Christian Arroyo

Giants fan catches first-ever foul ball in his beer, chugs it accordingly

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NBC Sports Bay Area

Giants fan catches first-ever foul ball in his beer, chugs it accordingly

Sometimes you're in the right place at the right time. Especially if you're Giants fan Steve Kings.

Kings, of Sacramento, caught a foul ball Saturday -- but this wasn't just any foul ball. In the top of the third inning of the Giants-Rays game at Oracle Park, Christian Arroyo hit a ball into the stands ...

... and it landed in Kings' beer.

"It bounced off of here, and straight into the beer," Kings told NBC Sports Bay Area's Ali Thanawalla.

Kings chugged the beer accordingly.

This was Kings' first-ever caught foul ball, and he celebrated it with perfection.

Did the beer taste any different? Luckily, no.

"Tasted like leather and beer," Kings said.

Kings is the hero we didn't ask for, but the hero we deserve.

Christian Arroyo, not Matt Duffy, returns to Oracle Park to face Giants

Christian Arroyo, not Matt Duffy, returns to Oracle Park to face Giants

SAN FRANCISCO -- Matt Duffy is one of the more popular players to come through Oracle Park in recent years, but he won't be there to get a standing ovation on Friday afternoon when the Giants host the Rays in their home opener (weather permitting, of course). 

Duffy missed most of the spring with a hamstring injury and had a back issue pop up that will keep him out until May. The third baseman told the Tampa Bay Times that he tweaked his back before spring training while working out. 

"I thought (the two injuries) were unrelated things, and in a way they are unrelated," he said. "But they are not helping each other. It's part of the game. It's frustrating."

That's a word that can describe much of Duffy's career since the Giants sent him away at the deadline in 2016. He was shut down in September of that year and missed all of 2017 with an Achilles injury. The latest Injured List stint will keep him from returning to a place where he won a World Series title, became a fan favorite, and developed into one of the better young infielders in the National League. 

Of course, that deal might have been more frustrating for the Giants. There probably is no such thing as the Curse of Matt Duffy, but ...

The Giants were 61-44 and in first place when they dealt Duffy and prospects to the Rays in a deal that brought Matt Moore back. The thought was that Moore could help anchor a title run, but the deal was a stunner nonetheless, and it came as a shock even in the clubhouse, where players had grown so accustomed to keeping the gang together and Duffy served as a bridge between the core and younger players trying to break in. 

The Giants went 26-31 the rest of the way, just sneaking into the postseason, where they lost to the Cubs in heartbreaking fashion. 

Add up the two-plus down years since and the organization is 165-223 since the Duffy deal. 

Duffy has played just 153 games for the Rays, but he did have a two-WAR season in 2018, posting a .294/.361/.366 line. Perhaps Duffy would have stayed healthy on the natural grass at Oracle Park, but it's doubtful the Giants have many regrets. The real issues with that trade might be everything else it led to. 

The Giants also included Lucius Fox after giving him $6 million to sign out of the Bahamas. Fox, 21, is now a top 100 prospect according to some evaluators. The other player in that deal, pitcher Michael Santos, flamed out. 

[RELATED: How to watch Giants' home opener vs. Rays on MyTeams app]

There were other parts of this deal, too. The Giants ended up swapping Moore for Sam Wolff, a right-handed reliever in their system. To fill the Duffy spot long-term, they made another trade for the Rays, acquiring Evan Longoria for a package headlined by Christian Arroyo. 

It is Arroyo, not Duffy, who likely will be at third base at some point in this homecoming. The former first-round pick of the Giants had a rough 2018 and was sent to minor league camp early this spring, but injuries -- including Duffy's -- led to a promotion last week.  

Giants' trades for Andrew McCutchen and Evan Longoria haven't stung

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USATSI

Giants' trades for Andrew McCutchen and Evan Longoria haven't stung

SAN FRANCISCO — Two years ago at this time, the Matt Moore-Matt Duffy trade looked pretty good for the Giants. Moore was sharp down the stretch in 2016, and in his final regular-season start, he allowed one run over eight innings for a big win over the Dodgers. Nine days later, Moore was brilliant in Game 4 of the NLDS, nearly dragging the Giants back to Chicago before the bullpen imploded. 

That trade looks different after a couple more seasons. Duffy missed all of 2017 with injuries but posted a 2.4 WAR season in 2018, which would have led the Giants. Moore was so inconsistent last season that the Giants dumped him on the Rangers -- who had to move him to the bullpen -- and he finished 2018 with a 6.79 ERA. Lucius Fox had a down year in the Rays’ system, but he’s still just 21 and already in Double-A, so there’s promise there. 

The Giants would like this one back, but to be fair, they did get what they wanted out of Moore. He nearly became a postseason hero in orange and black. 

The marquee additions for the next Even Year weren't able to get the Giants to the postseason. Andrew McCutchen was the lineup’s most consistent hitter before he was traded, and after that move, Evan Longoria served as the most dangerous Giant. But both players saw their numbers dip after a move to AT&T Park, and the offense wasn’t any better. 

Will the Giants regret the trades, though? Here’s a look at the players they sent away last winter. 

The McCutchen Trade
Kyle Crick: The former first-rounder had a nice year out of the Pirates’ bullpen, posting a 2.39 ERA and 1.13 WHIP in 64 appearances. Could the Giants use another good cost-controlled righty in their bullpen? Sure. But Reyes Moronta slid into this role and excelled, and you’re never going to lose all that much sleep over trading a reliever who is good but not quite dominant. 

Bryan Reynolds: This is where it gets interesting. The Giants thought they had a steal when they took Reynolds in the second round in 2016, and after an early injury this year, he posted a .302/.381/.438 slash line in Double-A. Reynolds has just 23 homers in over 1,000 minor league at-bats, but he’s only 23, and if the power develops, it’ll be a tough pill for a Giants organization that is somehow incapable of developing starting outfielders. On the other hand, they dealt McCutchen for Abiatal Avelino, who might wind up being better than Reynolds. 

The Longoria Trade: 
Denard Span: His salary was foisted on the Rays, who in turn traded him to Seattle. Span had a .760 OPS and 11 homers in 2018, but the only regret the Giants should have here is not related to this trade. Perhaps they should have put Span in left field all along and just taken the solid at-bats. In center, he was miscast, and the Giants had to replace him. 

Christian Arroyo: Like many of the prospects he came up with, Arroyo hasn't been able to stay healthy. He played 48 minor-league games this season and just 20 in the majors, where he had a .264/.339/.396 slash line. Arroyo is still just 23 and has plenty of time to turn into a good big leaguer, but for now, the Giants can be happy with the Longoria choice over at the hot corner.  

Matt Krook/Stephen Woods: The Giants also sent two pitching prospects to the Rays. Krook, a left-hander, mostly pitched out of the bullpen, with a 4.26 ERA and 95 strikeouts in 74 innings. Woods, a righty, was hurt all year. Like the others in this deal, they haven’t burned the Giants yet.