Giants add minor-league outfielder Alex Dickerson in trade with Padres

Giants add minor-league outfielder Alex Dickerson in trade with Padres

SAN FRANCISCO -- Add Alex Dickerson to the list of outfielders who may get their shot at Oracle Park this summer. 

The Giants on Monday acquired the outfielder from the San Diego Padres in exchange for right-hander Franklin Van Gurp. The 29-year-old Dickerson, who was designated for assignment last week, will report to Triple-A Sacramento. 

Dickerson is a left-handed hitter who has played parts of three seasons in the big leagues but has just 19 at-bats this season. He hit 10 home runs in 84 games in 2016, but needed back surgery the next year and Tommy John surgery the year after that.

In all, Dickerson has a .250/.321/.429 slash line in 312 big league plate appearances. He was 3-for-19 in a brief stint with the Padres this season. 

Dickerson will join what again is a crowded outfield situation in Sacramento. Chris Shaw recently joined the River Cats and is expected to get a look in the big leagues at some point this season as the Giants continue to search for a long-term solution in the outfield corners. Mike Yastrzemski is the current answer in left, but he is batting just .231 with one homer in 52 at-bats. 

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Van Gurp, 23, was pitching out of the bullpen for Low-A Augusta. He had a 4.54 ERA but did have 49 strikeouts in 33 2/3 innings. 

Injuries to Austin Slater, Donovan Solano expose Giant offense


Injuries to Austin Slater, Donovan Solano expose Giant offense

The Giants have made a habit of coming back in late innings, but on a night when Zack Greinke slipped into cruise control, that probably wasn't going to be in the cards. Even if he did have a shot late, manager Gabe Kapler would have been without two of his best weapons. 

Donovan Solano missed a second straight game with abdominal soreness and Austin Slater was a late scratch with right elbow pain. Neither was available Wednesday, and while the Giants are hopeful that Solano is ready Friday against the A's, the news on Slater feels more discouraging. 

Slater had a sprained elbow in 2018 but didn't miss time because it happened the last weekend of the regular season. Kapler said Slater felt discomfort swinging and throwing Wednesday, and it seems likely he's headed for an MRI when the club returns to San Francisco. 

Without their two best right-handed bats, the Giants went down quietly, losing 5-1 to the Astros and finishing 3-7 on the road trip. 

It was a 10-game journey that cemented Solano's status as an everyday player, and it showed off the improvements Slater has made at the plate. But it also showed how toothless the Giants can be when their bigger names continue to slump.

Brandon Belt went 5-for-32 on the trip with two extra-base hits and Brandon Crawford was 6-for-28. He doesn't have an extra-base hit all season. Evan Longoria was 4-for-33 on his first road trip of the season and while Hunter Pence had a huge homer Tuesday, his 0-for-4 a night later dropped his average back to .105 for the year. Pablo Sandoval is at .179 and was notably absent on Wednesday when the late scratch of Slater forced Kapler into lineup changes against a right-hander. It's hard to see where he fits in at the moment. 

Asked about his struggling veterans, Kapler said this is a team game.

"I don't ever put the onus on any one individual or even on two or three. I think the right way to look at this is when one guy is struggling or not consistent, then the rest of the group has to surround that player or that group of players with support," Kapler said. 

The problem with that is that the onus has been put on two or three guys every night because so many others are struggling. Mike Yastrzemski (who had three more hits), Slater and Solano all have an OPS above 1.000. Nobody else on the team is above .800, and the more familiar names are all several levels below that.

That's a recipe that's not going to work, especially when two of the three main contributors are in the trainer's room.

Giants takeaways: What you might've missed in 5-1 loss vs. Astros


Giants takeaways: What you might've missed in 5-1 loss vs. Astros


The Giants knew this was going to be the toughest trip of the year. It lived up to expectations.

With a 5-1 loss the Houston Astros on Wednesday night, the Giants finished with a 3-7 record on the trip, getting one win apiece in Denver, Los Angeles and Houston. The last game was close into the middle innings, but the Astros pulled away with a big frame off of the Giants' bullpen and Gabe Kapler's lineup did nothing against old foe Zack Greinke.

Here are three things to know from the final night of a three-city trip ...

The Big Inning

The Giants have made a habit of falling behind, and on Wednesday it was because of a four-run sixth inning. The staff got away with a half-dozen early walks, but six hits in the bottom of the sixth helped the Astros pull away.

Martin Maldonado had the big one, a three-run homer off rookie Caleb Baragar.

D-Rod's Return

Dereck Rodriguez made his season debut in the third, and it was immediately clear that the velocity uptick that impressed coaches in recent bullpen sessions had translated. Rodriguez maxed out at 95.4 mph with his fastball, which was his best velo since his third month in the big leagues in 2018. He averaged 92.8 mph, which was better than any single-game average from his 2019 season.

The added velocity is crucial to Rodriguez, a right-hander who relies on a varied mix and was getting knocked around last year when he was around 91. The results in his season debut were mixed, though.

Rodriguez gave up three hits and walked two in 2 1/3 innings. He was charged with just one earned run, although he did leave a bit of a mess that Baragar cleaned up in the fifth.

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Short Debut

Before the game, manager Gabe Kapler said Trevor Cahill had 45 to 50 pitches in him as he made his Giants debut. Cahill was coming off a finger injury that kept him from making the Opening Day roster.

Cahill ended up recording just five outs before his count got too high, but he didn't give up a hit. He walked four but the misses were pretty competitive. All in all, it was enough that Cahill should be in line to start again next week.