Instant Analysis: Five takeaways from Giants loss to Marlins

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways from Giants loss to Marlins


SAN FRANCISCO — Before Friday’s game, manager Bruce Bochy said the second-half rotation was sketched out with Madison Bumgarner in and one current starter out. If Matt Moore was a lock to be included, perhaps a second conversation needs to be had. 

Moore had another ugly start to cap a first half that was the worst of any starter in the National League. He gave up 12 hits and lasted just 10 outs, and the Giants went down 6-1 to Dan Straily and the Marlins in their return home. 

Here are five things to know from a forgettable Friday ... 

—- Moore had previously allowed 10 hits just five times in his career. The Marlins had 10 hits by their 16th at-bat of the game. In all, Moore tied a career-high with 12 hits allowed. Opposing hitters are batting .307 off him this season after a .233 mark following the deadline deal in 2016. 

—- Moore is the only player keeping Matt Cain from having the highest ERA in the National League. Cain is at 5.58, Moore is at 6.04. Moore also ranks last in the NL in WHIP (1.69). 

—- Cory Gearrin pitched 2 2/3 innings in relief of Moore, which was the second-longest outing of his career. He went three innings in the 14-inning game late last month. Gearrin did not get an at-bat, and I’m not pleased. 

—- Giancarlo Stanton’s first-inning blast was just the 40th by a right-handed batter to right field at AT&T Park. Stanton became the first opponent to do it in three years, and amazingly, he came about five feet away in the fourth inning from clearing the Levi’s Landing sign a second time. 

—- Austin Slater stopped running right before he reached the bag in the eighth and he grabbed at his hip, which was tight on the last homestand. The Giants should just shut him down through the All-Star break. Slater is one player who absolutely should be ready to play every day in the second half. 

Giants trade minor league infielder for veteran catcher Erik Kratz


Giants trade minor league infielder for veteran catcher Erik Kratz

SAN FRANCISCO -- A day after they made a seemingly endless series of transactions, the Giants got going with an early morning trade. 

Catcher Erik Kratz was acquired from the Milwaukee Brewers, with minor league infielder C.J. Hinojosa headed the other way. The deal was made a day after the Giants released Rene Rivera, a similar veteran who appeared in line for an Opening Day job. 

When Rivera was let go, Aramis Garcia looked to be in line for the backup job. But Kratz is a right-handed-hitting veteran who is out of options, so the Giants may keep him instead. Kratz, 38, will be playing for his eighth big league team. He hit .236 for the Brewers last year with six homers and six doubles in 203 at-bats. 

Kratz was a surprise contributor in the postseason, hitting .292 in 26 plate appearances. He is known for doing good work defensively and is a strong clubhouse presence. 

It's unclear why the Giants elected to go with Kratz over Rivera, who worked with their pitchers all camp. Or why they may be shying away from sticking with Garcia, who had a good spring and also knows the pitching staff well. Those questions will be answered in the next four days, and the Giants figure to make many more moves before the dust settles. 

[RELATED: Giants trade Matt Joyce after three days with team]

Hinojosa was once viewed as a future utility man at the big league level, but he was suspended 50 games last season for a positive test for a drug of abuse. When he returned, he posted a .689 OPS. 

To clear a 40-man spot for Kratz, the Giants DFA'd pitcher Jose Lopez, acquired at the start of the spring from the Reds. 

Connor Joe reveals first reaction when traded to Giants from Reds

Connor Joe reveals first reaction when traded to Giants from Reds

Ever since he was drafted in the first round of the 2014 MLB Draft, Connor Joe has been working to get to the big leagues.

It appears the San Diego native will finally get that shot. A trade from the Reds to the Giants may have smashed open the door for Joe.

"It was exciting," Joe told KNBR 680 on Saturday when asked what his initial reaction was to the trade. "I was thrilled for the opportunity to get back with a team on the West Coast ... that's closer to home is an amazing opportunity for me."

Joe attended Poway High School in San Diego, and then went to the University of San Diego. The Pittsburgh Pirates used the No. 39 overall draft pick on Joe in 2014 and then traded him to Atlanta in August of 2017 for Sean Rodriguez. A month later, the Braves shipped him to the Dodgers. This past December, the Reds claimed Joe in the Rule 5 draft.

Then the trade to the Giants happened on Thursday.

Joe knows San Francisco well. During his time in the West Coast Conference, Joe made plenty of trips to the Bay Area to face the University of San Francisco, Saint Mary's and Santa Clara. He told KNBR's Marty Lurie that his sister lives in San Francisco, and that he traveled up state with his dad for the 2007 MLB All-Star Game.

"It's a great city, I love it," Joe said. "It's a little different speed than I'm used to in San Diego, but I'm really excited to be there and really excited for this opportunity."

The 2018 season was a breakout campaign for the 26-year-old. After hitting just 11 home runs his first three minor league seasons, Joe crushed 17 home runs last season between Double-A Tulsa and Triple-A Oklahoma City, and finished the year with a .299/.408/.527 slash line.

What led to the improved play?

"For me, I think the biggest thing was allowing my athletic abilities to come out and not being trapped in a certain way that people wanted me to be," Joe said. "So, I told myself to be athletic in the box, out in the field and saw really positive results from that."

One of the aspects that made Joe attractive to the Giants is his versatility. He has experience at first base, third base, left field and right field. But he doesn't have a preferred position.

"I can't tell you what I am," Joe said. "I'm a baseball player. It's something I've done throughout my career, starting in college, so I'm used to bouncing around from game to game, even inning to inning."

Things can change in a hurry, but considering that the Giants acquired him a week before Opening Day, it's safe to say they envision him on the roster.

[RELATED: Giants reportedly acquire Michael Reed]

Guess where the Giants open the 2019 season? Yep. San Diego.

Imagine if Joe is able to make his major league debut in his hometown in front of his family. What a story that would be.