Notes: Giants to test Nunez, unlikely to have him vs Syndergaard

Notes: Giants to test Nunez, unlikely to have him vs Syndergaard

NEW YORK -- Noah Syndergaard allowed just 11 home runs, but there's another way to round the bases quickly against the big right-hander. Syndergaard allowed 48 stolen bases this season, with just nine runners getting caught, a weakness that becomes glaring in October. 

The Giants, however, won't be able to chip away with their speediest weapon. Eduardo Nuñez remains a long shot to be ready Wednesday, and even if he makes the Wild Card roster, a strained hamstring will keep him from running on Syndergaard. Nuñez was limited to a light workout Tuesday

"We're going to test him," Bochy said. "He's going to take some swings, go run a little bit, and we'll see where we're at."

Nuñez jogged in the outfield and then went back to the clubhouse. Team officials hope he's available to pinch-hit, but anything beyond that seems unlikely.

Conor Gillaspie appears a lock to start the biggest game of the year, and that might be a big positive given how Gillaspie has played over the past week. Gillaspie was 7-for-14 on the season-ending homestand. 

"He's been great," catcher Buster Posey said. "Conor's definitely a team favorite. He's a good guy to have around and has really stepped in late with Nuñez taking a lot of the games down the stretch. That sometimes is not an easy thing to do, but I think that's a credit to Conor, being ready every day. 

"Whether he's pinch-hitting or possibly coming in later in the game when Nuñez was playing every day, I think that probably helped him stay ready for being able to step in."

The Giants will announce their lineup at around 10 a.m. out here on Wednesday.

--- The end of the 2014 run was so thrilling that it kind of pushed the Pittsburgh win to the back pages a bit. Posey and Hunter Pence lit up Tuesday when asked to recount that first Wild Card Game. 

"I remember just walking in from the bullpen in Pittsburgh and thinking and taking a second to look around because even 10-15 minutes before the game, it was rocking," Posey said. "I expect it to be the same here tomorrow. Shoot, that's the type of stuff when you're a kid that you dream about."

Pence called the 15 minutes before that game "the most intense atmosphere I've ever been a part of."

"You're just jumping right into it, and this huge, emotional, intense all-in, all-or-nothing game," he said. "It's definitely a wild ride. That's why they call it the Wild Card."

--- Only two of the final-week Giants did not make the trip to New York. Mac Williamson was sent to Arizona for a week of rehab, since a win Wednesday sends the Giants to Chicago and the most cramped clubhouse in the league. Williamson will rejoin the Giants if they return home Sunday. Gordon Beckham was not eligible for the playoffs since he wasn't in the organization on Sept. 1, so he flew home for the offseason, to watch and see if he's in line for a World Series ring. 

--- Shawn Estes was the latest guest on my podcast. You can find it here. We talked about the second half, the final week, the wild card matchup, and his experiences with fans in New York and Chicago. 

--- Pence has a wild thing going with the hair-beard combo, and it came up during his press conference. A local reporter asked him if it was something he came up with for the playoffs.

"Yeah, I just created this look instantaneously," Pence deadpanned. "It just showed up."

Pence later said that Hunter Strickland wasn't getting a haircut, so he joined in.

"It's not because I wanted to look like this, but because it's fun to do things that are crazy with your teammates," he said. "There are not too many jobs where you get the opportunity to look like a bum and have fun doing it."

Giants release Cameron Maybin after disappointing spring training

Giants release Cameron Maybin after disappointing spring training

SAN FRANCISCO — The Giants hoped Cameron Maybin could fill some holes on their bench. It wasn’t happening, and on Friday, Maybin was released.

The veteran signed a minor league deal after camp had already started but hit just .163 in Cactus League play with no homers. Maybin also got a DUI midway through camp, and while team officials said that wouldn’t knock him out of the competition, it surely didn’t help his cause. 

A couple of weeks ago, Maybin was set to be the fourth outfielder. But the front office has been disappointed by the competition and continues to look for alternatives. Connor Joe, a Rule 5 pick acquired Thursday, would be on the roster if the season started today, per a source, and he can play a corner outfield spots. Yangervis Solarte also has been playing some left field.

President of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi continues to talk to other teams about outfielders who might become available before Opening Day. The Giants recently added Matt Joyce, too, but they are short on right-handed options and outfielders who can back up Steven Duggar in center. 

In that respect, it is notable that Henry Ramos is still in camp. At the moment, Gerardo Parra would be the next best choice in center if Duggar needed a day off.

Giants confident massive new scoreboard will be ready for Opening Day

Alex Pavlovic

Giants confident massive new scoreboard will be ready for Opening Day

SAN FRANCISCO -- When members of the local media were let into Oracle Park on Friday to see upgrades, it was easy to be concerned about the scoreboard. The new version appears nowhere close to done, but the Giants are quickly making progress, and in the few minutes it took three team executives to brief the media on the ballpark, one percent of the scoreboard panels got completed. 

Bill Schlough, the team's Chief Information Officer, said there are no concerns about Opening Day. The $10 million Diamond Vision board will be fully operational by April 5, when the team returns home to host the Tampa Bay Rays. Schlough said the scoreboard will be more than two-thirds finished by Monday's exhibition game against the A's, and since the Giants have been testing it as they install rows, they will be able to use the completed portion Monday. 

Even that will represent a significant upgrade. The new scoreboard will be the first 4K version in the majors, and will be 153 feet wide and 70 feet high. It is more than three times the size of the previous one, with twice the resolution. 

Here are some other new things you'll see during the 2019 season ... 

--- There are two new high-profile gathering areas at the ballpark, The Cloud Club and The Waterfront. The Cloud Club is a lounge that replaced six existing suites on the suite level and features a bar, lounge seating and different views of the ballpark and bay. The Waterfront takes over for the last few rows of bleachers under the scoreboard, and has a premium bar with a great view of the bay. It will be completed after the other additions because the Giants can't really work on it while the scoreboard is being installed. 

The Field Club behind home plate was also fully remodeled. This is all the first step in a five-year plan to improve the park.  

--- The Oracle Park signage is up already.

--- On Opening Day, the Giants will start a season-long celebration of manager Bruce Bochy. They also will pay tribute to Hank Greenwald, Frank Robinson, Peter Magowan and Willie McCovey, all of whom passed away during the offseason. There will be a No. 44 patch on the jerseys, along with one honoring Magowan. 

The team also will honor first responders to the California wildfires. 

--- The Giants already have sold $2.1 million in tickets. They reduced their season ticket base from 30,500 to 26,000, which is still the second-highest in the majors. This was presented as something that will be beneficial to current season ticket holders looking to sell individual game tickets, but there's no hiding the fact that the team simply has lost a lot of season ticket holders over the previous two seasons. At one point, there was a long waiting list to get a season ticket.

If the season goes the way the last two did, expect some announced crowds under 30,000. That season ticket base always set a high baseline. 

--- This was announced previously, but the ballpark will exclusively take mobile tickets this season. You can no longer print them out at home, although the Giants will print them for you if you want to do that once you're at Third and King. 

[RELATED: Harper reveals Giants were runner-up for his new home]

--- On to the important stuff: The Giants will hand out Kruk and Kuip gnomes and a Let Pablo Pitch bobblehead.

Also, the Bruce Bochy giveaway on Game of Thrones Night (May 20) is the best thing they've handed out in a long, long time.