Giants

How would Giants use Shohei Ohtani? 'That's very flexible for us'

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AP

How would Giants use Shohei Ohtani? 'That's very flexible for us'

At this point, the story is known of Shohei Ohtani's talents as a two-way star in Japan. There are still questions, however, to how that would translate to Major League Baseball, especially in the National League. 

“He played outfield in Japan, he’s very athletic, he’s got quick feet, a very athletic body, he’ll service well in the outfield,” Giants GM Bobby Evans said Wednesday on the Garry & Larry Show

Ohtani actually has not played in the outfield since 2014. He only played eight games between left and right field in 2014 and has only played 62 career games in the outfield in five seasons as a pro. The 23-year-old also dealt with a lower leg injury in 2017. 

[GALLERY: The file on Shohei Ohtani]

“He did have some lower leg injuries as well as only pitched 25 innings last year, so it will be a build up physically," Evans said. "For whatever club he plays for he’ll have to build back up.”

This past season, Ohtani played in 65 games as a DH, hitting .332 with eight home runs. On the hill, he tossed 25.1 innings and went 3-2 with a 3.20 ERA. 

If the Giants do indeed sign Ohtani, they have said there's a plan to get him 300 to 400 at-bats. At what position in the outfield, is not yet clear, even for Evans. 

“It ultimately depends on our outfield makeup, but we see his ability to play all three (positions),” Evans said. “That’s very flexible for us. There’s certainly advantages to left field in our left field, but we’re not pigeon-holing him to one spot right now.”

As a pitcher, Ohtani has never tossed more than 160 innings in a season. He took the mound every seven days in Japan compared to MLB pitchers toeing the rubber every five. Expect a schedule much like Ohtani is used to in Japan if he joins the Giants' staff. 

“He’s been starting once a week in Japan, so he starts every seventh day,” Evans said. “It’s a little different over there so I don’t know that you would expect him to come over here and start every fifth day.

"Our kids, even in the minor leagues, we don’t start them but every six days so I wouldn’t expect him to come over here and pitch a whole lot more frequently than he did over there."

The wait continues to see where the prospect considered the Babe Ruth of Japan will ultimately begin his career in the majors.

Willie Mays says farewell to his friend Ed Lee

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AP

Willie Mays says farewell to his friend Ed Lee

San Francisco Mayor Lee died on Tuesday, to the surprise of many. 

In a letter to his friend, San Francisco Giants legend Willie Mays, wrote the following, via The San Francisco Chronicle

I can't believe that Ed Lee is gone. I am as shocked as I am saddened. Mayor Lee was just always there. I'd meet him on the street outside of the ballpark, or he'd be at home plate joining me in a ceremony like the one we had for Tony Bennett. When my wife passed, he immediately came up with the idea for the Mae Mays Softball Tournament for Foster Youth, honoring her work with the City and giving the City departments a way to have fun. He was there at the World Series parades leading us in cheers. He gave me a cable car for my 85th birthday and made sure that it was number 24. Just always there.

And, Ed Lee was a really, really good guy. Mayor Ed Lee was, too. He went about the business of running this city with a positive force. He always had a smile and an upbeat attitude. I never saw him downhearted. He really was a mayor who got things done.

I once told another mayor of San Francisco, Dianne Feinstein, that I didn't know how politicians survive in their world. They have to try to make everyone happy. I couldn't do it, I know that. If I had wanted to make everyone happy, I wouldn't have been a ballplayer, I'd have sold hot dogs!

Ed Lee wasn't your normal politician. He didn't have anything to sell. He just worked hard for the City and the people he loved. And, we are lucky to have had him.

To his family, I want to extend my heartfelt condolences. There is little I can say to offer you comfort, except that I will miss him, too.

So long my friend,

Willie Mays

Mayor Lee was 65 years old. 

Could another Marlins outfielder be a better fit for Giants?

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USATSI

Could another Marlins outfielder be a better fit for Giants?

ORLANDO — The Giants had a trade in place for Giancarlo Stanton a couple weeks ago, so clearly the Marlins have found players in their system that they would like to deal for. But that doesn’t seem to be helping the front office now that Marcell Ozuna seems readily available. 

Ozuna is one of several outfielders the Giants have checked on in recent weeks in a bid to add athleticism and power to their lineup, but they don’t have high hopes. General manager Bobby Evans said the bigger field for Ozuna’s services “really negates anything” the Giants agreed to during the Stanton talks, and added that proposals went back to “square one.”

Per sources familiar with the earlier discussions, the Marlins — looking to offload about $250 million of Stanton’s deal — agreed to take back two prospects and a big league player with a salary the Giants needed to move to stay under or near the luxury tax line. It’s believed that big leaguer was Denard Span, and the prospects were not in the top five on the Giants’ list. 

But Ozuna would cost the Giants prospects that are much higher on their list, and if this deal comes down to prospects, the Giants will be outgunned. For that reason, the St. Louis Cardinals were the lobby favorites to land Ozuna at the winter meetings. 

Ozuna hit 37 homers and won a Gold Glove last season, so he fills every outfield need the Giants have. Christian Yelich would fill those needs too, but he’s not known to be available. It’s also unclear if Billy Hamilton truly is. The Giants checked in on Hamilton this week but there’s little traction in talks with the Reds, who would have to be overwhelmed to trade a popular player. The Giants have also spoken to the Brewers about their young outfielders, and there might be a better chance with that NL Central club, but nothing was imminent as of Tuesday. 

As for players who are already on the roster, Evans said the staff is confident that Austin Slater’s 2017 debut was no fluke. Slater will enter camp with a shot to win a fourth/fifth outfielder job, and perhaps more. The Giants believe he can handle all three outfield spots, but he seems ticketed for mostly right field work.