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Why Bart stayed in minors despite Giants' catcher shuffle

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Giants' Joey Bart

Manager Gabe Kapler announced a couple of roster moves on Tuesday afternoon, but luckily for the Giants, none involved their starting third baseman.

A day after coming out of a win, Evan Longoria had an MRI that revealed a mild intercostal strain. Longoria is out of Tuesday's lineup against the Los Angeles Angels, but could be an option as soon as Thursday, or shortly thereafter, Kapler said.

As he sits on the bench for the second game against the Angels, Longoria will have a couple of new teammates. 

The Giants placed catcher Curt Casali on the 10 day IL with a left wrist strain and optioned right-hander Nick Tropeano to Triple-A, with right-hander Dominic Leone and catcher Chadwick Tromp added to the roster.

As was expected before the season, it was Tromp, not top catching prospect Joey Bart, who got the call when the Giants suffered the first short-term injury to a catcher. Bart is hitting .378 with a 1.095 OPS in Triple-A, but he has just 45 at-bats because he missed a week with a groin strain. Kapler said "Joey's development is really important and we're just going to allow that to continue."

"I think there's one important way to look at this and it's really looking at the upcoming schedule," Kapler said. "We have some off days mixed in and Buster (Posey) is going to get the lion's share of the work, as you might imagine, so this is potentially two games started (for the call-up) in this long stretch of games where we have these off days and Buster is lined up to start most of them.


"I think Tromp is a good option for us to take down those starts. Joey is, as well, but in this particular case we made the decision that for right now, in the short term, Joey's best path for development is right where he is."

Casali is hitting just .104 with no homers through 26 appearances as Posey's backup, but Kapler said he thinks the wrist pain has had an impact. 

"We know there's a better brand of offensive performance in there for Curt," Kapler said. "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."

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Leone for Tropeano is a swap of veterans in the bullpen, and the newcomer has had a nice start to his year. In nine innings for the River Cats, Leone -- a 29-year-old with plenty of big league experience -- allowed one run and struck out 16.

The swap of relievers included an interesting side note. To clear a roster spot for Leone, the Giants put righty Sam Delaplane on the 60-day IL a day after acquiring him. Delaplane is an intriguing talent but recovering from Tommy John surgery. The Giants were willing to pay him the MLB minimum to rehab the rest of this year, while the Seattle Mariners were not.

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