We got a taste of San Francisco Giants baseball after pitchers and catchers reported for camp yesterday. They will start their work today. The full squad starts workouts on Monday February 17. If you missed the pitcher preview from yesterday, here you go.
Now that pitchers are in Scottsdale, let’s turn our attention to the infielders and catchers. One name you won’t see below is Aramis Garcia. He had to have hip surgery and is out for the year. Garcia was the only catcher on the 40-man roster with Buster Posey. Now, it will be a competition of the non-roster guys to back up the Giants stalwart.
Click any player name on these lists to go to their Baseball Reference page.
Infielders and catchers on the 40-man roster (Bats/Throws)
Infielders and Catchers on non-roster invitee list (Bats/Throws)
The “old” veterans still dominate this list. Brandon Crawford, Brandon Belt, and Buster Posey are back to lead the only team any of them have ever known. Posey is the only current member of the Giants to win all 3 San Francisco titles with the team. Pablo Sandoval is hurt and thus removed from this list for regular season purposes. Panda will not be on the Opening Day roster. Also, if you remember, Belt didn’t debut until April 2011 and Crawford followed in late May of that year with his grand entrance to the big leagues.
Every one of those guys needs to step it up in 2020. Belt played a full season last year for the first time since 2016 and could not crack 20 home runs. He walks a ton but never seems to get that timely hit unless he is on fire. I still think Farhan Zaidi will look to trade Belt for prospects. Crawford had his worst full season at the plate in 2019. It was his lowest batting average and his power numbers were down. Like Belt, Crawford can get hot for stretches. There was a time he was just killing the ball last season before the all-star break.
That brings us to Buster Posey. He’s had a couple of rough seasons and most of it can be tied to his hip problems. Posey has had career lowws in homers the last 2 years, only cracking 7 in 2019. The hits are there, but they’ve been mostly singles and a little harder to come by for Buster. He hit a career low .257 last season but during media day last week, Posey claims he’s healthier than ever and the hip isn’t a problem. We’ll have to see if Gabe Kapler moves Posey in the lineup and he rekindles his old stroke at the plate.
Mauricio Dubon is a middle infielder but will probably see time all over the diamond in 2020, including, possibly, center field. After coming over last season in a deadline deal, Dubon has embraced the team he grew up sheering for. He can prove to be a valuable asset if he’s versatile enough to keep himself in the lineup at multiple positions. Dubi hit a respectable .279 with 4 homers in 109 PA’s for the Giants late last season. Plus, how do you not love this kid?!?!? He’s so excited, all the time. Go look at his social media, this guy freaking loves the Giants.
To do list:
Giants fest as a player ✅
Instead of being on the ground be in the car for the parade 🟩
— Mauricio Dubon (@Mauriciodubon10) February 10, 2020
Evan Longoria remains the everyday 3rd baseman. He was better in his second year in a Giants uniform popping 20 homers and paying much better defense. Donovan Solano is back in camp after being a spark plug off the bench last season and interesting name in Kean Wong is also in camp. He’s the brother of Kolten and had 18 at bats last season with Tampa Bay.
Wilmer Flores was reported to have signed a 2-year deal with the Giants. The first multi-year deal Zaidi has given out in his Giants tenure. The ink isn’t officially dry on the paperwork until the longtime Met passes a physical. He’ll do that when he arrives in Scottsdale for Spring Training. Flores batted .317 in limited playing time last season for Arizona, his only season there after 6 years in New York.
Yolmer Sanchez and Darin Ruf are a couple more veterans in camp. I really don’t know how all these guys are going to find at bats. Sanchez is a switch-hitter who can play both second and third base. He’s been with the White Sox for his entire 4-year career. Ruf was a fill-in 1st baseman for the Phillies between 2012-2016. He has spent the last 3 seasons in the Korean Baseball Organization and hit 86 HR with a .965 OPS during those years.
When it comes to the backup catcher to Buster Posey, your guess is as good as mine. Last season, with Stephen Vogt still rehabbing, the Giants traded for Erik Kratz right before the season started. That’s not to say Zaidi will do that again, it’s just within the realm of possibilities.
Joey Bart is once again heading to camp with the big club. I don’t think it means he is in the mix to back up Posey. It’s just another chance to see him against better comeptiton. Bart will most likely get the call in September or next season. The Giants are not in a rush to start his service clock.
Rob Brantly is a 30-year old, lefty swinging vet who has been with the Marlins, White Sox, and Phillies as a back up. Tyler Henieman is a 29-year old switch-hitting catcher who has bounced around 4 organizations in his time. It’s a wide open battle with Garcia’s injury, so I guess it could be anyone.
But not Bart. They’re not playing him unless he can start every day.
If you missed it yesterday, we covered the pitchers in Scottsdale this year. Tomorrow will be a look at the outfielders and Friday will wrap up with an introduction to the new coaching staff and front office.
Giants baseball is back, baby! Pretty soon they’ll be a part of our everyday lives.
We’re so excited to have the Giants back, episode 189 is up for your listening pleasure. We put the 49ers season to bed and move on to the Giants and start to look ahead to all these stories heading in to camp.