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Holland designated for assignment, Giants make way for rookies

The Giants designated veteran lefty Derek Holland for assignment amid a roster shakeup Sunday that helped pave the way for big league debuts from left-hander Conner Menez and infielder Zach Green.

In 17 outings before Saturday’s blowout in which he allowed two dingers and four runs total in a single inning against the Mets, opposing hitters were batting .235 against him and he had a 2.45 ERA.

This story will be updated with quotes and post-game material from the Giants clubhouse at Oracle Park.

But his lefty/righty split was extreme—all 17 of the homers Holland allowed in 2019 were to right handers, who were batting .293 against him, while lefties averaged .182 off him and had just 14 hits in 21-1/3 innings.

President of Baseball Operations Farhan Zaidi noted that Holland, who first signed with the team after being released by the White Sox after the 2017 season has been one of the best in the league against left-handers, but Zaidi said the configuration of the Giants bullpen wasn’t a good fit:

He said:

“The way Curt [Young] and [Bruce] Bochy have used the pen—to great effect— our pen’s done a terrific job in large part due to their management—we tend to go more inning-to-inning than hitter-to-hitter. When you have that kind of strategy it’s a little bit tougher to have a specialist, which I think is the ideal role for Derek with the way he’s been throwing recently.” 

As such Zaidi said he expects there will be a lot of interest in Holland from other teams.

Saturday the Giants announced they would move left-handed starter Drew Pomeranz into a long relief role in the bullpen, assigning his start to rookie Conner Menez and making Holland somewhat redundant in that role. Bochy said:

“I think you’re looking at two guys who can do the same role and so we feel like we have coverage there. It’s always a tough decision, but with Pom there we didn’t quite feel the need to have another guy there and I think you look at our depth now, if we need help we can get help from below us, too. We have some guys throwing the ball well [in the minors].”

Part of the shuffle offered Green a chance to get his first taste of the big leagues. Zaidi said the Giants are excited by the power he offers—he’s hit 23 home runs with Sacramento this season.

Bochy said Green would also offer support for both Pablo Sandoval at third and Brandon Belt at first. Sandoval has taken over duties at the hot corner since Evan Longoria was knocked out with left foot plantar fasciitis Monday.

Asked what he liked about Green, Bochy said:

“He’s a good player. He bring some power, he’s very dangerous at the plate, he does a good job at third base. He had a nice spring for us and he’s having nice year down there [in Sacramento].”


Infielder Ryder Jones was also designated for assignment Sunday and the Giants optioned Ty Blach back to Triple-A.

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