Giants

Brandon Beachy prepared to 'fill whatever role' for Giants in comeback

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AP

Brandon Beachy prepared to 'fill whatever role' for Giants in comeback

Brandon Beachy has never pitched out of the bullpen in his MLB career. But if he he wants to make it back to the big leagues, he's willing to do anything. 

“I’m prepared to hopefully fill whatever role I’m asked to do," Beachy said Friday on MLB Network Radio. 

The Giants and Beachy agreed to a minor league contract on Feb. 2. He last pitched in the majors four years ago when he appeared in two games and had a 7.88 ERA for the Dodgers in 2015.

After pitching in one inning of Rookie Ball in 2016, Beachy completely took the 2017 season off before making a comeback last year for the New Britain Bees of the Atlantic League. There he had a 3.55 ERA in 12 games (two starts). 

"When I went up to the Atlantic League last year, I came out of the bullpen. Wally Backman was my manager there and he really helped me out," Beachy said. "He treated it kind of like a spring training for me.

"I just came out of the 'pen there, but when I came back home and continued to throw, I kind of got on an every-fifth-day rotation to build up my pitch count and my innings."

In 38 starts between 2011 and 2012, Beachy posted a 3.07 ERA for the Braves over 222.2 innings, and struck out 237 batters. His career has been hampered by elbow and forearm issues though, and he's twice undergone Tommy John surgery. 

If Beachy makes the Giants at any point in the 2019 season, it will be quite the comeback story, and he clearly has the mindset needed to do so.

Former Giant Hunter Pence makes Rangers roster after successful spring

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AP

Former Giant Hunter Pence makes Rangers roster after successful spring

SAN FRANCISCO -- A few hours after an emotional goodbye at Oracle Park last season, Hunter Pence started working on his swing.

It paid off.

Pence will make the Texas Rangers’ Opening Day roster, according to TR Sullivan of MLB.com. He was in camp with his childhood team as a non-roster invitee and had a huge spring.

Pence, 35, is batting .356 in Cactus League play with three homers and five doubles, with an OPS over 1.000. He has six stolen bases in as many attempts.

Pence looked just about done last year while batting just .226 with four homers for the Giants. But he vowed to remake his swing in the offseason by working with renowned instructor Doug Latta in Los Angeles, and he took the unusual step of playing winter ball in the Dominican Republic as an established veteran.

That all led to a tryout with the Rangers, who valued what Pence could bring to their young spring clubhouse. He ended up adding right-handed pop, too, and he beat out several, including young prospect Willie Calhoun.

[RELATED: Pence's inspiring winter ball speech

On Thursday morning, a few hours before the news became public, Pence tweeted out a short message: “It’s Thursday and I’m thankful.”

These four Giants can hit 20 home runs in 2019, Mike Krukow predicts

These four Giants can hit 20 home runs in 2019, Mike Krukow predicts

Only one team stood in the way of the Giants earning the coveted crown of least home runs in baseball last season. Thanks a lot, Marlins. 

Not one Giant finished the season with 20 home runs. Evan Longoria led the team with 16 long balls in 2018, which was a career-low for the third baseman. 

With spring training wrapping up, it's time to turn the page and move on to 2019. And broadcaster Mike Krukow is optimistic there can be a power resurgence in San Francisco. 

“Well, I think Evan Longoria is going to hit twenty plus,” Krukow said Wednesday on KNBR. “Last year he hit sixteen and missed a month. He was so out of whack the first couple of months of the season, after coming over to a new team after spending the first ten years of his career with one team. I think he’s in the comfort zone now, he’s had a great spring, he’s in great shape.”

Longoria, 33, is off to a strong start this spring. Going into Thursday's slate of games, he's batting .324 with two home runs. After getting a full season of the National League under his belt, the three-time All-Star could be a candidate for a bounce-back year.

Speaking of Belt ... Krukow believes the first baseman can finally crack the 20-homer mark, too. 

"We keep waiting for Belt, he’s always had a chance to hit twenty," Krukow said. "He’s having a great spring and swinging the bat well right now, but when he got to camp, he kept the same weight as last year but with six percent less body fat."

Belt has been limited to only 104 and 112 games the last two seasons due to injuries where he's knocked 18 and 14 home runs. The power has always been there, though his health has been a concern. 

Now that Buster Posey is presumably healthy after hip surgery, Krukow sees the catcher flirting with 20 home runs for the first time since he hit 22 in 2014. The big name to watch, however, is Mac Williamson. 

"I think those three guys can do it, but wouldn’t it be something if Mac Williamson got into that same groove as last summer? There’s a guy who can put up thirty," Krukow said.

[RELATED: Brandon Belt reveals how he accidentally cut off half of his eyebrow]

Williamson might have the most raw power on the Giants' roster. A concussion cut down what should have been the best year of his career last season. While he's still competing to win a starting job in left field, a hot Williamson can produce some big power numbers.

The Giants has struggled mightily hitting the ball over the wall for years now. Is 2019 the year it's bombs away in the year? Until proven otherwise, there's always reasons for optimism.