SF Giants: 3 up from the 1st week of spring training
1. The rotation starters
So far, four of the five Giants rotation arms have made starts in the Cactus League. Alex Cobb is the lone exception, but he is slated to go on Sunday. Carlos Rodón, Alex Wood, Anthony DeSclafani, and Logan Webb have all thrived in the Cactus League:
Rodón: 2.2 innings, 0 earned runs, 4 strikeouts
Wood: 5.2 innings, 0 earned runs, 6 strikeouts
DeSclafani: 3 innings, 0 earned runs, 1 strikeout
Webb: 5 innings, 1 earned run, 10 strikeouts
I do not put too much stock into spring training stats, but based on appearances, all four look ready from a repertoire standpoint. The arm strength to go five or six innings likely still needs to be tested, but that will come over the next two weeks.
Alex Blandino came over to the Giants on a minor league contract earlier this offseason. He was drafted by the Cincinnati Reds in the first round of the 2014 draft out of Stanford University in Palo Alto, California. He debuted with the Reds in 2018 and appeared in parts of three seasons with them, slashing .226/.339/.291 (68 OPS+) with two home runs and 16 RBI.
This does come with a solid 11.1 percent walk rate against a concerning 29.8 percent strikeout rate. Despite the limited power output, he does bring plenty of versatility as he had appeared at first base, second base, third base, shortstop, left field, and right field with the Reds.
Since the start of the Cactus League, the right-handed bat has recorded six hits, including one home run, in 10 at-bats with three RBI and two runs scored. Only catching prospect Patrick Bailey (11) has accumulated more at-bats than Blandino this spring, so the Giants seem motivated in seeing what he can do. The chances of him making the opening day roster are not great, but a strong camp could help build a case for a promotion by midseason.
I will admit that I really enjoy watching Thairo Estrada as a player, so there is definitely a bias with this ranking. The versatile infielder came over to the Giants from the New York Yankees last April in exchange for cash.
He was called up in July and strung together a nice performance including handling shortstop when Brandon Crawford hit the injured list. Estrada slashed .273/.333/.479 (118 OPS+) with seven home runs, 19 runs, and 22 RBI in 132 plate appearances. This is not necessarily quantifiable, but he looked very hitter-ish with the Giants.
The 26-year-old infielder appeared at five different positions down the stretch in 2021, so he has similar positional versatility as Mauricio Dubón, but with fewer mistakes.
Estrada has recorded three hits, including one home run, with two runs, three RBI, and even one stolen base(!). What can't this guy do on the baseball field? He does not have an option remaining, but he has a good chance of making the club given how he performed and his utility on the roster.