It’s a day that ends in a “Y,” which means the San Francisco Giants are legally obligated to make multiple roster moves. And today’s moves bring back two players who have spent the bulk of the year on the roster, just in time for the final four regular season games.
The Giants announced on Thursday that right-handed pitcher Johnny Cueto and outfielder/first baseman Darin Ruf had both been recalled from the 10-day Injured List.
To make room for Cueto and Ruf, left-handed pitcher Tony Watson was placed on the 10-day IL, retroactive to Wednesday, and left-handed pitcher José Quintana was designated for assignment.
ROSTER MOVES: IF/OF Darin Ruf and RHP Johnny Cueto reinstated from the 10-day Injured List.— SFGiants (@SFGiants) September 30, 2021
LHP Tony Watson placed on the 10-day Injured List (retroactive to September 29) with a left shoulder strain.
LHP José Quintana designated for assignment.
Ruf only missed a little bit of time, as he last played on Sept. 19. He’s having a stellar offensive season, hitting .268/.387/.512, and with Brandon Belt’s injury, is a lock to start at first base anytime a lefty is on the mound.
Cueto’s having a bit of a different season. Between his mediocre performance — he has both a 4.09 ERA and FIP — and the fact that he hasn’t played since Aug. 31, the Giants won’t lean on him much. In fact, they’ve already announced that he returns to the team in a relief role. Cueto has never pitched in an MLB game out of the bullpen.
That’s part of why Quintana was likely DFA’d. Quintana has been solid for the Giants, though used sparingly, and the team really doesn’t have a need for two long relievers. Add in the fact that they needed to clear a spot on the 40-man roster in the next few days, so that they can welcome right-handed pitcher Gregory Santos off of the suspended list, and the veteran lefty was the logical player to be cut. But it’s still a tough break for him.
Also a tough break for the Giants and for Watson that he got injured. After a poor start to the season with the Los Angeles Angels, Watson has been lights out with the Giants, sporting a 2.96 ERA and 2.63 FIP, with 19 strikeouts to 4 walks in 24.1 innings. The Giants are hopeful that Watson’s season isn’t over, but are pessimistic about his availability at the start of the playoffs.
Johnny Cueto will be used out of the bullpen. Tony Watson’s shoulder stain is “moderate” and likely to keep him out for the beginning of the postseason.— Maria I. Guardado (@mi_guardado) September 30, 2021