Giants

Mike Yastrzemski explains how special it is to play at Fenway Park

Mike Yastrzemski explains how special it is to play at Fenway Park

"Everybody dreams about going home and playing in front of their hometown."

When Giants rookie outfielder Mike Yastrzemski stepped on to the field at Fenway Park last night, he was home.

But it was more than just a place he grew up. He was back where it all started for his grandfather, Hall of Famer Carl Yastrzemski. But now it was Mike's turn to put on a show in front of Boston Red Sox fans.

Sure, it's a story you've heard repeated many times, but it's one that needs to be told. 

"I grew up as a diehard Red Sox fan, just like every kid growing up here," Mike said in an interview posted by the Giants.

Mike knew it was a special moment, but not just for him -- one for everyone who watched his grandfather play during his 23-year career. And he was happy to take advantage of it. 

"You never know if it'll happen again."

The media scrum engulfed the 29-year-old who took questions from the dugout. Then the two were reunited, walking along the field that witnessed the entirety of Carl's career.

MLB Network's Peter Gammons also spoke to Carl and Mike, and Carl compared seeing his grandson play at Fenway that of his 1967 season. The same season where Carl hit for the Triple Crown and led the league in multiple other categories including on-base percentage (.418), slugging (.622) and OPS (1.040). He also earned an All-Star selection, his sole MVP honor and a Gold Glove Award.  

Carl was thrilled knowing the Yastrzemski name would be announced at the park that night. And Mike knew the responsibilities it takes carrying that name.  

[RELATED: Yaz homers at Fenway, just like his grandpa]

"To be able to share an experience like this is special."

When it was time for Mike to take his first at-bat at Fenway of his professional career, he rightfully received a standing ovation and would later hit a home run. 

It was then we were reminded just how beautiful this game is. 

Farhan Zaidi says Giants keeping options open in pursuit of new closer

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AP

Farhan Zaidi says Giants keeping options open in pursuit of new closer

The Giants lost an All-Star early in free agency when closer Will Smith signed with his hometown Atlanta Braves last week.

Smith's departure left a clear void in San Francisco's bullpen, as he tied for fifth in MLB with a career-high 31 saves in 2019. Replacing Smith is a clear priority for Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi, but he told The Athletic's Tim Kawakami on Tuesday that he is in no rush to name a new closer.

"We've got some time to figure that out," Zaidi said on "The TK Show" podcast. "I don't think we need to decide that before Thanksgiving here, but one of the benefits for us of having made some of the trades we made at the deadline is it gave us the opportunity to see some of the younger relievers in our organization. Guys like Tyler Rogers, Jandel Gustave and Sam Coonrod. [These are guys] that could work their way into the picture and work their way into late-inning [situations] in 2020."

Rogers, Gustave and Coonrod were bright spots as rookies last season. None of the trio pitched more than 30 innings, but each showed potential pitching out of the bullpen in August and September. Rogers pitched the fewest innings of the three (17 2/3), but was worth nearly a win above replacement in his appearances, according to Baseball Reference's metrics.

[RELATED: Former Giants hitting coach Powell takes job in Japan]

No matter which of the three emerges, the Giants are going to have a different look in the late innings next season. That could include a free-agent acquisition as well, according to Zaidi.

"Our closer may be in the organization right now," Zaidi continued. "We're going to continue to shop around and see what options are out there, but we at least like the depth that we have in our group of relievers."

Former Giants hitting coach Alonzo Powell takes new job in Japan

Former Giants hitting coach Alonzo Powell takes new job in Japan

SAN FRANCISCO -- As Farhan Zaidi and the rest of the front office started the search for a new manager, the coaching staff was given time to look for new jobs. Hitting coach Alonso Powell ended up across the ocean, but his new job will still be a familiar one. 

Powell will join the staff of the Chunichi Dragons, a Japanese team based in Nagoya. He played for the Dragons for six seasons, hitting .355 in one of them and won three straight batting titles while starring in Nagoya from 1992-97. Powell is reportedly already working with the team:

The Giants had kept quiet about Powell's status, but they are expected to have nearly a completely new staff under Gabe Kapler, who was hired last week. Ron Wotus will return as third base coach, but he was the only holdover to attend Kapler's press conference. 

Bullpen coach Matt Herges has already joined the Arizona Diamondbacks as pitching coach and former bench coach Hensley Meulens has been offered a job by the Marlins. Meulens was also thought to be a candidate for the Mets bench coach job, and he has not officially been announced as a staff member for the Marlins. It's unclear where pitching coach Curt Young, assistant hitting coach Rick Schu, and first base coach Jose Alguacil currently stand.

[RELATED: Harris details meaningful trip to Wrigley bleachers

Powell, a Bay Area native, came to the Giants after the 2017 season with the task of getting an aging lineup to hit for more power. There were success stories, and Powell was popular within the organization, but he was unable to squeeze much more out of a veteran group. Powell came from Houston and brought some new methods to the Giants, and they're expected to go even further in that direction. The addition of Kapler, along with former Cubs executive Scott Harris, indicates the Giants will dive even deeper into analytics.