As is their custom, the San Francisco Giants made a series of moves on Friday, and they’re pretty exciting moves, too. The team announced that outfielder LaMonte Wade Jr., who has been on the Injured List all season, has been activated, and that right-handed pitcher Sean Hjelle has been called up.
To make room on the active roster, left-handed pitcher Sammy Long and right-handed pitcher Mauricio Llovera were optioned to AAA Sacramento.
Giants have activated LaMonte Wade Jr. and called up Sean Hjelle. Sam Long and Mauricio Llovera head to Triple-A.— Alex Pavlovic (@PavlovicNBCS) May 6, 2022
The return of Wade is huge. He had a breakout season in 2021, his first with the Giants, hitting .253/.326/.482, good for a 117 wRC+. That, combined with the best clutch hitting stats in the Majors, earned him the “Late Night LaMonte” moniker, and a down-ballot MVP vote. He’s been excellent in his rehab assignment, hitting 5-21 with one home run, two doubles, and, perhaps most crucially, seven walks to no strikeouts.
Another left-handed bat will be huge for the Giants, who only recently welcomed back Mike Yastrzemski, are currently without Brandon Belt, and haven’t had Tommy La Stella yet this season.
As for Hjelle, it’s the first big league call up for the 6’11” pitcher who was taken in the second round of the 2018 draft. He’s had an odd year for Sacramento, allowing just a single home run and five walks in 22.2 innings ... but striking out just 14 batters. On the year he has a 4.37 ERA, a 4.15 FIP, and a 1.412 WHIP. He was added to the 40-man roster in November as a protection for the Rule 5 Draft, which ended up being cancelled due to the lockout.
Assuming Hjelle pitches before being optioned, he’ll become the fourth Giant to make his MLB debut this year, joining Heliot Ramos, Jason Krizan, and Yunior Marté.