The San Francisco Giants are well into Spring Training by now, and things are starting to heat up. Whose stock is up, and whose is down?
The San Francisco Giants spring training has had a lot of good competition going on. The regulars are doing just fine, and the battle for the bench and fringe spots are heating up. One battle in particular, that we may have prematurely called, seems to have life again. We’ll discuss that and more.
Williamson looked out of the race for left field after the first week of spring training. He has continued to have a consistent, “use all fields” hitting approach and it has paid off. Williamson looked like he was gaining ground on Jarrett Parker for the left field battle. Parker’s recent hot streak might put that to rest. So far, over the course of spring training, their about even. Both are 10-30, with 6ks after today’s game. Williamson has made some spectacular plays in the outfield defensively as well. This only thing separating them right now is the player option. And if the Giants want to give Morse or Ruggiano a chance to play to start the year, then they likely will.
Coming into camp, Jimmy Rollins seemed to be the biggest threat to Kelby Tomlinson‘s roster spot. That might actually be Hill. Hill has been fantastic at the plate, and played equally as good defense. Hill is a longtime pro, and a good one at that. I don’t think the Giants would mind having him on the roster. With Eduardo Nunez‘s ability to play shortstop, having Kelby is relatively expendable.
Someone asked one of our writers on twitter today if Crick was the next Gary Brown. I think that’s false. But there is a big question of whether or not he gets his crap into gear. Crick has had a strong spring actually. He’s been used mainly as a bullpen guy, and that just may be his future. He was optioned to the minor league camp today, which is fine. It should’ve been expected, honestly. However, we may see him up at AAA this year. Especially as a bullpen guy. In seven innings he struck out six, gave up six hits, and walked a few. The big thing was always his walk numbers. If he can continue this type of performance in the minor leagues, Crick might have just gotten his career on track again.
Samardzija has been worse than Matt Cain to start spring training this year. I don’t think it is bad enough to warrant a question of his spot in the rotation. However, if this continues into the regular season, and Tyler Beede is tearing it up in AAA, and Matt Cain still can’t start, say hello to a rotation without Samardzija or Cain. That wouldn’t look good. My bets are on Samardzija figuring it out. He gave up a grand slam Monday night that would’ve been a pop fly to right field at AT&T. The defense behind him didn’t do him much favors either. I don’t think he’s in bad shape, but with as bad as Cain has been, Sharks numbers are worse, which should be concerning.
Suarez was actually not half bad last season when called upon for a few spot starts. Many considered him in the mix for the fifth starter role. That seems like a distant reality now. He likely won’t make the big league roster, which could mean a potential DFA if the Giants need to make room for a non-roster invite. It’s a sad reality, but it’s quite likely at the moment. Especially with the emergence of Blach and Beede. If they weren’t around, I’m sure the Giants would grind out his struggles. It’s a good situation for the Giants to be in, but not good for Suarez.
This is my updated “roster if spring training ended today”
- Madison Bumgarner (Starter)
- Johnny Cueto (Starter)
- Matt Moore (Starter)
- Jeff Samardzija (Starter)
- Ty Blach (Starter)
- Mark Melancon (Closer)
- Derek Law (Setup man)
- Hunter Strickland (7th Inning)
- Matt Cain (Long Relief/ spot start)
- Steven Okert (long relief/lefty matchup)
- George Kontos (gap maintenance)
- Neil Ramirez (will be Will Smith when he’s healthy)
- Buster Posey
- Brandon Belt
- Joe Panik
- Brandon Crawford
- Eduardo Nunez
- Conor Gillaspie
- Nick Hundley
- Aaron Hill
- Hunter Pence
- Denard Span
- Jarrett Parker
- Gorkys Hernandez
- Mac Williamson
For clarification, I think the only reason Neil Ramirez makes the opening day roster is that I’m not sure Will Smith will be ready for opening day. He’ll need to start making appearances soon if he’s going to end up on the 25 man roster.
Stay tuned as we break down spring training battles leading up to opening day!