There was a scary scene during the San Francisco-Kansas City game Saturday in Phoenix, as a line drive off the bat of Royals third baseman/outfielder Hunter Dozier struck Giants first base coach Jose Alguacil in the face, Andrew Baggarly of the Mercury News was among those to report. Alguacil suffered a fractured nose, a deep facial laceration and fractures in his left eye socket, and he was airlifted to a Phoenix trauma center to undergo surgery. He’s now resting with his family, tweets Alex Pavlovic of CSN Bay Area. MLBTR wishes Alguacil a fast recovery as he prepares for his first season on the Giants’ coaching staff.
In lighter news from San Francisco and two other National League cities…
- Giants right-hander Johnny Cueto will be able to opt out of his contract after this season, but the longtime ace told Chris Haft of MLB.com that’s not on his mind. “To me, this is just a regular year,” he said. “I signed for five [more] years, and I’m not thinking anything past that. It’s just another year for me.” Cueto will earn $106MM if he sticks with the Giants through 2022, though another great season would put him in prime position to land a more valuable pact next winter. In his age-30 campaign last year, Cueto pitched to a pristine 2.79 ERA, logged a 50.2 percent ground-ball rate and recorded 8.11 K/9 against 1.94 BB/9 in 219 2/3 innings.
- Brewers infielder Jonathan Villar addressed his recent decision to turn down a $20MM extension Saturday, telling Adam McCalvy of MLB.com that it wasn’t difficult to reject. “In my house, I feel good,” he said. “I’m comfortable. … I told my family [about the offer], and they told me, ’It’s up to you. If you want, fine. If no, no.’ I can wait for arbitration.” Villar, who will become arbitration eligible next offseason, noted that he doesn’t harbor any ill feelings toward the Brewers. He’ll now try to build on a breakout 2016 in which he slashed .285/.369/.457 with 19 home runs and a major league-best 62 stolen bases over 679 plate appearances.
- Given that he was the subject of trade rumors throughout the offseason, Mets right fielder Jay Bruce did not expect to return to the club this year, he told USA Today’s Bob Nightengale. “The whole time I just assumed I was going being traded,’’ said Bruce. “Honestly, the way everything went down, I did not think I would be back. Not to sound like a (jerk), but I knew I was going to be the opening-day right fielder somewhere.” The Mets then informed Bruce in January he’d stick around, which he’s “very, very happy” about. Although Bruce batted a paltry .219/.294/.391 in 187 PAs with the Mets last year after joining the club in a deadline trade with the Reds, his rocky off-field transition from Cincinnati to New York didn’t help matters, Nightengale notes. Bruce stayed in six hotels as a Met down the stretch and was apart from his wife and 4-month-old son, who remained in Texas. The three of them will live in an apartment on New York City’s Upper East Side this year, per Bruce.