San Francisco Giants – MLB Trade Rumors 2018-05-25T04:17:12Z WordPress Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Bumgarner On Track For Saturday Rehab Start]]> 2018-05-23T02:51:38Z 2018-05-23T02:51:38Z
  • Madison Bumgarner threw 30 pitches in a simulated game today, and is on track to make his first rehab start on Saturday.  (’s Richard Dean was one of several reporters with the info.)  The Giants ace will likely make three rehab outings before returning to the 25-man roster in June to make his season debut, after fracturing a finger in Spring Training.
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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Mark Melancon Nearing Rehab Stint]]> 2018-05-22T20:10:51Z 2018-05-22T16:47:13Z
  • The Giants, meanwhile, could soon face some interesting calls on their late-inning mix. As Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area writes, the club could welcome Mark Melancon back within two weeks or so, as the veteran reliever is set to begin a rehab assignment after opening the year on the shelf due to ongoing pronator issues. Skipper Bruce Bochy says the team will “let him get settled” rather than thrusting Melancon back into the closer’s role. Melancon, 33, is certainly being paid to handle the ninth. But Hunter Strickland has performed quite well in his absence, working to a 2.18 ERA with 9.6 K/9 against 2.2 BB/9. Just how that situation will be navigated over the course of the season remains to be seen.
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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Pablo Sandoval Could See Time At Second Base]]> 2018-05-20T02:28:18Z 2018-05-20T01:20:28Z
  • The Giants are considering using big-bodied corner infielder Pablo Sandoval at second base, John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle relays. Sandoval has been taking grounders recently at the keystone with guidance from infield coach Ron Wotus, who said that the longtime third baseman “looks good. He has quick feet and good hands. So far, so good.” San Francisco’s in position to ponder this experiment because second basemen Joe Panik and Alen Hanson are on the disabled list. Moreover, Kelby Tomlinson and Miguel Gomez haven’t been particularly effective at the plate, while the 31-year-old Sandoval has hit a solid .270/.329/.429 in 70 PAs. That represents Sandoval’s best production in several years, though it’s obviously too soon to determine whether the Panda’s truly turning back into a useful hitter.
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    Kyle Downing <![CDATA[Injury Notes: Kendrick, Bumgarner, Mauer, Moore, Souza, Cuthbert]]> 2018-05-19T23:02:45Z 2018-05-19T21:50:42Z Things got even worse for the Nationals today; Howie Kendrick appeared to sustain a serious injury while chasing down a Max Muncy fly ball. Kendrick was carted off the field, and was seen pointing to his ankle area. Jamal Collier of reports that he’s off to get an MRI. The Nationals are already dealing with injuries to a number of other key players, including Ryan Zimmerman, Adam Eaton, Matt Wieters and Brian Goodwin, and can ill afford to lose another player from their outfield for an extended period of time. They’ll likely be anxious as they await further news on Kendrick.

    More injury news from around MLB today…

    • Giants lefty Madison Bumgarner considers his fractured left hand to be “95% or more” healed, according to a tweet from’s Chris Haft. He’s on track to throw live batting practice on Tuesday and begin a rehab assignment on Saturday. Meanwhile, Haft says, Johnny Cueto will head to the club’s rehab facility in Arizona. The Giants will hope for the best-case scenarios as far as the timetables of these two players; their depleted rotation is a chief factor in the club’s sub-.500 record on the season.
    • Joe Mauer is headed to the Twins’ DL with concussion symptoms once again, according to LaVelle E. Neal of the Star Tribute. He reportedly did well in regards to concussion tests last night, but is apparently experiencing some sensitivity to light along with some balance issues. Mauer, who has dealt with concussion issues in years past, is walking at a 16.8% clip so far this season en route to a .404 OBP. According to chief baseball officer Derek Falvey (via’s Rhett Bollinger), the club is “not saying at this time that Joe has a concussion.”
    • The Rangers have placed lefty Matt Moore on the 10-day disabled list with what the club is calling right knee soreness. The move will make room for fellow righty Ariel Jurado, who will make the jump from Double-A to debut in the majors tonight. Jurado has a 2.57 ERA in 35 minor league innings this year, but with a 5.31 FIP that strongly disagrees with those results. He posted a 4.59 ERA at Double-A last season, with 5.45 K/9.
    • Diamondbacks outfielder Steven Souza will avoid the DL for the time being, says Zach Buchanan of The Athletic. A key offseason acquisition by the Dbacks, Souza has already spent the bulk of the season on the DL after suffering a pectoral strain upon diving for a ball in the outfield. Fortunately, it seems as though some minor pec soreness will not require a second DL stint for the time being.
    • The Royals have placed Cheslor Cuthbert on the 10-day DL with a lower back strain, recalling fellow infielder Ramon Torres from Triple-A Omaha in a corresponding move. Cuthbert is a career .252/.308/.383 hitter, and is performing especially poorly this season, as evidenced by his -0.5 fWAR for 2018. However, Torres seems unlikely to provide any significant upgrade; he’s hitting just .229/.280/.307 at the Triple-A level so far this season.
    Kyle Downing <![CDATA[Injury Notes: Anderson, Lamb, Giants, Shoemaker]]> 2018-05-19T14:05:21Z 2018-05-19T14:05:21Z The A’s announced this morning that Brett Anderson has been placed on the 10-day DL with a left shoulder strain. Anderson was removed from yesterday’s game before the second inning even began. He’d had an ugly showing so far this season at the MLB level, pitching to a 7.63 ERA with just eight strikeouts across four starts. As Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle notes, it’s the 11th time in the 30-year-old lefty’s career that he’s gone on the disabled list. Anderson has only pitched more than 100 innings once in the past eight seasons; it was a 2015 campaign with the Dodgers in which he worked to a 3.69 ERA and 3.94 FIP. In a corresponding move, the A’s have recalled Ryan Dull, who was technically optioned to Triple-A Nashville yesterday but never left Toronto.

