Yesterday, the Giants optioned Conner Menez to Triple-A and today we learned that it would be Aramis Garcia to get the call and replace him on the roster. Garcia will be the starting first baseman tonight against the A’s Brett Anderson.
In the meantime, just last week Brady wrote up the Giants’ claim of A’s reliever Ryan Dull. Along with Menez’s option yesterday, the Giants DFA’d Dull and claimed Brewers reliever Burch Smith. Smith has a 5.54 ERA in 127 major league innings. This year with Milwaukee, it was 7.82 in 12.1 innings (6.69 FIP), walking 10 and allowing 16 hits. He started four games with the Royals last season and opened two more of them in 38 appearances across 78 innings. He walked 40 and allowed 90 hits in 2018.
He has not been good.
But what the Giants might see in the 29-year old reliever is a 9.7 K/9, or 137 strikeouts in those 127 innings. It’s easier than ever to strike out major league batters, but the ability to strikeout major league hitters is not something every pitcher possesses. Shaun Anderson’s 6.0 K/9 this season compared to his 8.2 K/9 in the minors is but one example of this phenomenon.
The strikeout stuff comes from a combination of a four-seam fastball in the 92-95 mph range that he uses to setup either a 12-to-6 curveball...
But his fastball isn’t terrible, either:
The Giants’ Director of Pro Scouting, Zack Minasian, probably had something to do with this specific add and choice to go for Burch at the expense of Dull, as Minasian came over from the Brewers’ organization and might’ve already done some preliminary scouting on him (the Brewers signed Burch in January) before coming over to the Giants (Minasian began in December).
I’m doing all this transaction analysis when it seems pretty clear that the Giants will jettison Smith if something better comes along. That’s the way it is now. The Giants’ methods should now be clear: claim clear improvements to the organizational depth and if the player can’t be used immediately, DFA him and try to sneak him through waivers.
Which brings us back to Aramis Garcia. His presence at Oracle wasn’t the only mild surprise of the afternoon:
Abiatal Avelino is here on the taxi squad in case Pablo Sandoval needs to go on the IL. Sandoval has been dealing with right elbow inflammation and will be evaluated after BP.— Maria I. Guardado (@mi_guardado) August 13, 2019
Meanwhile, Logan Webb is under consideration to receive a call-up this weekend in Arizona after making just one start for Triple-A.