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Giants Select Nick Avila, Designate Otto López

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The Giants announced a series of roster moves today, with Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area among those to pass them along. Outfielder Mike Yastrzemski has been reinstated from the paternity list and right-hander Nick Avila has been selected to the roster. To open active roster spots, outfielder Luis Matos and right-hander Daulton Jefferies were optioned to Triple-A Sacramento. To open a 40-man spot for Avila, utility player Otto López was designated for assignment.

Avila, 26, will be making his major league debut as soon as he gets into a ballgame, though he’s been close before. The White Sox selected him from the Giants in the 2022 Rule 5 draft, but he didn’t make Chicago’s Opening Day roster in 2023 and was returned to the Giants. He spent last year in Triple-A, throwing 72 innings over 56 appearances with an earned run average of 3.00. His 12% walk rate was on the high side but he struck out 21.3% of batters faced and kept 46.2% of balls in play on the ground. Amazingly, he managed to go 14-0 for the year and has already earned one victory in Triple-A here in 2024.

The Giants got crushed yesterday, eventually losing 13-4 to the Padres. Jefferies started the game and lasted just two innings, forcing long reliever Kai-Wei Teng to toss three frames and three other relievers to come in after that, though one of them was position player Tyler Fitzgerald. Avila will give them a fresh arm as they look to get through three games against a tough Dodger lineup.

To make room for Avila, they’ve had to remove López from the 40-man. Acquired from the Blue Jays in a cash deal back in February, the 25-year-old had 11 big league plate appearances with his former club. He’s hit just .270/.340/.368 in the minors since the start of 2022, production which translates into a wRC+ of 86. But he hit .315/.379/.437 in 2021, giving some hope for better offense going forward.

Regardless of the bat, López can provide value in other ways. He’s good for double-digit stolen base tallies on an annual basis and also provides defensive versatility. In his career, he has played all three outfield positions and the three infield spots to the left of first base. He still has one option remaining and could perhaps appeal to clubs looking for some extra depth that can be stashed in the minors. The Giants will have one week to work out a trade or pass him through waivers.



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