Tagged in: tommy john surgery

Anthony DeSclafani signs with San Francisco Giants on 1-year deal

The San Francisco Giants added a veteran option for the rotation alongside ace Johnny Cueto by signing right-handed pitcher Anthony DeSclafani to a one-year contract, the team informed Wednesday.

The deal is worth $6 million in salary, a source told ESPN’s Jeff Passan.

The Giants still will look to add another top-tier starter, according to President of Baseball Operations Farhan Zaidi.

“He was an early target for us. We’ve talked a good amount about looking to add some starting pitching to our roster and take some pressure off some of our younger pitchers,” Zaidi stated.

“DeSclafani is a guy that we think comes with some ceiling. He’s got really good stuff, good velocity on the fastball, a lot of characteristics that we look for. Obviously didn’t have his best season in 2020 but in 2019 he really had a nice year. That would be a great outcome for us if he can even get back to that level as recently as 2019. We think there’s even upside beyond that.”

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In his sixth campaign with the Reds, DeSclafani went 1-2 with a 7.22 ERA over nine games – seven starts – spanning 33 2/3 innings in 2020.

“Me and my family are excited for this new opportunity! Let’s go (at)SFGiants,” DeSclafani posted on Twitter.

To which Giants manger Gabe Kapler responded, “Let’s go!”

DeSclafani missed all of 2017 with an elbow injury but has otherwise been fairly durable, making at least 20 starts in 2015, ’16, ’18 and ’19.

The 30-year-old DeSclafani can earn an additional $250,000 in performance bonuses based on innings pitched. He could make $62,500 each for 140, 160, 180 and 200 innings.

DeSclafani could help fill a vacancy in the rotation given the departures of Jeff Samardzija and Drew Smyly from the Giants, who missed the playoffs on the final day of Kapler’s first season as manager.

The Giants and Cueto have decided the right-hander won’t pitch winter ball in his native Dominican Republic after all, given this year was his first full season back from Tommy John surgery.

Young pitchers Tyler Beede and Logan Webb are working back from surgeries. San Francisco has 39 players on the 40-man roster.

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Colin Poche will miss the season with torn UCL

Rays lefty Colin Poche has been diagnosed with a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his left elbow and will miss the 2020 campaign, the team announced.

Tommy John surgery has been suggested for the 26-year-old Poche, who has been placed on the 45-day injured list. Tampa Bay selected veteran catcher Kevan Smith to the big league roster in a corresponding move.

The loss of Poche is a tough blow for the Tampa Bay bullpen. While last season’s 4.70 ERA doesn’t exactly stand out as an impressive mark. Poche’s secondary numbers were all considerably better.

The southpaw averaged 12.5 strikeouts and 3.3 walks per nine innings pitched with a 4.08 FIP in 51 2/3 frames. In spite of that unsightly ERA, Poche overwhelmed both left- and right-handed hitters, yielding just a .167/.276/.348 slash to lefties and a .190/.277/.388 line to righties.

A 67.6 percent strand rate that was massively worse than his career mark in the minors, and Statcast pegged Poche in the 91st percentile or better in terms of swinging-strike rate and his opponents’ expected batting average, slugging percentage and weight on-base average.

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A breakout season for the talented lefty seemed eminently possible, but he could now be sidelined into late 2021 — if not all the way into the 2022 campaign.

Poche will get a year of service time in 2020 as he rehabs on the 45-day IL, and he’ll need to be placed on the 60-day IL to open the 2021 season as well. If he is indeed out until 2022, he may be arbitration-eligible as a Super Two player by the time he’s able to return to the mound, although with 114 days under his belt at the moment, he’d be a very borderline case for Super Two status.

As for the 32-year-old Smith, he’ll likely make the club’s roster as a backup catcher. Smith has seen time in each of the past four seasons — 2016-18 with the White Sox and 2019 with the Angels — hitting a combined .272/.318/.381 along the way.

That’s pretty solid production from behind the plate, but Smith also owns a woeful 14 percent caught stealing rate and has posted sub-par framing numbers as well.

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