'Tough situation': SF options dynamic Estrada

Sanchez designated for assignment in series of moves

August 8th, 2021

MILWAUKEE -- Gabe Kapler's Sunday morning began with two very difficult, but very necessary conversations as the Giants manager had to inform utility man Thairo Estrada that he'd been sent down to Triple-A Sacramento and right-hander Aaron Sanchez that he had been designated for assignment.

The Giants needed the roster spots when starting pitcher Kevin Gausman was reinstated from the paternity list and right-hander John Brebbia was recalled from Sacramento to provide a fresh arm to a bullpen that had carried the load in three consecutive extra-inning games, including all 11 innings of San Francisco's victory Saturday night in Milwaukee.

Estrada was batting .303/.376/.447 with three home runs, 13 RBIs and an .824 OPS in 31 games for the Giants, while Sanchez posted a 3.06 ERA in nine appearances, seven of which were starts, including the first two innings of Saturday's bullpen game against Milwaukee.

"It's not a move we wanted to make with either player," Kapler said. "Estrada has performed so well for us and helped us win so many games that he's earned the respect and the confidence of his teammates and his coaching staff so that was a tough situation.

"Sanchez has been a quality competitor for us, who's pitched meaningful innings and helped us win games. Sometimes, you have to make moves to protect your bullpen and your roster and that's why we did what we did today."

Brebbia has appeared in 14 games for the Giants this season, posting a 6.60 ERA with 16 strikeouts in 15 innings of work before he was optioned to Sacramento on July 29.

"The most important thing is he's an experienced Major League pitcher who has a track record of success," Kapler said of Brebbia. "He's healthy and he's available to help us win a game."

Kapler was hoping to stay away from some of his higher-leverage relievers Sunday, particularly closer Jake McGee who appeared in his third consecutive game Saturday when he came on to pitch the 11th.

In addition, Jarlin García, Dominic Leone and Taylor Rogers have also worked in three straight games and were expected to be off-limits on Sunday when right-hander Johnny Cueto went for the series victory.

"They've worked hard," Kapler said. "They've worked a lot of innings recently. … I think the off-day [Monday] will come at a good time for us."

Scoring change
Tommy La Stella's ninth-inning fly ball to right field Saturday night was changed to an error on Milwaukee outfielder Avisail García. The play, which allowed the Giants to score the game-tying run with two outs in the ninth, was originally ruled an error on García but later changed to a triple, with La Stella getting credit for the RBI.