    Other injury notes from around baseball…

    • Yesterday, the Diamondbacks officially announced the activation of slugging third baseman Jake Lamb from the disabled list. After hitting the 10-day DL with a sprained right AC joint and subsequently having his return delayed by elbow tendinitis, has finally completed a rehab assignment and is ready to return. It’s a welcome sight for the Diamondbacks, who recently lost team WAR leader A.J. Pollock to the DL. They’ll hope Lamb can repeat the 30-homer power he showed last year and help propel an offense that currently ranks 27th of 30 MLB teams with a wRC+ of just 83.
    • Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports provides a pair Giants injury updates via Twitter. Joe Panik is reportedly doing well in his recovery from left thumb surgery, and could begin a rehab assignment as soon as the end of this month. Meanwhile, Mac Williamson served as a DH in Triple-A last night. None of the rehabbing Giants, however, will be called upon at the major league level for at least another week, a group that includes rookie Alen Hanson and veteran outfielder Hunter Pence.
    • There’s still no real answer to the nerve issue in Matt Shoemaker’s forearm, according to Jeff Miller of the Los Angeles Times. The Angels right-hander reportedly visited a specialist in St. Louis earlier this week, and the next move in his recovery isn’t quite clear at this time. The oft-injured Shoemaker landed on the DL after just one start this season; he allowed three earned runs in 5 2/3 innings while striking out four.
    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Melancon, Bumgarner Nearing Rehab Assignments]]> 2018-05-18T02:39:43Z 2018-05-18T02:12:42Z
  • Mark Melancon threw 20 pitches to live hitters today and could begin a rehab assignment as soon as Sunday, tweets Kerry Crowley of the San Jose Mercury News. He’ll likely need about two weeks’ worth of rehab games, putting him on target for a return to the Giants in early June if all goes well. Meanwhile, Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area tweets that Madison Bumgarner could make his first rehab start on May 26.
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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Giants Place Alen Hanson On DL, Recall Austin Slater]]> 2018-05-15T04:39:09Z 2018-05-15T04:09:34Z
  • Meanwhile, the Giants have sent infielder Alen Hanson onto the 10-day DL with a hamstring strain while bringing back Austin Slater, who may need to see a bit of time in the infield. That’s a tough break for Hanson, a minor-league signee who had impressed in his 14 games of action after previously failing to gain traction in the majors. He has produced at a healthy .298/.346/.638 clip in 52 trips to the plate. As for Slater, the 25-year-old has demolished Triple-A pitching thus far, with a .386/.456/.670 batting line in 103 plate appearances. He has spent most of his career in the outfield, but does have a bit of experience under his belt at second base.
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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Madison Bumgarner Could Return Shortly After May 25]]> 2018-05-13T17:47:47Z 2018-05-13T17:30:38Z
  • The Giants are taking an aggressive approach in ace Madison Bumgarner’s recovery from a fractured pinky finger, Kerry Crowley of the Bay Area News Group relays. Manager Bruce Bochy indicated that Bumgarner may only need one rehab start and could return shortly after May 25, when he’s eligible to come off the 60-day DL. Bumgarner hasn’t pitched yet this year, and his debut will be an especially timely one for a San Francisco team that just lost fellow front-of-the-rotation starter Johnny Cueto for up to two months with an elbow strain.
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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Hunter Pence May Not Return During Upcoming Week]]> 2018-05-13T00:49:57Z 2018-05-13T00:49:33Z
  • The Giants aren’t going to bring left fielder Hunter Pence off the DL during the upcoming week unless they’re convinced he’ll provide a boost to their offense, Kerry Crowley of the Bay Area News Group writes. The 35-year-old Pence was unable to help San Francisco before going on the DL three-plus weeks ago with a thumb issue, as he hit .172/.197/.190 and posted a minus-1 wRC+ across 61 trips to the plate. Now, thanks to his early season woes and manager Bruce Bochy’s desire to carry an extra pitcher, Pence’s return may be delayed.
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    Kyle Downing <![CDATA[West Notes: CarGo, Fowler, Pence]]> 2018-05-12T15:37:25Z 2018-05-12T15:37:25Z A combination of poor offensive output and surging young Rockies outfielders staking claims to playing time has led to an unusual “platoon” situation for Carlos Gonzalez, as Kyle Newman of the Denver Post writes. CarGo is hitting just .236/.278/.427 on the season with three homers, while David Dahl and Noel Cuevas both boast wRC+ figures above 100 (though each has a BABIP above .420). Gerrardo Parra has also seen a reduction in playing time thanks to the young duo’s hot streaks. Newman notes that manager Bud Black is making his lineup card each day with many factors each day, including rest, pitching matchups and the hot hand. Gonzalez signed a one-year, $8MM deal with the Rockies this past season after struggling for much of 2017.

    A pair of other items out of the West…

    • Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle writes that the Athletics could start running more often following the promotion of speedy outfielder Dustin Fowler to the big league club. Enter Thursday’s game, Slusser notes that the A’s were just 7-for-14 in steal attempts on the season; those steals and steals attempts totals both rank second to last in the majors. In the meantime, Fowler was 8-for-10 during his time in Triple-A this year. Manager Bob Melvin describes Fowler as a “true base stealer”. Said Fowler on the subject:  “That’s something I’ve worked on my whole career, so I’d like to step it up and see how I can do at the big-league level as much as I can.” 
    • Giants outfielder Hunter Pence has reportedly resumed his rehab assignment (h/t Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports). Pence, who has been on the DL since April 20th after suffering a thumb injury, was originally expected to miss no more than the ten-day minimum. However, Pence began feeling some recurring thumb soreness during his initial rehab assignment, necessitating a retreat from playing in games for a bit. That was only five days ago, so it appears the setback wasn’t viewed as particularly serious. With Mac Williamson still being held out of games following concussion symptoms, the Giants will hope they can get Pence back into their depleted outfield mix sooner than later.
    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Giants To Place Johnny Cueto On 60-Day DL, Select Contract Of Jose Valdez]]> 2018-05-10T15:33:37Z 2018-05-10T15:33:37Z The Giants have announced some pitching-related roster moves, as Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area was among those to report (Twitter links). Starter Johnny Cueto will move from the 10-day to the 60-day DL to open a 40-man spot for fellow righty Jose Valdez.

    Meanwhile, relievers Derek Law and Josh Osich have each been optioned to Triple-A. The latter had been on the DL with a hip strain after struggling in the majors to open the year.

    With the move, the Giants are making a somewhat early call on the length of Cueto’s absence. It had been suggested he would miss six to eight weeks with a forearm strain. With today’s placement, though, Cueto won’t be able to return until June 29, by the calculation of Pavlovic (Twitter link).

    By making the move now, the San Francisco organization will have another 40-man spot to work with. That should help the team keep the bullpen fresh, which in turn will help weather the absence of Cueto — particularly while Madison Bumgarner is also working back from the DL.

    The 28-year-old Valdez has thrown 50 1/3 innings in the majors over the past three years. This will be his first stint with the Giants after brief runs in the bigs with three other team. Thus far in 2018, Valdez has worked to a 3.71 ERA with 13.8 K/9 and 5.8 BB/9 through 17 innings over a dozen appearances at Triple-A.

    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Cueto Shut Down For Two Weeks, Pitched Through "Unbearable" Pain]]> 2018-05-09T03:41:35Z 2018-05-08T22:09:13Z
  • Johnny Cueto will be shut down entirely for the next two weeks as he rests a sprain in his right elbow, per Andrew Baggarly of The Athletic (Twitter links). The Giants righty told reporters today that he pitched through “unbearable” pain in each of his final three starts before landing on the disabled list. Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle tweets that Cueto had mentally prepared himself for the news that he was going to require Tommy John surgery and miss the remainder of the season.
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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Mets Expect To Trade Matt Harvey]]> 2018-05-08T21:22:27Z 2018-05-08T21:22:35Z May 8: The Mets have been trying to add a catcher in return for Harvey, per Mike Puma of the New York Post (Twitter link). Puma adds that the Padres are also in the mix for Harvey.

    May 7: The Mets are “confident” they will strike a deal involving righty Matt Harvey, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic (via Twitter). At this point, says Rosenthal, there are “four to five teams interested” in taking a chance on the former ace.

