Giants

Affeldt, Giants able to laugh off pair of close shaves

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Affeldt, Giants able to laugh off pair of close shaves

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. Jeremy Affeldt felt good about his stuffas he faced teammates in live batting practice Sunday.The sinker was sinking, the slider was sliding, said theleft-hander, and the four-seamer was riding.It rode, all right straight into Pablo Sandovals left ribcage. But the Panda dusted himself off and pronounced himself fine. So did MattCain, whose own close encounter came a few minutes earlier when Hector Sanchezhit a line drive off his left calf.At the end of the day, everyone could laugh about the mostfull-contact batting practice anyone could remember.
Affeldt said he was trying out a new slide step on his lastpitch to Sandoval.I was rolling my hip a little different than normal andthat was probably not the best time to do that, Affeldt said. We dont needto drop the No.3 hitter on the first day.Affeldt used the L-shaped screen to protect himself fromcomebackers. Cain wasn't employing the screen when Sanchez whistled his liner back tothe mound. Cain iced his calf as a precaution, but doesnt plan to shield himself the nexttime he faces hitters.I just dont like the L screen, Cain said. You feel likeyou have to throw around it. Ive never liked to use it.Asked if it would remain on the side next time, Cain smiled.That would be my preference, he said.
Its the managers preference, too. Bruce Bochy said hed never mandatethat a pitcher use the screen unless they want to work on something specificsuch as following through.If they dont use it, its fine with me, Bochy said. Youhave to field your position and defend yourself. You can get in the habit ofdropping your guard (with the screen), and you cant do that during a game.Cain said he enjoyed throwing to catcher Buster Posey again, butmostly he just appreciated the chance to make pitches and know hell getimmediate feedback in the form of swings and contact.Thats the fun part, Cain said. It can get monotonous inthe bullpen. Its nice to see a result when youre pitching. Its more thanjust throwing and guessing what wouldve happened.Even when that result is a liner off your calf.Bochy missed the two close calls on the main field becausehe was watching Barry Zito throw his live batting practice on a back field.Zito, who has been working out of an adjusted delivery designed to generatemore momentum, said he felt good. Bochy also walked away with a positive assessment.He threw some good breaking balls, Bochy said. It was agood outing for him.And I was impressed with the kids, too. They threw strikes.They didnt look nervous. Weve had camps in the past where weve been all overthe board, to be honest. Its nice to see everyone hitting the target.With the exception of Affeldts one riding fastball, ofcourse.

What the Giants’ farm system lost in trade for Andrew McCutchen

What the Giants’ farm system lost in trade for Andrew McCutchen

San Francisco’s second splash of its offseason reloading plan came to life Monday with the acquisition of outfielder Andrew McCutchen in a trade with the Pirates.

In trading for the five-time All-Star, the Giants held on to top prospects Heliot Ramos, Chris Shaw and Tyler Beede. The win-now move bolstered the Giants’ outfield — one that needed the most help in all of baseball — while the Pirates again have a potential big piece in their outfield with Bryan Reynolds headed to Pittsburgh. 

While the farm system took a win in keeping its biggest names, let’s look at what the Giants’ future lost with the addition of McCutchen. 

Bryan Reynolds, 22, OF
The Giants clearly have their own prospect rankings. Baseball America (5) and MLB Pipeline (4) ranked Reynolds ahead of Steven Duggar, who is the Giants’ No. 8 prospect by Baseball America and No. 6 by MLB Pipeline, after the 2017 season. Duggar is expected to compete for the Giants’ starting job in center field unless they make another big move like signing Lorenzo Cain. 

There’s a reason Reynolds is ranked so high though. The Giants’ top pick in the 2016 MLB Draft, is a switch-hitter who is primarily a center fielder, but like Duggar, he played all three outfield positions in 2017. 

"I think it's too early to dictate if he'll be in a corner or center," Nestor Rojas, Reynolds’ manager for the San Jose Giants, said to me in July. "He's really good and he has the tools to play center field. He's got speed and he's got range. He can do really well in all three." 

Reynolds slashed .312/.364/.462 with 10 home runs at Advanced Single-A this past season. He was the Giants' lone representative at the Futures Game and named San Jose Giants MVP. Even if he never unlocks his power, Reynolds is expected to be a solid big leaguer one day with well-rounded overall tools. 

[READ: How Reynolds went from undrafted to Giants' top 2016 pick]

Kyle Crick, 25, RHP
Crick was expected to be a future ace when the Giants took him No. 49 overall as a high school pitcher back in 2011. Control issues hampered him mightily. 

Down in the minors, Crick flashed dominance on the hill at times with a fastball that reaches the upper 90s. Still, command won the battle and the Giants turned Crick into a reliever. The move may have saved his career. 

As the Sacramento River Cats’ closer in Triple-A last season, Crick recorded six saves with a 2.76 ERA and 39 strikeouts in 29.1 innings pitched. Crick earned his call-up to San Francisco and was solid for the Giants. He put together a 3.06 ERA in 30 games out of the bullpen, giving a glimpse of what he can be in the future. 

Crick has always been full of potential. Now as a reliever, he’s starting to turn it into results at the highest level. The Pirates may have a future shut-down arm in the ‘pen, but in the Giants’ reload, there are plenty of in-house options that can do the job he was expected to do in 2018.

What they're saying: McCutchen, Giants and Pirates react to trade

What they're saying: McCutchen, Giants and Pirates react to trade

For nine seasons, Andrew McCutchen was the face of the Pittsburgh Pirates. But now, he's headed to a star-studded Giants roster.

Here's how McCutchen, his former Pirates teammates and his new Giants teammates reacted to news of the big trade on Monday.

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