Giants finalize 30-man Opening Day roster

July 23rd, 2020

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants released their 30-man Opening Day roster ahead of their season opener against the Dodgers on Thursday.

The group featured a few surprises, including left-hander Caleb Baragar, who was one of the final additions to the Giants’ 60-man player pool on July 8. Baragar will be one of three players to reach the Majors for the first time, joining Rule 5 Draft pick Dany Jimenez and outfielder Joe McCarthy.

Infielder Yolmer Sánchez (back tightness) and catcher Chadwick Tromp (hamstring tightness) were left off the roster due to recent injuries, and they will have to work their way back to full health before being considered for a spot on the team. As expected, San Francisco placed first baseman Brandon Belt (right Achilles tendinitis) and Evan Longoria (right oblique strain) on the injured list to start the season.

Right-hander Dereck Rodríguez and left-hander Andrew Suárez were sent to the Giants’ alternate training site in Sacramento.

San Francisco added six non-roster invitees to its 40-man roster on Thursday: Baragar, catchers Rob Brantly and Tyler Heineman, right-hander Rico Garcia and infielders Darin Ruf and Pablo Sandoval. Outfielder José Siri and infielder Kean Wong were designated for assignment to clear two spots on the 40-man roster.

Baragar didn’t arrive at Oracle Park until nearly a week into Summer Camp workouts, but he made a quick impression with strong outings during intrasquad games. Manager Gabe Kapler has said the 26-year-old’s delivery reminded the coaching staff of Andy Pettitte, as he rocks back before throwing from straight over the top.

"The ball explodes out of his hand," outfielder Mike Yastrzemski said earlier this month.

Baragar pitched across three Minor League levels in 2019, finishing the season at Triple-A Sacramento, where he tossed five scoreless innings to help the River Cats clinch the Triple-A National Championship in September. A ninth-round Draft pick of the Giants in '16, Baragar posted a 3.45 ERA over 120 innings at Double-A Richmond last year.

"It was a pretty easy decision to put him on our team," president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi said during a Zoom call with reporters on Thursday. "He’s a guy who improved over the course of last season. He was up in Sacramento at the end of the year for the playoffs and pitched great in the Triple-A championship game. A lot of people recognized that trajectory.”

Catchers (2): ,

Tromp was making a serious push for a spot on the Opening Day roster before experiencing tightness in his hamstring during Monday night’s exhibition game against the A’s. He stayed back in San Francisco to rehab, though the Giants are optimistic that he won’t be out for long.

“He probably had worked his way into a really good position to make the Opening Day roster, so I know that's disappointing for him,” Zaidi said. “But we're hopeful that it'll just be a few days.”

Top prospect Joey Bart wasn’t viewed as a candidate for the Opening Day roster despite an impressive showing throughout camp, but Zaidi said he “certainly wouldn’t rule out” seeing the 23-year-old in the Majors at some point this season.

Ruf, who spent the last three seasons playing in South Korea, will be back in the Majors for the first time since 2016. He is expected to draw plenty of at-bats against left-handed pitchers. With Belt and Longoria out, Flores and Sandoval could see quite a bit of time at the corner-infield spots during the opening series in Los Angeles.

With Billy Hamilton on the injured list for undisclosed medical purposes and Steven Duggar on the traveling taxi squad, the Giants won’t have a true center fielder on their roster, but they’ve expressed confidence that Dubón, Yastrzemski and Davis can handle the position. McCarthy is listed as an outfielder, but he has also been used at first base and could give San Francisco another left-handed-hitting option there while Belt works his way back from his foot injury.

Taxi squad (2): OF , LHP

The Giants can carry up to three players on their taxi squad (with one required to be a catcher), but they have only two listed at the moment. Zaidi said he expects to add a catcher soon to give the club more coverage behind the plate.

“We're certainly looking to add the catcher,” Zaidi said. “That's been a conversation that we've been having for some time, the need to have at least three catchers in Sacramento, as well as carrying two and potentially somebody who's going to be on the taxi squad with us. So yeah, that's very much on our list.”