Following Cactus League Baseball Spring Training for the week of March 16-22, 2015.
BY ANNIE JENKINS
The San Francisco Giants are sitting at 5-16 in the Cactus League, looking to defend their third World Series title in five years, but early this spring are scratching their heads and trying to get it together before a date with NL West foe Arizona on Opening Day, April 6 in Phoenix.
Note: All box score images courtesy of http://sanfrancisco.giants.mlb.com/mlb/scoreboard/index.jsp?c_id=sf
Monday, March 16, 2015
- Top player: Giants’ shortstop Joaquin Arias cracked his first homer of the spring, a two-run blast in the 6th [Arias’ home run was the Giants’ first hit of the game.]
- He’s back: Reliever Sergio Romo made his spring debut after sitting out with shoulder soreness. He gave up a solo shot in the 4th before retiring the next three batters in his one inning of work.
- THE STRUGGLE CONTINUES: Seven of their defeats have come by margins of five runs or more.
- S.F.’s team batting average, which ranks next-to-last in the National League entering Tuesday’s game, sank to .235, while their Major League-worst team ERA ballooned to 6.06.
- Who’s Hot: Casey McGehee (.440), Matt Duffy (.400), Brandon Belt (.357), Gregor Blanco (.318)
- Who’s Not: Nori Aoki (.148), Joe Panik (.103), Buster Posey (.176), Brandon Crawford (.125)
- Projected starters’ ERAs are abysmal: Madison Bumgarner, 8.64; Matt Cain, 9.82; Tim Lincecum, 13.50; Jake Peavy, 7.71. Ryan Vogelsong, 9.39; Tim Hudson 0.00 ERA
Tuesday, March 17, 2015
On the menu: It’s the third game in four days between these NL West rivals.
Pagan update: Sat out with back stiffness
- Minor league camp reassignments: Gearrin, Triunfel, Stratton, Blach, Crick, Mejia, Garcia, Ross, Tomlinson, Arroyo, Williamson
- Optioned to Richmond: Carbonell
- Optioned to San Jose: Gregorio, Law
Additions: Acquired catcher Jackson Williams from Angels exchange for cash considerations. Will report to minor league camp tomorrow.
Who’s Hot: Hunter Strickland recorded his fifth scoreless appearance in a row today.
Wednesday, March 18, 2015
It’s a much-needed day off for the Giants.
Hoping to make a splash: Outfielder Justin Maxwell.
In the past four years, Gregor Blanco, Yusmeiro Petit and Ryan Vogelsong all started out as non-roster invitees en route to becoming valuable contributors to a World Series championship team, so Maxwell’s invitation to camp is a good sign.
Back home: The Giants are opening “The Yard at Mission Rock” on Friday, a pop-up style facility that will feature a beer garden, a coffee shop, a barbecue joint, and several outdoor seating areas with great views of AT&T Park, apparel stores and more.
Thursday, March 19, 2015
Who’s Hot: Brandon Belt hit his third homer of the spring.
Solid outing: Ryan Vogelsong walked two and struck out four to earn his first spring win in 4 2/3 innings of shutout, two-hit ball.
Friday, March 20, 2015
A five-run ninth inning propelled the Reds to victory.
On the bump: Tim Hudson struck out four in 3 2/3 innings of work, allowing 1 ER in his start.
Who’s Hot: Travis Ishikawa
- Made a nice running catch at the warning track, then drove in Posey with a two-out single to tie the score in the fourth.
Outfield concerns: Discussion of using first baseman Brandon Belt in left field with Hunter Pence out with a fractured left arm and Angel Pagan dealing with back pain.
- Optioned to Triple-A Sacramento: Right-handers Chris Heston and Cody Hall and outfielder Jarrett Parker
- Infielder Mitch Delfino reassigned to minor league camp
The moves leave the Giants with 41 players in camp.
Community guy: Shortstop Brandon Crawford made a special appearance supporting Casa Colina Centers for Rehabilitation with “Craw Claw” giveaway.
Saturday, March 21, 2015
Lincecum returns: He’s still on track for the fifth slot in the Giants’ rotation despite a stiff neck limiting him to three relief appearances prior to his start today.
His pitching line: 4 IP, 2H, 1R (earned), 1 BB, 0K
Sunday, March 22, 2015
First impression: Justin Maxwell hit his 1st homer of the spring against the Angels.
Injury update: Angel Pagan will likely get back in the lineup early next week.
In his first season with the Giants in 2012, Pagan appeared in 154 games, but various injuries have limited him to just 167 games over the past two seasons.
Who’s Hot: Ace Madison Bumgarner threw six strong innings, allowed just one hit and retired the final 16 batters he faced.
Fun Fact: Nori Aoki went 2-for-3 with a double and a walk against his former team. When last seen by Royals fans, he played right field for the KC club in World Series Game 7.