Happy Thursday, San Francisco Giants fans.
Wednesday was a very fun day. A very, very, very fun day indeed. It was fun primarily because it featured the debut of Luis Matos, the most exciting Giant to debut since ... I really don’t know. It’s a subjective thing. Your mileage will vary. You could go all the way back to Buster Posey and it would be highly defensible.
Matos became the eighth Giant to make his MLB debut this season. Blake Sabol and Brett Wisely did it on opening night. Tristan Beck followed on April 20. May brought a slew of youngsters, with Casey Schmitt on the 9th, Patrick Bailey on the 19th, and Ryan Walker on the 21st. Keaton Winn had only about 12 hours as the newest Major Leaguer before Matos took his spot.
If you want to point to the biggest difference between this year and last, it’s not so much the debuting youngsters as it is how entrenched they are in the team. Last year they had a whole bunch of debuts, too ... and a whole lot of DFA’ing players a few days after they made their debuts.
This year is different. All eight players who have debuted remain on the 40-man roster. Five of the eight are on the active roster, playing large, critical roles, and look like they’ll play large, critical roles for the rest of the season, and be players you write on the 2024 roster in pen. At least two of the other three — and I’d argue all three — are players the Giants value highly and will probably lean on quite a bit this season.
That’s a full 20% of the 40-man roster dedicated to players who have debuted this year. It’s really cool.
Now ... who’s next?
The Giants have three players on the 40-man roster who have not yet debuted: right-handers José Cruz and Randy Rodríguez, and shortstop Marco Luciano. All three are in AA Richmond.
We could see any — or all — of those three this year, but none of them are particularly close to knocking on the door just yet, though Luciano is scorching hot.
There’s the chance of a Walker-esque player — someone who pitches so well in AAA Sacramento that the Giants say to heck with it, and add them to the roster. Lefty Chris Wright would seem to be the leading candidate right now, but these things can change quickly, and I’m sure lefty Nick Swiney and righties Nick Avila and R.J. Dabovich (when he returns from injury) will try and make things change quickly.
There’s even the chance of that coming from a position player. Middle infielder Tyler Fitzgerald has been playing quite well in AAA, and fellow middle infielder Will Wilson is swinging a red-hot bat. They might only be an injury away from receiving a call...
And, of course, there’s the one prospect who seemed most likely to make their debut this year, and who almost surely will at some point: lefty Kyle Harrison.
So who’s next? Who’s No. 9?
What time do the Giants play today?
The Giants have a day off as they rest and prepare to Beat LA on Friday.