    Harvey was formally designated for assignment on May 5th, meaning his situation will be resolved one way or another by Saturday the 12th. If he’s not traded, Harvey would need to go onto waivers; if he were then to pass through unclaimed, he’d hit the open market (whether by release or by rejecting an outright assignment).

    We checked in earlier today on some teams with varying degrees of interest in Harvey. The Giants seem clearly to be involved, though their interest level isn’t clear. (Andy Martino of tweets there’s “very strong” interest, while’s Mark Feinsand reports (via Twitter) that it’s much more tepid, with some significant roadblocks to a swap.) Martino adds the Reds as a possibility, joining the previously reported Mariners in that regard. And Mike Puma of the New York Post tweets that the White Sox are also in the mix. There’s some uncertainty about the status of the Orioles, but they are among the organizations that would make some degree of sense on paper.

    Of course, we’ve also seen plenty of reports of other teams that will not be in on the 29-year-old. It appears the Rangers have decided against pursuing Harvey in a trade scenario despite giving it serious consideration. Otherwise, the RaysTigersRed Sox, and Yankees are said not to be involved.

    If a deal does, in fact, get done, Rosenthal says not to expect the Mets to shave away much salary. With something on the order of $4.5MM still owed to Harvey for the rest of the season, the New York organization anticipates paying the “vast majority” in hopes of securing “something in return” in a deal.

    Reading the tea leaves, then, the Mets aren’t really looking for a MLB asset back that might offset some of the Harvey commitment. It’s possible the team will be able to find another organization willing to give a bit of young talent, but it’ll take deft work for GM Sandy Alderson to achieve significant value.

    Harvey, after all, has managed only a 5.93 ERA with 6.9 K/9 and 3.4 BB/9 in his 212 1/3 innings since the start of the 2016 season. His velocity has continued to trail off as the arm injuries have mounted. As outstanding as he was before a procedure to address thoracic outlet syndrome, Harvey has struggled badly ever since.

    Clearly, some front offices around the game still think that Harvey can at least deliver some useful innings from the back of a rotation. Just what they’ll give up to find out remains to be seen.

    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Latest On Matt Harvey]]> 2018-05-08T01:20:04Z 2018-05-07T22:42:36Z 5:40pm: While the Rangers have discussed pursuit of Harvey, per’s TR Sullivan (via Twitter), the organization won’t trade for him. Indeed, GM Jon Daniels confirmed as much in an appearance on 105.3 The Fan (Twitter link). Of course, it still seems possible the organization could be involved if Harvey reaches the open market.

    2:36pm: The Giants have also discussed taking a flyer on Harvey, tweets ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick. San Francisco learned today that Johnny Cueto will miss the next six to eight weeks, and Madison Bumgarner remains on the disabled list until late May. They’ve been plugging in a struggling Derek Holland in the fifth spot in their rotation, though it’s not clear at all if Harvey would represent an upgrade.

    12:51pm: Following one of the most high-profile DFAs in recent memory, the Mets appear to be generating some interest in former ace Matt Harvey. Andy Martino of SNY reports that that the Rangers and Mariners both have some degree of interest in acquiring the righty.’s Jon Morosi wrote this morning that Texas’ interest is “mild,” while Martino indicates that Rangers assistant pitching coach Dan Warthen is pushing the organization to roll the dice on Harvey. Warthen was his pitching coach with the Mets prior to 2018.

    While Morosi speculates about the possibility of the Orioles and Mets lining up on a deal, Martino hears that the O’s don’t have much in the way of interest. Baltimore did check in on Harvey over the winter, but Martino reports that the Mets circled back to the O’s prior to designating Harvey for assignment and found “little interest” despite the disastrous results of the Baltimore rotation thus far in 2018.

    It’s not a huge surprise to see the Rangers connected to Harvey, given not only Warthen’s presence in the organization but also the team’s general approach to adding arms this offseason. The Rangers shopped for volume this winter, stockpiling veteran arms on low-cost deals (in many instances on minor league contracts) in an effort to bolster their organizational depth. Payroll was a factor in Texas’ approach, so it seems unlikely that they’d take on the full chunk of Harvey’s remaining contract — about $4.43MM — but the Mets will almost certainly be willing to include cash in any deal. The alternative, after all, is to release Harvey and simply pay him the money is owed anyway.

    As for the Mariners, they’ve endured plenty of rotation struggles of their own. James Paxton’s 4.19 ERA leads Seattle starters, and their rotation as a whole has pitched to a 5.30 earned run average. There’s likely been some poor fortune at play — both xFIP and SIERA peg Mariners starters at 4.05 as a group — but the bottom-line results have not been encouraging. Erasmo Ramirez just went back on the disabled list as well, prompting the Mariners to move veteran Wade LeBlanc from a long relief role into the fifth starter’s slot.

    It seems decidedly unlikely that the Mets would receive much in the way of a significant return for Harvey, whose struggles date back to Opening Day 2017. He’s earning $5.6MM this season, is a free agent in November and has undergone both Tommy John and thoracic outlet surgery — both of which (especially the latter) have contributed to his rapid decline.

    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Johnny Cueto Out Six To Eight Weeks With Elbow Sprain]]> 2018-05-07T17:32:25Z 2018-05-07T17:30:58Z 12:30pm: Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area tweets that Cueto’s timeline to return is actually six to eight weeks.

    12:21pm: There’s been no shortage of worry over the status of Johnny Cueto’s elbow following last week’s placement on the DL and visit to multiple specialists, including Dr. James Andrews. FanRag’s Jon Heyman, however, tweets that the Giants received relatively good news on their righty. While Cueto has been diagnosed with a sprain in the elbow, he’s avoided a major tear of the ulnar collateral ligament. Dr. Andrews prescribed rest for Cueto, and he’s expected to miss six weeks of action, per Heyman.

    Certainly, a six-week absence for Cueto, who stormed out of the gates hotter than almost any pitcher on the planet, is a critical blow for the Giants. But Cueto has obviously avoided a worst-case scenario by receiving a non-surgical treatment plan. With Cueto and Madison Bumgarner on the shelf for the time being, the Giants will continue to turn to Jeff Samardzija, Chris Stratton, Ty Blach, Derek Holland and Andrew Suarez in the rotation, with Tyler Beede waiting in the wings at Triple-A Sacramento should another need arise in the starting corps.

    The 2017 season was one to forget for Cueto, who was limited to 147 2/3 innings by a flexor strain and struggled to a 4.52 ERA in that time. Last year’s struggles prompted Cueto to forgo the opt-out provision in his six-year deal with the Giants, and early on, it looked like a blessing in disguise for San Francisco. Cueto took the NL by storm in April, tossing 32 innings with a 0.84 ERA, 7.3 K/9, 1.7 BB/9 and a 45 percent ground-ball rate. He allowed just one homer in his 32 frames before landing on the DL with what was initially termed inflammation before an MRI and a series of evaluations.

