San Francisco Giants Stock Their AAA Club

The Giants made a bunch of minor league signings the past week which deserve a mention in this blog.  The Giants recently signed Cole Gillespie, Scott Proctor and Ryan Sadowski and claimed Sandy Rosario off waivers.

Cole Gillespie is a corner outfielder who turns 29 next June.  He’s a good, but not great, AAA hitter, having hit .300 or better the last two seasons at Reno with matching .885 OPS numbers.  Reno in the Pacific Coast League is a terrific place to hit, so Gillespie’s fine seasons there don’t suggest he’s anything more than a back-up at the major league level.

Gillespie has hit .236 with a .683 OPS in 120 major league plate appearances, again suggesting he’s nothing more than a back-up at the top level.  I expect he’ll play most of 2013 at AAA Fresno, unless somebody in San Francisco gets hurt.

In fact, looking at his numbers, I’m surprised that Gillespie didn’t sign with a Japanese NPB team this off-season.  Players with Gillespie’s skill set (hits for average, has alley power but not enough home run power for the positions he can play at the major level, runs well) often blossom in Japan.  Lastings Milledge in 2012 is a good example.

Scott Proctor last pitched in the majors in 2011 and was ineffective.  However, he pitched well at AAA that year and was a top closer in South Korea’s KBO in 2012, where he posted a 1.79 ERA, saved 35 games and struck out 7.5 batters and walked 3.4 batters per nine innings.

Proctor might be able to help the Giants in 2013, but he’ll be 36 years old, and there’s still a question whether he has major league command.  He’d have probably been wiser to stay in the KBO or, if there was any interest, move up Japan’s NPB.

The Giants are also bringing back Ryan Sadowski, who made six starts for the Giants in 2009.  However, after two winning starts in which he allowed no runs in 13 innings pitched, he then proved he wasn’t really major league material.

Sadowski wisely went to the KBO in 2010 and pitched three seasons there.  He was an adequate starter in South Korea, going 29-24 over the three years, with ERAs of 3.87, 3.91 and 4.32, but also with pretty poor ratios the last two seasons.  At age 30, he doesn’t look like a pitcher who will last more than another two seasons at the AAA level, but you never know.

Sandy Rosario pitched fantastically well last year for the Miami Marlins’ AAA team, the New Orleans Zephyrs, posting a 1.04 ERA in 26 innings pitched.  He saved 16 games and had an incredible K/BB ratio of 12.  However, in 7.2 major league innings pitched over the last three seasons, Rosario has a sky-high 15.26 ERA on 22 hits allowed.  Ouch!

The biggest problem with the 27 year old is that Rosario can’t be sent to the minors without passing him through waivers, where another team will almost certainly claim him.  At least that’s been the case this off-season.

The Red Sox claimed him from the Marlins on waivers, then traded Rosario to the Oakland A’s.  The A’s designated Rosario for assignment when they needed space on the 40-man roster, and the Red Sox reclaimed him.  Then the Red Sox did the same, and the Cubs claimed him.  Finally, the Cubs placed him on waivers, and the Giants claimed him.  Teams definitely want Rosario, at least until something better comes along.

Assuming the Giants are done with off-season signings and trades, they can bring Rosario to Spring Training and see if he shows enough there to make the major league club.  If not, the odds are at least better the Giants can pass him through waivers without a claim and send him to the minors.

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Explore posts in the same categories: Arizona Diamond Backs, Boston Red Sox, Chicago Cubs, Miami Marlins, Oakland A's, San Francisco Giants

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