Giants

How would Giants use Shohei Ohtani? 'That's very flexible for us'

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AP

How would Giants use Shohei Ohtani? 'That's very flexible for us'

At this point, the story is known of Shohei Ohtani's talents as a two-way star in Japan. There are still questions, however, to how that would translate to Major League Baseball, especially in the National League. 

“He played outfield in Japan, he’s very athletic, he’s got quick feet, a very athletic body, he’ll service well in the outfield,” Giants GM Bobby Evans said Wednesday on the Garry & Larry Show

Ohtani actually has not played in the outfield since 2014. He only played eight games between left and right field in 2014 and has only played 62 career games in the outfield in five seasons as a pro. The 23-year-old also dealt with a lower leg injury in 2017. 

[GALLERY: The file on Shohei Ohtani]

“He did have some lower leg injuries as well as only pitched 25 innings last year, so it will be a build up physically," Evans said. "For whatever club he plays for he’ll have to build back up.”

This past season, Ohtani played in 65 games as a DH, hitting .332 with eight home runs. On the hill, he tossed 25.1 innings and went 3-2 with a 3.20 ERA. 

If the Giants do indeed sign Ohtani, they have said there's a plan to get him 300 to 400 at-bats. At what position in the outfield, is not yet clear, even for Evans. 

“It ultimately depends on our outfield makeup, but we see his ability to play all three (positions),” Evans said. “That’s very flexible for us. There’s certainly advantages to left field in our left field, but we’re not pigeon-holing him to one spot right now.”

As a pitcher, Ohtani has never tossed more than 160 innings in a season. He took the mound every seven days in Japan compared to MLB pitchers toeing the rubber every five. Expect a schedule much like Ohtani is used to in Japan if he joins the Giants' staff. 

“He’s been starting once a week in Japan, so he starts every seventh day,” Evans said. “It’s a little different over there so I don’t know that you would expect him to come over here and start every fifth day.

"Our kids, even in the minor leagues, we don’t start them but every six days so I wouldn’t expect him to come over here and pitch a whole lot more frequently than he did over there."

The wait continues to see where the prospect considered the Babe Ruth of Japan will ultimately begin his career in the majors.

After two straight losses, Giants looking to regroup during All-Star break

After two straight losses, Giants looking to regroup during All-Star break

SAN FRANCISCO — The clubhouse cleared out quickly after Sunday’s games. Players are always in a rush to get to flights home after the final game of the first half, but you have a bit more urgency in your step when you’re trying to leave a couple losses behind.

There is one member of the clubhouse, though, who will not soon forget the way the Giants lost 6-2 to the A’s in their first half finale. Bruce Bochy watched a lineup that looked tired and incapable of backing a suddenly sturdy staff. Afterward, he promised to spend the next four days pondering some solutions.

“That’s what I’m going to sit on here the next four days — if they need more breaks,” Bochy said. “We’ll think of things to keep them fresher and sharper.”

The team that faced Sean Manaea on Sunday looked very much in need of a break. The Giants had five scattered hits and a performance that would have looked right at home in last season’s first half. Bochy said he saw some tired bats, and the numbers this month look all too familiar, in the wrong way. The Giants have just six homers in July, the least in the Majors, after showing increased power early in the season.

Two have come from Chase d’Arnaud and Pablo Sandoval, fill-ins for Evan Longoria. Alen Hanson and Gorkys Hernandez have the others. That’s not exactly how they drew this up. Bochy cut off a question about the backups having all the power this month.

“Oh I’m well aware of that,” he said, laughing.

Andrew McCutchen doesn’t have an extra-base hit this month, continuing a frustrating first season in San Francisco. Brandon Belt has three doubles but nothing more in July. Buster Posey also has three doubles and Brandon Crawford has a pair. Bochy is pleased with the additions of guys like d’Arnaud, Hanson and Steven Duggar, Sandoval’s improvements and Hernandez’s breakouts, but he knows he needs his big guns down the stretch.

“That’s what we’re missing as much as anything is power,” he said. “Not just homers — we’re not driving the ball like I think we can.”

The staff is hopeful that four days off will help. It’s not like the Giants have a tough travel schedule in front of them. They’ll regroup on Thursday in Oakland for a workout and then play three more in the East Bay, where most of this roster lives. After that it’s a day off and two in Seattle, and then it’s back home.

Bochy revealed that Dereck Rodriguez will get the opener in Oakland, followed by Madison Bumgarner, Johnny Cueto and Andrew Suarez. Jeff Samardzija, placed on the DL on Sunday, is a possibility for the fifth spot, although Derek Holland seems far more likely.

Rodriguez got the nod in part to break up the lefties and righties, but also as a reward for the good work he has done. He has been a revelation, helping the Giants stay above water. Even after losing two straight to the A’s, the Giants finished the first half at 50-48 and just four games behind the Dodgers in the National League West.

A year ago at the break, this club was 34-56 and 27 games out of first place.

Giants enter All-Star break with a whimper, lose second straight to A's

Giants enter All-Star break with a whimper, lose second straight to A's

BOX SCORE

SAN FRANCISCO -- There were many positives in the first half for the Giants, but the All-Star break came with a whimper. 

The lineup scattered five hits, Andrew Suarez had a rare dud, and the Giants fell 6-2 to the A's in the third game of this six-game set. They've lost two straight after a good win on Friday night and enter the break with a 50-48 record and in fourth place in the National League West. 

Here's what you need to know from "Don't Miss Your Red-eye Flight" Day... 

--- Suarez was cruising through his final start of the half before the wheels came off in the fourth. Suarez didn’t allow a hit to that point, but Jed Lowrie walked with one out and the A’s followed with four consecutive singles. A sacrifice fly capped the four-run inning. Suarez gave up four earned in five innings, walking two and striking out five. He had allowed four total runs in his four previous starts. 

--- Because of all his injuries, Ray Black often wasn’t allowed to pitch back-to-back days in the minor leagues. Bruce Bochy tested him Sunday, sending him out for the seventh a few hours after Black got a couple outs in relief of Tony Watson. Black easily handled the test, striking out two and getting a pop-up to center. His fastball was down a tick… to 97. 

--- Chase d’Arnaud hit a solo shot, his second since being called up. The veteran is tied with Pablo Sandoval for the team lead in homers in July. That’s nice for d’Arnaud, not so great for this offense. The Giants have just six homers this month.