    San Francisco has remained afloat in the division with a 19-15 record, four games back from the Diamondbacks for the NL West lead, and just completed a sweep of an exciting young Braves team over the weekend. The loss of Cueto for an extended period will give the club a lengthy look at Suarez, who has admittedly been quite impressive in his first three starts as a big leaguer (3.06 ERA, 18-to-2 K/BB ratio, 53.3 percent ground-ball rate in 17 2/3 innings). The former second-round pick could position himself to seize a long-term starting job for the Giants if he continues at anywhere near that pace.

    Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Would Matt Harvey Be A Fit For The Giants?]]> 2018-05-07T04:58:44Z 2018-05-07T04:58:44Z
  • The Giants could be a potential fit as a suitor for Matt Harvey, as the former Mets ace’s arm intrigues some members of San Francisco organization, Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle reports (via Twitter).  Rather than take on the extra salary that would come with claiming or trading for Harvey during his DFA period, Schulman figures the Giants will wait until he hits the open market before considering a pursuit.  The Giants have little salary room to spare as they aim to stay under the $187MM luxury tax limit, so their obvious preference is to sign Harvey for a prorated minimum salary.
  • Braves pitching prospect Mike Soroka’s second career MLB start wasn’t nearly as impressive as his first, as Soroka allowed four earned runs over four innings today against the Giants.  Manager Brian Snitker told’s Mark Bowman (Twitter link) and other media that Soroka is scheduled to make his next start, with an implication being that Atlanta isn’t planning to demote the 20-year-old anytime soon.  Anibal Sanchez is still sidelined with a hamstring injury, and will likely be moved to relief pitching when he returns so the Braves can give Soroka a fuller look in his first taste of the majors.
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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Mac Williamson's Return Not Imminent]]> 2018-05-06T21:30:31Z 2018-05-06T21:30:34Z
  • Giants outfielder Mac Williamson’s return from the seven-day concussion DL isn’t imminent, Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle suggests. Williamson, who suffered the injury April 24, will likely need a rehab assignment even when he’s healthy enough to play again, Schulman notes. As such, he might not suit up again for the Giants until mid-May or later.
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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Giants Sign Ryan Hanigan]]> 2018-05-06T17:58:19Z 2018-05-06T17:58:57Z The Giants have signed catcher Ryan Hanigan to a minor league contract, Jon Heyman of FanRag tweets.

    The 37-year-old Hanigan was most recently with the Indians, who signed him to a minors pact in February but released him a month later. While Hanigan has enjoyed some success during his time in the majors, which began with the Reds in 2007, he hasn’t been able to find a big league deal since the Red Sox declined his $3.75MM option after the 2016 season. Nevertheless, he did reach the majors last year as a member of the Rockies, with whom he hit .267/.324/.347 in 112 plate appearances.

    Given the Giants’ depth behihnd the plate, returning to the bigs in San Francisco looks as though it’ll be a tall order for Hanigan. Backup Nick Hundley has been outstanding this year behind all-world starter Buster Posey, and the Giants also have promising prospect Aramis Garcia in Double-A (he’s on their 40-man roster) and veterans Hector Sanchez and Trevor Brown at Triple-A.

    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Mac Williamson Still "Woozy," Won't Return Sunday]]> 2018-05-06T03:38:35Z 2018-05-06T03:38:00Z
  • Giants outfielder Mac Williamson won’t come off the seven-day concussion disabled list Sunday, manager Bruce Bochy announced (Twitter link via Kerry Crowley of the Bay Area News Group). Williamson is still “woozy,” according to Bochy. As Crowley notes, that suggests Williamson is continuing to deal with symptoms from the head injury he suffered April 24. The Giants have gone an impressive 7-3 since then, even though Williamson may have been in the very early stages of a breakout season prior to going on the DL.
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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Mark Melancon Aiming For May 25 Return]]> 2018-05-06T00:04:43Z 2018-05-06T00:04:28Z
  • Giants closer Mark Melancon threw a 20-pitch bullpen session Saturday and then informed reporters (including Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle) that he’s aiming to return from the 60-day disabled list May 25, when he’s first eligible (Twitter link). Melancon hasn’t pitched at all this season, the second of a four-year, $62MM deal, on account of a flexor strain in his right elbow. Nevertheless, the Giants’ bullpen has fared better statistically than it did in 2017, and fill-in closer Hunter Strickland has performed respectably in Melancon’s place.
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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Giants Place Johnny Cueto On Disabled List]]> 2018-05-02T18:48:59Z 2018-05-02T18:48:54Z TODAY: Skipper Bruce Bochy did not exactly calm fears over Cueto’s health in his update to reporters today, though uncertainty remains the overarching theme at the moment. As Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area tweets, the skipper says that Cueto is heading out for opinions from multiple specialists — likely including Dr. James Andrews.

    The precise nature of the injury, though, is not yet clear (publicly, at least). There’s no indication at present how likely it is that a surgical approach will be pursued, let alone what kind of timeline Cueto could be looking at for making it back to the mound.

    YESTERDAY, 8:23pm: Giants GM Bobby Evans tells Andrew Baggarly of The Athletic that Cueto has been dealing with some elbow discomfort for at least a couple of starts (Twitter link). “We are getting our heads wrapped around it now,” the GM said. “We’re still trying to understand where he’s at.”

    The organization is presently awaiting MRI results.*

    8:04pm: The Giants have placed right-hander Johnny Cueto on the 10-day disabled list due to inflammation in his right elbow, the team told reporters (Twitter link via Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area).

    It’s yet another costly injury for a Giants team that is currently without Madison Bumgarner, Joe Panik, Mark Melancon and Mac Williamson, among others. Lefty Andrew Suarez is up to step into Cueto’s rotation spot, rounding out a starting mix that also includes Jeff Samardzija, Derek Holland, Ty Blach and Chris Stratton.

    Even a brief absence for Cueto is a notable hit to the Giants, considering the level of utter dominance put forth by Cueto thus far in what was shaping up to be a rebound campaign. After missing much of the 2017 season due to a forearm issue (and struggling when healthy), Cueto opened the year with a superlative 0.84 ERA, 7.3 K/9, 1.7 BB/9, 0.28 HR/9 and a 45 percent ground-ball rate through 32 innings. With Bumgarner shelved for the first two months of the season, Cueto had stepped up and filled those considerable shoes, providing the Giants with a much-needed ace atop a shakier bunch of two-through-five starters.

    *An earlier version of this post mistakenly stated that the team had not yet sent Cueto for an MRI.

    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Bumgarner A "Couple Weeks" From Throwing Off Mound]]> 2018-05-01T23:12:04Z 2018-05-01T23:12:04Z
  • Giants manager Bruce Bochy told reporters today that Madison Bumgarner could begin throwing off a bullpen mound in a couple of weeks (Twitter link via Chris Haft of Bumgarner, of course, will need multiple bullpen sessions and some rest days between them before he can build up to the point where he’d be able to go out on a minor league rehab assignment. A mid-May target for bullpen sessions and, presumably, multiple outings in a rehab assignment would figure to put Bumgarner in line for a return at some point in June.
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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Giants To Activate Will Smith]]> 2018-05-01T02:26:05Z 2018-05-01T02:26:05Z The Giants will activate southpaw Will Smith in time for Wednesday’s game, Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area was among those to report on Twitter. Smith worked back from Tommy John surgery that he underwent in late March of last year.

