The San Francisco Giants made a few roster moves on Wednesday, shuffling players around a bit. I apologize for not writing about it until Thursday, but the Giants were also spending the day doing something far more important: joining the Los Angeles Dodgers in not playing their scheduled game, to protest the shooting by police of Jacob Blake — a Black man, in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
At roughly the halfway point of the season, the Giants parted ways with pitcher Dereck Rodríguez, designating the right-handed pitcher for assignment. They also called up outfielder Joey Rickard, and optioned Shaun Anderson to the Alternate Training Site in Sacramento.
ROSTER MOVES:— SFGiants (@SFGiants) August 26, 2020
• OF Joey Rickard selected to the Major League roster.
• RHP Shaun Anderson optioned to the Alternate Training Site.
• RHP Dereck Rodriguez designated for assignment.#SFGiants
Rodríguez has had an up-and-down Giants tenure. Originally drafted as an outfielder by the Minnesota Twins in 2011, Rodríguez made the transition to pitching in 2014, with mixed results. He signed a Minor League deal with the Giants in 2018, and made his MLB debut early in the season.
It was a very good rookie season for him. He started 19 games (and also had 2 relief appearances), and went 6-4 with a 2.81 ERA, a 3.73 FIP, and 89 strikeouts to 36 walks in 118.1 innings. But if you looked closer, you could see some reasons for concern beyond the sparkling ERA. Rodríguez’s BABIP was a mild-mannered and presumably unsustainable .257, and he struck out just 6.8 batters per nine innings.
So it wasn’t surprising that the new front office wasn’t very high on Rodríguez when they took over prior to the 2019 season, and the results validated that. He still appeared in 28 games — with 16 starts — but finished with a 5.64 ERA, a 5.69 FIP, and 71 strikeouts to 36 walks in 99 innings.
He made a brief appearance on the active roster this year, allowing 10 hits, 3 walks, and 6 earned runs in 4 innings, while striking out 2.
Anderson is a good bit younger and a much better prospect, so there are reasons to still think he’ll be a decent pitcher in the future, but he has struggled mightily in 2020, allowing 8 hits (including 3 home runs), 11 walks, and 6 earned runs in just 10.1 innings, while striking out 11. There’s only so long a leash can be when you’re walking more than a batter an inning, so back to Sacramento the right-hander goes.
And up comes Rickard, a right-handed corner outfielder whom the Giants signed as a Minor League free agent a year ago. Rickard got 54 plate appearances with the Giants last season and hit .280/.333/.380. The 29-year old has played in four MLB seasons and has been below-average offensively in all four by both OPS+ and wRC+. It seems a little odd that he’s getting the call over Jaylin Davis, but so it goes. You can always count on some roster churning with the Giants.