SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — If the World Baseball Classic organizers were following the news out of Giants camp on Thursday, they couldn’t have been thrilled. Johnny Cueto, who will finally arrive at Scottsdale Stadium on Friday, will likely announce that he’s pulling out of the first round of play. Buster Posey missed a second straight game with a stiff neck.
That leaves Brandon Crawford as the only Giants who is currently healthy and ready for the WBC. He went 0-for-3 against the White Sox, dropping his average to .091 during an accelerated spring.
“I saw Christian Yelich had a home run. Adam Jones, too. (Nolan) Arenado hit one,” a smiling Crawford said of his Team USA teammates. “So we’re good.”
There’s no reason for Jim Leyland to be concerned about his incoming shortstop. Crawford has gotten plenty of early at-bats and there have been no concerns with a throwing arm he usually rests during spring training.
“Once I get out there in games, it’s going to be pretty easy to get into game-mode,” he said. “You want everything to be more season-ready because you want to do well in the WBC. I think I’m close. I’m just not getting results.”
Crawford will combine with Arenado to form a frightening defensive duo. Bochy said that even with Posey’s minor hiccup, the Giants expect him to be fine to start alongside Crawford. Posey, who leaves Monday, hopes to catch a significant portion of Friday’s game and then start on Sunday. Thus far, he has just four spring plate appearances and nine innings behind the plate.
“Right now, he’s not showing any concern about being able to catch,” Bochy said. “He’s said his legs feel as good as they have in spring training.”
Cueto threw regular bullpen sessions while waiting for a visa for his father. He’ll have a physical on Friday and meet with the staff, at which point the Giants should get more clarity on how much he plans on throwing in the WBC. The expectation right now is that he will pull out of the first round but keep his options open to join should the Dominican Republic advance.
GAME RECAP: The Giants and White Sox combined for 10 errors. Ten! Bochy took the six Giants errors in stride, pointing out that four were from young prospects — Steven Duggar and C.J. Hinojosa. Duggar, making his first start in center, had two early errors but bounced back to reach base four times. He’s a really interesting prospect, with speed that has been on full display through the first week. The sloppiness hurt Matt Moore, who gave up four of the runs in an 8-6 loss to the White Sox.
SPLIT-SQUAD: Over in Tempe, Tyler Beede pitched two scoreless innings, giving him four for the spring. The Giants lost 5-4. They made just one error in the road game … Chris Marrero hit his second homer of the spring … Mac Williamson, Aaron Hill and Kelby Tomlinson had two-hit days … Trevor Brown caught three guys trying to steal second.
STOCK RISING: To my eyes, Jimmy Rollins has to be a slight favorite for the second backup infielder job at the moment. He’s had a good first week of games. Here’s a story about his debut at second base.
FAMILIAR FACE: Over in Tempe, the Giants faced Yusmeiro Petit. If you missed it, here’s a look at Petit and all the other former Giants who are in big league camps as non-roster invitees.
ROSTER UPDATE: If you were waiting for Josmil Pinto to arrive, I have bad news for you. His locker has been cleared out. Apparently he won’t be in camp.
QUOTABLE: “That was the first time I’ve gotten got on a delayed steal. It was a super-delay. I could’ve sworn I checked. I was mid-stretch and he’s going.” — Crawford on Rymer Liriano taking second on a delayed steal. Nobody covered the bag.