Joey Bart not expected to make Giants debut in 2019, Bruce Bochy says

Joey Bart not expected to make Giants debut in 2019, Bruce Bochy says

Joey Bart was on the fast track to the big leagues. After fracturing his left hand Monday night in a San Jose Giants game, it appears his road to San Francisco will have to wait until 2020. 

Giants manager Bruce Bochy said Wednesday morning he doesn't expect Bart to be in the majors at any point this season. 

"I would not expect him to be up this year," Bochy said on the Murph & Mac Show. "... It's (the injury) bad news for us and him. He was playing so well. What we have to be careful of is we don't rush this kid back after breaking his hand. He'll be in a cast for a couple of weeks, and then we have to make sure he's ready.

"Don't rush him back. Let him take his time. We can't put him on too fast of a pace to get him up here."

Bart was hit by a pitch in the fourth inning against the Stockton Ports on a night where wet weather delayed the start of the game by an hour. He tried to stay in the game, but after being looked at by the team trainer it was deemed he needed to come out. The Giants' top prospect will now miss the next four-to-six weeks with a fractured second metacarpal. 

“He was playing well,” Bochy said to reporters on Tuesday. “He’ll be back. You hate to see it, though. He’s going to miss some time and it’s a minor setback. You just hate to see it for the kid. He had a great spring and was off to a great start.”

Bart, the No. 2 pick in the 2018 MLB Draft, spent spring training in big league camp and showed he belonged with major leaguers. The catcher hit .350 with one home run, seven RBI and a .981 OPS over 15 spring games. He also won the Barney Nugent Award, which is given annually to the player who performs best in his first big league camp.

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His offense followed him to San Jose, the Giants' High-A affiliate, before the injury. Through 10 games, Bart was batting .270 with two home runs, eight RBI and an .882 OPS. Bochy took notice to Bart's hot start, but now everyone will have to take a step back. 

“There’s a lot of baseball left,” Bochy said on Tuesday. “He’ll have a lot of baseball left to be played.”

Lefty Andrew Suarez returns to big leagues for another shot with Giants


Lefty Andrew Suarez returns to big leagues for another shot with Giants

SAN FRANCISCO -- For several days, the Giants listed Monday's starter as "TBA," leading to speculation that they would try an opener for a second straight week. Instead, it will be a familiar starter. 

Left-hander Andrew Suarez will be recalled from Triple-A Sacramento to make his first big league start of the season. Suarez made 29 starts for the Giants last season, posting a 4.49 ERA in a rookie season that was a bit better than the final numbers indicated. 

Suarez did not make the rotation out of camp and has a 6.33 ERA in six minor league starts. He missed more than two weeks with a hamstring strain and has given up seven earned runs in 8 2/3 innings since returning to Triple-A Sacramento. 

"I'm sure he's chipping a little rust off," manager Bruce Bochy said. "A day like this, especially for a guy that made as many starts as he did, can be pretty uplifting and fire a guy up. We need a starter tomorrow and with his experience and what he did last year, this makes sense for us."

With Suarez and Shaun Anderson set to go the first two games against the Braves, the Giants will have taken a look at all four young pitchers who could be part of a future rotation. Dereck Rodriguez and Tyler Beede already have gotten a look and been optioned. Both are in Triple-A, currently. 

Given the state of the roster, it's possible either Suarez or Anderson is sent back to Triple-A after his start. Bochy said the young pitchers know the deal. 

"I think they see it around baseball and they understand it," he said. 

Giants trade struggling catcher Erik Kratz to Rays days after DFA


Giants trade struggling catcher Erik Kratz to Rays days after DFA

Erik Kratz is no longer in the Giants organization. 

Three days after San Francisco designated the veteran catcher for assignment, the Giants traded the 38-year-old to the Tampa Bay Rays. The Tampa Bay Times' Marc Topkin first reported the news Thursday, and the Giants announced the news shortly thereafter. 

On Monday morning, the player to be named was announced as minor league pitcher Matt Seelinger. He'll report to Class A Augusta.

The Giants traded for Kratz in late March, wanting a veteran backup for Buster Posey while Stephen Vogt recovered from shoulder surgery. 26-year-old catcher Aramis Garcia still had minor-league options, so the front office looked for a more-polished stopgap.

But Kratz struggled in his short time wearing orange and black, slashing .125/.222/.281 in 36 plate appearances. He also made more errors (four) in 11 games behind the dish than he did in 61 with the Brewers (three) in 2018, and caught two out of nine runners stealing. 

[RELATED: Where Giants stand on competing, rebuilding after quarter of 2019 season]

The Kratz trade was not the only move the Giants made at the position Thursday. They also optioned Garcia to Triple-A Sacramento in anticipation that Posey will return to the lineup Friday after a stint on the seven-day concussion list.