The latest from San Francisco….
- President of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi told reporters (including Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle) that he would like to acquire a platoon player before Spring Training camp opens, though not anyone ticketed for something close to an everyday role. The Giants would prefer to give their young players more time rather than block them with a veteran regular, which Schulman feels lessens the chance of a new contract with Kevin Pillar. The team has been already added several veterans as depth pieces in recent days, such as Wilmer Flores (whose multi-year deal hasn’t yet been officially announced), Brandon Guyer, Yolmer Sanchez, and Pablo Sandoval.
- Speaking of the Panda, Zaidi said the 33-year-old is recovering well enough from Tommy John surgery that Sandoval could return to hitting action during Spring Training. It will still take “a month or two into the season” for Sandoval to be ready to throw, Zaidi said, but that would still represent a pretty quick recovery considering Sandoval went under the knife in early September.
- Zaidi also had positive health news about Tyler Anderson, as the left-hander might not begin the season on the 60-day injured list. Anderson underwent knee surgery last summer and was claimed off waivers from the Rockies at the end of October, only to be non-tendered and then quickly re-signed by the Giants in early December. The knee problems turned 2019 into a lost season for Anderson, who pitched only 20 2/3 innings for Colorado and posted an ugly 11.76.
- Manager Gabe Kapler discussed his rotation with the San Francisco Chronicle’s John Shea on the “Giants Splash” podcast, naming Johnny Cueto, Jeff Samardzija, Kevin Gausman, and Drew Smyly as the projected top four heading into Spring Training. There was no doubt about the top two names, though Kapler’s confirmation about Gausman and Smyly leaves quite a battle for the fifth starter role among the many other starters (both young arms and more experienced names like Anderson) in camp. As Shea notes, things could very possibly change over the course of camp or the season, depending on injuries, trades, or various pitchers performing better or worse than expected. If the Giants look to deal some veterans at the trade deadline, Samardzija, Gausman, and Smyly all stand out as logical trade chips, as all three hurlers will be free agents after the 2020 season.