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San Francisco Giants: Five Spring Training Disappointments

WASHINGTON, DC - AUGUST 13: Jarrett Parker #6 of the San Francisco Giants walks to the dugout after striking out in the second inning against the Washington Nationals during Game 1 of a doubleheader at Nationals Park on August 13, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - AUGUST 13: Jarrett Parker #6 of the San Francisco Giants walks to the dugout after striking out in the second inning against the Washington Nationals during Game 1 of a doubleheader at Nationals Park on August 13, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images) /
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San Francisco Giants
WASHINGTON, DC – AUGUST 13: Jarrett Parker #6 of the San Francisco Giants walks to the dugout after striking out in the second inning against the Washington Nationals during Game 1 of a doubleheader at Nationals Park on August 13, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images) /

Spring Training is always filled with hope and optimism for all 30 major-league clubs, but there’re always disappointments that come along with it–including in the San Francisco Giants’ 2018 camp.

The Giants were poised to escape the Cactus League fully healthy and ready to tackle on their Los Angeles Dodger-heavy April, but injuries to key pitchers have prompted some concern.

First, No. 3 starter and innings-eater Jeff Samardzija went down, and then Madison Bumgarner broke a finger in his pitching hand during his final tuneup.

And now, their high-paid closer Mark Melancon may start the season on the disabled list.

And then there were some who did not have a good spring, hurting their chances of contributing to the big club in 2018.

Here are five disappointments this Spring Training:

Jarrett Parker

With the Giants searching for a power-hitting outfielder for several years, they hoped Parker would be the answer. But despite ample chances, Parker’s inconsistencies at the plate ultimately doomed him.

In 2015, his debut season, he hit three home runs against the Oakland A’s in September. But the next year, he only hit .236 with five home runs in 127 at-bats. Last year, while showing small stretches of success, he hit .247 with four home runs in 166 bats–but with only a .294 on-base percentage.

Those inconsistencies continued this spring training. In 41 at-bats, he hit only .220 with three home runs. And he struck out 20 times, nearly half of his at-bats.

Since Parker was out-of-options, the Giants may have put him on the roster if it wasn’t for his bad outfield defense, dropping routine fly balls and looking lost out there at times this spring. Since the Giants were ranked last in outfield defense last year, the Giants could not afford a defensive liability in the outfield, even if he had potential with the bat.

Plus, with a crowded outfield already featuring solid bats in Hunter Pence, Andrew McCutchen, and Austin Jackson–along with plus defenders Steven Duggar, Gregor Blanco, and Gorkys Hernandez–the Giants could not wait for the 29-year-old to blossom any longer.

They designated him for assignment this week, meaning any team can claim him off waivers.

His best chance to prove his worth was last season, but he broke his clavicle as he crashed into the wall in April.

There’s always a chance Parker could clear waivers and be assigned to AAA Sacramento.

Manager Bruce Bochy told the San Francisco Chronicle’s John Shea he hopes Parker will be back with the team at some point.

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