SAN FRANCISCO -- For weeks, the Giants have downplayed the size and significance of their September call-up class. After Thursday's game, they revealed the first wave of additions, and it was indeed a small group of familiar names.
Relievers Derek Law and Steven Okert will join the bullpen Friday when rosters expand and veterans Tim Federowicz and Orland Calixte will join the bench. To clear a 40-man roster spot for Federowicz, the Giants outrighted Jae-gyun Hwang off the roster. Hwang cleared waivers, but he will not return to the big league club this season.
All four additions have spent time with the Giants already this year. It's likely that more players will join once the minor league season ends this weekend, including outfielder Austin Slater.
The list of guys left out is headlined by three intriguing prospects who will be in the mix in 2018. Left fielder Chris Shaw, center fielder Steven Duggar and left-hander Andrew Suarez do not have to be put on the 40-man roster until after the 2018 season, and the Giants did not want to add them a year early. Doing so would have limited some of the front office’s offseason flexibility.
Friday's moves give Bruce Bochy some additional flexibility in September. Here's what you need to know about the additions:
—- Law: He started the season as the setup man but had trouble with his command and was sent down in June with a 5.40 ERA and 1.70 WHIP. Law never made it back up, instead serving as the River Cats’ closer and posting a 2.48 ERA and 1.35 WHIP. The reports on him in recent weeks have been positive. If the Giants can somehow find the 2016 version of Law, the 2018 bullpen will start to look pretty strong.
—- Okert: The Giants hoped one of Okert or Josh Osich would develop into a reliable left-hander at the back end of the bullpen. Neither has pitched well, but Bochy wants another lefty in the pen. Okert has a 6.75 ERA in the big leagues this season but it was 3.20 in the hitter-friendly PCL.
—- Federowicz: He was called up when Buster Posey got concussed earlier this year, then returned to Triple-A, where he was the starter ahead of 2016 big league backup Trevor Brown. Federowicz will make it a bit easier for Bochy to rest Posey, who is battling a bone bruise on his left hand. It will also make it easier to give Posey starts at first base as Brandon Belt recovers from a concussion.
—- Orlando Calixte: A super-utility type, he already has had three stints with the Giants. Calixte has just six hits in 34 at-bats at the big league level. With Calixte back and Slater on the way, it's hard to see the Giants adding another outfielder. Mac Williamson is the most well-known name down in Triple-A.