Gregor Blanco

Gregor Blanco eager to take another shot at job in Giants outfield

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USATSI

Gregor Blanco eager to take another shot at job in Giants outfield

SAN FRANCISCO — Six years ago, Gregor Blanco came to Scottsdale Stadium as a little-known outfielder looking for a bench job. It was clear early that spring that Blanco would be a valued member of Bruce Bochy’s outfield. 

Now 34 years old, Blanco is hoping for a repeat performance. 

Since that first spring breakout, Blanco has won two titles, made a catch that will forever be remembered in San Francisco, developed into a fan favorite, and set his family up financially. He also has spent a year away, playing 90 games for the rival Diamondbacks. 

Blanco returned to the Giants late in the offseason, breaking the news of his minor league deal on Instagram. He was all smiles Tuesday after putting the orange and black back on, taking several photos of his cleats to post on his social media pages. 

“This is home for me,” Blanco said. “I’m really excited and hungry. I worked really hard in the winter so that I can show my abilities again.”

Blanco batted .246 for the Diamondbacks, posting a .694 OPS with three homers and 15 stolen bases. His numbers in 2016 — his last year with the Giants — were lower, but Blanco believes he has plenty left. Statcast’s metrics show that Blanco is still one of the faster players in the big leagues -- per Sprint Speed, he is the fastest on the Giants roster -- and he was 15-for-16 on the bases last season. Most importantly, the Giants still believe in Blanco’s versatile glove. He’s an option to split time with Austin Jackson in center and back up both corner spots. 

“A guy like Gregor, who we know really well and he’s played a role in our success, it’s good to have him back,” Bochy said.

Bochy said Gorkys Hernandez will also be in that mix in center, and noted Steven Duggar is a rookie “that we’re going to take a good strong look at in center field.” Blanco, Hernandez and Jarrett Parker are out of minor league options, so there’s some urgency there. Mac Williamson and Austin Slater are also competing for an outfield bench spot, although both have options remaining. 

It’s a familiar group, and that vibe extends past the outfield. Blanco spent some time Tuesday catching up with Hector Sanchez, who also is back on a minor league deal. Sanchez found that his locker is right next to Pablo Sandoval’s.

The next few weeks will be spent fighting for jobs, but on Day 1, it was all about enjoying being back with the Giants.

“I feel like I’m a kid again,” Blanco said. 

Gregor Blanco appears to be returning to Giants

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USATSI

Gregor Blanco appears to be returning to Giants

After a year away from the Giants, it looks like Gregor Blanco is returning.

The 34-year-old outfielder suggested a reunion is happening in an Instagram post on Monday.

"Another great opportunity 🙏🙏 thanks again to @sfgiants I’m so happy and excited it to see everyone again in that clubhouse and to see all the fans and to dream together to finish on top again I do believe I always do thanks again my family and I are really happy to be a giant again .!🙏⚾️#whiteshark so excited,' Blanco wrote with a photo of himself in a Giants uniform.

Nicknamed the 'White Shark,' Blanco spent five seasons roaming the outfield for the Giants. Between 2012 and 2016, he hit .259 with 78 doubles, 24 triples, 19 home runs and 157 RBI in 649 games. He was part of the 2012 and 2014 World Series champion teams.

He spent the 2017 season with the Diamondbacks and played in 90 games.

No word yet on if Blanco has signed a minor league or major league deal.

D'backs release former Giants outfielder

D'backs release former Giants outfielder

Editor's Note: The above video was recorded following Matt Cain's perfect game in 2012.

Gregor Blanco's bid to make the Arizona Diamondbacks' Opening Day roster is over.

The former Giants outfielder was released on Monday, Arizona announced.

Blanco had been dealing with an oblique injury and had played since March 21.

In 14 Cactus League games, Blanco went 9-for-40 (.225) with one double and three triples.

Blanco spent five years with the Giants and was part of the World Series winning teams in 2012 and 2014. During his time in San Francisco, the 33-year-old hit .259/.338/.360 with 78 doubles, 24 triples and 157 RBI in 649 games.

The D'backs signed Blanco to a minor league deal in January.