The minor leagues returned on Tuesday night for the first time since the summer of 2019, and the Giants had some notable highlights. Patrick Bailey, their first-rounder from last summer, hit a homer and had three hits in his professional debut with High-A Eugene. Alexander Canario, an underrated 20-year-old outfielder, doubled and tripled and made a nice running catch in right field for Low-A San Jose.
The highlight of the night for the organization, though, was an announcement by Triple-A Sacramento. The River Cats revealed a roster that includes Drew Robinson, a 29-year-old utility man who is pushing to return to a big league roster a year after attempting suicide by shooting himself in the head.
Robinson, who lost his right eye from the incident, has become an inspirational figure in the organization and has given speeches to players on both the major league and minor league sides, but he has made steady progress on the field, too. The River Cats open in Las Vegas, which is Robinson's hometown and the place where he attempted suicide last year. In a Twitter post on Wednesday morning, he said it feels like he's "living out a movie."
Manager Gabe Kapler kept in touch with Robinson throughout the recovery process and smiled on his Zoom call Wednesday morning when the topic came up.
"I'm super proud of the perseverance and the drive and the determination," Kapler said. "He's shared some videos with me and I've seen some videos on my own of some really loud, hard contact. He continues to be a guy who can move around the diamond and play the infield and the outfield at a high level. I'm really excited for him, happy for him, and always here to support Drew."
Robinson played 100 big league games from 2017-19 with the Texas Rangers and Arizona Cardinals and likely would have gotten a chance with the Giants by now under different circumstances. Kapler said it's too early to determine a role. The key now is just seeing Robinson back out on a baseball field.
"I think it's more step by step with Drew," he said. "We'll get a sense of how his body is feeling and how he's doing at the plate and in the field."