Giants manager Gabe Kapler recently discussed the club’s current catching situation following San Francisco’s signing of Gary Sanchez on a minor league deal, telling reporters (including Maria Guardado of MLB.com) that the club views the Sanchez signing as “a good opportunity for us to add some depth on a guy that we feel like has a chance to make a contribution at the Major League level at some point.”
If Sanchez is going to contribute to the major league Giants this season, it will likely come before May 1, when he will have the opportunity to opt out of his deal with the club if he hasn’t already been added to the team’s active roster. Still, that outcome certainly seems to be within the realm of possibility. Though the Giants opened the season with three catchers on their roster, the Giants have previously indicated that their current catching situation may not stick deep into the season.
Rule 5 pick Blake Sabol’s positional versatility will hold less value when outfielders Austin Slater and Mitch Haniger are ready to return from the injured list. Meanwhile Joey Bart, who the Giants selected with the second overall pick of the 2018 draft, has struggled all throughout his MLB career to this point. He’s posted a wRC+ of just 84 in 133 big league games, with a whopping 38% strikeout rate. Kapler noted Bart could still be significant part of the club’s future in spite of his past struggles saying “it’s absolutely the best outcome” if the 26 year-old is able to establish himself as the Giants’ everyday catcher going forward. However, with Bart dealing with back tightness to open the season and the club’s fluid catching situation, it’s an open question whether or not he’ll be able to do that early in this season.
All that potentially opens the door for Sanchez, a bat-first catcher who Kapler notes has been improving on defense in recent years and could complement the glove-first Roberto Perez nicely in a potential catching tandem, should the Giants indeed shift to a roster that features only two catchers later this season.
More from around the National League…
- The Cubs are continuing to take Kyle Hendricks’s rehab slowly, as noted by Patrick Mooney of The Athletic. Hendricks, who is suffering from a capsular tear in his throwing shoulder, threw a bullpen session on Friday, but will take a brief recovery period before his next two bullpen sessions. Following those sessions, Hendricks will advance to live batting practice. Hendricks was among the more effective starters in the game for the first seven seasons of his career, posting a 3.12 ERA and 3.53 FIP in 1,047 1/3 innings of work 2014-2020 while earning votes for the NL Cy Young award in both 2016 and 2020. Since the start of the 2021 season, however, Hendricks struggled to a 4.78 ERA (87 ERA+) in 265 1/3 innings before being shut down midway through the 2022 season. Fortunately for Chicago, the club has plenty of starting options even without Hendricks, with Adrian Sampson serving as depth behind the starting five of Marcus Stroman, Justin Steele, Jameson Taillon, Drew Smyly, and rookie Hayden Wesneski.
- Diamondbacks slugger Kyle Lewis is feeling good as he attempts to compete in a full 162 game season for the first time in his career. Lewis, the AL Rookie of the Year during the shortened 2020 season, has struggled badly with injuries (including a torn meniscus and a concussion) in each of the past two seasons, prompting his trade to the Diamondbacks from the Mariners. Arizona has planned to use Lewis carefully to open the season, opting to play him at DH against left-handed starters and as a pinch-hitter rather than use him everyday or give him reps in the outfield. That said, Lewis is hoping for an expanded role in the near future. The slugger told reporters, including Nick Piecoro of The Arizona Republic, that he should be able to play “almost every day”, should the club want him to. Lewis is currently competing for at-bats in the Dbacks outfield with Corbin Carroll, Alek Thomas, Jake McCarthy and Lourdes Gurriel Jr.
Sounds like the Giants are close to ready to admitting Bart is a bust.
Two busts don’t make a right.
Actually, if they’re nice enough…
It appears that they’re all just placeholders for Bailey at this point.
They can afford to bring Hendricks along slowly. The Cubs staff is the best in the national league. Marcus Stroman already making his case for NL CY. Steel with 8k’s yesterday and Tallion getting the ball today eager to start his quest for 20W’s, no one can stop that trio.
Motor City Beach Bum
You mean the best in the NL after 2 games?
This post made Pollyanna roll her eyes.
Tallion let you down Slider. Keep the predictions coming though….
The 3 guys I thought would be stars seeing them in the Arizona Fall League but never really made it, Christian Pache, Jerrod Kelenic and Joey Bart
Bart maybe, he’s 26. But no on the other two. Pache is 24, and Kelenic is only 23. Those two haven’t done anything yet, but maybe it’s still too early to label them busts? I understand how we might want it all and want it now, but let’s see how they’re doing in a few years.
The Giants only selected Bart because his name reminds everyone to use Bay Area Rapid Transit.
That joke first surfaced when Bart was drafted. Late to the party?
Go look back at that draft and see how many busts came out of the first round. Baseball is the hardest sport to predict prospects which everyone knows. Sabes and Evans weren’t great at drafting other than pitchers who they seemed to get right on occasion.
So far FZ hasn’t gotten any draft picks right and missed out on guys like Manoah, Baty, Carroll, Volpe, Jordan Walker, and Bobby Miller to name a few clearly better options than Bishop or Bailey.
Sorry. I tried. Forgive me.
Nothing to forgive. It was a lame party as I’ve been told.
Words out, son.
Your parties are lame.
It’s not my party
I was never invited
Past my bedtime dad.
Good thing it’s not the Smooth Hot Inter-city Train.
I’m getting suspicious on the Bart back tightness. He didn’t play much over the spring. I wonder if they are seeing the possibility of some sort of corrective surgery and a 60 day IL stint in his future.
Exploratory surgery perhaps?
To see if he even has a spine?
Wilmer the Thrillmer
I wonder if the Giants and Pirates will work out a trade for Sabol’s Rule 5 rights? I’m kind of surprised they haven’t already.
He would have to clear waivers first.
Remember when people were bashing the Giants for drafting Bailey because they had Bart in the system? This is why you draft BPA in baseball.
You are 100% right. The only exception to that I believe would be what the Angels did a few years ago and draft nothing but pitchers. It was their only hope because they couldn’t keep a pitcher healthy so they did something radical. More times than not always draft the best available player.
That five man outfield rotation for the Dbacks is absolutely loaded. Hazen has really set them up well for the future.
Play all five.
Last night’s ending was a kick in the jimmy. Two kicks.
Zac getting punkslapped by Padres….
Zac getting punkslapped.
Crismatt getting punkslapped.
Zac showed sac.
Double STEAL! uh-YAY-uh!
Zona BP in the zone.
The danger zone.