San Francisco purchased the contracts of right-handed relievers Jose Casilla and Steve Edlefsen and left-handed pitcher Clayton Tanner. The Giants also outrighted first baseman Brett Pill to Triple-A Fresno and placed Waldis Joaquin on release waivers.
With the moves from yesterday, the Giants 40-man roster now sits at 37. Let’s take a brief look at all three pitchers.
* Jose Casilla, RHP, DOB: 5/21/89
Jose Casilla is the younger brother of current Giants’ reliever, Santiago Casilla. The younger Casilla has pitched primarily as a reliever over his career. He did make 14 starts as an 18-year-old in the Dominican Summer League back in 2007, but it appears that the Giants view him more as a reliever. Over the past two years and 81.1 innings pitched, Casilla has not started a single game. In the Giants minor league Top 20, John Sickels ranked Casilla as the #6 prospect in the Giants’ system and made note of his power-sinker. I can’t find much in the way of scouting reports for Casilla. However, his ground-out/air-out rate this season in Augusta was a healthy 2.46. Further giving credence to the groundballer theory, in 185.2 innings pitched in the minors, Casilla has given up just 2 home runs.
* Steve Edlefsen, RHP, DOB: 6/27/85
Edlefsen has made steady progress in the Giants’ farm system since the team drafted him in the 16th round of the 2007 draft. Pitching in AAA Fresno in 2010, Edlefsen was a member of the PCL All-Star Team. His slider has been mentioned by Baseball America in the past — rating as the best slider in the system in 2007 — and like Casilla, he’s shown the ability to get groundballs. One thing I like about Edlefsen is that he throws from a side-arm slot and I’ve always had a soft spot for pitchers with a bit of funk. Control has eluded Edflsen at times in his career. His career walk-rate in the minors (244.2 career innings) is a not-so-good 4.6 walks per 9 innings. He walked 4.8 per 9 this year in AAA. His career K-rate is 8.3 strikeouts per 9.
* Clayton Tanner, LHP, DOB: 12/5/87
The good news is that Tanner has shown the ability to coax groundballs now and then in his career. His GB% rate this season in AA Richmond was 55% — not an extreme groundball rate, but hey, it’s a building block. The bad news is that Tanner lost 3 strikeouts per 9 (4.77 vs. 7.82) in his transition from the California League to the Eastern League. The 22-year-old Tanner was age appropriate for his level (the average pitcher in the EL was 24.2 years of age) but he lacks “stuff”. He’s not a huge strikeout pitcher and it’s hard to imagine him being successful at the next level with his current K-rate. If Tanner can push his K-rate back between 6-7 he’s kinda interesting in a 5th starter kinda way. But, other than that, he doesn’t have a lot of wiggle room as a prospect.