Giants Add 6 to 40 Man Roster

With the Winter meetings approaching and the annual Rule V draft, the Giants placed 6 players under the protection of the 40 man roster to keep other teams from stealing some of the Giants more promising second basemen.

The Giants moved 6 promising young players onto the 40 man roster, protecting them from the annual Rule V draft, which takes place at the Winter GM meetings in less than a month. The Giants purchased the contracts of outfielder Nate Schierholtz, first baseman Travis Ishikawa, catcher Eliezer Alfonzo, right handed pitcher Kelyn Acosta and left handed pitchers Jon Coutlangus and Jesus Reina. The move brought the Giants roster up to 37.

Schierholtz, 21, was picked out of Hayward’s Chabot College in 2003 and led the 2005 California League champion San Jose Giants with a .319 batting average. He hit 37 doubles and 15 home runs on the year. A converted third baseman, Schierholtz also led the California league in outfield assists.

Ishikawa, 22, played first for San Jose and led the team with 22 home runs while batting .282. Ishikawa was drafted out of high school in 2002, but has progressed better in recent years. The left hander also was voted Best Defensive First Baseman in the California League in Baseball America’s polls of league coaches.

Alfonzo, 26, joined the Giants as a minor league free agent in 2005 and started in San Jose, where he hit 13 home runs while batting .357 in under half a season. He earned a promotion to AA Norwich, where he hit 9 HR while batting .313 in 49 games, and then got 4 games in AAA Fresno, where he hit .286 with a home run. Giants Vice President of Player Personnel Dick Tidrow has said that the Venezuela native will be given a chance to win the job of backing up Mike Matheny in spring training in 2006.

Coutlangus, 25, worked as a lefthanded reliever in San Jose in 2005, posting a 3.04 ERA with 79 strikeouts in 77 innings. Drafted as an outfielder in 2003, he was converted into a pitcher in 2004 because of his strong arm.

Acosta, 20, pitched only briefly in 2005, pitching 2 games at rookie level before a short, 11 game stint in Class-A Augusta, where he saved 5 games in 5 opportunities and had a 1.42 ERA. Acosta has a career 4.19 ERA over 3 seasons.

Reina, 21, made 13 starts and 18 appearances in San Jose, as well as a solitary start in Fresno. He had a 5.23 ERA in 72.1 IP, but showed promise as a strikeout pitcher by getting 75 strikeouts. His career ERA, coincidentally, also currently sits at 5.23.

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