Giants

Giants notes: No move for Posey; six-starter plan

Giants notes: No move for Posey; six-starter plan

SAN FRANCISCO — The last press conference of the year tends to reveal fresh information about the health of players, but general manager Bobby Evans said Thursday that there are no surgical procedures scheduled for current Giants. 

That includes Buster Posey, who played through several issues, including nerve irritation in his right thumb. Posey was out for five days in June and required a cortisone shot. He had just three homers after the All-Star break, and just two in his final 63 games. Evans wouldn’t go into the extent of any injuries that might have sapped power.

“He keeps a lot of things close to the vest. That’s who he is,” Evans said. “But nobody works harder or prepares more.”

Posey started a career-high 122 games behind the plate. His time at first base dipped from 37 starts in 2015 to 11 in 2016, in part because Brandon Belt put together an All-Star campaign. Posey posted a .292/.366/.478 slash line in the first half but was at .282/.357.383 in the second half. Evans said the drop in slugging does not make it more likely that Posey sees more time away from the squat next season.

“It doesn’t make me think more about first base,” he said. “We’re always monitoring his health. We’re still confident that (catcher) is the best spot for him. Whether he has better power numbers next year, I couldn’t predict, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he does because he's very competitive.”

The Giants would love more power in the heart of their lineup, obviously, but as those numbers have dropped, Posey has turned himself into the best defensive catcher in the league. That's a tradeoff they're willing to make. 

The majority of Thursday's press conference revolved around the bullpen, and there's much more coming on that here, on TV and in podcast form. There were also changes to the coaching staff. There were plenty of other notes from the final day at AT&T Park. Here are some highlights:

--- Evans said Eduardo Nuñez (hamstring) would not have been healthy enough to start Game 5 of the NLDS. He wouldn’t have started, anyway. Conor Gillaspie had four hits in the final game. The staff isn’t sure about Angel Pagan. He was to be tested on Wednesday to see if his back could hold up, but obviously that wasn’t necessary. Pagan instead got on a flight home. 

--- The Giants would like Christian Arroyo to get at least a few months in Triple-A next season. The internal evaluation is that he isn’t ready, not after a season in which he hit .274/.316/.373 with three homers. Arroyo is just 21 years old, and there’s no desire to rush him. The Giants believe they have a budding superstar if they handle this right. 

Nuñez and Gillaspie are locks to make the roster as third basemen next year, and while Joe Panik’s name will come up in trade talks, it’s very unlikely the Giants part ways with a young All-Star-caliber player after dealing Matt Duffy away. Arroyo is mostly focused on third base right now. 

“l’ll go into spring training hoping Christian continues to show progress in his defensive role and with the bat,” Evans said. “I anticipate him starting next year in the minor leagues.”

Arroyo will be in camp for a second straight year. Evans said, “I love it when a player tells us he’s ready by how he performs,” and the Giants did once put Duffy on the Opening Day roster because he forced the issue. 

--- Evans said Albert Suarez will come into camp as a guy providing depth. He’ll be competing for a long reliever role on the Opening Day roster. Suarez posted a 4.29 ERA in his first year with the Giants and provided some valuable spot starts. 

--- Ty Blach and Matt Cain will go into camp competing for the fifth starter job, and Tyler Beede will be around to try and swipe it away. The guess right now is that Blach wins the job. Players raved about the young left-hander as they packed up Thursday. But Cain has earned the right to compete, Evans said. 

“Matt wants to be a starting pitcher,” Evans said. “He’ll come into spring training expecting to start and he’ll be given every opportunity, and he deserves that.”

If Cain doesn’t blow the Giants away, it would be worth seeing if he could transform into a Joe Blanton-type. Blanton is much further removed from starting success than Cain, and posted a 2.48 ERA in 75 appearances for the Dodgers this season. There are some in the Giants’ organization who wonder if Cain — with a rare four-pitch mix out of the bullpen — could make a similar transition. 

