Giants add three more players to big league camp as non-roster invitees

Giants add three more players to big league camp as non-roster invitees

The Giants invited three more veterans to spring training as non-roster invitees, and did so in areas where they're expected to have heated position battles. 

Left-handed reliever Jerry Blevins, right-handed starter Tyson Ross and catcher Rob Brantly all will be in camp next month, giving the Giants 21 non-roster players. The additions of Ross and Blevins had previously been reported

Blevins, in particular, might find himself in a pretty good spot as pitchers and catchers get going Feb. 12. The former A's reliever has had a solid 13-year career and joins a team that needs left-handed relief depth after Will Smith departed in free agency.

The Giants brought Tony Watson back, but it's a young group behind him, with Andrew Suarez and Wandy Peralta currently standing as the next two left-handed relief options on the roster. Conner Menez might get a look in the bullpen and Tyler Anderson and Drew Smyly could be options if they're not in the rotation. 

Blevins, 36, had a 3.90 ERA and averaged more than 10 strikeouts per nine innings for the Atlanta Braves last season. He previously pitched for the New York Mets, so manager Gabe Kapler has a history facing him when Kapler managed the Philadelphia Phillies.

[RELATED: Bay Area hoping SF-KC championship goes their way again]

Ross, a Bay Area native, adds more rotation depth to a group that already includes Smyly, Anderson and Kevin Gausman behind Jeff Samardzija and Johnny Cueto. Tyler Beede and Logan Webb also will be fighting to keep the spots they earned last summer. Ross made just seven starts for the Tigers last year before getting shut down with an elbow injury. 

Brantly has scattered big league time with the Miami Marlins and Chicago White Sox and got one at-bat for Kapler's Phillies last year. The 30-year-old spent most of last season in Triple-A, batting .314 with six homers. He joins incumbent Aramis Garcia and fellow newcomers Tyler Heineman and Chad Tromp in the race to back up Buster Posey. 

Giants' Larry Baer believes Arizona might be best spot for MLB season


Giants' Larry Baer believes Arizona might be best spot for MLB season

It remains to be seen when, or even if, the 2020 MLB season will happen.

Coronavirus continues to leave the season suspended indefinitely, as MLB stadiums remain devoid of all typical spring activities.

One idea that has been thrown out is the league holding a shortened version of the season in a neutral location, like team spring training hubs in Florida and Arizona.

“I think we’ve got to look at the path that presents the best public health option,” Giants CEO Larry Baer said Friday on KNBR. “Arizona might be a better possibility because you could get 30 teams there in more approximate distancing, meaning that everybody would not be a four or five-hour drive from one ballpark to another.”

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All of Arizona’s Cactus League spring training stadiums are within the same county (Maricopa), while Florida’s Grapefruit League stadiums stretch all across the expansive state, with some being hundreds of miles apart.

[RELATED: Takeaways from Giants' sim opener on MLB The Show]

Baer emphasized that many scenarios have been thrown out around the league, but that the safety of all those involved with the game should take precedent.

“That’s one idea, there are other ideas out there,” Baer said. “I just think we’ve got to chase down every possible idea to return baseball, but only when it’s safe and only when [there is] public health clearance.”

Joey Bart-Buster Posey comparisons legit, ex-Giants GM Bobby Evans says

Joey Bart-Buster Posey comparisons legit, ex-Giants GM Bobby Evans says

Back in 2008, the Giants selected a franchise-altering player in the first-round of the MLB draft.

Ten years later, the Giants drafted Joey Bart at No. 2 overall, hoping he would have the same impact that Buster Posey had on the franchise over the last decade.

Before he was fired as general manager in Sept. 2018, Bobby Evans was responsible for drafting Bart. What did Evans and the Giants see in the Georgia Tech star? The former long-time Giants executive was asked that during an interview on KNBR 680 on Friday.

"He's just so far advanced, for us, looking at him at Georgia Tech and we had a chance to track him throughout his time there," Evans said. "Our scout covering Georgia Tech at the time played at Georgia Tech and had a good inside track as to who Joey was. But he was able to see, this was a guy in college that is calling his own game, he takes as much pride in what he's doing behind the plate as he does with the bat. He's a smart, smart hitter. He's at Georgia Tech for a reason because he's a smart guy to begin with, but he's a smart hitter.

"The challenge he'll have as he advances is, he's got right-center field power which he'll have to continue to work on at [Oracle Park] and other places. But the power is real and it's raw and you've got a lot to look forward to in Joey."

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Ever since he was drafted, Bart has been seen as the heir apparent to Posey, and Evans gave credence to the comparisons.

"The flashes of Buster Posey are not lost on us, because there's so much common ground there, really starting with the character of the player," Evans said.

Bart finished the 2019 season at Double-A and was expected to begin the 2020 season at Triple-A before the global coronavirus pandemic stopped everything.

[RELATED: Why Bart was reassigned in camp]

Once baseball does begin, Giants fans everywhere will be keeping an on Bart's every move, hoping they soon will see him at Oracle Park in San Francisco.