To replace Casali on the roster, the Giants recalled Chadwick Tromp, not Bart, who recently missed one week with a groin injury but returned to the River Cats’ lineup over the weekend.
Why did Tromp get the nod over the 24-year-old Bart?
Manager Gabe Kapler said the Giants aren’t expecting Casali to miss more than the requisite 10 days, so the club felt it was in Bart’s best interest to remain in Sacramento and continue to draw regular playing time behind the plate.
“I think there's one important way to look at this, and it's really kind of looking at the upcoming schedule,” Kapler said. “We have some off-days mixed in [on Wednesday and Monday]. Buster [Posey] is going to get the lion's share of the work, as you might imagine. This is potentially two games started in this long stretch of games where we have these off-days, and Buster is lined up to start most of them.”
Bart, who is ranked the club’s No. 2 prospect by MLB Pipeline, debuted with the Giants last year, but he struggled in his first extended look in the Majors, batting .233 with a .609 OPS and no home runs over 33 games. The Giants retained Tromp and added Casali over the offseason to build enough catching depth to avoid having to rush Bart back to the Majors in the event of an injury.
Bart is batting .378 with a 1.095 OPS and three home runs over 13 games with Sacramento this year, but he’s accrued only 45 at-bats thus far and will need a greater volume of reps to continue to advance his development in the Minors. Tromp, 26, is batting .218 with a .699 OPS and two home runs over 17 games with the River Cats.
“I just think Chadwick is prepared to help us in the short term,” Kapler said. “I don’t necessarily think it was a strict comparison. In some ways, I think Joey’s development is really important, and we’re just going to allow that to continue.”
Casali underwent offseason surgery to remove the hamate bone in his left hand, but he’s continued to feel discomfort in his wrist, which Kapler said has likely been holding the 32-year-old veteran back offensively. Casali hit .224 with an .866 OPS and six home runs over 31 games with the Reds in 2020, but he’s batting a measly .104 with a .369 OPS over his first 26 games with the Giants.
“I think it's had an impact,” Kapler said. “I don't think he's been at his best, and I think we've seen a good offensive performer in Casali the last couple years, in particular last year, and then we saw it again in Spring Training. We know that there's a better brand of offensive performance in there for Curt. We want to help him bring that out, and we feel like a fully healthy left wrist is going to help bring out that best performance.”
The Giants on Tuesday sent infielder Connor Cannon to the Yankees to complete the Mike Tauchman trade. San Francisco originally acquired Tauchman on April 27 in exchange for left-hander Wandy Peralta and a player to be named later.
Cannon, 23, was a 17th-round Draft pick of the Giants in 2019 out of UC Riverside. He batted .324 with a 1.063 OPS and 13 homers over 37 games between Rookie-level ball and Class A Salem-Keizer in 2019.