Giants

Down on the Farm: Giants prospects who shined in Bumgarner's rehab starts

Down on the Farm: Giants prospects who shined in Bumgarner's rehab starts

After missing nearly three months, it looks like Madison Bumgarner is finally ready to make his fifth big league start of the season. The Giants’ ace is scheduled to return to the hill in San Diego on Saturday after making four rehab starts at three different levels. 

While Bumgarner was attracting sellout crowds to mixed results, prospects were trying to make an impression with the front office in attendance. Here is who stood out among Giants minor leaguers in each of Bumgarner’s rehab starts. 

June 25, Arizona Rookie League Giants 

— Well, it can only go up from here. The AZL Giants were without top picks Heliot Ramos and Jacob Gonzalez, who are hitting a combined .441 (30-for-68), and only managed three hits in Bumgarner’s first return to the mound. 

— Aside from Bumgarner, the biggest news was the return of Steven Duggar. In his first game of the season, the Giants’ sixth-round pick from 2015 went 0-for-2. 

June 30, Sacramento River Cats 

— Orlando Calixte jumped at the opportunity with big names in San Francisco’s brass watching. Leading off and playing third base, Calixte went 3-for-5 with a home run in the first inning, a double, two RBI and one run scored. The 25-year-old has now played every position aside from catcher and first base this year and has 10 home runs. 

— Chris Shaw didn’t go deep, but he did finish the game 2-for-5 at the plate, one day after smacking two balls over the wall. This was the third game of an eight-game hitting streak and he’s continued to do all the Giants have hoped for and more this season. 

— At 33 years old, Juan Ciriaco isn’t a name you will hear a lot. He’s one of the veterans still plugging away in the minors, but he did enjoy a 3-for-4 day with two doubles, one RBI and two runs scored with Bumgarner on the bump. 

July 5, San Jose Giants 

— Ryan Howard, who I recently wrote about as a potential next Matt Duffy for the Giants, looked just like that while Bumgarner was shelled in San Jose. Howard roped a RBI double in his first at-bat and finished 2-for-3 in the loss. The shortstop who is known more for his bat, later displayed some impressive glove work in Bumgarner’s final rehab start with San Jose too. 

— San Jose only scored one run on six hits. Aside from Howard, Gio Brusa, a local product from the University of the Pacific, was the only other hitter to have a multi-hit night. Brusa went 2-for-4 with a double of his own and scored one run. 

July 10, San Jose Giants

— Bumgarner’s final rehab start went much better for himself and for the Giants’ Advanced Single-A affiliate, despite a 4-2 loss. At the top of the order and playing center field, Ronnie Jebavy drove in a run in a nice 2-for-4 night. The speedy outfielder was hampered by injuries early, but is now rounding into form and is slashing .285/.318/.390 in 29 games. 

— Jalen Miller, the Giants’ third-round pick in 2015, is having a rough year in San Jose. The middle infielder is only hitting .219, but enjoyed one of his best games in front of a sold out crowd. Miller hit his sixth home run of the season, going deep in back-to-back games, and ended with 2-for-4 showing. 

Giants vs. Blue Jays lineups: Drew Pomeranz goes for first win of 2019

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USATSI

Giants vs. Blue Jays lineups: Drew Pomeranz goes for first win of 2019

The Giants' eight-game road trip is finally coming to an end. 

And they're going for their first sweep of the season. After using four home runs to beat the Blue Jays on Tuesday, San Francisco is looking to leave Toronto with two straight wins. 

Bruce Bochy isn't switching anything up in his lineup one day after the power surge. On the hill, the Giants are sending out left-hander Drew Pomeranz. 

In appearances, eight starts, Pomeranz is 3-2 with a 4.26 ERA against the Blue Jays. The veteran is seeking his first win as a Giant.

Here are the projected lineups for the Giants-Blue Jays matchup, which you can watch on NBC Sports Bay Area and streaming on the MyTeams app.

San Francisco Giants (10-14)
Steven Duggar, RF
Gerardo Parra, LF
Buster Posey, C
Brandon Belt, 1B
Evan Longoria, 3B
Pablo Sandoval, DH
Brandon Crawford, SS
Kevin Pillar, CF
Joe Panik, 2B

Drew Pomeranz, LHP (0-2, 4.82 ERA)

[RELATED: Brandon Belt not fan of robot umpires]

Toronto Blue Jays (11-13)

Eric Sogard, 2B
Brandon Drury, 3B
Justin Smoak, DH
Randal Grichuk, RF
Rowdy Tellez, 1B
Teoscar Hernandez, LF
Danny Jansen, C
Richard Urena, SS
Alen Hanson, RF

Clay Buchholz, RHP (0-0, 3.38 ERA)

Giants' Brandon Belt not fan of robot umpires, even after many bad calls

Giants' Brandon Belt not fan of robot umpires, even after many bad calls

SAN FRANCISCO -- If you had to pick one Giants pitcher and one Giants hitter who might become advocates for robot umpires, Madison Bumgarner and Brandon Belt would seem to be likely choices. 

Bumgarner has had his share of notable disagreements in the past, and hardly a start goes by where he doesn't throw his hands up in exasperation or have a quiet discussion with an umpire after an inning where he disagreed with a call or two. Belt was thrown out of a game last week for arguing a called third strike and often is left disappointed by inconsistent zones. 

But Bumgarner came out two years ago in favor of the human element. A day after his ejection, Belt, during an interview for The Giants Insider Podcast, said he feels the same way. 

"I like having the umpires there," he said. "I like having that human element even though it doesn't work out in my favor sometimes. I think it's part of the game and it's not a part of the game that I really want to see changed."

Belt was tossed last week after a second blown call in three innings by Ryan Additon, a Triple-A umpire who was filling in at the big league level. Additon is a young umpire who hasn't managed many games at the big league level, but even in spring training some players were left shaking their heads at his zone. Belt has said repeatedly he just wants umpires to be held to a high standard.

So far this year, that hasn't always been the case: 

"I want these guys to be here," Belt said of umpires. "I think the big leagues are awesome and I want more people to experience it."

[RELATED: Giants bullpen gifts Bochy a personalized bottle of wine]

Belt was the guest on the 100th episode of The Giants Insider Podcast and spoke passionately about how he handles the strike zone, along with his conversations with runners at first base, the time he went swimming in a dugout, his desire to have a secret bunker in his new house (seriously), and much more.

You can stream the podcast here or download it on iTunes here.