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Joc Pederson activated, Heliot Ramos optioned; Haniger & Slater evaluated

The Giants are close to returning to full strength.

Los Angeles Dodgers v San Francisco Giants Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Thanks to Alex Pavlovic, I can write about everything that’s happened on the roster front this afternoon for the San Francisco Giants.

Let’s start with the Haniger and Slater news. Although the River Cats did have a game today in Sacramento, they play the rest of the week in Oklahoma City, so calling them back to the City for an eval probably means that these guys are ready to go and the Giants will want them to be fully rested and focused on playing in tomorrow night’s four-game series opener against the Cardinals. Jordan Montgomery is the scheduled starter in game one and, wouldn’t you know it, he’s a left-handed pitcher!

As much as some of the diehard fans guffaw at the idea that Austin Slater is any sort of equalizer against left-handed pitching, it’s true! He’s been one of the better hitters against lefties since 2020 — that’s not just on the Giants but compared to the rest of the league.

And Haniger? Well, the Giants think very highly of him. Zaidi’s offseason comments indicated that they were always going to pursue him, hoping to pair him with either Aaron Judge or Carlos Correa. Instead, it’ll be with Michael Conforto, which I admit doesn’t have as much luster, but a potential lineup against lefties of:

2B Estrada
1B Flores
RF Haniger
DH Davis
LF Conforto
CF Slater
3B Villar
C Bart
SS Crawford

looks... good? At least, it looks pretty solid to me.

Haniger is also in the same zone as J.D. Davis: he doesn’t have a platoon split. He has a .795 OPS against righties and an .853 OPS against lefties. One less roster spot to platoon is a good thing, I think.

Heliot Ramos’s demotion comes as no surprise or insult to the player but it should also come with this caveat: he looks like he’s getting a little tiny bit better. That’s a far cry from what we’ve seen of him the past season or so. He returns to Triple-A having played in 9 games for the Giants, equaling his total from last year. Quick comparison of those lines:

2022 — 9 G, 22 PA, 2-for-20, 4 R, 2 BB, 6 K | .100/.182/.282 -18 OPS+
2023 — 9 G, 27 PA, 5-for-26, 1 R, 1 BB, 8 K | .192/.222/.269 33 OPS+

Not good. Well below average. Closer to bad. But two extra base hits in there! Earlier in the week, I gave him an honorable mention in my Statcast roundup, as he’d have some of the harder hit balls in the previous week. Hopefully, he can take some of the positive work back to Triple-A with him and build off that.