    That’s obviously welcome news for the Giants, who entered play today with a .500 record. While the bulk of the relief corps has registered as a positive in the early going — including southpaw Tony Watson, who has been excellent — the added depth will surely not hurt the cause.

    It’s tough to know what to expect out of Smith out of the gates. But the 28-year-old racked up 11 strikeouts without surrendering a walk in his 7 1/3 rehab innings, so the hope will surely be that he can hit the ground running.

    Smith, of course, has ample late-inning experience and the stats to match, so the San Francisco organization will hope to return him to high-leverage spots sooner rather than later. In nearly 200 career innings as a reliever, Smith has held opposing hitters to a .221/.300/.365 slash line while carrying a 3.13 ERA.

    The Giants, who dealt for Smith at the 2016 trade deadline, are paying him $2.5MM for the coming season after avoiding arbitration over the winter. He’ll be eligible for arbitration one final time this coming fall.

    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Joe Panik Undergoes Thumb Surgery]]> 2018-04-30T23:49:56Z 2018-04-30T23:48:53Z TODAY: Panik has indeed undergone the procedure, as Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area was among those to tweet.

    YESTERDAY: There’s a “good chance” Giants second baseman Joe Panik will need to undergo surgery on his injured left thumb, manager Bruce Bochy told Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports California and other reporters Sunday (Twitter link). Panik still has to see a specialist in Los Angeles, but if he does go under the knife, it would likely keep him out six to eight weeks, per Pavlovic.

    While Panik certainly isn’t an elite second baseman, his absence would rob the Giants of a quality player and likely damage their already slim playoff chances. The club, which placed Panik on the disabled list on Saturday, is off to a 13-14 start and currently sits 6.5 games behind the NL West-leading Diamondbacks. Panik has been his usual solid self, though, having batted .267/.323/.389 (102 wRC+) with a major league-leading 92.4 percent contact rate across his first 100 plate appearances of the year.

    The Giants will continue with Kelby Tomlinson and Alen Hanson as their top second base options in Panik’s absence, Pavlovic suggests. San Francisco also has Josh Rutledge in the fold in Triple-A, though he’s not on its 40-man roster.

    Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Giants Injury Updates: Smith, Bumgarner, Melancon]]> 2018-04-30T04:50:08Z 2018-04-30T04:50:08Z
  • Some Giants DL updates are provided by The Athletic’s Andrew Baggarly (on Twitter), who notes that Madison Bumgarner could be cleared on Tuesday to play catch, while Mark Melancon is now throwing from 90 feet as the closer continues his recovery from a bothersome pronator.  More immediately, left-hander Will Smith is likely to be activated from the DL on Wednesday, making his return to MLB after missing all of 2017 recovering from Tommy John surgery.
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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Joe Panik Could Undergo Thumb Surgery]]> 2018-04-29T13:37:06Z 2018-04-29T13:36:26Z Giants second baseman Joe Panik has a torn ligament in his left thumb that could require surgery, Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Panik, who went on the disabled list Saturday, will go for a second opinion to determine whether he’ll go under the knife or rehab the injury without surgery, per Schulman. Panik got off to a solid start in his first 100 plate appearances of the year before landing on the shelf, with a .267/.323/.389 line (102 wRC+) and as many walks as strikeouts (six). Kelby Tomlinson has been San Francisco’s top second base option in Panik’s absence.

    Kyle Downing <![CDATA[NL Notes: Bruce, Kang, Stratton, Panik, Gohara, Pennington]]> 2018-04-28T23:29:26Z 2018-04-28T18:30:10Z Mets outfielder Jay Bruce has been taking ground balls at first base, James Wagner of the New York Times reports. Wagner adds that the Mets may consider playing him there in order to open up room for Brandon Nimmo to receive everyday playing time again. First base incumbent Adrian Gonzalez has struggled mightily thus far, with just a .203/.300/.320 batting line on the season. It’s still only April, but in light of his struggles last year with the Dodgers, Gonzalez’s leash might be fairly short. That’s particularly true since Nimmo reached base in half of his 38 MLB plate appearances this season. It’s fair to think that the Mets are looking hard for ways to lock Nimmo into an everyday role.

    Other news out of the NL…

    • Pirates infielder Jung Ho Kang won’t receive any discipline from MLB, nor will the team dole out any punishment, Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports on Twitter. Kang was denied a U.S. visa for all of last year due to multiple DUI-related arrests. He’s finally able to return to the Pirates as of Thursday.
    • Today, the Giants reinstated Chris Stratton from the paternity list, optioning outfielder Austin Slater to Triple-A Sacramento in a corresponding move. Within hours, however, the club reversed its reported stance on Mac Williamson’s status, placing him on the seven-day concussion DL. The move allowed the Giants to recall Slater, who’s directly replacing Williamson. Stratton sports an impressive 2.32 ERA and 2.69 FIP across five starts this season, though the fact that he hasn’t allowed any homers despite a 37.8% hard contact rate suggests he might have been a bit lucky in that regard. Stratton will take his scheduled turn through the rotation today against the Dodgers.
    • In other Giants news, second baseman Joe Panik has been placed on the disabled list with a sprained left thumb. The club correspondingly purchased the contract of second baseman/outfielder Alen Hanson, who leads the Triple-A Pacific Coast League with a .403 batting average. The club moved Mark Melancon to the 60-day DL in order to clear room on the 40-man roster for Hanson.
    • The Braves have reinstated left-hander Luiz Gohara from the disabled list and optioned him to Triple-A Gwinnett, David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. Gohara suffered a sprained ankle during a spring training outing, and had exhausted the maximum amount of time allotted for rehab starts. He’ll likely make a couple more starts in the minors before returning to help the Braves at the major league level. Gohara had figured to be a prominent part of Atlanta’s rotation before the season began.
    • The Reds announced that infielder Cliff Pennington has cleared waivers and accepted an outright assignment to Triple-A Louisville. Pennington, who signed a minors deal in the offseason, made the club out of spring training camp as a bench player. However, he’s struck out in nearly 40 percent of his plate appearances thus far and has yet to sock an extra-base hit.
    Kyle Downing <![CDATA[Injury Notes: Buxton, Sano, Ervin, Knebel, Williamson]]> 2018-04-28T17:18:23Z 2018-04-28T16:58:59Z Byron Buxton has a hairline fracture in his left toe, Dan Hayes of The Athletic reports on Twitter. According to Hayes, the Twins hopes to have a better idea on his return timeline by the end of the homestand. As Hayes wrote previously, the team has missed Buxton while he’s been sidelined; seven of the club’s eight wins have come with the speedster patrolling center field. It’s worth noting, though, that while Buxton has played typically great defense in the outfield grass, he’s scuffled to a .195/.233/.244 batting line at the plate.

