Darin Ruf’s loud bat is making a play for a roster spot in San Francisco, per John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle. Ruff, 33, made major-league appearances for five consecutive seasons for the Philadelphia Phillies from 2012 to 2016, totaling 833 plate appearances. He was mostly used as a pinch-hitting option off the bench while seeing time at first base and in both outfield corners. The Giants are pretty settled at first base with veteran Brandon Belt, but there’s room for Ruf to make a play for an outfield spot where Michael Yastrzemski, Alex Dickerson, Austin Slater, Joey Rickard, Joe McCarthy, and Hunter Pence are his top competition.
- Pence, of course, will line up as the regular designated hitter, assuming he can stay healthy. After missing some workouts due to pain in his right foot, Pence underwent an MRI but results returned nothing more serious than inflammation, per Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle. He’s not expected to miss a significant amount of time. The fan favorite returned to the Giants this year just in time to resume his role as a designated hitter, a role in which he thrived last season for the Texas Rangers. Pence enjoyed a real resurgence in 2019, making the All-Star team and hitting .297/.358/.552. the 36-year-old outfielder was limited to 83 games, however, and it’s safe to assume he’ll be a part-time player moving forward. That should leave plenty of at-bats for a crowded veteran infield or any of the names above to snag some extra ABs from the DH slot.
- In preparation for a hectic season, Giants manager Gabe Kapler is encouraging players to cultivate as much flexibility as possible, per Kerry Crowley of the Mercury News. Joe McCarthy is spending more time at first, Yastrzemski, Austin Slater and others are seeing time in centerfield, and former Brewer Mauricio Dubon has moved all over the diamond, from second to center to right to first. When Dubon was acquired from the Brewers, there was some question as to exactly where he’d fit in, given the veterans stocked in the Giants’ infield. Well, the answer is anywhere and everywhere.