Giants

Giants have much more roster flexibility after trade deadline dealing

Giants

SAN FRANCISCO -- An hour after Wednesday's trade deadline, Giants manager Bruce Bochy played it coy while talking about the team's immediate rotation and bullpen plans. 

"You'll see what we're doing in a few minutes here," Bochy said. 

The Giants would soon announce that Dereck Rodriguez, Andrew Suarez and Jandel Gustave had been called up, with all three available out of the bullpen that night and Rodriguez set to start Thursday -- which he did. But you can bet more moves are coming. 

Farhan Zaidi and the Dodgers took advantage of roster flexibility and he has sought to do the same thing in San Francisco. That was difficult with the veteran-heavy roster he inherited, but the in-season moves -- including Wednesday's trades -- have given the Giants a lot more options. Literally. 

They have replaced players who could not be sent to Triple-A with players who can be optioned, and that certainly will be one of the stories of the second half. 

The rotation now includes Shaun Anderson, Tyler Beede and Rodriguez, who all can be sent to Triple-A if the Giants need a different configuration or have excess off days. Of Thursday's bullpen, Suarez, Gustave, Sam Selman and Sam Coonrod can be sent back and forth. (Reyes Moronta technically has options remaining, too, but he's Bochy's current set-up man and isn't going anywhere.)

Outfielder Austin Slater can be optioned, along with Mike Yastrzemski, who nearly was sent down last month when the Giants had a temporary roster crunch. Say the Giants want to get Steven Duggar back today after Kevin Pillar crashed into a wall Thursday; it's easily done. Infielders Zach Green and Donovan Solano also can be optioned. 

 

This is a far cry from the roster Zaidi inherited. The three big league relievers he sent out Wednesday -- Sam Dyson, Mark Melancon and Drew Pomeranz -- could not be sent to the minors without their consent, along with others (like Mac Williamson, Nick Vincent and Yangervis Solarte) the Giants have parted ways with during the season. 

If the Giants burn through their pitching staff Friday in Denver, they can bring in fresh arms for the weekend. Perhaps at some point in August they'll adjust the outfield or infield mix without losing inventory, or give some rookie starters a rest.

This isn't always easy on the players, and Rodriguez has expressed frustration a couple of times. They like to stay up and get into a rhythm, but there's a benefit for certain guys, too. Your average call-up will make about six or seven times more salary per day when he's up in the big leagues, and in previous years this roster didn't allow Triple-A players as many quick stints. Those who take advantage -- Coonrod is a recent example -- get a lot more time with the big league club. 

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A big part of Bochy's job down the stretch will be communicating with young players who are sent back and forth. But the team should be better off with so many new moving parts, especially with some hot and humid road trips coming up in August and early September. 

"Depending on the needs and how much we're using this pitching, it does give you a lot more flexibility when you have guys with options," Bochy said. "You can look after (pitchers) too, to be honest, and not overuse them. I think it will help keep everybody fresh."