The moves were announced Sunday on MLB.com.
Kontos was dropped because of a lack of options—literally. The Giants are still looking at Yusmeiro Petit and David Huff in long relief, but both are out of minor-league options. Runzler was a simpler move because he is not on the 40-man roster at this point.
There are five relievers left in camp competing for what appears to be three jobs. In addition to Petit and Huff, right-handers Jean Machi, Derek Law and J.C. Gutierrez are still in the mix. Gutierrez, a non-roster invitee to camp, and Law appear to be a bit behind in the competition.
Runzler, 28, made waves last spring when he was sent down, expressing his frustration and anger over the move. This year was a much quieter response.
He had a 2.70 ERA and 1.200 WHIP in seven spring appearances, working 6.2 innings and fanning seven. He has spent parts of four seasons in the majors with the Giants, but hasn’t worked a big league game since September 2012. Last year at Triple-A Fresno, Runzler had a 5.68 ERA and 1.815 WHIP in 52.1 innings, striking out 50 in 51 appearances.
In 89 major-league appearances, Runzler had a 3.86 ERA and 1.507 WHIP in 72.1 innings with 78 strikeouts. He was a ninth-round pick by San Francisco out of UC Riverside in 2007.
Kontos, 28, was also in seven Cactus League games, posting a 3.00 ERA and 1.500 WHIP in six innings with four strikeouts. Last year in 52 games for the Giants, Kontos had a 4.39 ERA and 1.410 WHIP in 55.1 innings with 47 strikeouts. He also pitched in 18 games at Fresno, with a 4.18 ERA and 0.930 WHIP in 23.2 innings, fanning 26.
He was a fifth-round pick by the Yankees out of Northwestern University in 2006 and was acquired by San Francisco last April in exchange for catcher Chris Stewart.