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SF Giants Spring Training: Notes from a 13-7 loss to the Brewers

Former Reds catcher Curt Casali enters the batters box in the first inning of the MLB Cactus League Spring Training game between the Cincinnati Reds and the SF Giants at Goodyear Ballpark in Goodyear, Ariz., on Sunday, March 7, 2021.
Former Reds catcher Curt Casali enters the batters box in the first inning of the MLB Cactus League Spring Training game between the Cincinnati Reds and the SF Giants at Goodyear Ballpark in Goodyear, Ariz., on Sunday, March 7, 2021.
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SF Giants, SF Giants Spring Training
Former Reds catcher Curt Casali enters the batters box in the first inning of the MLB Cactus League Spring Training game between the Cincinnati Reds and the SF Giants at Goodyear Ballpark in Goodyear, Ariz., on Sunday, March 7, 2021.

The SF Giants played their third full nine-inning game of spring training on Monday, in a blowout 13-7 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers. Alex Wood and Adrian Houser started the game for their respective teams. Neither dominated, but Wood seemed well-positioned to record his first win of the spring after San Francisco jumped out to a 5-1 lead by the fourth inning.

Instead, two of the Giants’ most proven bullpen arms, Sam Selman and Matt Wisler, gave up a pair of runs in their lone innings of work. After Milwaukee added three more runs off of Kervin Castro, the Giants fell behind 8-6. Castro ultimately received the loss while former Giants’ prospect Phil Bickford got the victory.

The Giants showed off their offensive depth early. They forced Milwaukee pitchers deep into counts, consistently got on base, and forced Brewers manager Craig Counsell to roll three innings early with multiple runners on base. In an old spring training format, the Giants could have easily reached double-digit runs as well.

SF Giants Spring Training Notes From 13-7 Loss
#1: Luis Basabe Leaves Game w/Injury

There are plenty of performances worth noting from any spring training game, but any matchup’s ultimate impact is quite minimal. Any team official will tell you that the preseason’s primary goal is to get players as ready for Opening Day as possible without any injuries. The Giants appeared to get bit by the injury bug during Tuesday’s game. Outfielder Luis Alexander Basabe appeared to injure his wrist diving for a line drive and was seen meeting with trainers later in the game.

SF Giants Spring Training Notes From 13-7 Loss
#2: Alex Wood Struggles

Wood pitched around a busy first inning. He struggled to locate his fastball early, and Kolten Wong hammered one off the left-field wall for a leadoff double. Then in his second inning of work, Omar Narvaez squared up another fastball and sent it to center for a home run. Dan Vogelbach and former Giants utilityman Daniel Robertson worked long plate appearances against Wood, fouling off several pitches that each ended in walks. Wood has been effective for most of the spring, but given his erratic 2020 season, fans and team officials will obviously be looking for consistency.

SF Giants Spring Training Notes From 13-7 Loss
#3: Steven Duggar Stands Out, Heliot Ramos Keeps Rolling

Steven Duggar drove a Houser fastball over the left-center field wall for his second opposite-field homer of the spring. The wind was incredibly hitter-friendly on Tuesday, and his drive was clearly aided by the carry. He later worked three walks and added a stolen base as well. Even with the strong performance, though, Duggar has struck out seven times in 15 plate appearances. His defensive ability would be the best fit on the Giants bench if he can generate consistent offense, but he’ll have to show a greater ability to make consistent contact.

Heliot Ramos had a pair of strikeouts on the day, but he clobbered an impressive ninth-inning home run off Leo Crawford and laced a double off the right-field wall earlier in the game to build off his two-homer performance last week. It’s worth noting that all three of Ramos’ homers have come off left-handed pitchers this spring. He’s never exhibited notable platoon splits throughout his career, but it could be something to watch.

SF Giants Spring Training Notes From 13-7 Loss
#4: Stolen Bases Are Back

The Giants were aggressive on the basepaths last season, and we’ve seen the team begin to emphasize stealing bases over the past two games. Alex Dickerson got the action started on Tuesday, nabbing his first stolen base of the spring. By the end of the game, the Giants had stolen five bases, giving them 11 steals over the team’s past three games.

SF Giants Spring Training Notes From 13-7 Loss
#5: Other (mostly prospect) Notes

Joe McCarthy had the hardest-hit ball of the day on a two-RBI single off the batter’s eye in center field. At many other ballparks, McCarthy would have easily had a home run.

Will Wilson had a welcome to the bigs at-bat, facing three paint fastballs on the outside corner. He did look good defensively at second base, making a nice play ranging up the middle, but continued to struggle at the plate. He’s now struck out seven times in 12 at-bats.

Marco Luciano had another three-strikeout day, and it came on several swings at pitches outside the zone. Pitch recognition and improving his eye remain the biggest roadblock to him becoming a big-league player. It’s not a huge red flag, given Luciano’s limited experience against high-level pitching. However, he’s showing why he’s a ways away from pushing for an MLB job.

Hunter Bishop‘s arm has been a source of confusion for scouts for some time. He’s shown solid arms strength in the past, but then towards the end of his collegiate career, it seemed to disappear. Many tend to overrate the impact of arm strength in the outfield, but Bishop bounced multiple throws to the infield from left on Tuesday. Bishop did go 1-2 from the plate.

Logan Wyatt finished the day hitless in two trips to the plate but continued showing his keen eye, working another 3-2 count.

Gregory Santos struggled in his first appearance of the spring, walking two batters, surrendering a pair of extra-base hits, and allowing 4 runs.

Next. SF Giants Prospect Podcast ft. GPT

The SF Giants will return to the field on Wednesday, hosting the Chicago Cubs at Scottsdale Stadium. First pitch is scheduled for 12:05 pm PST/3:05 pm EST.

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