Ray Black

How five pitchers Giants moved before MLB trade deadline are doing

How five pitchers Giants moved before MLB trade deadline are doing

By now most Giants fans have gotten used to the roster churn, but the numbers can still be surprising at times.

For instance, of the 25 Giants to suit up Tuesday night, five had never played a big league game for the organization before this year's trade deadline. That was less than a month ago. 

There are a lot of new faces around and more will be here after September call-ups are announced.

But what happened to the familiar names? Here's a check-in on the guys who were traded before the July 31 deadline.


Ray Black reveals how trade from Giants to Brewers led to brutal travel

Ray Black reveals how trade from Giants to Brewers led to brutal travel

SAN FRANCISCO -- As Andrew Suarez headed for Philadelphia late last month, he exchanged texts with River Cats teammate Ray Black, who was in Richmond, Virginia. Black was headed to his old Double-A ballpark for what he thought would be a one-game stop before a potential post-deadline call-up. 

Instead, Black soon found himself in a different organization, and in the middle of a hellacious travel stretch. 

The Giants' Triple-A affiliate was on the road in San Antonio for the trade deadline and team officials put four pitchers on the taxi squad to be prepared, knowing they would subtract from the big league bullpen. Black and left-hander Sam Selman left San Antonio a day before Suarez and Jandel Gustave, with the first two players going to Richmond to wait it out. 

But Black ended up being thrown into a deal with Drew Pomeranz, and while Pomeranz joined Milwaukee's bullpen right away, Black was sent back to Triple-A. The Brewers' affiliate is based in -- you guessed it -- San Antonio. Black was sent right back where he had just been, this time by the Brewers. 

"I was racking up the frequent flyer miles that week," Black told reporters in Milwaukee after he got called up Wednesday. "I wasn't expecting a trade. A lot of the talk around the deadline had been around some of our more veteran leaders going."

Black has been through it all in the minors and actually nearly retired a couple years ago. He had a good sense of humor about everything as he told the story to Brewers reporters, as Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel captured: 

[RELATED: Recapping Giants' additions, subtractions at trade deadline]

The trip was a bit easier for the other three taxi squad pitchers. Suarez and Gustave ended up getting to the ballpark in the fourth inning on deadline day and are still with the big club. Selman was activated, too, but he's back in Sacramento.

That brings us to the real hero of this story, by the way. Black's wife, Parras, had been traveling with him and recently documented on her Instagram page how she went all the way back to Sacramento to pack up their apartment. It all worked out for the two. Ray pitched a perfect inning Wednesday in his Brewers debut. 

MLB trade deadline: Recapping Giants' additions, subtractions on wild day

MLB trade deadline: Recapping Giants' additions, subtractions on wild day

PHILADELPHIA -- The frantic final hour before Wednesday's deadline led to some odd visuals around Citizens Bank Park. 

Sam Dyson, not knowing he was about to be traded, played catch with his fellow relievers a few minutes before 4 p.m. and at one point helped the Phillies grounds crew corral a tarp that was threatening to fly away in the wind. Joe Panik gave Will Smith a hug when it became clear Smith was staying, only to find out a few minutes later that left-handed-hitting second baseman Scooter Gennett had been acquired, potentially ending Panik's time here.

As the dust settled, Madison Bumgarner, Smith and Tony Watson -- three big trade chips who remained -- huddled in the dugout and talked it all over quietly. 

The Giants ended up making five different moves involving 13 players, with three coming out after the deadline. Players lost track, reporters lost track, you probably lost track. So here's a rundown:

Out: Sam Dyson, Mark Melancon, Drew Pomeranz, Ray Black, Jacob Lopez. 

Dyson is the biggest loss, having served as Smith's primary setup man and a fill-in closer. Watson and Reyes Moronta will handle the eighth moving forward. 

Farhan Zaidi's most impressive moves involved Melancon and Pomeranz. He got two players back for Melancon while shedding the $18 million or so left on his deal. Pomeranz struggled as a starter but had four eye-opening outings as a reliever and Zaidi packaged him with Ray Black to get a good prospect. The Giants should be able to adequately replace Melancon and Pomeranz in-house, and Black was mostly in Triple-A anyway. 

Lopez, a 21-year-old pitching in short-season ball, wasn't much of a prospect. He was sent to Tampa Bay for Joseph McCarthy. 

In: Scooter Gennett

The Giants just had to cough up a player to be named later or cash for Gennett, a 29-year-old who was an All-Star last season. A groin injury has limited Gennett to 20 games this season and he has just a .489 OPS, but it was .847 last year and .874 the year before. Gennett had 23 homers last year and 27 in 2017, and Zaidi is betting that he'll find that form. 

Gennett figures to be the main second baseman, with Donovan Solano facing lefties. 

New Prospects: INF Mauricio Dubon, RHP Prelander Berroa, RHP Kai Wei Teng, OF Jaylin Davis, RHP Tristan Beck, RHP Daniel Winkler, OF Joseph McCarthy. 

Dubon, Davis and McCarthy are three players Zaidi mentioned as options for the final two months of this season, and all three are headed to Triple-A Sacramento. Dubon enters as the organization's eighth-best prospect, according to MLB Pipeline, and may be the next man up currently at both shortstop and second. He also could become a super-utility player and handle some outfield. Zaidi described a Chris Taylor-ish role for him on Wednesday. 

Davis is 25 years old like Dubon and has 25 homers in 366 at-bats this season. He could get a look pretty soon. McCarthy is more of an OBP guy and was having a down year, but the Giants are hopeful the power comes. 

[RELATED: Zaidi explains why Giants kept Madison Bumgarner]

Zaidi said pro scouting director Zack Minasian is higher on Berroa and Teng than the prospect lists and believes both can remain starters. The organization also believes Beck, who was a mid-teens prospect for a good Braves system, can contribute to the big league rotation soon.

The Giants did not get high-end talent after holding onto Bumgarner and Smith, but they certainly added plenty of depth.