Giants' Sam Selman details how tryout landed him in San Francisco


Giants' Sam Selman details how tryout landed him in San Francisco

Sam Selman made an appearance out of the Giants' bullpen at Fenway Park on Tuesday night, and over the past couple of months, he also has pitched at Oracle Park and Dodger Stadium, along with getting his MLB debut out of the way.

But Selman's most pressure-packed moment this year might have come in a cramped batting cage a few miles from Seattle. Selman took part in a pro day at the Driveline Baseball facility and signed with the Giants a couple of days later.

On this week's Giants Insider Podcast, he explained the unique setup.

"They're expanding and they're moving to a huge brand new facility, but the one they have now is a batting cage tunnel and then they had 40 or 50 scouts surrounding it," Selman said. "Imagine if you're just pitching in a batting cage tunnel and you have 40 pitches to throw and there's 40 people behind you. And you kind of recognize some of the scouts because you've been in Triple-A and Double-A for forever, and they're all standing behind you. You're just out there like, 'Alright, here we go.' That was kind of what it was.

"I kind of just tried to let it rip and trust my stuff and what I worked on the whole offseason to get ready for that moment and it worked out well."

The Giants had a leg up on scouting the lefty before the workout. Selman had worked with Matt Daniels while spending a week learning at Driveline, and the Giants went on to hire Daniels as their coordinator of pitching analysis.

It worked out for both sides. Selman had a 1.80 ERA across two levels in the minors this season, striking out 94 batters in 55 innings. He made his debut seven years after he was drafted by the Royals, and the Giants are taking a look at him this month to see if he can be part of next year's big league bullpen mix.

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On this week's podcast, Selman detailed that long journey through the minors, why he didn't retire like some of his friends, his time at Driveline and his first experience in the big leagues.

You can stream it here or download it on iTunes here.

MLB rumors: Giants to hire Reds' Donnie Ecker as new hitting coach

MLB rumors: Giants to hire Reds' Donnie Ecker as new hitting coach

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants are hoping to see a youth movement in their lineup over the next couple of seasons. They're apparently going with the same approach on their coaching staff. 

Cincinnati Reds assistant hitting coach Donnie Ecker will be named the Giants' hitting coach, according to Trent Rosecrans of The Athletic. The Giants did not immediately confirm the hire. They are expected to announce their staff next week at the Winter Meetings. Ecker, 33, is just five years removed from being the baseball coach at Los Altos High, his alma mater. 

The Giants have spent the last month putting Gabe Kapler's staff in place, and they have not looked in traditional corners. They have worked to surround Kapler with coaches who take a more modern approach and can help develop the next Giants contender, and Ecker certainly qualifies as an interesting hire. 

Ecker spent just one season as assistant hitting coach in Cincinnati. In 2018 he was the Triple-A hitting coach for the Angels, and before that, he coached in the minors for the Cardinals for three seasons. Ecker's coaching career began in 2013 when he took a job at Los Altos High, where he was a two-sport star in baseball and football. Ecker was a 22nd-round pick of the Rangers in 2007 but got just 97 minor league at-bats. 

Ecker certainly is a bit of an out-of-the-box hire, but that might be just what the Giants need after years of struggling to put together a lineup that can hit at Oracle Park. Ecker's bio with the Reds stated that "his teaching methods incorporate human movement research and technology-based applications to the body and swing." He is described as someone who is an "integrated movement specialist."

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Once confirmed, Ecker will join third base coach Ron Wotus as members of Kapler's staff. The Giants also have hired Brian Bannister as Director of Pitching but it's unclear if that role will have him in the dugout. 

MLB rumors: Giants targeted Georgia's Sean Kenny as next pitching coach

MLB rumors: Giants targeted Georgia's Sean Kenny as next pitching coach

The Giants' coaching staff under manager Gabe Kapler is starting to take shape. 

The Athletic's Andrew Baggarly reported Sunday that San Francisco was in negotiations with Indians defensive coordinator Kai Correa, and sources told NBC Sports Bay Area's Alex Pavlovic on Wednesday that Brian Bannister, a former big leaguer who spent the previous five seasons with the Red Sox, will join the Giants as their director of pitching

Speaking of pitching, the Giants appear to be on the hunt for a new pitching coach. And their search seems far and wide. 

D1Baseball's Kendall Rogers reported Wednesday that the Giants targeted the University of Georgia's pitching coach Sean Kenny for the same role in the big leagues. But, UGA made sure Kenny stayed in Athens. 

Kendall says the Giants have looked at several candidates from college and the pros, and Kenny looks like a prime coach on the rise. The former 17th-round pick of the Mets became Georgia's pitching coach before the 2018 season and instantly made a huge impact. 

Georgia's pitching staff lowered its team ERA 1.05 points to 3.97 in Kenny's first year on the job, and set a school record with a .236 opponent's batting average. That number dropped to a lowly .200 last season, as UGA's ERA fell to 3.24 while setting a school record with 601 strikeouts. 

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The Giants haven't formally announced that Curt Young will not return for a third season as their pitching coach, but it was expected that Kapler would bring in several new coaches. The only known coach to come back next season is Ron Wotus, who will be in his 33rd year with the Giants organization.

Bench coach Hensley Meulens has joined the Mets, and hitting coach Alonzo Powell accepted a job in Japan in the same role.