Giants

Giants top prospect Joey Bart set to return after fractured left hand

Giants top prospect Joey Bart set to return after fractured left hand

The last time Joey Bart returned from an injury, the catcher made one thing clear -- he's one of the best prospects in all of baseball. 

Bart's sophomore season was cut short at Georgia Tech after hitting .296 with 13 home runs in 44 games. He missed the team's final 11 games with a broken thumb. 

"I think people kind of made that a huge deal, like it was the biggest deal in the world me breaking my thumb," Bart said on May 29 in an exclusive interview with NBC Sports Bay Area. "I remember I came into the season ready to go, ready to prove myself." 

As a junior, he did exactly what he set out to do. Bart won multiple national honors while hitting .359 with 16 home runs and wound up being taken by the Giants with the No. 2 pick in the 2018 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft. 

Fast forward two years after his broken thumb and Bart, the Giants' No. 1 prospect and top catching prospect in all of baseball, is again looking to show that an injury is only a tiny bump in his road to the show. He fractured the second metacarpal in his left (non-throwing) hand on April 15 after getting hit by a pitch that was oddly called a foul ball.

At the time of his injury, Bart was hitting .270 with two home runs and an .882 OPS in 10 games for the high Single-A San Jose Giants.

After missing 43 games, Bart is set to rejoin the San Jose Giants on Tuesday.

"I’m coming along well, I feel good. It’s kind of up to them, the front office. It could be any day now," Bart said last Wednesday. "I feel ready to go and I’m just excited to get back up to San Jose with the team and win a bunch of games." 


(Photo via Ali Thanawalla)

Once Bart learned the extent of the injury, he put his head down and did whatever it took to get back on a diamond. Within the first few days, he was already on the field, conditioning and working out. He's placed a heavy emphasis on being in the best shape possible and focusing on much more than just his hand.

"That’s been a big priority, just working out and getting in good shape so when I come back, hopefully nothing happens to my body aside from my hand," Bart said. "That’s kind of been the purpose. Keep everything on top and in tip-top shape." 

Bart admits the process hasn't been easy, however. In the beginning, he wanted to push his timeline and get right back on the field. The future wasn't on his mind, all Bart wanted to do was play ball again. 

As he neared his return, he saw the bigger picture. 

"It’s been a little bit of a lengthy process. It wasn’t a very bad fracture, but it was tough," Bart said. "I didn’t want to give in too early. The last couple of weeks, it’s been a lot better compared to the first few weeks. It’s been very encouraging and I shouldn’t be too far out here.

"Now looking at it, I understand that I need to be 100 percent confident in my hand and ready to roll on that first night that [manager Billy Hayes] writes me back into the lineup.

"I’m just really looking forward to getting back."

[RELATED: Watch Heliot Ramos homer in second game back from injury]

The face of the Giants' future has missed the last seven weeks. Never mind that, though. He's about to be back on the field, and for once, this Bart should be on time or well ahead of schedule going to San Francisco.

Giants vs. Rockies live stream: How to watch MLB games online, on TV

Giants vs. Rockies live stream: How to watch MLB games online, on TV

The Giants are set to begin a daunting 10-game road trip Monday that could dramatically alter their 2020 season, as they will square off against the Colorado Rockies, Los Angeles Dodgers and Houston Astros away from home over the next week and a half.

The Giants (5-5) start their trip at Coors Field against the surprising Rockies (6-2). The Giants are coming off a series win against the Texas Rangers, while the Rockies most recently took two out of three from the San Diego Padres.

Here's how you can watch the Giants play the Rockies online (download the MyTeams app here!) and on TV:

Monday, Aug. 3

When: Giants Pregame Live at 5 p.m. PT -- First pitch at 5:40 p.m. PT
TV: NBC Sports Bay Area
Stream: MyTeams app

Tuesday, Aug. 4

When: Giants Pregame Live at 5 p.m. PT -- First pitch at 5:40 p.m. PT
TV: NBC Sports Bay Area
Stream: MyTeams app

Wednesday, Aug. 5

When: Giants Pregame Live at 5 p.m. PT -- First pitch at 5:40 p.m. PT
TV: NBC Sports Bay Area
Stream: MyTeams app

Thursday, Aug. 6

When: Giants Pregame Live at 11:30 a.m. PT -- First pitch at 12:10 p.m. PT
TV: NBC Sports Bay Area
Stream: MyTeams app

Why Gabe Kapler sees signs of life with Pablo Sandoval's latest swings

Why Gabe Kapler sees signs of life with Pablo Sandoval's latest swings

It was just a single, and Pablo Sandoval ended up standing on first and watching three straight teammates strike out. But his hit in the second inning Tuesday might have been one of the more well-timed ones of his second stint with the Giants. 

All MLB teams have to cut from 30 to 28 players on Thursday morning, and with that deadline looming, it was not hard to look at Sandoval's stat line and see a potentially tough decision coming for the front office. Sandoval still has just three hits in 26 at-bats, and he's not being used in a versatile role. Regardless, manager Gabe Kapler stuck him right back in the lineup, noting that there were signs of life in Tuesday's loss. 

"Last night was a really good signal with respect to his swing," Kapler said on a Zoom call Wednesday morning. "He really crushed some balls, crushed them on the ground, and ultimately in a perfect world you're able to elevate the balls that you hit hardest, and when he's at his best that's exactly what he's doing. What we've seen with Pablo has been a slow progression towards his good swing."

Sandoval is working with the new staff to get his legs more involved, and on Tuesday he certainly looked more like his old self. In that first at-bat he pulled a 95 mph pitch from German Marquez into right field at 109 mph. He flied out to deep left in the fourth, and then grounded out twice, including a double play. But those two grounders left the bat at 104.7 mph and 108.7. 

[BALK TALK: Listen to the latest episode]

It's hard to tell what the Giants will do with Thursday's moves, especially since their need for 15 pitchers is still there, but it can't be a comfortable time for players who are slumping or pigeonholed, as Sandoval has been. He has not played third base yet, with Donovan Solano a preferred option as Evan Longoria's backup. He also has just five plate appearances against left-handed pitchers. 

"We have a lot of options to hit lefties, from Solano to (Wilmer) Flores to Darin Ruf to (Austin) Slater to (Mauricio) Dubon," Kapler said. "We've got a lot of guys who are really equipped to take down at-bats against lefties. It's a little bit thinner when we're facing a right-handed pitcher."

[RELATED: Nolan Arenado continues to crush Giants]

Kapler still believes Sandoval is one of his best late-game options against tough righties, and on Wednesday he should get three or four more at-bats to prove if his swing is coming back. He is the DH against hard-throwing righty Jon Gray, and Kapler sounded confident in the choice. 

"We kind of evaluate Pablo very similarly to the way we evaluated him when we came out of our secondary camp," Kapler said.