Giants

Giants make trade to help bullpen, but there's no fix for slumping lineup

Giants make trade to help bullpen, but there's no fix for slumping lineup

MILWAUKEE — The Giants can dream about what their new right-hander might become. Sam Dyson is a former closer, a right-hander with 99 mph in his arm, and a proven track record in the majors. If he gets back to form, the Giants will have a setup man for Mark Melancon, and they’ll have acquired him virtually for free. 

It’s not hard to picture a reliever with a 10.80 ERA turning it around. It happens all the time. It’s much harder to hit that kind of jackpot with position players, so there’s no help coming for this lineup that continues to need it. 

The Giants nearly got shut out Tuesday, settling for a 5-2 loss thanks to a ninth-inning rally that was cut short just as quickly as it started. There are problems every night, some the same and some different. On Tuesday, it was the double plays. The Giants hit into three of them in the first seven innings against Chase Anderson. In another inning, Eduardo Nuñez was caught stealing on a strikeout pitch to Brandon Belt. 

“Even when we ran a guy to stay out of (the double play) that was a double play,” Bochy said. “Those are rally-killers.”

There were not many rally-starters. The Brewers had their share, though, getting 10 hits off Matt Cain, who has an ERA north of eight on the road. Asked if there’s any rhyme or reason why he is so dominant at home and so hittable on the road, Cain was brief. 

“No,” he said, the answer lingering until the interview finished. 

Cain suffered from some hard luck when Eric Sogard’s two-out flare dropped for a two-run double. But he had already allowed a run to that point and he would allow two more. With the way Corey Knebel got out of the ninth-inning jam, it probably didn’t matter either way. 

Dyson has that kind of power stuff, but his strikeout rate is way down and his walk and home run rates have skyrocketed. Bochy said he had to check with general manager Bobby Evans to get specifics on Dyson’s arrival, but he’ll be part of the bullpen soon, and the Giants will try to work some magic. 

They have not hit with reclamation projects on the offensive side recently. Perhaps they can still bring the best out of a power pitcher. 

“Here’s a guy who has a lot of experience pitching late in ballgames,” Bochy said. “It’s a good arm. He’s gotten off to a rough start there in Texas and we’re hoping a change of scenery serves him well.”

Giants prospect Heliot Ramos reflects on recent hot streak with San Jose

Giants prospect Heliot Ramos reflects on recent hot streak with San Jose

Everything felt right. There wasn’t anything off with his swing, he wasn’t pressing mentally and yet, he only had one hit in his first 17 at-bats. 

All it took was a home run on April 9 to get Heliot Ramos, the Giants’ No. 2 prospect, back on track. Since then, he's hitting .349 (15-for-43) with five home runs.

“I knew that I was doing everything right,” Ramos said on Tuesday’s Inside The San Jose Giants Podcast. “In my mind, everything was right. My confidence was good. My swing was good. I just needed the ball to get down. I just keep on swinging.” 

As he kept swinging, hits started to show up in the scorebook. What has been just as important, however, has been him not swinging. 

Ramos registered just 35 walks last season as a member of the Augusta GreenJackets and finished his first full season in the minor leagues with a lowly .313 on-base percentage. He worked all offseason tracking pitches longer and laying off breaking balls in the dirt while playing Winter Ball, and it has paid off big time. 

Through 18 games in High-A with the San Jose Giants, Ramos already has 14 walks and his on-base percentage is over 100 points higher than last season at .418.

“I can see the ball well right now,” Ramos said. “I feel good. I’ve been feeling good. I learned a lot from last year. I hope this is something that can keep going good for me.” 

Not only has Ramos shown improved patience at the plate, the center fielder is driving the ball all over the yard. He’s batting .262 with a .991 OPS, and 11 of his 16 hits have gone for extra bases. Despite being the fifth-youngest player in the California League at 19 years old, he’s second in home runs (5), fifth in slugging percentage (.574), fifth in on-base percentage, fourth in walks, and third in OPS. 

San Jose was supposed to be a preview of what’s to come for years in San Francisco this season with the duo of Ramos and top prospect Joey Bart. A fractured hand for Bart has derailed those plans, but it hasn’t slowed down the younger of the two. 

Ramos no longer has the protection of Bart hitting right behind him. The teenager is seeing more off-speed pitches and is now the primary threat offensively to opposing teams. And yet, he’s flourished at the plate. 

[RELATED: Heliot Ramos' advancement 'really encouraging to see']

Since Bart broke his hand on April 15, Ramos has gone 8-for-26 (.308) with two home runs, two doubles, three RBI, and four runs scored. He’s growing every game as a player, both mentally and in the box score, and it could all be thanks to a disappointing season where he hit .245 with 136 strikeouts in 124 games last year. 

“Stay positive,” Ramos said when asked what he learned from last season. “That was the main thing I learned. Stay positive and never give up. Keep working hard and everything’s going to be okay.”

Giants vs. Blue Jays lineups: Drew Pomeranz goes for first win of 2019

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Giants vs. Blue Jays lineups: Drew Pomeranz goes for first win of 2019

The Giants' eight-game road trip is finally coming to an end. 

And they're going for their first sweep of the season. After using four home runs to beat the Blue Jays on Tuesday, San Francisco is looking to leave Toronto with two straight wins. 

Bruce Bochy isn't switching anything up in his lineup one day after the power surge. On the hill, the Giants are sending out left-hander Drew Pomeranz. 

In appearances, eight starts, Pomeranz is 3-2 with a 4.26 ERA against the Blue Jays. The veteran is seeking his first win as a Giant.

Here are the projected lineups for the Giants-Blue Jays matchup, which you can watch on NBC Sports Bay Area and streaming on the MyTeams app.

San Francisco Giants (10-14)
Steven Duggar, RF
Gerardo Parra, LF
Buster Posey, C
Brandon Belt, 1B
Evan Longoria, 3B
Pablo Sandoval, DH
Brandon Crawford, SS
Kevin Pillar, CF
Joe Panik, 2B

Drew Pomeranz, LHP (0-2, 4.82 ERA)

[RELATED: Brandon Belt not fan of robot umpires]

Toronto Blue Jays (11-13)

Eric Sogard, 2B
Brandon Drury, 3B
Justin Smoak, DH
Randal Grichuk, RF
Rowdy Tellez, 1B
Teoscar Hernandez, LF
Danny Jansen, C
Richard Urena, SS
Alen Hanson, RF

Clay Buchholz, RHP (0-0, 3.38 ERA)