Giants

Giants' Buster Posey misses first workout, but could join team shortly

Giants' Buster Posey misses first workout, but could join team shortly

The Giants' new normal requires transparency, because otherwise the media and fans will all assume the same thing. When Gabe Kapler, giving a Zoom press conference for the first time during Spring Training 2.0, confirmed to reporters that Buster Posey had not been at the park Friday, he immediately added a clarification. 

"He has tested negative," Kapler said. "Just don't want that to be a concern at all."

The ongoing tracking of players who have COVID-19 might be a daily story this season, and teams are aware that any player who is not seen -- such as Posey, who was a notable absence from Friday's media availability -- might unfortunately end up in the rumor mill. The Giants cannot reveal that a player has tested positive without his permission, and thus far both who have gotten that result have let it be known publicly.

Right-hander Luis Madero tested positive during his intake screening, joining Hunter Bishop, who tested positive before the Giants arrived in San Francisco and was not put in the player pool. Madero, a January waiver claim, will now have to quarantine. Kapler said no other players in the pool tested positive, although the Giants still are awaiting several results. 

There were no other notable absences on the first day, and Kapler confirmed that the Giants will not have any players opt out of the season. He's hopeful that the full squad will be together soon -- in three socially-distancing groups -- but the Giants aren't worried if Posey needs a few more days away. 

[RELATED: Giants return to Oracle Park, prepare for 'unknown' in camp]

"If there's anybody in our camp that knows how to prepare for a regular season, that knows how to be built up for that workload, has an arm stroke and a body that can prepare quickly, it's Buster," Kapler said. "That being said, when it comes to personal matters, we believe -- and I personally believe -- that players can come back when the time is right for them.

"We prioritize their families over all else, and in this particular case I don't have concerns about Buster being significantly behind."

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Giants prospects could benefit from reported MLB player pool expansion

Giants prospects could benefit from reported MLB player pool expansion

While roughly 30 Giants minor leaguers train in Sacramento, some notable names were left off the 60-man player pool by the team.

Those prospects might be summoned to Sutter Health Park soon, though.

Baseball America reported Friday, citing sources, that MLB is considering allowing teams to add 15 players to their player pool. According to the report, some teams are struggling to play intrasquad games due to lack of position players.

This could be good news for Giants prospects like Sean Hjelle, Seth Corry, Tristan Beck, Luis Matos and others.

Twitter user @giantsprospects speculated which 15 players the Giants might want to add to the group in Sacramento.

Based on MLB Pipeline's Top 30 prospect ranking for the Giants, here's where those prospects fall on the list.

Seth Corry -- No. 5
Luis Matos -- No. 9
Sean Hjelle -- No. 10
Tristan Beck -- No. 19
Gregory Santos -- No. 17
Melvin Adon -- No. 24
Jairo Pomares -- No. 14
Blake Rivera -- No. 16
Kai-Wei Teng -- No. 22
Trevor McDonald -- N/A
Ricardo Genoves -- N/A
Rayner Santana -- N/A
Aeverson Arteaga -- No. 21
Kyle Harrison -- No. 12
Casey Schmitt -- No. 23

This list isn't official -- it's just a guess -- but if the Giants added those 15 players, it would mean a good portion of their top 30 prospects would be in Sacramento getting much-needed development time.

No. 1 prospect Joey Bart, No. 2 Marco Luciano, No. 3 Heliot Ramos, No. 4 Hunter Bishop, No. 6 Patrick Bailey, No. 7 Alexander Canario, No. 8 Luis Toribio, No. 11 Will Wilson, No. 13 Jaylin Davis and No. 25 Camilo Doval already are at the alternate site in Sacramento.

Schmitt was the Giants' second-round draft pick (No. 49 overall) this year, while Harrison was taken in the third round (No. 85 overall).

[RELATED: Dereck Rodriguez impressed by Joey Bart, other prospects]

Farhan Zaidi, the Giants' president of baseball operations, is trying to rebuild the team's farm system, so getting several of his top prospects at least a month of development this year would go a long way to helping the big league club return to glory over the next few seasons.

Giants' Austin Slater has flexor strain, could be in lineup by weekend

Giants' Austin Slater has flexor strain, could be in lineup by weekend

The Giants got relatively good news from the tests taken on a young player who might be having a breakout season. 

Austin Slater has a right flexor strain that kept him out of the lineup for a second straight game, but manager Gabe Kapler said it's possible Slater will be able to DH sometime this weekend against the A's. 

Slater felt pain during Tuesday's game in Houston and had to sit Wednesday. He was able to take swings Friday and Kapler said that went well. 

"A flexor strain for a position player is less daunting, perhaps, than for a pitcher, because outfielders can monitor how often and how hard they throw," Kapler said. "They may have one or two throws an entire game. I think there are ways to allow flexors to come around for outfielders that you just couldn't do for pitchers."

Slater had an elbow sprain in 2018 but it happened the last week of the season, so there was no need for a timetable. The injury this time is poorly timed, as he has been one of the hotter hitters in the league, slugging three homers on the road trip and compiling numbers that are up there with Mike Yastrzemski and Donovan Solano, the two early-season stars for the Giants. Slater has a .444 on-base percentage and is slugging .632, and he's tied for the MLB lead with five stolen bases. 

[RELATED: Giants to have 10,000 cutouts in seats]

The Giants released a few other injury updates Friday. Sam Coonrod (lat strain) threw a 30-pitch bullpen session, which should put him pretty close to a return. Drew Smyly (finger sprain) is throwing on flat ground and will be re-examined this weekend. Jeff Samardzija (shoulder inflammation) is rehabbing San Francisco but has not been cleared to throw. Reyes Moronta (shoulder surgery) is throwing bullpen sessions at the alternate site in Sacramento. 

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