Giants

Giants acquire veteran catcher Erik Kratz in trade with Brewers

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Giants acquire veteran catcher Erik Kratz in trade with Brewers

SAN FRANCISCO -- A day after they made a seemingly endless series of transactions, the Giants got going with an early morning trade. 

Catcher Erik Kratz was acquired from the Milwaukee Brewers, with minor league infielder C.J. Hinojosa headed the other way. The deal was made a day after the Giants released Rene Rivera, a similar veteran who appeared in line for an Opening Day job. 

When Rivera was let go, Aramis Garcia looked to be in line for the backup job. But Kratz is a right-handed-hitting veteran who is out of options, so the Giants may keep him instead. Kratz, 38, will be playing for his eighth big league team. He hit .236 for the Brewers last year with six homers and six doubles in 203 at-bats. 

Kratz was a surprise contributor in the postseason, hitting .292 in 26 plate appearances. He is known for doing good work defensively and is a strong clubhouse presence. 

It's unclear why the Giants elected to go with Kratz over Rivera, who worked with their pitchers all camp. Or why they may be shying away from sticking with Garcia, who had a good spring and also knows the pitching staff well. Those questions will be answered in the next four days, and the Giants figure to make many more moves before the dust settles. 

[RELATED: Giants trade Matt Joyce after three days with team]

Hinojosa was once viewed as a future utility man at the big league level, but he was suspended 50 games last season for a positive test for a drug of abuse. When he returned, he posted a .689 OPS. 

To clear a 40-man spot for Kratz, the Giants DFA'd pitcher Jose Lopez, acquired at the start of the spring from the Reds. 

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

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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.