    More injury notes from around the league…

    • Speaking of the Twins, Miguel Sano will sit out today’s game due to hamstring tightness (h/t Rhett Bollinger of Sano, who owns a .450 slugging percentage on the season with five homers and a 40% K rate, barely ran out a ground ball in his last at-bat during yesterday’s game. It’s unclear how long he’ll need to rest. Meanwhile, there’s a positive sign for the Twins: Ervin Santana is making progress and has already practiced throwing his change-up, according to Hayes. He’s reportedly close to throwing off a mound. The club will be anxiously awaiting his return, as their starters as a group sit in the bottom half of MLB in ERA and FIP and dead last in innings pitched.
    • Brewers closer Corey Knebel is very excited about his progress with his hamstring strain, Tom Haudricort of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel tweets. He’ll reportedly throw one more bullpen session before heading out on a rehab assignment. It seems likely that Knebel will be able to return by mid-May. Josh Hader, Matt Albers and Jacob Barnes have closed out games in his absence, collecting six saves; that group has combined for a sub-1.25 ERA on the season, so Knebel’s return will make for a truly formidable late-inning crew.
    • It looks as though Giants outfielder Mac Williamson will avoid the concussion DL, as manager Bruce Bochy expects him to start tomorrow (h/t Andrew Baggarly of The Athletic). There was a fear that Williamson might have suffered a concussion after a collision with the outfield wall on Tuesday, but the 27-year-old appears to have dodged any serious injury. Williamson already has three homers for San Francisco in just 19 plate appearances.
    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Giants Injury Notes: Williamson, Slater, Osich]]> 2018-04-28T04:15:48Z 2018-04-28T03:57:36Z
  • While the Giants will hold off on putting Mac Williamson on the DL, he’s in the concussion protocol at present, as manager Bruce Bochy informed reporters including Kerry Crowley of the Bay Area News Group (Twitter link). In the meantime, the organization has brought fellow outfielder Austin Slater onto the active roster, creating space by sending reliever Josh Osich to the 10-day DL. It’s unclear at this point how long Slater will have in the majors, but he’ll surely be hoping to follow the same track as Williamson, who kept on raking after receiving a promotion. Slater owns a .358/.435/.642 slash with just six strikeouts in his 62 plate appearances on the year at Triple-A.
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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Olney: Giants Should Prepare To Listen To Offers On Bumgarner]]> 2018-04-26T04:43:38Z 2018-04-26T02:47:33Z
  •’s Buster Olney argues that the Giants ought to be preparing to listen to offers on ace lefty Madison Bumgarner if they can’t keep pace in the playoff race. As Olney explains, there aren’t many assets on hand in San Francisco that could bring back potential young building blocks. But if Bumgarner can get back to health by the trade deadline, he could be a monumental deadline piece, particularly given his history of postseason dominance and cheap 2019 option. It’s certainly an interesting possibility — albeit one the Giants no doubt hope they won’t have cause to consider in earnest.
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    Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Giants Could Face Outfield Logjam]]> 2018-04-23T13:30:46Z 2018-04-23T04:49:41Z
  • With prospects Austin Slater and Steven Duggar hitting well in Triple-A, the Giants could soon find themselves with an outfield logjam, Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle writes.  Gregor Blanco and Gorkys Hernandez are both out of options and playing well, though they would be the two most obvious candidates to perhaps be waived if the Giants felt a move was necessary.  Andrew McCutchen and (currently on the DL) Hunter Pence aren’t going anywhere, while Austin Jackson is struggling badly but not readily movable given his two-year contract.
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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Will Smith Nearing Return]]> 2018-04-22T01:00:40Z 2018-04-22T01:00:12Z
  • The Giants expect left-handed reliever Will Smith back by May 1, manager Bruce Bochy announced Saturday (per Kerry Crowley of the Bay Area News Group, via Twitter). Smith underwent Tommy John surgery prior to last season, meaning he hasn’t pitched in a major league game since the Giants’ NLDS loss to the Cubs in October 2016. The 28-year-old was a well-regarded reliever before his injury, which led the Giants to trade a couple of prospects to Milwaukee for him in August 2016.
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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Quick Hits: Towers, Portland, Stanton, Draft]]> 2018-04-21T04:15:52Z 2018-04-21T04:15:52Z Before tonight’s tilt between the Diamondbacks and Padres, the Arizona organization honored the late Kevin Towers, who previously served as general manager with both clubs. The D-Backs dedicated his former Chase Field suite as “Kevin’s Tower.” The widely-loved executive passed away this January at 56 years of age.

    As we join once more in a tip of the cap to Towers, here are some worthwhile links from around the game:

    • The effort to bring a MLB team to Portland appears to be growing in seriousness, as Gordon Friedman of The Oregonian recently reported. Portland Diamond Project, the entity spearheading the effort, has submitted bids on two parcels that could potentially house 32,000-seat ballparks. Clearly, there’s still a long ways to go before anybody will be watching a major-league contest in Portland, but it’ll certainly be interesting to see whether that municipality (and a few others) end up as serious suitors for existing or expansion franchises.
    • It wasn’t long ago that the Giancarlo Stanton trade drama, rather than his scuffles at the plate, was the hot topic in baseball. If you recall, before the Yankees got involved heavily, the Marlins had set deals with both the Giants and Cardinals in hopes that Stanton would waive his no-trade clause to join one of those blue-blood organizations. There were varying reports at the time as to just what package would have been headed from San Francisco to Miami had Stanton approved, but Robert Murray of Fan Rag now claims to have discovered the true offer. Lefty Andrew Suarez and third baseman Jacob Gonzalez were the prospect pieces in the deal, says Murray, while the Fish also would have taken on Denard Span and his contract. Otherwise, the Giants were said to be prepared to take on all (or substantially all) of the Stanton contract.
    • Draft season is upon us, and we’re starting to see some early mocks and rankings. We’ll try to pass along worthwhile links as they come in. Those interested in seeing how things are shaping up will want to check out the top-fifty list of’s Keith Law (Insider link), who tabs Auburn righty Casey Mize as an easy choice as the top overall draft asset as things stand. That seems to be the consensus; Eric Longenhagen and Kiley McDaniel of Fangraphs say the same.
    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[NL Roster Notes: Bautista, Perdomo, Gonzalez, Mac/Pence]]> 2018-04-20T02:38:36Z 2018-04-20T02:38:36Z The Braves don’t intend to take a long time deciding whether to bring up recent signee Jose Bautista, Michael Hoad of writes. GM Alex Anthopoulos says that the club is “optimistic [Bautista is] going to have an opportunity to come up,” so it seems the expectation is that the former star will indeed get a shot. He’ll be looking for a return to form at the plate even as he makes a surprising return to third base after nearly a decade spent mostly in the outfield. But Anthopoulos did note that he hasn’t made any promises of a MLB promotion, so it seems that Bautista will at least have to show something to get a crack at boosting a Braves team that is off to a nice start.

