The Eugenio Velez era for the San Francisco Giants is over; he will not be on the 40 man roster next season. Chris Haft of MLB.com reports.
Utilityman Eugenio Velez also was not tendered a contract. Velez, who has spent parts of the last four seasons with the Giants, wasn't eligible for arbitration, but the move cleared a spot on the 40-man roster.
[T]he Giants will discuss a Minor League deal for Velez, who hit .256 in 225 games in the Majors. Regarding Velez, Sabean said, "His situation was going to get a little bit tenuous. We didn't see how he was going to make the team coming out of Spring Training."
Velez's numbers weren't that impressive in his final year and he didn't see the field much. After a brief stint in 2007 where he went 3 for 5 and had a decent batting average of .262 in 2008 and .267 in 2009, he went into a hitting slump this season, only managing nine hits in 55 at-bats. He played only 29 games, and this move was destined to happen.
Here are some of his colorful moments as a Giant.
- Wearing a jersey that spelled out "S-A-N F-R-A-N-C-I-C-S-O". Whoops.
- Hit in the head by a foul ball ... while in the dugout.
- One of the strangest hitting stances in baseball history.
- Sliding to home plate by coming inside rather than taking the outside edge ... and making it work.
Despite all that, Grant of McCovey Chronicles remembers Velez fondly. Sort of.
It feels weird to poke fun now that he’s looking for a job. He seems like a pleasant fellow who was liked by his teammates. And when the Giants won the World Series, Velez was just as jubilant as anyone celebrating on the field. He was a good Giant. Just not, you know, a good Giant. I used to maintain that Velez was a decent choice to be a 25th man on a roster. He’s fast, he can switch-bat, and he can fill in at different infield and outfield positions. I’m not completely against the notion now, but there was a point when I realized that if I was constantly nervous about a guy screwing up on the bases, maybe his speed wasn’t exactly a weapon. The same sentence could be written about his defensive foibles negating his versatility, or his complete inability to hit left-handers negating his switch-batting.
But to not have Velez on the Giants? That’s just weird. He’ll land somewhere on a minor league deal, and he might even break spring training on a team’s bench, but he’s not going to be a Giant anymore. Bizarre.
Still, there will be one play Giants fans will always fondly remember is turning Dodgers catch Russell Martin upside down when sliding to home plate. Walkoff baltimore chop provides the goods.
jponry also reminds us of his nifty celebration jig. That should be missed for sure.