The coronavirus shut down the sports world, but for baseball executives who were days away from finalizing an Opening Day roster, the action didn't fully come to a halt.
On a conference call with reporters Thursday, Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi revealed that Tyler Beede was having Tommy John surgery and also that the staff had made a couple of minor roster moves. Shaun Anderson and Steven Duggar were optioned to Triple-A, taking them out of the mix for Opening Day, whenever that is.
"We had a meeting to go through the roster and we just approached it from the standpoint of, on our 40-man roster, which guys did we think would have a real chance to make the Opening Day roster," Zaidi said. "That was how that determination was made."
Zaidi said the staff felt both players needed more time in Triple-A. The moves bring a bit more clarity to races that were starting to crystalize when spring training was shut down last week.
Duggar came to camp fully healthy but was a long shot from the start because of the depth the Giants feel they've accumulated in the outfield. Mike Yastrzemski is expected to play somewhere in the outfield just about every day and Hunter Pence and Alex Dickerson should split the starts in left field. Mauricio Dubon might play a lot of center field and Jaylin Davis and Austin Slater remain in the mix. When camp was shut down, the Giants still had several non-roster outfielders vying for time, including Billy Hamilton, who is somewhat similar to Duggar.
The Giants said early on that Anderson, who moved from the rotation to bullpen last summer, would be stretched back out. At the very least he figured to have a strong shot to win a job as a reliever, and possibly be the closer when Tony Watson's shoulder flared up, but Anderson had a rough spring. The right-hander gave up 10 runs in four appearances and the staff started working on a different grip for his fastball.
The moves shouldn't have an immediate financial impact for either player since they're on the 40-man roster. It's also possible that the Giants revisit before their actual first game. There's a chance MLB increases roster sizes to account for a shortened and frantic season, and several veterans who were in camp have opt-out clauses that will come into play before Opening Day.