Giants

Giants have internally discussed speeding up Johnny Cueto's return

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Giants have internally discussed speeding up Johnny Cueto's return

PHOENIX -- The recovery process from Tommy John surgery is long and tedious and unbelievably mapped out on a daily basis, and from the start, Johnny Cueto has targeted Sept. 1 as a potential return date. 

The Giants are still expecting to see Cueto on the mound in the first week of September, but there's another camp forming within the organization, one hoping to operate with a bit more urgency. The Giants originally had Cueto scheduled for two rehab starts with San Jose and two with Sacramento, but they have discussed internally the possibility of having Cueto get up to speed in big league games. 

The thinking here is simple: Cueto is healthy and looks great every time he throws, and even if he's only able to give Bruce Bochy four or five innings, they still likely would be more effective than what young starters have contributed in recent weeks. Those young starters aren't getting deep, either. Bochy said the Giants would continue to discuss it as Cueto works through the rehab process. He'll make his first appearance for San Jose on Thursday. 

"We can reevaluate our thinking with the medical staff and see where we're at with him," Bochy said. "He's pretty close to 100 percent. He doesn't have strength and stamina to go deep into games. But you look at the stuff, it's good. It's really good. He just doesn't have stamina. He's in spring training mode."

A lot of this will depend on what kind of competitive mode the Giants are in. If they find themselves falling out of the wild-card race as Cueto works his way through the California League, it won't make any sense. But if the Giants are still close in a couple of weeks and still having issues with their young starters, the drumbeat to bring Cueto back a start or two early will grow louder.

[RELATED: Beede's struggles continue vs. A's]

--- Speaking of the bullpen, lefty Fernando Abad is the latest to join. The veteran has had a good year in Sacramento and is throwing a ton of strikes. That should make Bochy's life a bit easier. 

The series of transactions sent Williams Jerez and Aramis Garcia back to Sacramento. The Giants also DFA'd Ryan Barraclough, claimed last week. As they did with Ryan Dull, the Giants hoped to get Barraclough into the organization and get him through waivers if they needed a roster spot. We'll see if he does. Dull was claimed by the Yankees.

Giants vs. Braves lineups: Tyler Beede starts final road series of 2019

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Giants vs. Braves lineups: Tyler Beede starts final road series of 2019

With the Giants' 2019 season in existence for just 10 more days, San Francisco kicks off its final road series of the season Friday night against the NL-East leading Atlanta Braves.

Starting for the Giants is former first-round pick Tyler Beede, who is coming off back-to-back wins over the Dodgers and Marlins. It will be Beede’s first career start against the Braves.

Taking the hill for Atlanta is Mike Foltynewicz, who owns a 3-3 record with a 4.47 ERA in seven starts against the Giants in his career. 

Coverage begins at 3:00 PT with Giants Pregame Live on NBC Sports Bay Area and streaming in the MyTeams App.

[RELATED: How Giants prospects acquired at MLB trade deadline played this season]

Here are the lineups for Giants-Braves:

San Francisco Giants (74-79)
RF Mike Yastrzemski
1B Brandon Belt
3B Evan Longoria
C Stephen Vogt
CF Kevin Pillar
LF Alex Dickerson
SS Brandon Crawford
2B Mauricio Dubon
RHP Tyler Beede (5-9, 5.02 ERA)

Atlanta Braves (94-60)
CF Ronald Acuna Jr.
2B Ozzie Albies
1B Freddie Freeman
3B Josh Donaldson
LF Nick Markakis
RF Matt Joyce
C Brian McCann
SS Dansby Swanson
RHP Mike Foltynewicz (7-5, 4.80 ERA)
 

How Giants prospects acquired at MLB trade deadline played this season

How Giants prospects acquired at MLB trade deadline played this season

There are just nine games left in the Giants' 2019 season. Manager Bruce Bochy already earned his 2,000th win. Mike Yastrzemski already had his magical moment at Fenway Park. 

What's left in the season is cherishing every game Bochy writes the lineup card and perhaps Madison Bumgarner's last days as a Giant, among others. 

