Shaun Anderson had an up-and-down inaugural campaign to his career last season, but appeared to find his niche in the bullpen. Despite posting a 6.08 ERA as a reliever in 2019, Anderson looked like he had the mentality and power fastball to handle a high-leverage bullpen spot.
The bullpen is not uncharted territory for the right-hander as he worked primarily as a closer at the University of Florida.
Despite the experience, Anderson has gotten off to a rough start in spring training. Through 1.2 Cactus League innings, the 25-year-old has yielded seven earned runs. With that being said, three of those runs were given up by Melvin Adon after Adon a gave up a home run to Colorado Rockies prospect Dom Nunez.
Still, it is not the best first impression to the new coaching staff for Anderson. He has three minor league options remaining, and a stat line like this will likely lead to assignment to Triple-A Sacramento rather than San Francisco.
Steven Duggar has been on the Giants radar for the past several years, but major injuries in three consecutive seasons have stunted his development.
The left-handed hitter showed some promised in his rookie season in 2018 when he posted a 92 OPS+ and played stellar defense. A shoulder injury on a dive back to second base ended that season prematurely.
The 2019 season was one to forget for Duggar as he produced a .619 OPS across 281 plate appearances. His season again ended early as he re-aggravated his surgically repaired shoulder on a dive for a ball in the outfield.
With a clean slate of health, Duggar is hoping to earn a spot on the Opening Day roster. So far, he has collected just two hits in 11 at-bats, with five strikeouts on his ledger. The strikeout frequency is a concern that continues to plague the left-handed bat after he has struck out in 28.2 percent of his plate appearances at the major league level.
Yolmer Sanchez was the AL Gold Glove winner at second base in 2019, but only managed to score a minor league deal after being non-tendered by the Chicago White Sox during the offseason.
Sanchez has a similar skill set as Billy Hamilton in that he is tremendous with the glove, but struggles in the batter’s box. The switch-hitter has generated a .244/.299/.357 (80 OPS+) line in six seasons with the White Sox.
The infielder chose to sign with the Giants due to expectations about playing time at second base. In addition to second base, Sanchez has experience at shortstop and third base as well, so he could see time all around the infield if he makes the team.
With that being said, Sanchez will not be handed the starting gig at second base. He remains hitless in 11 Cactus League at-bats. The Giants have been tinkering with Sanchez’s swing mechanics, so they will be patient with the switch-hitter.
The good news is first impressions can be forgotten pretty quickly with a good game or two, and there is still plenty of Cactus League baseball left.