There were no huge surprises on Monday morning when the Giants made their first round of spring cuts, but there had to be some pretty disappointed players. Jaylin Davis, a member of the opening day roster a year ago, is probably at or near the top of that list.
Davis came to camp this spring hoping to hit his way into the outfield competition, but a familiar issue had him optioned to Triple-A on Monday. In 15 plate appearances, Davis struck out eight times, a run that was reminiscent of his six strikeouts in 12 plate appearances last season before being optioned.
Davis said he spoke to Kapler on Saturday so he knew the move was coming. He said his focus will continue to be on making more contact at the plate, something the Giants have harped on throughout his time with them. Kapler, asked about the decision, said "we definitely need to see more contact from Jaylin."
"We felt like it was the right time to put his mind on making progress with his contact and that's really the one thing that's going to keep him from being a major leaguer for a very long time," Kapler said. "He knows that, and we've talked about that."
Davis likely will begin the season in the same River Cats lineup as Joey Bart, who led a group of top prospects who were optioned or reassigned Monday. This was no surprise, as the Giants signed Curt Casali in January to be Buster Posey's backup.
"We've said all along that we really do believe that Joey could benefit from upper level minor league experience and the confidence that he will gain from having a lot of success at the upper levels of the minor leagues," Kapler said.
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There was one exception on a day when Bart, Marco Luciano, Patrick Bailey, Hunter Bishop and other prospects were taken off the big league camp's roster (they will remain at Scottsdale Stadium and train until minor league camp starts April 1). Heliot Ramos has nine hits -- including three homers -- in 22 at-bats this spring and remains as a non-roster invitee. He's not in the mix for the opening day roster, but he'll get a few more chances to prove he's close to being ready.
"Heliot has done a really nice job for us in camp," Kapler said. "We want to reward good performance. We're not always going to, because we may have other reasons for an option or reassignment, but in his particular case we think he's having a great camp and we just want to see a little bit more. I wouldn't read anything into it other than rewarding strong performance."