More roster cuts this morning: Ryan Rohlinger, despite his annual spring power burst, is headed to the minors, as are Scott McClain, Brian Bocock, Billy Sadler, and Waldis Joaquin.
Sadler probably had the most legit shot at an Opening Day job, but he impressed no one this spring, as I've noted in previous posts. It's too bad. There's always room in the bullpen for a mid-90s heater and power curve, and with Sergio Romo's injury, Alex Hinshaw's wildness, and Keiichi Yabu's demotion, the door was wide open.
If there's any surprise among this batch of demotions, it's the note from Chris Haft that Waldis Joaquin was sent to triple-A Fresno. This is his age-22 season, and he hasn't pitched above High A ball. But the Giants sent a signal by adding him to the 40-man roster this winter, and everyone loved his arm this spring. He might be closer to the bigs than we thought.
The new twist in the roster squeeze is Jack Taschner going public with what sounds like mutual dissatisfaction. Because of his bad showing this spring -- 12 walks in 8-plus innings -- and disappointing work the last couple years, the team might be running out of patience. Taschner expects to be traded, and the Giants aren't saying otherwise. (I say it was a bad omen when this headline went up, and even worse that no one's bothered to fix it for six days.)
Does that give Hinshaw a fresh opening? Not necessarily. He still has options, so it makes more sense to give him time in Triple-A and keep one of the non-roster guys who's throwing well, either Medders or Miller. If the Giants really want another lefty, Will Ohman is still a free agent. Over his career he's held lefties to a .197 / .285 / .318 line. Last year with Atlanta, he was even better: .200 / .257 / .314. And he's probably available for a million or two, based on what Joe Beimel just accepted from Washington. I'll bet the Giants make a push for him.
Based on Taschner's dim view of his future with the team (which Andy Baggarly agrees with), here's my updated Opening Day six-man bullpen:
Romo will almost certainly start on the DL. Merkin Valdez has thrown several times this spring after missing most of last year with injury, but my guess is the Giants would prefer he gets more work before joining the big squad, either in Fresno or in extended spring training. Hinshaw, Matos, and either Medders or Miller will bide their time in Fresno.
P.S. Kelvin Pichardo, who also made the 40-man roster this winter, will not be joining the Giants or any team for 50 days.