Giants

Joey Bart, Heliot Ramos on track to return to San Jose Giants in early June

Joey Bart, Heliot Ramos on track to return to San Jose Giants in early June

With the San Francisco Giants struggling at the start of the season, fans' attention turned to the San Jose Giants, where top prospects Joey Bart and Heliot Ramos started the year.

But in the span of 11 days in April, both players went down with injuries, Bart's more serious than the one sustained by Ramos.

Now we have an idea of when they might be return to the Baby Giants' lineup.

"They are both down in Arizona right now rehabbing their injuries," Radio broadcaster Joe Ritzo said on the latest Inside the San Jose Giants podcast. "And the rehab is going as scheduled for both players so far. So that is very good news and they are each on track to return to the San Jose Giants in early June."

Bart suffered a fractured left hand on April 15 and was expected to miss 4-to-6 weeks. An early June return would exceed that timetable, but it's not an injury that can or should be rushed.

As for Ramos, he went on the injured list on April 26 after experiencing left knee soreness.

[RELATED: Anderson impresses in MLB debut]

"They obviously still have to go through more of the rehab process, they'll eventually be playing in some extended spring training games down there," Ritzo said. "That will be a big hurdle to cross. But once that happens and they prove they are healthy, they both should be back in the middle of this San Jose lineup."

It's been a while since the Giants have had prospects with this much upside. Once they return, it will be crucial for Bart and Ramos to stay healthy and finish the season strong.

MLB rumors: Giants interested in Royals' Mike Matheny for manager job

MLB rumors: Giants interested in Royals' Mike Matheny for manager job

The carousel continues to turn for the Giants manager job.

Former Giants catcher Mike Matheny has drawn interest from San Francisco for its managerial position, MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan reports.

Matheny played his final two MLB seasons with the Giants and retired from baseball in 2007. The four-time Gold Glove winner managed the Cardinals from 2012-18, finishing with 591 wins and 474 losses, good for a .555 winning percentage. 

He has spent the past two seasons with the Kansas City Royals as a special advisor for player development. 

[RELATED: Source: Giants interested in Cubs' Venable for manager job]

It is important to note the Giants have not been reported to have reached out to Matheny or brought him in for an interview.

As the process continues, Matheny is not likely to be the last name we hear associated with interviewing to take over for Bruce Bochy in San Francisco.

Astros know Gerrit Cole wants to be 'West Coast guy' in MLB free agency

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Astros know Gerrit Cole wants to be 'West Coast guy' in MLB free agency

The Astros are trying to soak in every start Gerrit Cole makes for them. As Houston sits two wins from reaching the World Series, they know their staff ace likely will be pitching for a different team next season. 

Cole is expected to possibly sign a record-breaking contract as a free agent this upcoming offseason. His teammates have an idea of which part of the country he will be packing his bags for, too. 

"We know he wants to be a West Coast guy," Astros outfielder Josh Reddick told Bleacher Report's Scott Miller

Cole, 29, grew up in Southern California and attended UCLA before the Pirates took him with the No. 1 pick in the 2011 MLB Draft. Could his future be in Northern California, though? 

Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford and Cole are brothers-in-law. ESPN's Jeff Passan also listed San Francisco in late August as one of nine destinations that are "positioned and motivated to explore adding Cole."

The three-time All-Star also told Miller that he has been to six or seven Giants postseason games in the past, including taking his grandfather to two World Series games in 2012.

Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi has some big decisions to make regarding the roster this offseason. Longtime ace Madison Bumgarner will be a free agent, but Cole certainly would be an upgrade. The right-hander is a front-runner to win the AL Cy Young award this year after going 20-5 with a 2.50 ERA and 326 strikeouts over 212 1/3 innings. 

But Cole could be in line to sign a contract worth well over $200 million this winter. 

[RELATED: Maddon agrees to three-year contract to be Angels' next manager]

The Giants rode star pitchers like Bumgarner, Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain to three championships this decade. Adding Cole to start off the next decade could be the perfect addition. A healthy Johnny Cueto is returning to San Francisco's rotation next season, along with Jeff Samardzija -- whose 3.52 ERA this year was his lowest since 2014. 

San Francisco will have plenty of competition if they do pursue Cole, especially from Southern California teams in the Angels and Dodgers. He certainly will be sought after from the Bay Area to Los Angeles and beyond.