--- Before you look forward, you must first look back. In case you missed it, here's a pitch-by-pitch recap of the ninth inning.  Bochy said Thursday that he has no regrets about the pitchers he used. "We just had a hard time getting that last out," he said. 
 

Report: Giants make trade offer for Giancarlo Stanton

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Report: Giants make trade offer for Giancarlo Stanton

The hot stove is heating up. 

Giancarlo Stanton is the biggest name swirling in trade rumors and the Giants are reportedly pushing forward in their attempt to acquire the slugger. San Francisco's front office has proposed a trade to Miami for Stanton, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic

Details of what the Giants offered have not been reported yet. 

Stanton, who recently turned 28, is guaranteed $295 million over the next 10 seasons. His contract includes a full no-trade clause and an opt-out after 2020. 

On Thursday, Stanton was named the National League MVP after hitting .281 with a league-leading 59 home runs and 132 RBI. The last MVP to be traded in the offseason after winning the award was Alex Rodriguez from the Rangers to the Yankees before the 2004 season. 

How seven Giants prospects performed in the 2017 Arizona Fall League

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How seven Giants prospects performed in the 2017 Arizona Fall League

The Arizona Fall League came to an end for seven Giants prospects on Thursday as the Scottsdale Scorpions (12-17-1) came up short from playing in Saturday's championship game. 

Let's take a look at how these seven names fared against some of the top young talent in all of baseball. 

The Hitters

As the Giants are linked to trade targets in center field like Billy Hamilton and Jackie Bradley Jr., a young in-house option only helped his case in the desert.

Steven Duggar likely would have seen the AT&T outfield this season, but his season was hindered by injuries, keeping him to only 44 games between three levels. With the Scorpions, Duggar took advantage of his opportunity with more at-bats. 

Duggar left Arizona with a .263/.367/.421 slash line over 20 games. The speedy lefty also stole nine bases and hit three home runs. Even if the Giants go for an experienced glove in center field this offseason and keep Duggar, the 24-year-old has also played 135 games in right field during his minor league career. 

For the second straight year, the Giants sent catcher Aramis Garcia to the AFL. And he's sure to be coming home much happier this go around with an up-and-down campaign.

Splitting time behind the plate with three other catchers, Garcia appeared in 13 games and slashed .259/.293/.333 and hit one home run. Garcia struggled to get one base with only one walk to 10 strikeouts, but showed his natural ability to drive runs in with 10 RBI. 

Rounding out the Giants' trio of bats they sent to Arizona is arguably their top prospect, but his time in the AFL was cut short. Chris Shaw only played in five games and hit .158. He dealt with a sore shoulder.

The Pitchers

The Giants sent two starting pitchers (Tyler Beede and Joan Gregorio) and two relievers (Tyler Cyr and D.J. Snelten) to the AFL. 

Pitching for the first time in nearly three months, Beede showed exactly why he's the Giants' top pitching prospect. Beede went 0-1 with a 4.50 ERA in four starts, but his final three show the potential he's full of -- 14 innings pitched, three earned runs, a 1.93 ERA, 10 strikeouts and only one walk. 

Gregorio, who was suspended this season for Performance Enhancing Drugs, pitched in eight games (three starts) for Scottsdale. He left with a 1-0 record and 5.87 ERA. In Triple-A, Gregorio went 4-4 with a 3.04 ERA this year over 13 starts. The 25-year-old presents an interesting arm that can help sooner than later in the bullpen. 

Cyr's stats don't look pretty (0-1, 5.63 ERA, 8 IP), but he's catching some attention. The right-hander was named to the Fall Stars Game and is most likely to start 2018 in Triple-A after converting 18 saves at Double-A in 2017. 

Snelten, a 6-foot-7 lefty, impressed in eight appearances out of the bullpen. He didn't allow an earned run until his final outing of the fall, bringing his ERA from a perfect 0.00 to 2.25 in 12 innings pitched.

After combining for a 2.20 ERA to go with an 8-1 record between Double-A and Triple-A in 2017, Snelten is a name to know as the Giants look to find more lefties for their bullpen.