DENVER -- After their starters got destroyed in Cincinnati, placing a heavy load on the bullpen, it was clear the Giants had to add some depth to the pitching staff. But they're shaking up the lineup and bench, too.
Outfielder Mac Williamson and infielder Donovan Solano had their contracts purchased Tuesday, and left-hander Williams Jerez was called up. The club parted ways with free-agent additions Yangervis Solarte and Pat Venditte and optioned Mike Gerber back to Triple-A after he went 1-for-15 in four games in Cincinnati.
Gerardo Parra, DFA'd last Friday, also elected to become a free agent on Tuesday, meaning the Giants have already cut bait with a significant portion of what was a modest offseason free-agent class.
Venditte, a switch pitcher, was the first player who signed a big league deal under Farhan Zaidi. Utility man Solarte and outfielder Parra made the team after signing minor league deals in spring training.
Williamson's addition is the big story, as the 28-year-old is getting what almost certainly will be his final chance to stick with the organization that drafted him in the third round seven years ago. A concussion ruined Williamson's push for an everyday job last year and he was designated for assignment at the end of spring training this season, but he went to Triple-A and hit .378 with nine homers -- including three on Monday -- and an OPS over 1.200.
The Giants planned to give Williamson a bit more time in Triple-A, but he forced the issue with his play, and he now will get a chance to find his big league groove in the best hitters' park in the majors.
Solano, a 31-year-old with more than 1,000 big league plate appearances, primarily plays second base but can move all over the infield. He had a .829 OPS in Triple-A at the time of his promotion and takes over the backup infield spot vacated by Solarte.
Solarte signed a minor league deal in February and the Giants felt they got a steal, adding a switch-hitter with decent pop to their bench. But he hit just .205 with one homer in 28 games and an OPS+ (53) that made him nearly 50 percent worse than the league average.
Jerez was needed after the bullpen got overworked in Cincinnati. Ironically, he was called up a few hours after the Angels cut Chris Stratton.
Jerez was acquired when the Giants dealt Stratton at the end of the spring.