SF Giants roster moves highlight youth movement

Jul 10, 2024, 7:59 AM

WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 23: Luis Matos #29 of the San Francisco Giants waits to bat against the Washi...

(Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

(Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

As the San Francisco Giants close in on the MLB All-Star break searching for the .500 mark, the organization made a series of roster moves this week in hopes of moving things in a new direction.

Veteran shortstop Nick Ahmed was designated for assignment on Tuesday, just days removed from the team’s trading of longtime outfielder Austin Slater, as the Giants will give expanded opportunities to players like Luis Matos and Tyler Fitzgerald during the stretch run.

Along with Ahmed’s exit, San Francisco activated infielders Wilmer Flores and Thairo Estrada from the injured list before Tuesday’s walk-off win over the Toronto Blue Jays.

More on the SF Giants roster moves

Following the news that Ahmed had been designated for assignment, Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi met with the media to discuss his series of roster moves.

“We’ve talked a lot about wanting to give some of our young players coming up opportunities and adding athleticism to the roster, and one of the best ways to do that is to have the young guys come up and earn roles,” Zaidi said.

“As much as anything, it’s just a vote of confidence in those guys. Matos and Fitz, in particular, are guys who have been a little bit on the up-and-down shuttle between here and Sacramento. Hopefully this is an opportunity for them to feel like they don’t have to look over their shoulder and continue a lot of the positives that we’ve seen from them.”

Matos, 22, has seen sporadic playing time with the big-league club after mashing AAA pitching with the Sacramento River Cats. With Slater gone and in light of Jung Hoo Lee’s season-ending shoulder surgery, Matos now has a clear path to everyday reps in center field.

Fitzgerald, 26, a speedy utilityman, will see more time at shortstop as San Francisco searches for stability at the position. The Louisville product is batting .278 with two homers over 79 at-bats this season.

As the trade deadline nears, Zaidi is taking a shot at igniting this offense internally as players like Matos and Fitzgerald will see bumps in playing time while pitchers like Blake Snell, Robbie Ray, and Alex Cobb will all return in the coming weeks–starting with Snell, who tossed five shutout innings on Tuesday.

Can the Giants turn things around before the deadline arrives? We’ll see if Zaidi’s latest round of roster changes can ignite this team before July 30th.

When is the next San Francisco Giants game?

  • Tuesday, July 9th – Thursday, July 11th – vs. Toronto Blue Jays
  • Friday, July 12th-Sunday, July 14th – vs. Minnesota Twins
  • Monday, July 15th-Thursday, July 18th – MLB All-Star Break
  • Monday, July 15th – Home Run Derby
  • Tuesday, July 16th – MLB All-Star Game in Arlington, Texas
  • Friday, July 19th-Sunday, July 21st – @ Colorado Rockies

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SF Giants roster moves highlight youth movement