Giants

Giants spring training Day 26: Alguacil visits clubhouse, says he feels great

Giants spring training Day 26: Alguacil visits clubhouse, says he feels great

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Jose Alguacil survived a scare and he's feeling strong, which means enough time has passed that his facial fractures are fair game in the clubhouse.

"You look better than you did before," a Giant said Friday as he hugged Alguacil. 

The first base coach laughed and smiled, and then continued greeting a line of players and coaches.

"I'm feeling great," he said. "There's no pain."

Alguacil has a shiner where the ball broke his nose and bandage over the minor facial fractures that are still healing. He is dealing with some blurred vision, and he won't know an exact return date until his next visit with an eye doctor, but he said he should be back at the job in a week to 10 days. That's the absolute best-case scenario after Alguacil was hit by a foul ball that went screaming into the folding chairs set out for coaches at Surprise Stadium. 

Alguacil had surgery and spent several nights in the hospital, but he said it won't be long before he's back throwing BP. He won't even need a new pair of glasses. The original pair was knocked off by the blow and left a deep gash across his forehead. 

"They didn't break," he said, smiling. "They're back there in my locker."

GAME RECAP: Madison Bumgarner pitched four innings, allowing just a pair of unearned runs, but the Giants lost to the Indians ... Brandon Belt hit his 25th career spring training home run ... Jimmy Rollins pulled a Trevor Bauer pitch into the bullpen area for his first homer as a Giant ... Chris Marrero had two more hits, including a hard triple to right, but he wasn't able to pull out another walk-off when he came up with two outs in the ninth. He struck out looking ... Kelby Tomlinson had a pair of hits ... Derek Law had a rough one, allowing two runs on two hits and three walks. 

CUETO WATCH: Johnny Cueto will start Saturday's game at Scottsdale Stadium but he'll only pitch an inning or two in his debut. Matt Cain will back him up, with Ty Blach starting the other half of the split-squad up the road. 

RED, WHITE AND BLUE: Mark Melancon and Jeff Samardzija have been added to the United States roster for the World Baseball Classic, and it sounds like Melancon will be part of that bullpen as early as the second round. Here's a full story.

ICYMI: The latest podcast featured interviews with Mac Williamson and Jarrett Parker. You can stream it here or download it on iTunes here.

FAMILIAR FACE: If you were watching really random WBC action the other day, you might have seen former Giant Travis Blackley pitching for Australia. 

QUOTABLE: "Why not, right?" -- Melancon on dropping a two-strike curveball for an inning-ending strikeout with the bases loaded.

Giants lose on Cole Tucker's first career homer, PNC Park lightning policy

Giants lose on Cole Tucker's first career homer, PNC Park lightning policy

PITTSBURGH -- The Giants have found all sorts of different ways to lose games over the past two-plus years, especially on the road. But this was a new one. 

Derek Holland gave up a two-run shot moments before the tarps came out for good. It didn't seriously rain for about 25 more minutes, but PNC Park has a rule that the tarps come out if lightning strikes within four miles of the field. 

The Giants didn't immediately get a chance to counter at the plate, and when the rain started pouring, they could do nothing but wait before the game was called after three hours and eight minutes. They lost 3-1 in five innings

"If it wasn't for bad luck right now," manager Bruce Bochy said, "We wouldn't have any. That's how things are going."

Holland had thrown well early and was in his last inning, with the game tied at one. With a runner on and two outs, rookie Cole Tucker got a fastball that wasn't as far in as Holland wanted and blasted it into the shrubbery in center field. The homer was the first hit of Tucker's career and came in his first start. As Tucker took a dramatic curtain call, Holland struck out the next batter. He thought the game would continue, but the Giants never got another crack at Jameson Taillon. 

"That sucked," Holland said of the final sequence. "It's very upsetting. I felt like I pitched a pretty good game (and) that's the way it's going to finish.

The Giants lost for the fourth time in five games on this trip, dropping six games under .500. It's not like they should have been overmatched, either. The Pirates called up two rookies after a collision in the outfield Friday night and started both former Giants prospect Bryan Reynolds and Tucker, a shortstop who certainly enjoyed his debut.

Holland didn't take exception to that, saying he was focused on getting the final out of the fifth. 

[RELATED: Giants open to moving relievers]

"I don't have anything against the curtain call," he said. "The kid hit a homer in his first game, so congrats. The kid is living in the moment. It's his Major League debut and he hit a homer."

MLB rumors: Giants willing to talk about trading veteran relievers now

samdysonap.jpg
AP

MLB rumors: Giants willing to talk about trading veteran relievers now

PITTSBURGH -- After a busy start to the season, Farhan Zaidi has gone nearly two weeks without making a move. The Giants are not currently considering adding any of their Triple-A bats to a struggling lineup, but there still is stuff percolating behind the scenes. 

Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reported Saturday that the Giants are willing to talk about some of their veteran relievers right now, which would be a continuation of a spring where the Giants tried to deal some of their bullpen depth but ultimately held everyone through Opening Day. 

Before that first game, Zaidi explained why a reliever-for-hitter trade never materialized. 

"When we talked about this over the course of the offseason it was a really deep reliever market in free agency this offseason, and we like our relievers, so they weren't just kind of fodder for us to trade them and acquire other pieces," Zaidi said. "A deal like that certainly made sense on paper, but we didn't line up on anything that we thought made sense for us."

It would continue to make sense for the Giants to seek those kinds of deals. They were right about their bullpen depth and talent, and through 21 games the group has a 2.33 ERA, more than a run lower than any other bullpen in the National League. The .605 OPS allowed is 57 points lower than the next best bullpen. 

It would be hard to get much for some of the newcomers, but if Zaidi could find the right deal for a Sam Dyson, for example, Trevor Gott and Nick Vincent could fill some of those innings, along with a resurgent Mark Melancon, who hasn't allowed a run. The Giants could then bring up a Ray Black or Tyler Beede to fill out the bullpen.

[RELATED: Reynolds' call-up a reminder Giants took too long to change]

The left side is where the Giants really have intriguing pieces to offer, and they got calls on both Will Smith and Tony Watson in the offseason. Either one could help any contender, and there is some left-handed depth with Travis Bergen at the big league level and Andrew Suarez, Pat Venditte and Ty Blach in Triple-A. 

There are plenty of teams out there -- hello, Nationals and Braves! -- who could use the bullpen help right now, and Zaidi has shown he's not afraid to pull the trigger on an early deal, trading for two outfielders in the season's first two weeks. If someone out there is willing to give up a nice package for a Giants reliever, you can bet Zaidi will take that call seriously.