Giants

Why Vladimir Guerrero Jr. MLB debut makes Giants' Bruce Bochy feel old

vladjr.jpg
USATSI

Why Vladimir Guerrero Jr. MLB debut makes Giants' Bruce Bochy feel old

SAN FRANCISCO -- Bruce Bochy will spend parts of this season reminiscing as he walks into visiting ballparks for the last time, but all those memories are not the only reminders of how long the Giants' manager has been in the game. 

On Opening Day, the Giants watched the debut of San Diego's Fernando Tatis Jr. Bochy played with the 20-year-old's grandfather in the Astros' minor-league system, and managed against teams featuring his father. On Saturday, Bochy watched as Pirates rookie Cole Tucker sunk the Giants with a game-winning two-run homer. Later that night, Jackie Tucker visited Bochy in his office. The two have ties to the same community college in South Florida and Jackie played with Bochy's brother, Joe.

There's a chance this strange tour will continue Tuesday. The Blue Jays are close to bringing up Vladimir Guerrero Jr., who is either the top prospect in the game or right behind Tatis Jr. Asked about the possibility in Pittsburgh on Sunday, Bochy smiled. 

"It shows you you're getting old," he cracked. "That's the biggest thing."

Guerrero Jr., 20, hit 20 homers with an OPS over 1.000 while tearing up three levels in the minors last season. An injury -- and service time concerns -- delayed the promotion discussion this spring, but he already has reached base eight times in 20 plate appearances in Triple-A, homering twice. He is ready, but there have been conflicting reports about when he might join the Blue Jays. 

A source said Sunday that Blue Jays players did not think the super-prospect would debut Tuesday. But, Bochy and some others in the Giants clubhouse seemed to think that was a strong possibility. 

[RELATED: Where each MLB team stands right now]

Bochy saw plenty of Vlad Sr. over the years. If he sees the son, it'll continue a theme that includes Bochy's own players, too. Bochy now manages Dereck Rodriguez, son of Pudge, and he managed his own son, Brett, for seven big-league appearances. 

"It's kind of cool to see these kids of ex-teammates and guys I managed against coming up and doing so well," Bochy said. "You see their talent."

Why Giants' Bruce Bochy had such a hard time DFAing Mac Williamson

Why Giants' Bruce Bochy had such a hard time DFAing Mac Williamson

SAN FRANCISCO -- It wasn't an easy conversation.

Giants manager Bruce Bochy had to break the news to Mac Williamson that the team had designated the outfielder for assignment Saturday. It was the second time the Giants DFA'd Williamson in the past two months.

As many times as the skipper has had these conversations, and as difficult as they must be, this was different.

"You pull for [the players] every day, but not as hard as I have for Mac, especially with him working hard to get this opportunity," Bochy said prior to the Giants' 10-4 loss to the D-backs later in the day.

But the team needed help, and Williamson was struggling at the plate. He had just six hits in 57 plate appearances with one home run and seven RBI. 

"You just get to a point where we just need some help and so it was not an easy one," Bochy added.

Bochy knows Williamson exemplifies being a Giant -- he was drafted by the team and he, by all accounts, is a Giant.

"He's had to deal with things like the concussion, so he'll go through waivers again and he can elect free agency. I don't know what's going to happen, but he's gotta keep pushing," Bochy said. "He'll get another opportunity and hopefully it works out well."

[RELATED: Mike Yastrzemski reacts to Giants call-up]

A mere few weeks ago, Williamson posted an emotional message on Instagram following a stellar outing with the Giants the day after his big league return. It was just one game, as he said, but it was a good one. 

For Williamson, however, that day in Denver could be one of his last positive memories as a Giant. And that will never sit well with his former skipper.

Watch Kevin Pillar make insane catch vs. D-backs in Giants double play

Watch Kevin Pillar make insane catch vs. D-backs in Giants double play

SAN FRANCISCO -- WOW.

You're not allowed to cheer from the pressbox, but I had my jaw practically on the floor during a crazy Kevin Pillar diving catch from the Giants right fielder.

In the top of the first inning of Saturday's D-backs vs. Giants game, Kevin Cron smacked a line drive to right field. If you watch the play, you were more than likely thinking there was no way Pillar would be able to snag it, but boy was I wrong.

Superman laid out and made the grab. But he wasn't done yet. He threw it in to second baseman Joe Panik who sent it to Brandon Belt for the double play to get Adam Jones out at first.

Insane.

Future note for any batters facing the Giants -- keep it away from anywhere Pillar might be playing.