Giants

Down on the Farm: Giants prospect Steven Duggar shows off full skill set

duggarstevencatch.jpg
usati

Down on the Farm: Giants prospect Steven Duggar shows off full skill set

The wait continues for the human highlight reel of Scottsdale to go from spring training star to everyday center fielder in San Francisco. As Steven Duggar suits up in Triple-A, he showed off his full skill set from defense to offense in the River Cats’ 10-6 loss Thursday night at Raley Field to the Oklahoma City Dodgers. 

What catches the googly eyes of coaches, teammates and fans first and foremost with Duggar is his defense. At 6-foot-2, Duggar glides in center field, letting his speed take over. At the crack of the bat, Duggar is hunting down his red-seamed prey. 

Andrew Toles found this out the hard way in the top of the fifth inning. Toles smoked a fastball and lined it to center field with tailing spin to Duggar's backhand side. The gazelle found his dinner. 

With his glove work on display, it was time for Duggar to dig into his tool belt one inning later. This time it was his arm he was showing off. A soft line drive one-hopped him with two outs and a Dodgers runner rounded third base before Duggar took a quick hop, cocked his right arm back and threw a perfect one-hop strike up the third base line for the final out of the inning. 

Defense has always come natural for Duggar. His bat has been behind, but not in a detrimental way. Not by a long shot. Thursday night in Sacramento, his bat was on par with his glove. The offense actually arrived before the defense against the Dodgers. 

In the bottom of the second inning, one inning after lining out to center field, Duggar scored two on a double this time over the head of center fielder Alex Verdugo. And two innings later, Duggar did the same thing, except this time his double to center field scored one run instead of two. Duggar finished the game 2-for-4 with two doubles, three RBI, one walk, and one strikeout. 

Over the last 10 games, Duggar has been on fire for the River Cats. In that span, he is hitting .390 (16-for-41). Through 54 games, Duggar is now batting .277 with a .356 on-base percentage and .423 slugging percentage. Duggar’s two doubles Thursday night brought his season total to 17. He also has three home runs and nine stolen bases. 

If Duggar’s Triple-A numbers were those of an everyday player on the Giants, he would lead the team in stolen bases and triples (3), rank second in doubles — in five less games than Andrew McCutchen — and fourth in on-base percentage.

When the Giants signed Austin Jackson to a two-year deal in the offseason, the thought was that the veteran would serve as a short stopgap before Duggar was ready. But Duggar has dealt with his ups and downs at the plate and the real speed bump in his road to San Francisco has been the emergence of Gorkys Hernandez. 

The wait is certainly winding down and it will come sooner than later for Duggar. And when it’s over, he showed Thursday night in Sacramento that he can put on quite the show.

MLB rumors: Live Winter Meetings free agency, trade news on Day 3

mlbwintermeetingslogousatsi.jpg
USATSI

MLB rumors: Live Winter Meetings free agency, trade news on Day 3

Baseball fans waiting for big deals should stay glued to the 2018 MLB Winter Meetings on Wednesday.

Bryce Harper and Manny Machado remain free agents, and the Dodgers still have their surplus of outfielders, but it only takes one major move for the dominoes to fall. Those deals typically happen as the Winter Meetings close, if past years are any indication.

[RELATED: News, rumors on Day 2 of the MLB Winter Meetings]

As for the Bay Area teams, the Giants reportedly are less likely to trade Madison Bumgarner now, but they're possibly seeking help at second base and at catcher. The A's have made some minor moves, but they desperately need starting pitching, so is this the day they'll find it?

Keep it here throughout Day 3 of the Winter Meetings for the latest live news, rumors and trade chatter from the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas. It could be a busy one.

5:35 p.m. PT: After trading Tanner Roark to the Reds, the Nationals now have an open spot to fill in their rotation. The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal points to Anibal Sanchez as a possibility for Washington.

The 34-year-old Sanchez had a terrific 2018 campaign, posting a 2.83 ERA and 1.08 over 136.2 innings pitched. The veteran right-hander could be a potential veteran fit for the A's, who we know are scouring the market for starting pitching help.

4:09 p.m. PT The Reds announced a trade for Nationals RHP Tanner Roark for RHP Tanner Rainey -- as reported by C. Trent Rosecrans.

4:07 p.m. PT: Jeff Passan announces Justin Bour and the Angels have agreed to a deal pending physical. 

4:01 p.m. PT: According to Ken Rosenthal, the Rangers acquired Lance Lynn:

3:38 p.m. PT: Speaking of Tatis. The middle infielder was in talks with the Mets about a possible scenario with Noah Syndergaard.

3:33 p.m. PT: Don't forget about the Padres. 

