The Giants Opening Day roster contains surprises and notable omissions

By | March 28, 2024

Giants Opening Day Roster Features Surprises and Notable Omissions originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

SAN DIEGO – While the Opening Day roster is still a major concern for players, their families and fans, front offices are spending as much as possible this week protecting those already on the 40-man roster while also trying to opportunistically to be. Cuts are being made elsewhere. After a busy offseason and a spring full of additions, the Giants found themselves in an even tighter position than usual.

That led to surprising moves when San Francisco’s full roster was announced Thursday morning.

Joey Bart is in after a period of trade rumors and a spring where he seemed to have no path. Marco Luciano and Luis Matos are out, at least for now. Here’s a look at what the initial roster looks like and why the Giants did some of what they did:


In 2019, the Giants made a series of signings at the end of camp, releasing Rene Rivera, claiming Tom Murphy and trading for Erik Kratz. Murphy quickly became a Seattle Mariner as Kratz became the backup catcher early in the year, but Farhan Zaidi never forgot the right-handed hitter who provides intriguing pop.

Murphy hit 18 home runs for the Mariners that season, and the Giants signed him to a two-year deal this offseason to back up Patrick Bailey. That pairing was tied up all spring, but San Francisco carried Bart as the third catcher on Thursday morning.

Bart is out of options and they’re apparently hoping they can get him through waivers if they DFA him a few days into the season when rosters have already been set. It’s a calculated gamble that may not be worth it as several teams have been keeping a close eye on the former first-rounder this spring. But it’s worth a try.


The right side returns intact, with Wilmer Flores and LaMonte Wade Jr. in platoon at first base and Thairo Estrada starting at second base for the third consecutive time on Opening Day. But there are huge changes on the other side of the diamond.

Matt Chapman brings a Platinum Glove to third and he’s joined by Nick Ahmed, who won a job fairly quickly after signing a minor league deal in the spring. Tyler Fitzgerald rounds things out, with the ability to play in all four positions on the pitch as well as in midfield.

The omission here was Luciano, the organization’s top prospect. He came on strong over the last few days of the spring, but a rough start opened the door for Ahmed, and for now the Giants will prioritize defense and go with the veteran.


This group will undergo a change on Friday. Mike Yastrzemski’s wife, Paige, will be induced and the starting right fielder will be added to the paternity list. That could open the door for Matos, who had a huge spring but couldn’t dethrone any of the veterans.

Jung Hoo Lee is the everyday starter in the middle and top of the lineup against both righties and lefties. Yastrzemski starts on the right with Michael Conforto on the left. Austin Slater is back as a lefty and pinch-hit expert, and Jorge Soler is ready to be the everyday DH.


This could be the National League’s best rotation in the second half as Robbie Ray returns from Tommy John surgery. The end of April should be pretty impressive too, with Blake Snell and Alex Cobb set to join sometime in the coming weeks. Cobb is weeks ahead of schedule in his return from hip surgery and Snell is a bit behind after waiting most of the spring for an acceptable contract.

For now it’s Logan Webb, Kyle Harrison, Jordan Hicks, Keaton Winn and a mystery. It’s notable that Snell is on the Opening Day roster instead of starting the season on the phantom IL, and he could make his Giants debut as early as Wednesday in Los Angeles. Snell will play a minor league game on Friday to get his pitch count up, though he is in San Diego for opening day against his former teammates.


The Giants came into camp with five players locked in their bullpen, and they all got some work done while staying healthy. Camilo Doval will look to build on last year’s 39 saves, and he should be the biggest beneficiary of the new LED lighting at Oracle Park.

The Rogers Twins continued to do just about everything together this spring and they will be a strong duo for Doval. Luke Jackson is now two full years removed from Tommy John and the Giants are hopeful he resembles the pitcher who had an ERA of less than two during his last full MLB season. Ryan Walker won’t be asked to start games this year, and some in camp believe he could end up being Doval’s setup man.

The rotation is filled with guys who probably won’t pitch in the eighth as much in April and May, so this spring the emphasis was on relievers who can drive multiple frames. Landen Roupp, who has the organization’s best curveball, won a job this spring and will jump from Double-A to the major leagues. Hard-throwing lefty Erik Miller benefited from already being on the 40-man and a strong 2023 in Triple-A, and he will join Taylor Rogers from the left side of the bullpen.

The Giants will be left with 13 pitchers for most of the year. But with Bart on the roster, they only have twelve left for the first game of the season, a day when everyone is fresh.

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