Span misses another game; Giants finalize deal with veteran outfielder

Span misses another game; Giants finalize deal with veteran outfielder

PHOENIX -- Denard Span will likely miss three-quarters of the season-opening series because of a sore left hip. Span may be available as a pinch-hitter Thursday and he's feeling much better than he was when he missed Tuesday's game, but manager Bruce Bochy said he likely won't start until the Giants hit San Diego this weekend. 

"I don't think there's too much to be concerned about," Span said. "It felt unbelievable up until two days ago. It might just be a flareup."

Span had the hip surgically repaired after the 2015 season, but this issue is thought to be unrelated. Span said team trainers are having him take it easy for a couple of days so his hip capsule calms down. 

With Span out, Gorkys Hernandez gets another start. He drove in a career-high four runs on Tuesday, picking up two hits and a walk. Hernandez saw 26 pitches while taking over atop the lineup. 

In other outfield news, the Drew Stubbs minor league deal is official. He will make a prorated portion of a $1 million contract if he's in the big leagues and $130,000 while with Triple-A Sacramento. The deal also includes performance bonuses. 

--- Cody Ross has joined the staff as a coach, but he won't be around for every game. The schedule is still being worked out. 

"You look at the staff and what we don't have is a true outfielder," Bochy said. "That's what he is. That's why we wanted him here to look at the outfielders and look at positioning. He's a big help, to be honest."

--- The homer Brandon Crawford hit -- on a high inside pitch -- was a rare swing for him. That's not usually his sweet spot. Bochy pointed to it as another example of a player getting better every year. Crawford will keep moving up the lineup, too. The former No. 8 hitter is locked in as the No. 5 guy, and he'll hit cleanup when Buster Posey takes days off. 

--- The Diamondbacks missed the deadline to challenge a play last night. The replay system now has a digital clock that counts down from 30 seconds as soon as the play is over. It's the same system on both sides, so both teams (that would be Shawon Dunston and Chad Chop in the visiting clubhouse here) will be notified if it's too late to challenge. The replay officials in New York also see the clock. 

--- The Giants will face Luis Perdomo, Jhoulys Chacin and Clayton Richard this weekend. Richard dominated the Dodgers last night and the Giants took note, but they won't adjust their rotation to line Madison Bumgarner and Matt Moore up for the first series of the year between the rivals. The Giants might, however, sneak Ty Blach into the No. 5 spot during a Dodgers series if the spot comes up. That's how glaring their weakness against left-handed starters is right now. Blach, of course, enjoys facing the Dodgers. 

--- If you missed it, some morning notes on George Kontos facing lefties, Hunter Strickland adjusting his mechanics, and more.

MLB Power Rankings 2019: Giants, A's open in middle of the pack


MLB Power Rankings 2019: Giants, A's open in middle of the pack

The MLB standings have an odd look right now. The Mariners are 2-0. The A's are 0-2. The other 28 teams are 0-0. 

That's what happens when you have two teams open their season overseas a week in advance, but the rest of the league will catch up on Thursday.

There will be early-season surprises and disappointments, and you can count on panic in at least one big market. That's the case every year.

But before the other 28 teams officially get going, let's take a look around the majors for our first edition of the Power Rankings, with a special focus on some guys who have Giants ties:


These Giants can reach major career milestones during 2019 MLB season

These Giants can reach major career milestones during 2019 MLB season

SAN FRANCISCO -- It has been 10 years since we first saw Buster Posey take the field for the Giants at Oracle Park. That emotional moment in Bruce Bochy's office when Brandon Belt found out he made the team? That was eight years ago. Brandon Crawford is about to begin his eighth season as the everyday shortstop. 

In other words, this core has been around a long time, and that means some of these guys are moving up the franchise charts and coming up on statistical milestones. Here are some to keep an eye on in 2019: 

Buster Posey

As a full-time big leaguer, Posey has only had two seasons where he wasn't worth at least four Wins Above Replacement -- and he had season-ending surgery both times. With another four-WAR season, Posey will move well into the top 10 on the franchise list, all the way up to seventh. He's currently 12th with 41.3 career WAR, per Baseball-Reference. He has a long, long way to catch franchise leader Willie Mays (154.8)

Brandon Crawford

It's been four years since the shortstop hit 21 homers, and the Giants haven't had anyone reach 20 since.

But Crawford needs just 13 this season to become the 31st player in franchise history to hit 100 homers with the Giants. He has 14 each of the past two seasons. 

Posey vs. Crawford

These longtime friends like to take good-natured shots at each other when it comes to stats (usually when stolen bases are involved), so we should point out that Crawford (58) is just three intentional walks behind Posey (61). Crawford needs two free passes this year to pass Matt Williams and move into 10th place on the franchise list. 

The Brandons

They like to tease each other, too, so we should also point out that Belt enters the season with 199 career doubles and Crawford is at 198. Game on. 

Madison Bumgarner

With 110 career wins, Bumgarner has surpassed former teammates Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain. He needs 11 this season to move from 16th to 12th on the franchise's win list. Bumgarner will need an extension to get any higher than that. 

There's a nice round number at play, too. A couple of injury-marred years have bumped Bumgarner up to a 3.03 ERA. If he gets past 200 innings as he hopes and has an ERA in the 2.70 range, he would hit free agency with a career ERA that starts with the number two. That would surely please his agent. 

Bumgarner is also eighth on the franchise list with 1,591 strikeouts and he could move all the way to fourth, just ahead of Lincecum, if he spends the whole season in San Francisco. The left-hander needs 104 strikeouts to pass Cain (currently fifth) and 114 to pass Lincecum. 

Gerardo Parra

The next time Parra throws a runner out, he'll reach 100 assists for his career. He has 47 career assists in left, 38 in right and 14 in center.

If this feels to you like a rare arm on the Giants, you'd be correct. Over the last five seasons, the Giants rank 29th in the Majors with 103 outfield assists. Parra has 45 by himself during that time. 

Evan Longoria

If he matches last season's 54 RBI, Longoria will reach 1,000 for his career. He's also 23 homers from 300. Hitting that mark would be huge for the Giants offense. 

[RELATED: Giants open 2019 in middle of pack in MLB Power Rankings]

Bruce Bochy

Finally, there's the man who already has said this will be his final season. Bochy needs 74 wins to become the 10th to reach 2,000 as a manager. 

If the Giants can shake off the last two seasons and finish with a winning record (82-80), Bochy would tie Leo Durocher for 10th all-time in wins. It would obviously be pretty cool for him if he could get sole possession of that 10th spot, and given the state of today's game, it's unlikely that any future manager would ever knock Bochy out of the top 10. 

Finally, there's a goal that seems highly improbable. If the Giants win 90 games, Bochy would walk away with an even .500 record (2,016-2,016). Although if Bochy wins 90 games with this roster, Farhan Zaidi should probably talk him out of retirement.