The team is looking for a utility infielder until Fernando Tatis Jr. is ready -- he will be competing in camp. Until that happens, there are a few options available and of interest to the team:

According to Dennis Lin, Marwin Gonzalez is of interest as well

2:09 p.m. PT: Ken Rosenthal reported a Reds and Dodgers note that if there was a possible trade between the two teams, Homer Bailey would need to approve it:

12:55 p.m. PT: Charlie Morton and the Tampa Bay Rays agreed to a two-year, $30 million deal according to Yahoo Sports' Jeff Passan:

The righty had a sensational campaign this past season. In 167 innings, he bolstered a 3.13 ERA with a 15-3 record. Those numbers earned him an All-Star selection.

12:38 p.m. PT: Another Boras nugget hot off the stove: Left-handed pitcher Yusei Kikuchi will meet with teams later this month. According to NBC Sports Bay Area's Alex Pavlovic, expect the Giants to get a meeting.

Sung Min Kim broke down Kikuchi's game to NBC Sports Bay Area's Jessica Kleinschmidt, and this is a pitcher who should excite Giants fans. 

12:12 p.m. PT: Scott Boras held court in Las Vegas, and the San Francisco Chronicle's Susan Slusser asked Boras if top A's prospect Kyler Murray could play football and baseball.

Forgive the pun, but Boras punted.

12:10 p.m. PT: "The Reds remain active in trade discussions for Sonny Gray and Marcus Stroman" according to MLB Network's Jon Morosi:

10:45 a.m. PT: About that A's opening at second base. Oakland is reportedly talking to the Texas Rangers about a trade for Jurickson Profar, according to The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal.

Profar is coming off of the best season of his career. He set career highs in ... literally every offensive category, and has the positional versatility the A's love. At 26 years old and with another year of team control beyond 2019, he fits age-wise. The A's and Rangers have traded together before, too, so this is a possibility to monitor.  

10:35 a.m. PT: The Giants are still looking to add (at least) a couple of outfielders, but one option could soon have an offer elsewhere. The Atlanta Braves are reportedly preparing to make an offer to former Arizona Diamondback A.J. Pollock. 

The Braves don't seem to be in much of a rush, so this doesn't rule out Pollock as an option for the Giants. 

9:25 a.m. PT: The A's are looking for a second baseman, and Cleveland is shopping second baseman Jason Kipnis. Still, there reportedly hasn't been much interest in the former All-Star, according to Cleveland.com's Paul Hoynes.

Hoynes noted that the amount of second baseman available in free agency is driving down Kipnis' trade value. He's coming off of two down years, and his contract ($13.5 million this season) may be too rich for the A's, but Kipnis' own pending free agency could make him an option down the line.

8:04 a.m. PT: Not so fast on J.A. Happ to the Yankees. The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal and others are reporting there isn't an agreement in place with the New York Yankees yet. 

Happ is likely out of the A's price range, but his signing should set the market for other pitchers Oakland could pursue. 

7:15 a.m. PT: We have our first deal of the day ... well, reportedly, at least. The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal is reporting the New York Yankees have an agreement with lefty J.A. Happ.

Financial details were not immediately known, but Happ's signing takes one top-end starter off the market. Might the dominoes start to fall on the mound for the A's? 

Giants' Steven Duggar 'making some really big strides' in shoulder rehab

duggarstevenap.jpg
AP

Giants' Steven Duggar 'making some really big strides' in shoulder rehab

Steven Duggar's Clemson Tigers could be playing in the Bay Area at Levi's Stadium for the College Football National Championship on Jan. 7, 2019, but the Giants' center fielder will likely be in Scottsdale instead of Santa Clara. 

Duggar is rehabbing his left shoulder at the Giants' spring training facility in Arizona after tearing his labrum in late August. On Tuesday, Duggar gave an update on the rehab process. 

"Shoulder's doing really well," Duggar said to KNBR. "[I've been] making some really big strides the last couple weeks." 

Duggar's injury happened in a 1-0 win over the D'backs. After drawing a walk, the rookie reached back to second base when he took a wide turn on a single and it was clear something was wrong. But, he stayed in the game and scored the winning run. 

The recently turned 25-year-old said he the injury was "definitely disappointing to say the least" and he knew his shoulder was out right away. The severity of the injury is a whole different story. 

As far as rehab goes, everything sounds positive so far. 

"Obviously, the first part of that surgery and that rehab you just gotta kinda let it heal. There's not a whole lot you can do at the beginning," Duggar explained. "The range of motion is starting to come back. I'm right on schedule with that.

"The shoulder strength and range of motion with that, everything's gone really well. Definitely excited with where I'm at. Definitely excited to keep it rolling and be ready for camp." 

All signs point to Duggar being ready for spring training where he's projected to be the team's starting center fielder, though the Giants did claim outfielder Mike Gerber off waivers from the Tigers to add depth and injury insurance.