Three up, three down from Week 1 of Giants spring training
By Jeff Young
Spring training is underway, and the camp battles for the San Francisco Giants are beginning to take shape.
The San Francisco Giants have much of their roster already spoken for, but the competition for many of the bullpen and bench spots is still wide open.
Every team sets lofty expectations during spring training and the optimism is as high as it is going to be.
In particular, players come to camp with new swing mechanics, pitch mixes, or they are in the best shape of their life.
Despite the never-ending optimism, the Giants Cactus League season quickly took a negative turn. In the early part of the first game of Cactus League play against the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Giants committed three errors.
Rust and a wet field could have certainly been a factor, but it was not the way the Giants wanted to start the season.
Since then, the Giants have played much better baseball. The starting pitching, in particular, has been solid in the first turn through the rotation.
Jeff Samardzija, Drew Smyly, Kevin Gausman, Tyler Beede, Logan Webb, and Johnny Cueto have each recorded scoreless outings.
Most of the pitchers from this group will form the starting rotation once the 2020 season gets underway.
Veteran players are usually a bit slow out of the gates. However, this has not been the case with Samardzija, Gausman, Smyly, and Cueto.
With that being said, spring training stats can be misleading. The success players experience in Arizona does not always carry over into the regular season.
For instance, Chris Marrero blasted seven home runs during spring training on his way to making the Giants Opening Day roster in 2017. However, he only accumulated one home run during the regular season before being cut loose after 41 plate appearances.
Despite this, the Giants roster consists of plenty of veteran players who have a lot to prove in 2020. So, even though spring training stats should not be looked at in too much detail, it is a positive sign when a player who has struggled in previous seasons starts off the Cactus League with a good first impression.
Through the first week of play, plenty of players are making good first impressions for the 2020 season. That list includes Brandon Crawford, Joey Bart, and Carlos Navas.
Let’s take a quick look at who has impressed in the early going and who has struggled.