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Giants add Stephen Vogt to 40-man roster

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Farhan Zaidi’s security blanket / Swiss army knife player finally gets his shot with the Giants.

MLB: San Francisco Giants-Media Day Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

Logan Webb’s 80-game suspension for a positive PED test created an opening on the 40-man roster. The Giants used it this afternoon to select the contract of C/1B/OF and former Oakland Athletic Stephen Vogt. To clear room on the 25-man roster, Ty Blach was optioned back to Triple-A. This move presents a lot of interesting dilemmas and raises some questions.

Dilemmas

  • Adding another left-handed batter to the lineup doesn’t necessarily improve it. Oracle Park still eats left-handed batters for dinner.
  • The Giants now have three catchers on the roster, meaning they just got even slower on defense and the basepaths.
  • While it’s good that the Giants finally went with 13 batters and 12 pitchers, they’re now short a starter. If it’s Tyler Beede, who gets cut? The list of optionable players is slim: Steven Duggar, Joe Panik, Kevin Pillar, Dereck Rodriguez, and Reyes Moronta. Cutting Gerardo Parra might not be the best idea given that his defense is well above average and he works better as a bench bat anyway.

Questions

  • Did we just watch Ty Blach’s last game in a Giants uniform? The team will need to create another 40-man spot at some point, and teams DFA soft-tossing lefties who’ve had the exact same kind of outing as Blach did last night all the time.
  • What is Vogt’s ultimate role? Is he going to live at the back of the bench? When is he going to start in left field? Is he going to supplant Erik Kratz as the backup catcher? The team doesn’t have to make a decision on Kratz until at least tomorrow, if they’re planning on starting Tyler Beede in Cincinnati on Friday.
  • What is Vogt’s intended role? He hasn’t played a full season since 2017 (99 games) and hasn’t played more than 100 since 2016 — the second of back-to-back All-Star campaigns.

Vogt represents the first real Farhan Player to filter through the Giants roster, and while I won’t make any grand proclamations about what he brings to the table, it’s clear that the major league staff still saw some ability in the 34-year old former backup catcher.

He had an .889 OPS in 17 games at Triple-A Sacramento with four home runs in 58 at bats as well as 14 walks to 11 strikeouts. Plate patience and a little pop might be the main qualities driving this decision, and for his career he’s nearly a league average hitter (99 OPS+). The Giants could use a little league average right now, even if it’s in small doses.