, under circumstances I don’t quite understand.

It’s very strange.

Role on the 2020 team

None, other than being that one player who will flummox you when you’re wasting time at work playing another Giants-themed Sporcle quiz.

Grade

Solarte was a nice idea that didn’t work out. But if you think of him as a proof of concept for Donovan Solano, then he looks a little better. For that reason, he gets one Zaidi out of four.

Zach Green

.143/.250/.214, 0 HR, 1 RBI, 27 OPS+, -0.1 rWAR

Going into this season, I had no idea who Zach Green was. But seemingly overnight, all everyone could talk about was Zach Green. “Zach Green this!” they said. “Zach Green that! Zach Green is good! Start Zach Green, you cowards!”

Months later, the rabble was finally rewarded. After Evan Longoria suffered a foot injury, Zach Green was called up, and he was going to shine.

Role on the 2019 team

He did not shine.

To Bruce Bochy’s credit, he resisted his veteran fetish just long enough to start Zach Green the same day he was called up from AAA. And to Zach Green’s credit, he impressed on his first day of work, knocking a single up the middle for his first career hit, then following up with an RBI double to left field.

It was his first major league RBI. It was his only RBI.

Of course, up-and-coming prospect Pablo Sandoval had to get in his starts, so Zach Green’s opportunities were going to be limited. His role, if any, was to give the front office a closer look at how he handled himself against major league pitching.

He didn’t exactly acquit himself, but neither did he look overwhelmed. He just looked like a guy who went 2-16. Lots of players have stretches like that. It’s not anything to worry about. And for what it’s worth, Zach Green hit the ball hard, with a hard hit rate of 62.5 percent.

What is worrisome is that 75 percent groundball rate. He might hit with power, but that won’t matter if he’s hitting pitches straight into the dirt.

Role on the 2020 team

Zach Green’s minor league numbers basically ensure he’ll show up again in 2020. If he learns to elevate with his swing, he stands to become a productive member of the Giants. The question, of course, is how productive. Can he play himself into a starting role, or will he ride the bench as a less charming version of Sandoval? Only time will tell.

Grade

Sometimes, the Zach isn’t always Green-er on the other side. But even if he didn’t impress in his limited time, there’s still reason to hope he will in the future.

Abiatal Avelino

.286/.375/.286, 0 HR, 1 RBI, 82 OPS+, 0 rWAR

The centerpiece of the Andrew McCutchen trade, Abiatal Avelino has the makings of a perfectly useful utility infielder. He can hit for average, he can run (17 stolen bases in 22 attempts at AAA), and he can play multiple positions competently enough. He even tried his hand at centerfield for one game in Sacramento. If Ehire Andrianza is his ceiling, then Avelino has a chance to contribute on a major league roster.

Role on the 2019 team

Unfortunately, the front office doesn’t seem to share my confidence. Despite cycling through 1 million infielders, Avelino only snagged eight plate appearances for himself. Eight. For those keeping track, that’s half of what Zach Green got. Maybe being Zach is Green-er…

Anyway, at least Avelino didn’t embarrass himself at the plate. He hit two singles and recorded a walk. He also struck out three times, which is technically almost half of his at-bats, but who’s counting? Well, me, I guess.

But, alas, he did embarrass himself on the basepaths.

The Giants would go on to lose the game. Avelino was optioned to Sacramento the next day, never to be heard from again.

Role on the 2020 team

Avelino’s long-term prospects remain TBD, but Zaidi doesn’t seem all that impressed with Bobby Evan’s last-minute trade acquisition. If Avelino can’t manage to get double-digit plate appearances in a season that saw 64 players show up on the major league roster, it doesn’t bode well for him going forward.

Grade

Is one baserunning mishap enough to doom a player’s chances with a team? Maybe, maybe not. But whatever the case, it’s very much looking like he’s dead, Jim.

Cristhian Adames, Scooter Gennett, Corban Joseph

Adames: .318/.375/.364, 0 HR, 2 RBI, 100 OPS+, 0.1 rWAR

Gennett: .234/.254/.391, 2 HR, 6 RBI, 69 OPS+, 0.1 rWAR

Joseph: .063/.118/.063, 0 HR, 2 RBI, -49 OPS+, -0.2 rWAR

Do you remember any of these players? I don’t, and the season ended less than a month ago. But one thing can be said about all of them: They sure were infielders who played for the Giants.

Role on the 2019 team

Their collective role on the 2019 team was to see if they would play on the 2020 team.

Scooter Gennett was the first to show up, acquired at the trade deadline from the Cincinnati Reds for the notorious player to be named later.

Nothing says you’re expendable quite like a team throwing its hands up in the air and being like, “Ah, we’ll figure out who we get later.” Still, it was a bit of a shock that Gennett—who had put up 4.2 rWAR just last season, on his way to his first All-Star selection—was getting the PTBNL treatment.

But take one look at his numbers, and you’ll see why: In just 21 games, Gennett managed to put up (down?) -0.9 rWAR with an OPS+ of…28. That’s the kind of failing grade that’ll ensure you end up on academic probation.

But it’s easy to see why the Giants picked him up. A player one year removed from a 4+ WAR season couldn’t be that bad. And they were right! In the black-and-orange, Gennett recorded an OPS+ of…69. Nice?

He was released 21 games and 21 strikeouts later.

Corban Joseph was the next to arrive, selected off waivers on September 3 from the Oakland Athletics. In 17 plate appearances, he put down -0.2 rWAR and a negative OPS+, which I’ve never seen before. The Pittsburgh Pirates claimed him off waivers two weeks later.

Cristhian Adames was the last to show up, called up from AAA on September 14. He had put up good numbers in Sacramento, where he helped the team win its first PCL Championship since 2008. Sure, he didn’t blow anyone away with his 24 plate appearances in San Francisco, but with an OPS+ of exactly 100, he did what no one else on this list could do—be perfectly average.

Role on the 2020 team

Gennett and Joseph are gone, there’s no doubt about that. That leaves Adames. Did he play well enough to earn himself another shot on the major league roster next year? Probably not. But he also didn’t not earn himself a shot, which is saying something.

Grade

There’s a saying I like to quote: “You got to spend money to make money.” Zaidi’s churn was that concept applied to a team, and in the case of Adames, Gennett, and Joseph, it just didn’t work.