The next player on our San Francisco Giants season reviews is left-handed reliever Conner Menez.
8 games, 14 innings, 3.86 ERA, 3.53 FIP, 1.357 WHIP, 15 strikeouts, 3 walks, -0.3 rWAR, +0.2 fWAR
Back in November I wrote out a schedule so that McCovey Chronicles could review all 54 players who played for the Giants in 2021. The schedule was set to take place over the course of 83 days.
It’s fitting, then, that the date for the review of Conner Menez — who had been in the Giants organization for five and a half years — happened to fall two days after the Giants lost Menez in the Minor League Rule 5 Draft.
Still, we must review his season, all 14 innings of it. Menez was good enough in those 14 innings, allowing 16 hits, 3 walks, 2 home runs, and 6 earned runs, while striking out 15. He didn’t get much of an opportunity, but looking at those numbers you might wonder why the Giants not only designated him for assignment, but then didn’t even protect him from the MiLB Rule 5 Draft by adding him to the 38-player roster in AAA.
It likely came down to three things.
First, while Menez’s performance was decent in the Majors this year, it’s struggled elsewhere. In his two prior seasons at the MLB level he had a 5.75 FIP with 17 walks in 28.1 innings. And while his stats in San Francisco were fine in 2021, his stats in 42.2 AAA Sacramento innings told a different story: 6.75 ERA, 6.21 FIP, 45 strikeouts, and 29 walks.
The control just wasn’t quite there.
Second, the Giants bullpen was excellent in 2021, and is not exactly hurting for more left-handed arms going into 2022. Jake McGee, Jarlin García, José Álvarez, and Sammy Long were all clearly ahead of Menez on the depth chart, and Caleb Baragar likely was, as well.
And third, Menez was out of options. For a team that likes to use players as human puzzle pieces as much as possible — again, we’re doing 54 player reviews this year — a fringe roster player with no options is simply not going to stick around.
Menez was a fun prospect, and appearing in the Majors for three seasons (plus whatever comes next for him!) is an impressive feat for a 14th-round pick. He certainly has skills, but they never quite manifested into what the Giants were hoping for.
Role in 2022
Playing for the Chicago Cubs organization. Hopefully he can make the Majors there some day, too.
How do you grade Conner Menez’s season?
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