The Giants added six prospects to their 40-man roster Friday night, protecting them from being claimed by other teams in the Rule 5 draft, according to a report by the San Jose Mercury News.
The most noteworthy name among those protected is first baseman Angel Villalona, who has spent the past two years in his native Dominican Republic after being charged with murdering a 25-year-old man outside a bar in La Romana, while on the disabled list of the Single-A San Jose Giants and on a team-approved visit home.
Villalona signed with the Giants in 2006 as a 16-year-old for what was a then-franchise record (for an amateur) 2.1 million bonus. But after the murder charge was levied against him as a 19-year-old, Villalona was relegated to baseball's restricted list.
On Sept. 2 of this year, Villalona received his first bit of good news, when Giants vice president of baseball operations Bobby Evans told CSNBayArea.com that the power hitter became eligible for reinstatement.
That reinstatement happened Friday night, when he was added to the Giants 40-man roster.
According to the report, the Giants do not expect an problems getting Villalona a visa, which must be done before he can work for the Giants in the United States. He is currently at the Giants' Dominican camp getting back into shape.
Outfielders Roger Kieschnick and Tyler Graham, second baseman Charlie Culberson, and pitchers Dan Otero and Hector Correa were the other five players protected.
In corresponding moves, the Giants removed outfielder Darren Ford and pitcher Waldis Joaquin from the 40-man roster and designated them for assignment.
SAN FRANCISCO — The Mets spent the first half of this week in Los Angeles, where they got swept by the Dodgers and outscored 36-11. Their beat writers publicly wrote an end to any thoughts of the postseason. The fan base renewed the calls for manager Terry Collins to be fired.
That’s where they were. And then they flew to San Francisco.
AT&T Park continues to be a place where others get healthy, and this weekend it was the Mets. The Giants lost 8-2 on Sunday, getting swept by a similarly disappointing team. They have lost 12 of their last 13 games.
There’s not much more to be said about it, but I did anyway. Here are five things to know from the day a relief pitcher got an at-bat but it would have been far too cruel to text your friends …
—- Matt Moore’s line: 4 1/3 innings, seven hits, five earned runs, three walks, five strikeouts. Through 16 starts, he has a 6.04 ERA and 1.61 WHIP. He ranks last among qualified NL starters in ERA. Only Matt Cain (1.73) has a worse WHIP. Good times.
—- Mets righty Rafael Montero entered with an 0-4 record and 6.49 ERA. He gave up one run in 5 2/3 innings. Good times.
—- With runners on the corners and two outs in the third inning, Brandon Belt strolled to the plate. He leads the team in homers. Hunter Pence tried to steal second for some reason and he was caught, ending the inning and keeping Belt from batting in a two-run game. Good times.
—- With two on and no outs in the sixth, the Giants sent the runners to make sure Buster Posey didn’t hit into a double play. Posey popped up softly to first and Joe Panik was doubled off of second. Good times.
—- One last bit of bad news: Austin Slater was removed from the game with a tight right hip flexor.
Barry Bonds stepped into Giants' broadcast booth with Duane Kuiper and Mike Krukow during the top of the third inning Sunday and Kuiper immediately brought up the shape Bonds is in at 52 years old.
"Still think you can play, probably?" Kuiper asked Bonds.
After giving Kuiper the look, Bonds replied, "About an inning or two."
Moments later, the cameras moved to McCovey Cove past the right field wall at AT&T Park where Bonds famously hit home runs deep into the water. Of the 73 Splash Hits off Giants bats into the cove, Bonds is responsible for 35 of them.
Now an avid cyclist who still picks up a bat from time to time, Bonds is fully confident that number would rise if he stepped into the batter's box again.
"I promise you I will," Bonds replied when Krukow asked if he could still hit home runs into the water. "Without a doubt."
Krukow predicted Bonds would need 10 swings to get it done. Bonds says he might need just a few more.
"Well it would take me eight swings to get warmed up, three pop ups and then I'd get it," he said with a laugh.
During spring training this year, Bonds joined the Giants as a special instructor. And he proved his claim of more Splash Hits could certainly be true as he showed off his legendary swing and cracked balls over the wall in Scottsdale.
Bonds hit his final home run of his career, No. 762, on Sept. 5, 2007 on the road against the Rockies in a 5-3 Giants win. The Giants are adding Bonds to their Wall of Fame on July 8.