As we look back at the most memorable moments from the season, the most important for the future could be several calls president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi made during the July 31 MLB trade deadline. In his first year calling the shots for the Giants, Zaidi might have made all the right moves. 

Let's look back at all the prospects the Giants acquired at the trade deadline and how they fit into the future. 

Mauricio Dubon, 2B/SS

This seems like a rare win-win trade for both sides.

Dubon, 25, is the future at either second base or shortstop for the Giants. Drew Pomeranz has a 2.42 ERA with 38 strikeouts in 22 1/3 innings for the Brewers, who enter Thursday with a one-game lead for the second NL wild-card spot. Ray Black also has been a formidable option out of Milwaukee's bullpen.

With Dubon's age and the fact he's under team control, the Giants are the real winners here. Through 19 games with the Giants, Dubon is batting .284 with three homers, four doubles and an .802 OPS. Before joining the Giants, Dubon hit .323 with four homers and an .876 OPS over 25 games in Triple-A for the Sacramento River Cats.

He's listed at just 160 pounds, but Dubon has flashed some power, has great baseball instincts and could be a future Gold Glover.

Tristan Beck, RHP

No matter how long Zaidi leads the Giants' front office, one of his greatest accomplishments will be getting rid of Mark Melancon's contract.

The veteran reliever still was owed nearly $20 million of his four-year, $62 million contract. That now belongs to the Braves. The Giants traded Melancon to Atlanta at the deadline for pitchers Tristan Beck and Dan Winkler. 

Beck, 23, is the prospect in the deal and he's an interesting one. The former Stanford star struggled at the start of his minor league career, but turned it around after joining the San Jose Giants in High A. He went 3-2 with a 2.27 ERA and 1.29 WHIP over six starts. 

Now, Beck joins River Cats pitching coach Steve Kline in the Arizona Fall League. If he keeps progressing, he could be a quick riser through the farm system.

Dan Winkler, RHP

Winkler, 29, pitched 27 games out of the bullpen for the Braves this season. He went 3-1 with a 4.98 ERA and 1.34 WHIP with Atlanta prior to the trade. 

The veteran reliever spent the rest of the season in Sacramento where he had a 0.64 ERA in 12 appearances out of the 'pen. Winkler is arbitration-eligible this offseason and likely doesn't have a long-term future in San Francisco. 

Jaylin Davis, OF

The Giants might have fleeced the Twins when they traded reliever Sam Dyson to Minnesota.

Dyson was 4-1 with a 2.47 ERA in 49 appearances for the Giants when they shipped him off. He has dealt with multiple bicep injuries since joining the Twins and had a 7.15 ERA in 12 appearances on his new team. 

Davis, 25, was slugging his way through the minors with 25 homers between Double-A and Triple-A when the Giants acquired him. He added another 10 with the River Cats in only 27 games. 

In eight games with the Giants, Davis is yet to knock one over the fence and is batting just .130. He has shown off his athleticism with his speed and arm in the outfield, but can he catch up to major-league velocity? 

That's a question the Giants will have to answer. 

Kai-Wei Teng, RHP

Teng, 20, is a big starting pitcher at 6-foot-4 and 260 pounds. He throws from a 3/4-arm angle and had a dominant season this year. 

Teng went 7-0 with a 1.58 ERA between two Class A teams. After joining the Augusta GreenJackets, he struck out 39 batters in 29 innings and opposing batters hit just .160 off him. 

At his young age, Teng will be an interesting prospect to keep track of next season. 

Prelander Berroa, RHP

Berroa only is 19 years old and is extremely unpolished. While he's only 5-foot-11 and 170 pounds, he sits in the mid-90s and has touched 98 mph. 

As the third piece of a trade, Berroa is a low-risk-high-reward prospect.

Joe McCarthy, 1B/OF

The Giants acquired McCarthy from the Rays for Jacob Lopez, their 26th-round pick from the 2018 draft. McCarthy was the Rays' No. 28 prospect at the time. 

McCarthy, 25, struggled with Sacramento, batting .165 in 24 games. He doesn't seem to have too much of a future with San Francisco.