Giants

Source: Giants to put Buster Posey on disabled list

Source: Giants to put Buster Posey on disabled list

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants put Buster Posey on the seven-day concussion disabled list Tuesday, with Tim Federowicz getting called up to back up Nick Hundley. To clear a spot for Federowicz, who was not on the 40-man roster, right-hander Clayton Blackburn was designated for assignment. 

Posey was said to be feeling alright Tuesday, but the team committed to making the move out of an abundance of caution. There was no need to take any risks given Posey’s position, a source told NBC Sports Bay Area. 

Posey was hit on the back of the helmet by a 94 mph Taijuan Walker fastball in the first inning of Monday’s home opener. He sat down, waiting for trainer Dave Groeschner with a dazed look on his face. Groeschner immediately pulled Posey from the game and took him to the clubhouse for tests, which Posey passed. 

Posey told teammates that he felt normal, and that he was not experiencing the symptoms he expected. On his way out of the ballpark, Posey told NBC Bay Area that he felt fine. But the training staff monitored Posey overnight to make sure he did not have a delayed reaction. 

The Giants have embraced a much more proactive approach to concussions after several players suffered from late-showing symptoms in recent years. Brandon Belt missed 12 games with a concussion in 2014, returned too early, and then missed another 34 games after seeing a specialist. Joe Panik played for over a week after getting hit in the head last season and then ended up missing 23 games after he revealed that he didn’t feel right. 

Major League Baseball instituted a seven-day concussion DL for situations like this one, although it was unclear how much time Posey is expected to miss. He was set to address the media before Tuesday's game. 

Federowicz has played 106 big league games for the Dodgers and Cubs. He hit .323 this spring with seven doubles and did such a solid job with the staff that Bruce Bochy identified his group of four catchers as the deepest he has ever had. Federowicz reworked the late-March opt-out in his contract and accepted an assignment to Triple-A Sacramento. 

Trevor Brown was previously the third catcher on the 40-man roster, but he started the season on the DL with an ankle injury and in recent days he has been worn down by an illness. 

Blackburn, 24, won the Pacific Coast League ERA title in 2015 but he had a 4.36 ERA in 2016. A right-hander with a varied pitch mix and strong command, Blackburn seems a solid bet to find a 40-man job elsewhere. With the Giants, he had fallen behind other young starters like Ty Blach and Tyler Beede. 

Mike Yastrzemski has seen power surge in first season with Giants

Mike Yastrzemski has seen power surge in first season with Giants

PHOENIX -- Forget three homers for a second, Mike Yastrzemski had never even hit two in a big league game before. He couldn't remember ever hitting three in a minor league game, or at Vanderbilt, or in college or even Little League. 

"Not even in a video game," Yastrzemski said late Friday night. 

MLB rookies are putting up video game numbers this season, and the 28-year-old outfielder has joined the party. His three-homer game Friday helped the Giants edge the Diamondbacks 10-9 in extra innings and made him the first Giants leadoff hitter in history to hit three in a game. 

Yastrzemski never hit more than 15 in a minor league season with the Orioles. Counting his time in Triple-A with the Giants, he now has 28 homers across two levels in just 110 games this season. 

The story is a familiar one in modern baseball. Yastrzemski knew he had to change his profile after last season, so he spent time making minor tweaks while working out at Vanderbilt with former teammate and current Cub Tony Kemp. A few new drills were added, but not to increase the homer count. Yastrzemski was just trying to put the barrel on the ball more consistently and keep the bat in the strike zone longer. 

The results have been stunning. Yastrzemski should sail past the 20-homer mark, which hasn't been hit by a Giant since Brandon Crawford in 2015. He needs just one more to tie Buster Posey's total from his rookie year. 

The third homer last night showed that Yastrzemski still is learning and making adjustments. Earlier this year Yastrzemski expressed regret about letting some hittable pitches get by him early in counts. 

"Those are the pitches you can't let hit the mitt," hitting coach Alonzo Powell told him.

[RELATED: Giants equipped for evolving MLB after six-homer game]

When Yastrzemski came up in the 11th inning Friday, he was ready to be aggressive. Yoan Lopez grooved a first-pitch fastball and it left the park at 106 mph, landing 438 feet away in center field. 

"It's been fun to watch what he's been able to do," center fielder Kevin Pillar said. 

Giants appear to be equipped for changing MLB with six homers in Arizona

Giants appear to be equipped for changing MLB with six homers in Arizona

PHOENIX -- This April, a veteran Giant called a reporter over to his locker and held two baseballs up. One was from 2018 and one was from a start a few days earlier. It was clear then that the balls had changed, and over the summer it has gotten even worse. 

When Mike Yastrzemski hit his third homer in the 11th inning Friday, he became the third rookie in the last week to accomplish the feat. The Giants and Diamondbacks came one homer shy of tying the MLB record of 13 homers in a game, set ... just two months ago. Friday night's game was the first in NL history in which both teams hit six homers. You can go on and on to prove the same point. 

The baseball has changed. Baseball itself has changed. You could even argue it's broken. 

"It ... it looked like we were playing with a Top Flite the way it was flying," manager Bruce Bochy said, a shaken look on his face. "They're getting out quickly, too. They're no-doubters when it gets up there. In this park you're going to give up homers, but you don't think you'll see 12. It's been flying everywhere."

There's little doubt about what's going on -- despite what the commissioner's office might tell you -- and that's bad news for pitchers. The good news for the Giants, though, is that they're finally equipped to handle the change. 

They actually won this shootout, outlasting the Diamondbacks 10-9 in a wild 11-inning game. Yastrzemski, acquired at the end of the spring, became the first Giant since Jarrett Parker to hit three homers in a game, and the first Giants leadoff hitter to do it, period. Pillar, acquired a few days into the season, hit two of his own. Brandon Belt added the sixth. 

On a night when they had to slug it, the Giants did. Their pitchers gave up six homers, but it didn't cost them in the end. 

Pillar said the hitters are trying to keep a consistent approach throughout. When they get on the road, it pays off. They have 86 homers on the road compared to 48 at home. 

Pillar has been a big part of that, but Yastrzemski is the real revelation. He never hit more than 15 homers in a minor league season. This year he has 28 across two levels, including 16 in the big leagues. 

"I've never tried to hit homers," he said. "For whatever reason, it's just kind of been part of the results this year."

Yastrzemski and Pillar were already having good nights when the bullpen blew it. They tacked on in extras. 

[RELATED: Watch Giants rookie Mike Yastrzemski hit three homers vs. Diamondbacks]

Pillar knew Yoshi Hirano wouldn't go back to his splitter with a runner on first, so he sat fastball and blasted the ninth pitch of his 10th-inning at-bat out to left. When Will Smith gave the lead back with two homers, Yastrzemski stepped up. His homer to dead center, the 12th of the night, would finally hold up. 

"I've been part of some rollercoasters," he said. "But nothing like that."