SAN FRANCISCO -- On the day he was introduced at AT&T Park, Farhan Zaidi talked of strengthening the 40-man roster. The Giants added some players to that group Tuesday.
Three pitchers were put on the 40-man, protecting them from the Rule 5 Draft, which will be held on the final day of the Winter Meetings next month in Las Vegas. The Giants traditionally have not been all that active during the Rule 5 draft, but Zaidi is focused on finding incremental improvements, and this week's moves included some roster churn. On Monday, the Giants lost their 2018 Rule 5 pick -- right-hander Julian Fernandez -- on a waiver claim by the the Marlins. The Giants also outrighted right-hander Chase Johnson off the roster, leaving it at 36 players and giving Zaidi plenty of room to add, potentially from the list of players released by other organizations Tuesday.
Fernandez was replaced right away by Melvin Adon, another right-hander with a 100-mph fastball. Here's a look at Adon and two others who were protected:
Melvin Adon: Originally signed out of the Dominican Rpublic, the 24-year-old has been a starter in the minors but could move through the system quickly if he becomes a reliever full-time. Adon pitched out of the bullpen in the Arizona Fall League and was dominant, posting a 2.92 ERA in 10 appearances, with 21 strikeouts and just three walks in 12 1/3 innings.
"He's 99, 100, 101, 102 mph," with his fastball, assistant general manager Jeremy Shelley said. "His slider has been a plus and he's throwing strikes with it and missing bats. He's somebody who really has been a big positive for the organization this offseason."
Adon had a 4.87 ERA as a starter in San Jose this season and team officials are split about whether his future is in the rotation or bullpen. If moved to a relief role, he could see the majors in 2019. A 100-mph fastball with a secondary pitch will get you there, and the Giants moved Ray Black quickly last season once he got healthy.
Logan Webb: If you asked the organization's scouts about an under-the-radar name in 2018, they often came back with Webb, a 22-year-old right-hander who was a fourth-round pick in 2014. Webb's progress through the minors was stalled by Tommy John surgery, but he broke through in 2018. He had a 1.82 ERA in 21 appearances for San Jose and a 3.82 ERA in six appearances for Double-A Richmond following a promotion. Webb had his innings watched because he's not far removed from surgery, but he should be a full go next spring, and he's now one of the top pitching prospects in an organization that has just about zero starting depth at the upper levels of the minors.
Sam Coonrod: The right-hander has fallen off the radar after Tommy John, but he was in big league camp two years ago as one of the organization's better prospects at the time, and he impressed. Coonrod was a fifth-round pick in 2014 and broke through with a 2.55 ERA across two levels in 2016. He missed most of 2018 after having surgery, but he struck out 23 batters in 11 2/3 innings once he returned. He may be a reliever moving forward, but the Giants are betting on the arm, which was once one of the best in their system.