Carlos Moncrief

Report: Two Giants hitters elect free agency

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USATSI

Report: Two Giants hitters elect free agency

With free agency set to begin five days after the World Series ends, two hitters that played for the Giants during the 2017 season have put their names on the open market.

Veteran third baseman Conor Gillaspie and longtime minor league outfielder Carlos Moncrief have both elected for free agency, according to Baseball America.

The 30-year-old Gillaspie appeared in 44 games for the Giants this past season. He hit just .168/.218/.288 with four doubles, two home runs and eight RBI. He was designated for assignment on August 3 and outrighted to Triple-A Sacramento on August 5. With the River Cats, Gillaspie hit .375 with four doubles in 15 games in August.

Prior to the 2017 season, Gillaspie signed a one-year, $1.4 million deal with the Giants.

As for Moncrief, the soon-to-be 29-year-old finally got his first call-up the majors this past season after eight and a half seasons in the minors. He debuted for the Giants on July 29. In 28 games, he hit .211/.256/.237 with one double and five RBI. While he didn't do much with the bat, Moncrief showed off a cannon for an arm when he patrolled right field.

Giants lineup: Samardzija replaces Stratton, Moncrief in right

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USATSI

Giants lineup: Samardzija replaces Stratton, Moncrief in right

In a late move, the Giants will have a different than expected starter on the hill. And in the outfield, Hunter Pence takes a seat Saturday.

St. Louis Cardinals (68-66)

1. Kolten Wong (L) 2B
2. Jose Martinez (R) 1B
3. Paul DeJong (R) SS
4. Dexter Fowler (S) CF
5. Yadier Molina (R) C
6. Stephen Piscotty (R) RF
7. Greg Garcia (L) 3B
8. Randal Grichuk (R) LF
9. Lance Lynn (S) P

San Francisco Giants (53-84)

1. Denard Span (L) CF
2. Joe Panik (L) 2B
3. Buster Posey (R) 1B
4. Brandon Crawford (L) SS
5. Pablo Sandoval (S) 3B
6. Nick Hundley (R) C
7. Carlos Moncrief (L) RF
8. Gorkys Hernandez (R) LF
9. Jeff Samardzija (R) P

Joe Maddon in awe of Carlos Moncrief's arm: 'That’s Bo Jackson'

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AP

Joe Maddon in awe of Carlos Moncrief's arm: 'That’s Bo Jackson'

SAN FRANCISCO — Joe Maddon has been around Major League Baseball since before Carlos Moncrief was born. After seeing the rookie outfielder for the first time Monday, Maddon gushed about a right arm that’s opening eyes. 

Moncrief made two incredible throws, although neither led to an out. His throw to the plate in the second inning traveled 307 feet in the air, according to Statcast, but it wasn’t quite in time to prevent an inside-the-park homer for Javier Baez. Later in the game, Moncrief threw a laser to third that prevented a runner on second from tagging up. That one had players and coaches on both sides shaking their heads. 

“That guy may have the best arm I’ve ever seen,” Joe Maddon said, according to CSN Chicago. “That’s Bo Jackson arm stuff right there. That was that good. That was Bo good. I’ve always thought Shawon Dunston and Bo Jackson. Shawon Dunston on the infield, Bo Jackson on the outfield. And I think Moncrief is among that group. It’s incredible.”

Moncrief, 28, was called up last month after more than 800 games in the minor leagues. He was originally drafted as a pitcher, and when the River Cats put him on the mound in a game earlier this season, Moncrief sat in the mid 90s. He told teammates he could hit 95 and they didn't believe him. After clocking that number, he fired one in at 97 mph.

“I wasn’t surprised at all (by tonight’s throws), especially the throw to third,” Ryder Jones said Monday night. “That guy has a cannon.”