On September 1st, teams across Major League Baseball can expand their rosters to forty players. Teams will usually have twenty-five players ready to go on any given day (unless you’re the Giants and like playing with twenty-four for long stretches), but once September hits, anybody on the forty-man roster can be called up to The Show. If you’re a little confused, don’t worry, we’ve all been new to this at one time. You’ll notice the 25-man roster, or the active roster, has all the players in the dugout you’re familiar with. The 40-man roster has some additional names, some you’ve heard of, some that may be a little new to you. Everybody on that 40-man roster is eligible to join the team if/when the Giants feel like calling them up. With Triple-A affiliate Fresno finishing off their season today, the Giants announced their callups:
Callups: Noonan, Adrianza, Peguero, Perez, Kontos, Dunning, Hembree, Monell. 2 40-man spots needed. Zito will not be DFA. #sfgiants
— Henry Schulman (@hankschulman) September 2, 2013
Barry Zito has earned the respect the Giants are showing him by keeping him on the roster through the end of the season. Classy move by SF.
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) September 3, 2013
I just wish I was better at reading because earlier I asked who would be designated for assignment — as you see from Mr. Schulman’s tweet that two current 40-man roster spot holders must be designated for assignment when they get taken off said roster — and I incorrectly guessed that Zito could be one of the two on the ropes. I feel like the game we’ll play for these first two spots is which players did not get called up from the Minors in this most recent wave of call-ups. That leaves us with these Minor Leaguers and the rationale for keeping them/taking them off the 40:
- Angel Villalona — A lot of whispers surround him from his criminal case in Latin America, and his absence from baseball is something even the untrained eye can spot in his player profile. Still, the kid is playing in his Age 22 season in 2013, and you could do much worse than being 22 and playing in Double-A. The Giants have also signed him up for the Arizona Fall League in September. He’s safe.
- Kensuke Tanaka — The organization gave him his shot in Spring Training, and he got a cup of coffee earlier with fifteen games with the big club. Three other infielders were added since September 1st (Tony Abreu being the other), which makes him look like a giveaway for him being the odd man out.
- Eric Surkamp — Beat writers were saying the Giants just want him to rest after coming back from Tommy John surgery in 2013. He’s safe.
- Edwin Escobar — He’ll be 22 in April, been pitching well, and he’s playing in Double-A right now. He’s safe.
- Dan Runzler — Finishing his age 28 season, he put up a 5.68 ERA in 51 G with Fresno this year. Makes sense for him to be the other guy to go.
Much to the dismay of many, Guillermo Moscoso probably will not be in the first round of cuts from the 40-man. He may not reach the next round if/when Chad Gaudin, Jeremy Affeldt, and Matt Cain get activated, but stay he should for the time being. I get that fans don’t like his 4.43 ERA in 22.1 IP, his 15.7% BB% makes you sick to your stomach, his fWAR is -0.3, and he’s about to turn 30. This is not an attractive option to hold on to if you expect your team to get better, but let’s face it: if you want to have someone use up some of your innings in 2013, would you prefer someone that can more or less keep the score close-ish be in the game or push all of your stars in these games that are determining where the Giants will draft? Yea, those aren’t the only two options, but Moscoso is still just good enough to hang around the Giants. Every other outing since August 4th he’s allowed at least a run, and so today was the zero day. Normally unacceptable for the Giants in their recent stretch of success, Moscoso just needs to eat innings right now to save the arms of guys like Javier Lopez, Jeremy Affeldt, Santiago Casilla, and Sergio Romo. Guys who we’re expecting to all be back in 2014 with the Giants.
So hang tight, Moscoso-haters. He’ll be gone, just not right away. I believe the Giants are just using him to eat up some innings before they release him after the season’s over. He will treat this as an audition for 2014, and the Giants will watch, maybe invite him to Spring Training, but we will trust that they will have better options than him come April of ’14, when the Dodgers won’t be able to say they won the World Series.