    Here are a few notes on some National League players who are already slated to move onto or off of a major league roster:

    • The Padres have optioned righty Luis Perdomo, per a club announcement, with reliever Kirby Yates being activated from the DL to take his roster spot. Though he showed a good bit of promise last year, Perdomo has been tagged for 13 earned runs in 14 innings in his first four starts of the 2018 campaign. Though he has given up quite a lot of hard contact, the resulting .510 batting average on balls in play surely seems like an outlier. Beyond the performance considerations, the move helps the team manage a roster that has quite a few moving parts.
    • Marlins pitching prospect Merandy Gonzalez is heading to the majors for the first time, as’s Joe Frisaro writes. Skipper Don Mattingly says he’ll use his new hurler as a long relief option for the time being. Gonzalez is a starter by trade, and has some long-term hopes of working in a big-league rotation, but at the moment is appealing mostly because he offers the possibility of filling some innings and is already on the 40-man. Miami added Gonzalez in the trade that sent reliever A.J. Ramos to the Mets last summer.
    • There’s nothing official yet, but Andrew Baggarly of The Athletic tweeted the “informed speculation” that outfielder Mac Williamson will join the Giants tomorrow. There are still some complications, but the 27-year-old has clearly played his way to a call-up. In fifty trips to the plate at Triple-A, he’s hitting a ridiculous .487/.600/1.026 with six home runs. Meanwhile, veteran Hunter Pence has managed only one extra-base hit, nine singles, and two walks in his 61 MLB plate appearances. It seems he will be headed to the DL with a thumb issue.
    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Johnny Cueto Likely To Return Tuesday]]> 2018-04-15T13:00:48Z 2018-04-15T00:37:36Z
  • The Giants expect righty Johnny Cueto to come off the DL for a start Tuesday against Arizona, manager Bruce Bochy informed reporters, including Kerry Crowley of the Mercury News, on Saturday. Cueto landed on the shelf this past Tuesday, retroactive to April 7, with a sprained ankle. As a result, the Giants have been missing their three best starters – the injured Madison Bumgarner and Jeff Samardzija are the others – though the only one who’s not nearing a return is Bumgarner, whom the club moved to the 60-day DL earlier this week (fractured finger).
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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Minor MLB Transactions: 4/13/18]]> 2018-04-13T16:05:57Z 2018-04-13T16:05:57Z Here are the day’s minor moves from around the league, all courtesy of Baseball America’s Matt Eddy unless otherwise noted…

    • The Angels have added right-handed reliever Jordan Jankowski on a minor league contract. The 28-year-old got his first taste of the big league in 2017, tossing 4 1/3 frames for the Astros before landing with the Dodgers via waiver claim. Jankowski has averaged 11.9 strikeouts per nine innings in 177 1/3 Triple-A frames in his career, though he’s struggled with control since being selected in the 34th round of the 2012 draft as well.
    • Former big league infielders Tyler Ladendorf and Darnell Sweeney have signed minor league pacts with the Blue Jays. Ladendorf, a former Twins second-rounder who was once traded to the A’s in exchange for Orlando Cabrera, logged 68 MLB plate appearances with Oakland from 2015-16 but hit just .123/.149/.154 in that brief time. He’s a career .258/.326/.350 hitter in Triple-A and has played second base, shortstop, third base and corner outfield as a pro. Sweeney, meanwhile, posted a .639 OPS in 98 plate appearances with the Phillies in 2015 after they acquired him from the Dodgers in the Chase Utley trade. He’s a career .258/.325/.394 hitter in Triple-A.
    • The Giants released outfielder Daniel Carbonell, who they’d originally signed Carbonell to a four-year, $3.5MM contract back in 2014 after he left Cuba. Signed because of his defensive prowess and speed, Carbonell’s bat never came around, as he appeared in just two Triple-A games with the Giants after stalling out in Double-A. In 437 plate appearances at that Double-A level, the now-27-year-old Carbonell hit just .188/.227/.273.
    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Latest On Mark Melancon]]> 2018-04-13T02:16:01Z 2018-04-13T01:13:35Z Giants closer Mark Melancon has still yet to take the hill for the team and it remains uncertain just when he will. Most recently, he underwent a stem cell injection to his troublesome pronator, as Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area was among those to report.

    For the time being, the righty reliever is going to take another two weeks of rest before hopefully attempting to resume throwing. He’ll surely require a full ramp-up from that point, though it’s tough to know how long it may take for Melancon to work back to the MLB bullpen.

    Melancon, who missed a big chunk of the 2017 season, seemed destined for the Opening Day roster until a late-spring announcement that he was struggling once more with forearm and elbow issues. It emerged that he had never been able to throw pain-free despite a surgical procedure performed in early September of last year.

    There’s no particular reason at this point to find further concern with Melancon’s status, though the timing does indicate that rest alone did not solve the problem and it seems there’s still plenty of uncertainty in how things will progress. Regardless, the veteran hurler’s timeline will surely depend upon when he’s finally able to throw without discomfort.

    Needless to say, the Giants are hoping to get a significant contribution from the 33-year-old sooner than later. He’s in the second season of a four-year, $62MM contract that now looks to be among the least productive investments ever made in a relief pitcher. To this point, Melancon has provided the San Francisco organization with only thirty innings of 4.50 ERA pitching — though he did carry a typically solid 29:6 K/BB ratio last year.

    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Giants Promote Andrew Suarez, Move Madison Bumgarner To 60-Day DL]]> 2018-04-11T17:33:16Z 2018-04-11T17:33:16Z The Giants announced today that they have promoted lefty Andrew Suarez, as expected. To create space on the 40-man roster, the club moved star hurler Madison Bumgarner to the 60-day DL. An active roster spot was opened by optioning reliever Steven Okert.

    Suarez, 25, will follow Tyler Beede in making his debut for a San Francisco organization that has been hit hard by rotation injuries. There is a bit of good news on that front, as Jeff Samardzija is on track to return next week, as Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area tweets. For now, though the club will see what it has in some young hurlers.

    Suarez, 25, was a second-round pick in the 2015 draft. He has been a steady performer while climbing the ladder in the Giants’ farm system, first reaching the top rung last year. In his 155 2/3 total innings in 2017, split between Double-A and Triple-A, he carried a 3.30 ERA with 7.8 K/9 and 2.4 BB/9 while generating grounders on nearly half the balls put in play against him.

    As for Bumgarner, it is not exactly a surprise to see him put on ice for the full sixty days while he returns from a fractured pinky finger. That injury, which occurred late in camp, was expected to keep him out until early June anyway. Though the veteran had hoped to return sooner than initial projections, he could still conceivably beat the target by a few weeks after today’s placement.

    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Giants Place Johnny Cueto On 10-Day DL]]> 2018-04-11T01:42:27Z 2018-04-11T01:42:27Z The Giants have placed right-hander Johnny Cueto on the 10-day disabled list due to a sprained ankle he sustained in a workout over the weekend, as Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area writes. The move is retroactive to April 7. Left-hander Steven Okert is up from Triple-A to give the team an extra arm for tonight’s game against the D-backs, and southpaw Andrew Suarez will be promoted tomorrow to make his Major League debut in what would’ve been Cueto’s spot in the rotation.

