Giants' Johnny Cueto will make 2019 debut against Pirates on Tuesday


Giants' Johnny Cueto will make 2019 debut against Pirates on Tuesday

The Giants had hoped Johnny Cueto would be able to rejoin the rotation this weekend in LA.

But back tightness during a bullpen session delayed Cueto's return.

Instead, Cueto will make his 2019 debut on Tuesday at Oracle Park against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Tuesday's start will be Cueto's first major league appearance since he underwent Tommy John surgery last year.

In two rehab starts with Triple-A Sacramento, Cueto allowed three earned runs in 10 1/3 innings and struck out nine batters.

[RELATED: Dickerson to get cortisone shot]

Rookie Logan Webb was the scheduled starter on Tuesday, but he will be pushed back.

The Giants didn't immediately announce how the rotation will unfold upon Cueto's return.

Buster Posey reacts to Gabe Kapler hire, introductory press conference

Buster Posey reacts to Gabe Kapler hire, introductory press conference

SAN FRANCISCO -- Over and over again in recent years, Buster Posey has served as a recruiter for the Giants front office, meeting players like Jon Lester and Shohei Ohtani and telling them the positives of signing to play in San Francisco. Last month, the Giants turned to Posey to be part of the vetting process. 

The face of the franchise was one of dozens of team employees who met with Gabe Kapler during the interview process, and he sat in the third row of the press conference to introduce his new manager. Posey was the only Giants player in attendance, sitting alongside third base coach Ron Wotus, who will be part of Kapler's staff. 

"The organization, the Giants organization, means so much to me, and they asked me to be here and I felt like it was important for me to be here and show my support for the new manager," Posey said afterward. 

Posey said he was part of the interview process "to give a player's perspective," noting that he's the only Giant who lives in the Bay Area full-time, so it was easiest for him. But the Giants likely would have tried to involve Posey regardless of where he makes his offseason home. Kapler will need to win over the clubhouse, and he enjoyed his time with Posey last month. 

"I found Buster to be very attentive, very aware," Kapler said. "As I think ahead of how I'm going to make an impact in this clubhouse, I'm going to lean heavily on Buster."

Posey has known just one big league manager, but he apparently came away from the meeting with positive thoughts about Kapler. Posey, who met with other candidates as well, was said to be on-board with the choice, and he showed that support Wednesday. 

The press conference might not have been what Posey expected, though. Kapler, Farhan Zaidi and Scott Harris spoke for 58 minutes, and more than half of that time was spent discussing the mishandling of assault allegations when Kapler and Zaidi were in Los Angeles. 

"I thought he answered the questions well. I felt like they were genuine (answers)," Posey said of Kapler. "I don't know Gabe that well at all, but I know from talking to a lot of people that have known him that there's been a lot of good feedback. I look forward to getting to know him better and hopefully we'll have a great working relationship."

The theme of Wednesday's press conference is not going away anytime soon. Giants officials know that Kapler will be asked about the Dodgers incident again, and it's likely that at some point -- maybe as early as FanFest -- some of his players might have to answer to the blowback from Giants fans.

[RELATED: Kapler admits he wasn't popular hire as Giants' next manager]

Posey said that the Los Angeles discussion was not part of his meeting with Kapler because they met so early in the process that "there wasn't as much of a story around it at the time." But he got a front-row seat on Wednesday as Kapler answered for his role in the incident.

"My biggest takeaway is the alleged victims are the ones that we have to keep in mind throughout the whole thing," he said. "We can get into 'this happened, this happened' and if somebody was wrong in any way, I think that's the biggest thing for me, is just trying to figure out why it happened, maybe, and how going forward you can prevent it from happening. 

"I think Farhan mentioned giving them support. I mean, I'm a father. It turns my stomach to think about something like that happening to my daughter. That's the biggest thing, I think, is just figuring out why it happened, how it happened, and doing the best you can to support who it happened to."

What Pat Burrell believes ex-teammate Gabe Kapler will bring to Giants

What Pat Burrell believes ex-teammate Gabe Kapler will bring to Giants

When Pat Burrell first became teammates with Gabe Kapler in 2009 on the Tampa Bay Rays, he had the same first impression of Kapler that any everyday person would have. 

"My first reaction was the physique," Burrell said to NBC Sports Bay Area on Wednesday after Kapler's introductory press conference as the Giants' next manager. "I was like, 'Gabe, how are you maintaining this?'" 

From his playing days to even now as a coach, there are numerous stories of Kapler's work ethic in the weight room and strict diet. He certainly doesn't look like your average baseball player, and that's especially true now as a 44-year-old manager. 

Kapler and Burrell each were 32 years old for the majority of the 2009 season. San Francisco's newest skipper is just about 15 months older than Burrell, who spent the final year-and-a-half as an outfielder on the Giants. The two were past their primes in Tampa Bay and spent an abundance of time together talking about baseball and life in general. 

Even then, Burrell knew Kapler had a career ahead of himself in the game, likely as a coach. 

"Man, what a teammate," Burrell said. "Always there for you, would do anything for you. I mean, insanely positive." 

Burrell says Kapler, as a former 57th-round draft pick -- yes, you read that correctly -- always was prepared both mentally and physically. He expects his former teammate to bring an edge to the Giants and a "grinder" attitude after three straight losing season. 

But Kapler is walking a fine line with a roster that has both aging veterans and young players on the rise as the Giants continue their rebuild. 

"He's coming into a tough situation," Burrell said. "How do you balance that dynamic? One thing I do know that Gabe is gonna bring is a tremendous amount of energy and passion, and hopefully that can be something they can feed off of. He will be at the top step every night, and he will be positive." 

As the Giants turn to young players like infielder Mauricio Dubon, breakout rookie outfielder Mike Yastrzemski and pitchers Logan Webb and Tyler Beede, core veterans still are expected to play major roles on this team. Buster Posey was in attendance for Kapler's press conference, and the new manager admitted he will lean on the three-time World Series champion. 

Whether the manager is a Bochy or a Kapler, every player will have to step up in 2020 for the Giants, regardless of status. This will be a new clubhouse with new energy and it all starts with the man tasked to replace a legend. 

There will be passion. Now, will there be wins? 

[RELATED: Kapler admits he wasn't popular hire as next Giants manager]

"Out of Farhan [Zaidi's] words, I think he talked about the last couple years there has been some low energy. And [Kapler's] gonna give you that," Burrell said. "The only question I have is, does that translate to winning? Maybe. We'll see. 

"But for the fans and people that watch baseball, it's really fun to watch players having fun out there, and I haven't seen that the last couple years." 

Kapler's passion and energy didn't produce enough wins in two years as the Phillies' manager. He, along with Zaidi and the rest of the Giants, certainly hope the second time is the charm.