The Giants made a series of moves on Sunday, in their first need for roster changes in the regular season. The most notable move involved placing relief pitcher Reyes Moronta on the injured list with a flexor strain in his throwing arm. They called up outfielder LaMonte Wade, Jr. to make his season debut in Sunday’s game.
In another move, the Giants announced the acquisition of infielder Thairo Estrada from the New York Yankees in exchange for cash. The Giants placed outfielder Jaylin Davis, who was part of the alternate site in Sacramento, on the 60-day IL with knee patella tendinitis to make room for Estrada on the roster.
Moronta, 28, missed the entire 2020 season after tearing his labrum in his throwing shoulder at the end of August, 2019. He had pitched well as recently as Saturday afternoon before Sunday’s announcement. While his velocity has been down to about an average 94 mph fastball after pitching at 97 in 2019, Moronta had been very effective to start 2021. In four appearances, he’d given up just one hit (a home run) in four innings without walking anyone, and striking out two. Over four seasons, Moronta has a career 2.65 ERA in the Major Leagues.
The move leaves the Giants without one of their top right-handed relief pitchers. Without a pitcher being called up right away, the Giants now have just two right-handed relievers on the 25-man roster, Matt Wisler and Tyler Rogers. That’s compared to five left-handers.
Right now, the 40-man roster is very shallow with right-handed pitchers. Only three right-handers are on the 40-man roster and can be called up without making a change to the 40-man roster: Kervin Castro, Gregory Santos, and Camilo Doval. Doval has the highest pro experience, being High-A ball back in 2019. The Giants may consider giving a roster spot to Zack Littell or Jimmie Sherfy, both of whom had impressive moments in spring training, but they’d have to clear off a roster spot to do so.
The Giants replaced Moronta on the roster with Wade,a 27-year old outfielder who struggled a bit in spring training, batting just .182 in 17 games. Wade got the start, just hours after driving down from Sacramento, and proceeded to go 2-for-3 with a double and a walk. Wade was signed in the offseason as a free agent from the Minnesota Twins. He’d appeared in 43 major league games for the Twins, batting .211 with five doubles, a triple and two home runs. Wade brings a little extra depth at all three outfield positions as Austin Slater has been slowed since fouling a ball off his foot in the previous week.
In an unrelated move other than the date, the Giants traded for infielder Thairo Estrada from the New York Yankees, after Estrada was designated for assignment when the Yankees traded for Roughed Odor. The 25-year old played in 61 major league games with the Yankees over 2019 and 2020, with a career batting line of .214/.267/.348. Estrada will join the Giants alternate training site, where he provides the team with much-needed shortstop depth. Estrada has played all over the infield, primarily at second and shortstop. He also has played in the corner outfield in the majors.
Jaylin Davis was placed on the 60-day injured list to make room for Estrada. Davis, 26, had only made 10 appearances in spring training, batting .200 and not getting any extra base hits. The last appearance he made was in the March 21st game. He was assigned to the alternate training site in Sacramento, but now won’t be eligible to reappear until mid-June at the earliest, when the minor league season is expected to be well underway.