How Farhan Zaidi has transformed the Giants roster since Opening Day

How Farhan Zaidi has transformed the Giants roster since Opening Day

SAN FRANCISCO -- Before the final road game of the first half, a group of Giants hitters took the field at Petco Park to chat with some Padres before they began stretching for batting practice. 

With most of the members of the team's longtime core still indoors, the group on the field ended up being one you couldn't have imagined on Opening Day. 

Pablo Sandoval was there, along with Alex Dickerson, Mike Yastrzemski, Donovan Solano, Kevin Pillar, Tyler Austin and Austin Slater. Sandoval was the only one in the circle who was on the roster when the Giants kicked off their season at Petco Park on March 28. 

Farhan Zaidi didn't seem all too concerned when the Giants took the field with Connor Joe and Michael Reed in the outfield that day. He was willing to be patient, saying repeatedly that he would find upgrades over time. 

By the end of the first half the Giants had a much different -- and better -- roster, even if it was painful for the clubhouse at times with all the churn. 

"You look at the roster changes and yeah, sometimes you've got to do what you think is the right thing for the club," manager Bruce Bochy said last week. "We've made some changes as we've gone and we like where we're at."

The Giants used 44 players in the first half, Ray Black being the final one to walk through the door. A year ago they used 48 players all season. The upheaval started early, as Zaidi made a series of moves right before Opening Day to add depth to the entire system. That led to this Day 1 lineup:

Duggar CF (recently optioned to Triple-A)
Belt 1B
Longoria 3B
Posey C
Crawford SS
Joe LF (designated for assignment and returned to the Dodgers)
Reed RF (DFA'd and now in Triple-A)
Panik 2B 

Gerardo Parra and Yangervis Solarte pinch-hit for Joe and Reed that day and both have also been DFA'd. 

The Giants finished the first half with a lineup mix that included Pillar and Austin (acquired in April trades), Yastrzemski (acquired at the end of the spring), Slater and Donovan Solano (called up from Triple-A), Dickerson (acquired from the Padres in June) and Stephen Vogt, who started the year in Sacramento but replaced Erik Kratz. The rotation includes Tyler Beede and Shaun Anderson, who were called up from Triple-A. 

A lot has changed, but the Giants are a better and deeper team than the one that started the year in San Diego. Bochy is happy with the group, although he admitted communication has been key in his final season. He had to sit down with members of his core and explain what the front office was up to as players shuttled in and out of the clubhouse. 

[RELATED: Dodgers reportedly interested in Smith, if Giants will do deal]

There was some grumbling, even publicly, but by the end of the first half the veterans seemed in tune with the new normal. 

"Early on, I felt like that last weekend of spring training and into that first month, month and a half of the season, it felt like a revolving door,” third baseman Evan Longoria said. “To Farhan's credit, he has a track record of success and of finding guys who can help in the moment and be positive contributors. That's what it's about, finding that mix of guys.”

Giants vs. Braves lineups: Johnny Cueto hopes to continue dominance


Giants vs. Braves lineups: Johnny Cueto hopes to continue dominance

After a night to forget, the Giants will once again take the field in Atlanta against the mighty Braves, who clinched the NL East division title in a 6-0 win over San Francisco on Friday night.

Bruce Bochy’s group got a front-row seat to the Ronald Acuna Jr. show, as the superstar 21-year-old reached base all four times he went to the plate, including a towering two-run homer off Tyler Beede.

The Giants will send Jonny Cueto to the mound, who continues to impress in his return from offseason Tommy John surgery. Cueto didn’t factor into the decision but tossed five scoreless innings with just three hits allowed in his last start at Oracle Park against the Marlins.

Opposite Cueto will be 25-year-old Max Fried, who has had a breakout season in 2019. Fried is second in the NL in wins with 16 on the year.

[RELATED: How Padres firing Andy Green could impact Bruce Bochy, Giants future]

Coverage begins at 3:00 PT with Giants Pregame Live on NBC Sports Bay Area and streaming in the MyTeams App.

Here are the lineups for Giants-Braves:
San Francisco Giants (74-80)
SS Mauricio Dubon
1B Austin Slater
C Buster Posey
3B Evan Longoria
CF Kevin Pillar
LF Joey Rickard
RF Jaylin Davis
2B Cristhian Adames
RHP Johnny Cueto (1-0, 0.00 ERA)
Atlanta Braves (95-60)
CF Ronald Acuna Jr.
2B Adeiny Hechavarria
3B Josh Donaldson
LF Adam Duvall
C Francisco Cervelli
1B Austin Riley
SS Dansby Swanson
CF Billy Hamilton
LHP Max Fried (16-6, 4.25 ERA)

How Padres firing Andy Green could impact Bruce Bochy, Giants future

How Padres firing Andy Green could impact Bruce Bochy, Giants future

ATLANTA -- Bruce Bochy hasn't even had a chance to open most of the alcohol he was given on his season-long farewell tour, and he already might find himself in the rumor mill regarding another job. 

The San Diego Padres fired manager Andy Green on Friday, and you can bet Bochy's name will come up in some regard, even though he's eight games from retirement. Bochy has said all season that he is happy with his decision, but he also has at times left the door open to managing again down the line. At the very least, Bochy knows he'll be involved in baseball in some capacity next season, and the Giants have had discussions about what kind of title to give him.

Bochy won 951 games in 12 seasons in San Diego and still lives in Poway, a small city not far from Petco Park. Regardless of whether there's interest on either side, Saturday's decision will have some impact on the Giants. 

The Padres trail the Giants in the standings, but have a much better farm system, more young talent at the big league level, and a couple of entrenched superstars in Manny Machado and Fernando Tatis Jr. Their opening looks more appealing at the moment than the one that Farhan Zaidi will present to candidates in the coming weeks, and the two modern front offices could be vying for the same candidates. 

[RELATED: Giants' Tyler Beede showing signs of hope despite continued struggles]

The hire will have another type of impact on the Giants' future. The Padres have long been considered a sleeping giant by many in the industry, and with the right manager they could present another significant NL West hurdle for the Giants over the next couple of years. 

Soon, we'll find out which man the Padres consider to be that right fit. And we may find out just how committed Bochy is to drinking that wine and taking all those free fishing trips he has accumulated.