    While Cueto’s injury doesn’t sound serious, it’s nonetheless the latest blow in a series of rotation injuries that have hindered the Giants early on in the season. Madison Bumgarner has yet to pitch this season due to a fractured finger that he sustained in Spring Training, while Jeff Samardzija has also yet to make his season debut owing to a pectoral injury. Pavlovic does relay some good news for Giants fans, as Samardzija is slated to make a rehab appearance on Saturday and should be activated for his next turn in the rotation after that.

    In many respects, Cueto is off to a solid start to the 2018 season, having yielded just one run on nine hits and two walks through his first 13 innings. However, Cueto’s velocity has dipped from an average of 91.3 mph last season to just 90 mph thus far, and he’s managed to strike out just five batters while posting an uncharacteristically low seven percent swinging-strike rate.

    Suarez, meanwhile, was the Giants’ second-round pick back in the 2015 draft. The University of Miami product has made just one Triple-A start this season but impressed there in 2017, tossing 88 2/3 frames with 8.1 K/9, 2.7 BB/9 and a 49.2 percent ground-ball rate following a promotion from Double-A, where he’d also impressed. San Francisco is already turning to its top pitching prospect, Tyler Beede, to make his MLB debut tonight, and they’ll follow him with another of the farm’s most promising young hurlers in Suarez — giving fans a potential glimpse of the future. ranks Suarez as the Giants’ No. 10 prospect, calling him a high-floor prospect who should at the very least settle in as a back-of-the-rotation starter.

    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Giants Promote Tyler Beede]]> 2018-04-10T14:43:08Z 2018-04-10T14:43:08Z The Giants will hand the ball to pitching prospect Tyler Beede tonight, as Kerry Crowley of the Bay Area News Group was among those to report. Reliever Roberto Gomez was optioned to create space.

    The righty had already joined the MLB team on its taxi squad, but the team’s precise plans were not clear. Skipper Bruce Bochy announced last night that the youngster will be activated for his first MLB start.

    Beede, the Giants’ first-round pick in the 2014 draft, will make his debut about six weeks before his 25th birthday. The Vanderbilt University product has steadily moved up the ladder in the San Francisco farm since signing out of the amateur ranks.

    The results have been mixed of late for Beede. He turned in a strong 2016 season at Double-A, working to a 2.81 ERA with 8.2 K/9 and 3.2 BB/9. But he failed to carry that forward last year, when he allowed 4.79 earned per nine (with 6.9 K/9 and 3.2 BB/9) in his 109 Triple-A innings.

    While Beede entered camp this spring with at least some hope of forcing his way into the Opening Day roster mix, he labored through his four outings. Still, he’ll receive a shot now that there’s an opening. Fellow hurler Andrew Suarez might also have been considered, but Beede is a much simpler selection from a logistical standpoint since he already has a 40-man roster spot.

    It’s not clear at this point whether Beede will have much hope of sticking in the rotation for the remainder of the year. With Jeff Samardzija not far from a return, it could be that Beede will only get a limited opportunity. If he impresses, though, perhaps there’s a chance he could stake a claim to a permanent job. It’s doubtful the Giants are looking too closely at Beede’s service situation, as he isn’t exactly considered a can’t-miss ace, but it’s worth noting that he could still accrue a full year of MLB service in 2018 if he sticks on the active roster from this point forward.

    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Jeff Samardzija Nearing Return]]> 2018-04-09T20:19:08Z 2018-04-08T03:26:19Z
  • Giants righty Jeff Samardzija is aiming to make his season debut around April 19, Kerry Crowley of the Bay Area News Group writes. In the meantime, the plan is for Samardzija to pitch in extended spring training Monday and then make a minor league rehab start. The 33-year-old innings-eater has been out since late March with a strained pectoral muscle. Thanks to Samardzija’s injury and ace Madison Bumgarner’s broken left pinkie, the Giants are without two of their best starters.
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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Giants More Aggressive With Infield Shifting]]> 2018-04-05T04:37:32Z 2018-04-05T04:37:32Z
  • While they didn’t call a great deal of attention to it, the Giants beefed up their analytics department over the offseason, writes Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area. San Francisco has become more aggressive in terms of infield shifting and, during Spring Training, displayed leaderboards with more modern metrics such as exit velocity in the clubhouse. Giants players have begun to ask for additional info on their launch angles and batted-ball tendencies, Pavlovic notes. Regarding the infield shifts, Pavlovic also points out that the addition of a strong defensive player in Evan Longoria, plus the increased emphasis on data, figures to make the club considerably more aggressive in terms of shifts.
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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Injury Notes: Bumgarner, Smith]]> 2018-04-03T23:49:02Z 2018-04-03T23:47:04Z Giants lefty Madison Bumgarner thinks he’ll be ready before the early June target time frame set by the club, he tells reporters including Kerry Crowley of the Bay Area News Group (Twitter link). Calling the estimate “conservative” for a pinky fracture, Bumgarner noted that he’s due for a check-up in a few weeks’ time. If he is ready to ramp back up earlier than had been expected, that’d be most welcome for an organization that has had to scramble a bit after suffering some health troubles late in camp. Fellow starter Jeff Samardzija seems to be well on his way to a return after throwing a thirty-pitch pen session today, Andrew Baggarly of The Athletic also notes via Twitter.

    • Meanwhile, Giants southpaw Will Smith is readying to pitch competitively next Monday, Crowley adds on Twitter. He could soon begin an official rehab assignment, which would start the thirty-day clock on his return to the majors. The 28-year-old, who was picked up in a 2016 deadline deal, missed all of 2017 recovering from Tommy John surgery. He’s just now past the one-year anniversary of the procedure, so he has largely progressed on a typical timeline to this point.
    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Giants To Sign Jordan Schafer]]> 2018-04-03T19:53:45Z 2018-04-03T19:53:45Z The Giants have agreed to a minor-league pact with lefty Jordan Schafer, according to Chris Cotillo of SB Nation (Twitter link). Particulars of the agreement are not yet known.

    Schafer, a former MLB outfielder, has been trying to carve out a new niche as a reliever that can, perhaps, also provide some function in the field and on the bases. He turned in a reasonably promising showing in the upper minors with the Dodgers organization in 2016, working to a 3.83 ERA with 10.8 K/9 and 3.3 BB/9 in 49 1/3 innings.

    Heading into the 2017 campaign, Schafer joined the Cardinals organization in hopes of competing for a MLB job. But he ultimately required a primary repair procedure to address damage to his ulnar collateral ligament, costing him the entire season.

    Schafer returned to the Cards for camp this spring, but never got much of a chance on the majors side. He was tagged for seven earned runs and recorded just two outs in his two Grapefruit League appearances.

    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Jeff Samardzija Likely To Return This Month]]> 2018-04-04T19:41:38Z 2018-04-01T13:27:25Z
  • Giants righty Jeff Samardzija, who has been out for over a week with a strained pectoral muscle, is progressing in his recovery, manager Bruce Bochy told Kerry Crowley of the Mercury News and other reporters Saturday. Samardzija probably won’t be ready the first time the Giants need a fifth starter (April 10), Bochy suggested, but it appears likely he’ll return to their rotation sometime this month.
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