Giants

MLB rumors: Giants, Rays bench coach Matt Quatraro still in contact

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AP

MLB rumors: Giants, Rays bench coach Matt Quatraro still in contact

The Giants' managerial search has been narrowed down to three candidates NBC Sports Bay Area's Alex Pavlovic, reported Thursday, citing league sources.

Former Phillies manager Gabe Kapler, Royals quality control coach Pedro Grifol and Astros bench coach Joe Espada are the trio of possibilities, but perhaps there is room for at least one more.

Tampa Bay Times' Marc Topkin reported Rays bench coach Matt Quatraro remains one of the hopefuls to take over for Bruce Bochy. Quatraro reportedly also is one of the candidates for the Pittsburgh Pirates' vacancy after the firing of Clint Hurdle.  

Quatraro spent last season as the Rays' third-base coach and also served as the assistant hitting coach with Terry Francona's staff on the Cleveland Indians. 

He also played in the Rays minor league organization for seven seasons primarily as a catcher. 

[RELATED: What to expect from Giants first week of offseason]

Quataro joined a handful of interviewees including internal candidates Ron Wotus and Hensley Meulens. A's quality control coach Mark Kotsay was said to be a top candidate, but the team announced recently he would be re-joining Oakland's staff. According to The Athletic's Andrew Baggarly, the Giants were also in contact with Dodgers bench coach and former A's skipper Bob Geren.

Buster Posey looked like Comeback Player of the Year, Mike Krukow says

Buster Posey looked like Comeback Player of the Year, Mike Krukow says

At his absolutely best, Buster Posey can hit 20 home runs a season.

But in 219 games over the last two seasons combined, the Giants catcher has managed a total of 12 homers.

Issues with the hips stripped Posey of his power, and he didn't look like an MVP-caliber player in 2019.

But according to Giants broadcasters Duane Kuiper and Mike Krukow, they saw the old Posey in Scottsdale, Arizona during spring training in late February and early March.

"I think what he did when we got to Arizona, is he immediately passed our eye test, where the way he was moving, the way he was swinging, he was getting his hips into his swing," Kuiper told Amy Gutierrez earlier this week. "And then it was nice to actually hear him say "Yeah, I feel really, really good this spring.' I never heard him say one time last spring 'I feel really good.' He didn't.

"He's not going to tell you how he feels. But he did tell us in spring training he felt really, really good. And judging by what we saw, it certainly looked like he felt really good."

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Krukow had even higher praise for the 2012 NL MVP and three-time World Series champion.

"I thought I was looking at the Comeback Player of the Year everytime I saw him step in the batter's box," Krukow said. "It's night and day. More than a couple times last year, when we watched Buster in the box, we thought 'Is he just not seeing it? He's got no lower body.' The bottom line is, he was hurt. And we always asked him ... we quit asking him that because we always got the same BS answer. He's old-school. He's not going to tell you or anybody that he doesn't feel good because he doesn't want to create an advantage for the other team. He's going to tell you 'I'm good to go. End of story. Don't even ask me again.'

[RELATED: Takeaways from GIants' simulated opener]

"But when we got down to spring training this year and it was his first at-bat, he took the first at-bat, first couple of swings, we looked at each other and went 'Mmmhmm.' Now we want to see it the next day because we'd see it everyone once in a while last year, but you wouldn't see it two or three or four days in a row. We saw it every at-bat in spring training. And at the end of spring training, that was the talk of camp, really. We thought we were looking at the Comeback Player of the Year and I believe this. This guy finally feels good, he's finally seeing the ball and his bat speed is back, his hand speed is back and that is exciting for us."

Kruk, Kuip and Giants fans everywhere will have to wait to see a rejuvenated Posey take the field again. The global coronavirus pandemic has the MLB season on hold for an undetermined amount of time.

But Kruk and Kuip's assessment of Posey gives Giants fans something to look forward to when baseball does return.

Watch Giants-Dodgers Opening Day simulation from 'MLB The Show 20'

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USATSI

Watch Giants-Dodgers Opening Day simulation from 'MLB The Show 20'

Friday should've marked the Giants' home opener against the rival Los Angeles Dodgers at Oracle Park. The global coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic pushed it back, as well as the rest of the MLB season, but we've got you covered with the next best thing.

You probably missed broadcasters Duane Kuiper, Mike Krukow and Amy Gutierrez bringing you the sounds of summer, but all three were on the call of NBC Sports Bay Area's simulation of the game in "MLB The Show 20" that aired Friday night. Even if you missed the broadcast, you can now watch the full simulation with Kuip, Kruk and Amy G on commentary on our YouTube page.

The virtual Giants started the 2020 season on the wrong foot, and they returned home to San Francisco in search of their first win. Could they get it in a high-scoring battle with their biggest rivals? Watch to find out, and give Giants Insider Alex Pavlovic's takeaways a read once you do.