Miguel Gomez

Giants cut Kelby Tomlinson, four more from 40-man roster before MLB offseason

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USATSI

Giants cut Kelby Tomlinson, four more from 40-man roster before MLB offseason

SAN FRANCISCO -- With five players set to come off the 60-day DL, the Giants on Monday parted ways with some familiar names. Five players were outrighted off the 40-man roster, clearing the way for the Giants to add Buster Posey, Pablo Sandoval, Johnny Cueto, Jeff Samardzija and Julian Fernandez back to the 40-man roster, as they had to before the start of the offseason. 

Infielder Chase d'Arnaud and right-hander Casey Kelly were outrighted and elected to become free agents. Infielders Kelby Tomlinson and Miguel Gomez became minor-league free agents. Tyler Herb was outrighted to Triple-A and remains with the organization. 

Tomlinson saw the most time of the group, playing 273 games for the Giants over the past four seasons. But he hit .207 in 2018 and was passed on the depth chart by Alen Hanson and Abiatal Avelino. 

Kelly and d'Arnaud contributed in the second half, but neither would have been in the Opening Day plans next season. D'Arnaud was eligible for arbitration and the Giants did not plan to bring him back at a higher price. Gomez was once viewed as a promising switch-hitting prospect, but his bat has not developed as hoped and the Giants do not believe he has a defensive position. 

The Giants will have to make further 40-man cuts over the next six weeks as they protect players from the Rule 5 draft and potentially add free agents. 

Giants review: Mac Williamson's concussion cut short potential breakout

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Giants review: Mac Williamson's concussion cut short potential breakout

SAN FRANCISCO — There was an odd thing about all the major injuries the 2018 Giants suffered. Most organizations watch pitcher after pitcher go down, and the Giants certainly took some blows there. But for the most part, the biggest hits came to the lineup. 

The result was a September lineup card that included just about every position player on the 40-man roster.

This morning, we looked at the pitchers who are on the 40-man roster but didn't join the team — for various reasons — in September. When you do the same with position players, you’re left with just two: Miguel Gomez and Mac Williamson. Gomez didn’t do enough on the field to warrant a promotion. Williamson likely would have been the Giants' starting left fielder the whole second half, but he was shut down with a concussion. 

Here’s a breakdown of two Giants prospects with uncertain futures.

What went right

Gomez, 25, was once viewed as a Baby Panda. He’s an aggressive switch-hitter with serious bat-to-ball skills, and at the very least it looked like he would carve out a role as a nice pinch-hit option for Bruce Bochy. We’ll get to the issues in a moment. The good news here is that he posted a .313/.333/.479 slash line in Double-A, and even though his overall numbers in Triple-A were poor, he did manage to bat .273. 

Williamson looked like a breakout star all spring after overhauling his swing in the offseason. The work with Doug Latta nearly put him on the roster on Opening Day, and after posting a 1.626 OPS (yes, that’s correct) in his first 11 Triple-A games, he forced his way up. Williamson homered in three of six big league games before getting hurt.

The Giants had 13 balls hit with an exit velocity of 110 mph or above, and Williamson had three of them in limited time. He had the hardest-hit (114.2 mph) homer of the year by a Giant. There is power here that is just about unmatched in the organization.  

What went wrong

The Giants believe Gomez is a man without a position, and he doesn’t hit enough to make that work. He had six homers and drew just nine walks in 423 at-bats across two minor league levels. In the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League, he posted a .648 OPS.

For Williamson, the main thing that went wrong in 2018 involved a two-decades-old decision to put the bullpen mounds along the left field line at AT&T Park. He went down hard on April 24 and suffered a concussion, and the hot streak was over when he returned.

Williamson had a .571 OPS and just one homer in 23 games, and after similar issues in the minors, he was shut down and sent for further evaluation. The concussion symptoms had been there all along, and Williamson didn’t play after Aug. 7. 

Contract status 

Neither player is arbitration eligible. Gomez has one option remaining. Williamson is out of options. 

The future

The emergence of Alen Hanson and Abiatal Avelino could end Gomez’s time on the 40-man roster. The Giants feel pretty comfortable with their depth at second base.

The Williamson decision is fascinating. Before he tumbled over a bullpen mound, he looked poised to break out and possibly grab the left field job for good. It’s possible the Giants will look at Williamson, Austin Slater and Chris Shaw, and decide that one way or another, they’ll go young in left field next season. In that case, a healthy Williamson could start the season in the lineup. It’s also possible that the front office will be scared off by his concussion and acquire a player who again blocks the path to playing time.

Williamson waited a long time for his shot at an everyday job. The hope is that one injury didn’t take that away from him. 

Giants activate Melancon vs former team, rookie infielder placed on DL

Giants activate Melancon vs former team, rookie infielder placed on DL

WASHINTON D.C. -- The Giants believe they have the pieces to have a good bullpen next year. On Saturday, one of those relievers returned.

Mark Melancon was activated after spending about six weeks on the disabled list with a right pronator injury. To clear a roster spot, the Giants put Miguel Gomez on the disabled list with right knee inflammation that's been bothering him this week. 

Melancon won't be the closer right away. That job currently belongs to Sam Dyson, who has a 2.22 ERA with the Giants, but over time the Giants see Dyson in the eighth (with Will Smith) and Melancon in the ninth. Melancon said the Giants "got a diamond in the rough" when they scooped Dyson off waivers. He hopes to get back to being his old self, as well.

"I would like to get back to what I've done the past three years," Melancon said. "Get back to a routine and get back to being capable of doing what I've been doing.

"It hasn't been easy (being on the DL). "It hasn't been fun. I'm excited to get out there and get going."

Melancon will join a group that's been red-hot. The bullpen enters play Saturday with a streak of 18 2/3 innings without an earned run.

--- The Giants will need a spot starter next week since Chris Stratton got pushed back to Sunday. Matt Cain and Albert Suarez are the candidates, so now it's up to bullpen usage the next two days. Stratton will go Game 1 on Sunday, Matt Moore pitches Game 2. Both games will be on NBC Sports Bay Area.