3 Diamondbacks Non-Roster Invitees Who Could Make the Opening Day Roster
I actually delayed this article a couple days to add and do the proper research on this 4th player the Diamondbacks claimed off waivers earlier this week. His name is Caleb Baragar. In the last 2 seasons with the San Francisco Giants, he has appeared in 49 games, 48 of them in relief. He owns an overall record of 7-2 with an ERA of 2.78. in 45.1 innings. But there is one glaring stat, that makes you cringe when you look at the stat sheet knowing that his home park is Chase Field and that if he makes the opening day roster he will also pitch in Colorado. The average pitcher has a fly ball rate of 24.3%, Baragar's is 40%.
Caleb was born April 9th 1994 in Jenison Michigan where he attended Jenison High School and threw two no hitters. This lead him to attend his first two years of college at Jackson State, and his last two years at Indiana University. He was then selected in the 9th round of the 2016 MLB Player Draft by the Giants.
After four years in the Giants minor leagues, where he went a combined 18-20 with a 3.82 ERA he was invited to Spring Training in the 2020 season where he made the opening day roster. He earned the win in his major league debut pitching two scoreless innings against the Dodgers July 25, 2020. That season we went on to go 5-1 with a 4.03 ERA, pitching 22.1 innings in 24 games. In the 2021 he pitched in the majors for 23 innings in 25 games and 22.1 innings in 22 games With AAA Sacramento. He was 2-1 with 2 saves and a 1.57 ERA with the Giants, but in AAA his ERA ballooned to 8.46.
Even with the inflated AAA ERA I am not sure why the Giants essentially gave up on him. As of this writing he is a couple weeks away from turning 28. Yes, he has a few flaws like the 40% mentioned above and the fact that he has given up more hits (36) than he has strikeouts (35) in his career but he has kept his walk numbers low (17) for his career maintaining a 2/1 strikeout to walk ratio. There are some tools with Baragar that I think can be worked with, and some definite improvements that need to be made to turn a cup of coffee into a productive major league career. But in a no pressure environment like Arizona he may find the right amount of cream and sugar.