SAN FRANCISCO -- When watching a new pitcher on the mound, Giants coaches are just like fans in one respect. They spend some time trying to figure out a comp for the young player.
After Caleb Baragar pitched two strong innings in an intrasquad game Thursday, manager Gabe Kapler dropped an impressive one. He said the left-handed reliever's delivery reminded coaches of Andy Pettitte.
"I'm not saying Caleb is a Hall-of-Famer," Kapler said, smiling. "But the delivery reminded us in the dugout of Pettitte."
That smooth delivery hid a powerful fastball that flummoxed teammates in Thursday's game. Baragar struck out Austin Slater, Mike Yastrzemski and Patrick Bailey, allowing just a single to Will Wilson.
"The ball explodes out of his hand," Yastrzemski said. "He looked really, really good. I think he's got a good future ahead of him and hopefully we see him as soon as possible. He threw the ball really well today."
Yastrzemski might get his wish. The Giants brought Baragar and right-hander Sam Wolff to camp late, but made it clear both were being added to spice up the bullpen competition.
Baragar had a solid year in the Double-A rotation last year and has two good outings in front of the big league staff. With Tony Watson coming back from shoulder tightness and Jarlin Garcia having spent just two days in camp, the bullpen is a little light on left-handed depth.
"He has really attacked the strike zone in both outings," Kapler said. "He has missed bats. His fastball has had carry. It's definitely encouraging to see him come out and be so aggressive and comfortable on the mound."
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--- The Giants could start the season down three of their middle-of-the-order hitters. Buster Posey opted out, Brandon Belt has a sore heel and now Evan Longoria has a right oblique strain. Longoria felt it while swinging a bat and has not played in the last couple of camp games.
There wasn't much information about Longoria on Thursday night, but obliques are notoriously cumbersome for hitters and it doesn't sound good. Longoria was having a good camp and was potentially one of two or three everyday players in the lineup.
--- Two veterans homered in the intrasquad game: Wilmer Flores and Hunter Pence, who hit a screamer to left.
We've got a Hunter Pence homer. It was loud. pic.twitter.com/E7Zq8pSvR9— Alex Pavlovic (@PavlovicNBCS) July 16, 2020
--- Joey Bart has really impressed defensively the last couple of days, throwing out a couple of runners. This isn't the best angle of the full play, but check out the release and seed to second.
This is about as clean of a catch and release as you’ll get from a catcher with a pitch in this location.— Kerry Crowley (@KO_Crowley) July 16, 2020
Joey Bart throws out Will Wilson trying to steal second. pic.twitter.com/XjMs1n570N
--- Shaun Anderson was optioned out of camp just before spring training shut down, but he's back now and right in the mix for a bullpen job. Anderson got the final inning and gave up a bloop to Bart before striking out the side.
--- It has become commonplace for the older Giants to get asked about the younger ones that have brought a lot of energy to camp. Here's what Yastrzemski said: "Will Wilson's swing has been coming along really well. I like the adjustments he's been making. Obviously watching the guys like Joey and Ramos, they're kind of the high-pedigree guys who just look like they fit in."
--- Finally, the most important question of the spring, from the great Hank Schulman: How did Boston react to the quarterback shuffle?
"Everyone was excited about (Cam) Newton. He's an incredible athlete and obviously he brings a high level of competitiveness to the team," Yastrzemski said. "With (Tom) Brady, we had it hit-and-miss. We had people that were sad, angry, and people that were living on past memories. I was floating in the middle. It hurts. It'll be weird not seeing No. 12 be our quarterback but we'll get through it."