Giants

Bruce Bochy excited to add Gerardo Parra who has success at Oracle Park

Bruce Bochy excited to add Gerardo Parra who has success at Oracle Park

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The Giants have spent years trying to figure out how to put together a strong lineup at AT&T Park. They’ve drafted players who should fit the gaps, and last year they traded for two former All-Stars who were supposed to take advantage of the dimensions in left field, where the park can be a bit more fair if you pull it. 

With one of their latest additions, they’re relying on a simple method. The staff is hopeful that Gerardo Parra can help jolt the lineup. Why? Well, he’s always liked hitting at Oracle Park. 

Parra, who spent six seasons with the Diamondbacks and three with the Rockies, has played 63 games at Oracle Park and taken 203 at-bats. He has a .310 average there as a visitor. 

“You don’t find that very often, do you?” manager Bruce Bochy said. 

There’s more to this, of course. If the Giants were hellbent on adding players who like their park, they would have called A.J. Preller and offered to take on the rest of Wil Myers’ contract. Parra is a fit for a number of reasons. 

He’ll add a veteran presence to an outfield crop that’s current leader in career plate appearances is Austin Slater with 325. Parra can also play all three outfield spots and is a strong defender in left. He’s 31 now but still has a strong arm. 

“He gives us an experienced outfielder, a good defender, a good hitter with good makeup,” Bochy said. “I’ve seen a lot of him and he’s played very well against us. I think he’s going to add experience with this club, but also he’s a very talented player. He can play all three outfield positions. We’re glad to get this done.”

Bochy said Parra is primarily viewed as a left fielder, and the Giants are still relatively mysterious there. Mac Williamson is certainly deserving of a shot, but if a certain free agent right fielder chooses another organization, Williamson could end up as the starter in right. 

Parra provides insurance in the corners, and he’s coming off a solid year, having posted a .342 on-base percentage for the Rockies last season, with six homers, 17 doubles, and 11 stolen bases. According to Jon Heyman of MLB Network, Parra will earn $1.75 million if he makes the team, with bonuses for reaching a certain number of plate appearances. 

[RELATED: Giants add four new players at spring training start]

The Giants have scooped up a number of veterans on similar deals late in the offseason, and Bochy is excited about what’s been added to his clubhouse. He spoke to Parra earlier in the week and said he’s ready to add another energetic player to the roster. 

“You can tell he loves to play,” Bochy said. “We had a great conversation and he was excited about coming here, and we’re excited to have him.”

Tyler Austin, Mike Yastrzemski positives in uninspiring Giants loss

Tyler Austin, Mike Yastrzemski positives in uninspiring Giants loss

LOS ANGELES -- Giants Bruce Bochy met with the media a couple of hours before Wednesday's 9-2 loss to the Dodgers, and when a reporter brought up Shaun Anderson's first-inning issues, the manager smiled and politely cut the question off. 

"His issues?" Bochy said. "The team's, but go ahead ..."

Yes, it is indeed the team. Bochy keeps hoping something will change, but his starting pitchers seem incapable of flipping that switch. The Giants were allowing a 1.058 OPS to opposing hitters in the first inning -- that would rank fourth in the Majors for an individual hitter -- even before Drew Pomeranz gave up three runs in a very loud opening frame on Wednesday. 

Pomeranz would be charged with seven runs and a whole lot more exit velocity in the loss, as the Giants failed to take advantage of forearm discomfort that knocked Dodgers starter Rich Hill out after just one inning. 

This was, in every respect, more of the same. So let's change it up. Here are three things you can feel good about after a game like that:

--- Tyler Austin hit his sixth homer and played solid defense. 

Austin took right-hander Yimi Garcia deep to right-center, hitting a home run that just kept carrying and carrying, catching outfielders Alex Verdugo and Cody Bellinger by surprise. The Giants don't hit a lot of homers like that. 

Austin had been in a 1-for-20 skid coming into the game, but he's slugging .447 and has started to look much more comfortable in left field. Perhaps he's someone who can be a useful piece for the future. 

The most important part of that will be his ability to play left field, and after a slow start because of elbow soreness and bad weather that kept him from doing outfield drills, Austin has looked much better. The last two games have been his two best defensively since coming over from Minnesota. 

"It's just working in practice. That's the big thing," Austin said of the change. "I feel like it's coming along and getting better every day. I'm starting to feel pretty good out there. Hopefully we can keep that going."

Bochy has always believed Austin -- a DH/1B type in the AL -- has a chance to play out there. 

"He's getting better and better out there," the manager said. "He can run, he's got range, there's no reason why he shouldn't be a good left fielder."

[RELATED: Giants sign 23 draft picks; still waiting on Bishop, others]

--- Speaking of left field, Mike Yastrzemski has been much better than the other former River Cats and minor leaguers the Giants have run through this season. Yaz was a last-minute replacement for Steven Duggar, who has a tight lower back, and hit a solo blast off lefty Caleb Ferguson in the sixth. 

Overall, Yastrzemski has a .250/.316/.426 slash line while playing good defense wherever Bochy puts him. It's early, but he looks capable of being part of the outfield mix next year. Like Austin, he should get plenty of starts in the second half as Farhan Zaidi and Co. try to evaluate what they really have. 

--- I could not get to a third positive thing. Sorry. Here is a video of me eating a hot dog with bologna on it and immediately regretting some life choices. 

Giants sign 23 MLB draft picks, but still waiting on top selections

bishopap.jpg
AP

Giants sign 23 MLB draft picks, but still waiting on top selections

LOS ANGELES -- The Giants announced on Wednesday that they have signed 23 MLB draft picks, although the list is missing the biggest names. 

First-round pick Hunter Bishop, selected 10th overall earlier this month, has not signed yet. Second-round pick Logan Wyatt and fourth-rounder Tyler Fitzgerald are still playing in the College World Series with Louisville and thus cannot sign. Fitzgerald hit a home run Wednesday as the Cardinals beat Auburn. Eighth-round pick Caleb Kilian also is still playing.

The highest selection to sign thus far is center fielder Grant McCray, a third-round pick who is the son of former big leaguer Rodney McCray. Grant was one of nine position players the Giants drafted on the first two days of the draft, something the franchise had not done in 50 years. 

[RELATED: How Ramos' elite numbers compare to current Giants stars]

Overall, the Giants have signed 15 of their first 20 selections. Trevor McDonald, an 11th-round pick out of high school, also remains unsigned. It's possible that is connected to the top picks -- the Giants might need a bit of excess slot money to lock up a high school arm. 

The Giants did not have any concerns at the time of the draft about their ability to sign Bishop, a star outfielder at Arizona State. They still don't anticipate any problems.