Giants

D-backs vs. Giants lineups: Brandon Belt bumped from leadoff spot

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USATSI

D-backs vs. Giants lineups: Brandon Belt bumped from leadoff spot

Manager Bruce Bochy had hoped Brandon Belt would give the Giants a spark out of the leadoff spot.

That didn't happen. In two games, Belt went 0-for-6 with an RBI and a walk.

So, with the Arizona Diamondbacks in town to begin a four-game series Thursday, Bochy has moved Belt down a spot in the Giants' lineup and has second baseman Donovan Solano leading off.

Alex Dickerson, one of the Giants' best hitters over the last week, is out of the lineup for the first time since he joined the team last Friday.

Right-hander Tyler Beede takes the ball for the Giants and looks to rebound from a tough start against the D-backs on Saturday. He will be opposed by 25-year-old left-hander Alex Young, who will be making his major league debut.

First pitch for D-backs-Giants is scheduled for 6:45 p.m. PT, with pregame coverage beginning at 5:30 p.m. You can follow all the action on NBC Sports Bay Area and streaming online and on the MyTeams app.

[RELATED: Smith has made ninth easy for Bochy]

Here are the full D-backs-Giants lineups:

San Francisco Giants (34-45)
Donovan Solano. 2B
Brandon Belt, 1B
Tyler Austin, LF
Buster Posey, C
Evan Longoria, 3B
Kevin Pillar, CF
Brandon Crawford. SS
Mike Yastrzemski, RF
Tyler Beede, RHP (1-2, 6.96 ERA)

Arizona Diamondbacks (41-41)
Adam Jones, RF
Jarrod Dyson, CF
Ketel Marte, 2B
David Peralta, LF
Christian Walker, 1B
Jake Lamb. 3B
Nick Ahmed, SS
Carson Kelly, C
Alex Young, LHP (MLB debut)

Alex Eats: Alaska Airlines 'pushing the needle' with healthier food options

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NBC Sports Bay Area

Alex Eats: Alaska Airlines 'pushing the needle' with healthier food options

During the 2019 MLB season, Giants Insider Alex Pavlovic took one for the team by tasting some of the unique food options at ballparks around the country.

Not many of the things he ate were healthy.

But on the latest episode of "Alex Eats," Pavlovic got to try some healthy food options that will be debuting soon on Alaska Airlines flights.

"We're trying to make it healthy, fun and flavorful," Alaska Airlines director of community and public relations Oriana Branon said. "We took a trip in coordination with Global SF to Singapore and Hong Kong for Future of Food Innovation Summit. It's all about learning what the future of food is, innovation trends coming down the pipeline so we can incorporate that on board."

The first item that Pavlovic tried was vegetarian bibimbap, which consists of streamed rice, sauteed seasonal vegetables, fried egg and a spicy sweet sauce. This option will be available in First Class on Alaska Airlines flights, according to Branon.

Pavlovic washed it down with a ginger carrot bisque soup.

The last item Pavlovic tasted was the roasted chicken with clementine. The chicken comes on a bed of basmati rice.

Most of Alaska Airlines' healthier food options are part of the Winter 2020 menu and will be available starting on Dec. 16, 2019.

"This is airline food, but it's not airline food," Pavlovic said.

"It's not your tradition airline food," Branon said. "We're pushing the needle here."

Giants to hire former Red Sox exec Brian Bannister as director of pitching

Giants to hire former Red Sox exec Brian Bannister as director of pitching

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants have quietly spent most of the past month putting a staff together, one they expect to announce in the coming days. One new addition won't be working in a traditional dugout role, but still is expected to make a huge impact on the next generation of Giants pitchers. 

Brian Bannister, a former big leaguer who spent the previous five seasons with the Red Sox, will join the Giants as director of pitching, NBC Sports Bay Area has learned.

While it's unclear what Bannister's exact duties will be, his background is in development and the fact that he's joining the Giants but not as their pitching coach would seem to indicate he'll mostly be working with younger pitchers. 

Bannister has been a rising star in baseball circles since joining the Red Sox in 2015. He became their assistant pitching coach a year later and a few months after that added the title of vice president of pitching development. According to NBC Sports Boston, Bannister had an unusual contract that allowed the Red Sox to deny interview requests from other organizations that wanted to make Bannister a pitching coach, something they did repeatedly. In that story, Bannister explained his role and what he liked about it. 

“I think I’m kind of in that sweet spot right now where I know what our needs are, and I have the opportunity to work with staff at all levels of the organization to try to produce pitchers at a faster rate to keep that major league product winning on the field,” Bannister said. “I’ll be scouting one day, I’ll be in player development the next day. I’ll be in the front office working in analytics on Day 3. And the diversity of the role and the exposure to every aspect of the organization is what’s so appealing.

"Because you really start to see on an interdepartmental basis, how each person positively impacts the Boston Red Sox. And then figuring out ways to fill in the gaps. How to get the players from amateur scouting, through player development as efficiently as possible, and prepare them with exactly what they need for the major league staff. That part’s fascinating. I definitely enjoy the exposure to everything and trying to add value to everything. And that’s probably where my role is unique.”

The Giants have been looking to put together a unique staff, one that can focus on development of younger players in Kapler's first year. In that respect, Bannister fits perfectly, but he also has the playing experience that carries so much weight with players who prefer traditional methods. 

Bannister finished third in the Rookie of the Year voting in 2007 after putting up a 3.87 ERA in 27 starts for the Royals. That was the highlight of his professional career, as he finished with a 5.08 ERA in five big league seasons.

[RELATED: Why Hjelle stood out to Vogelsong]

A USC grad, Bannister is coming home in multiple ways. He lives in the Bay Area and was born in Scottsdale, where he later starred at Chaparral High, which is about a 20-minute drive from Scottsdale Stadium. When Fox Sports first reported that Bannister would be headed to San Francisco, he thanked his previous organization. 

The Giants are expected to announce some staffing decisions over the coming week. The only known member of Kapler's staff thus far is previous third base coach Ron Wotus.