Tyler Anderson

Joey Bart, three other Giants are intriguing Duane Kuiper, Mike Krukow

Joey Bart, three other Giants are intriguing Duane Kuiper, Mike Krukow

The Giants will have some interesting roster decisions to make when Summer Camp wraps up in a few weeks.

Unlike a normal spring training when the team would break camp with a 25-man roster, manager Gabe Kapler will take an initial 30-man roster into the abbreviated 60-game 2020 MLB season.

Guys that might have missed the cut in March might make the expanded roster now.

For Giants broadcasters Mike Krukow and Duane Kuiper, there are a few bubble players they are hoping make the team. Some you've heard of, some are lesser known.

"I want to see some more of Joey Bart," Krukow told NBC Sports Bay Area's Kelli Johnson last week. "He was quite intriguing when we got to see him in spring training. He look like he's in the comfort zone and he's ready to make a contribution."

Bart, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2018 MLB Draft, is arguably the Giants' best prospect. During spring training in March, the 23-year-old catcher recorded seven hits in 16 at-bats and connected for two home runs.

While Bart is on the Giants' 60-man roster, he's expected to go train at the alternate site in Sacramento to begin the season. Right now, the team would rather have him get consistent work than sit behind Buster Posey at the big league level. Of course, everything could change if Posey decides to opt out of the season.

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Krukow also wants to see left-handed pitcher Tyler Anderson, who faced the Giants seven times over the last four season.

"When we saw him two years ago, he was one of the best left-handers in the league," Krukow said. "And then he fell flat last year, completely fell out of grace in the eyes of the Rockies. He wasn't hurt. He was mechanically screwed up, I think he had a few little minor problems. But I think he's going to be ready to go once they reconvene and I think that's an intriguing matchup, him in that ballpark."

During the Rule 5 draft in December, the Giants used one of their picks to claim right-handed pitcher Dany Jimenez from the Toronto Blue Jays.

"[Jimenez] threw the ball really well," Kuiper said. "He's got to make the team, otherwise you give him back. And it looks like with this roster expanded now, I mean, why wouldn't he make the team?"

In seven innings pitched over six relief appearances for the Giants this spring, the 26-year-old posted a 2.57 ERA.

Kuiper mentioned one other Giants prospect, though this pitcher didn't make the 60-man Summer Camp roster.

"The other guy, he hasn't had a lot of years in the minor leagues, the Sean Hjelle kid, the kid that's 7-foot-3, something like that," Kuiper said. "I mean, he's so intriguing that you'd almost like to have him on the roster just so you could see what people would react to when you walked through the lobby of a hotel. It would be awesome. 'Well, there's the baseball team,' 'No, that's not a baseball team. Gotta be a basketball team, right?'

"So I want this kid on the team, and maybe he's got a chance to make it."

[RELATED: Posey, Belt face inevitable risk]

Kuiper likely won't get to see Hjelle this season, but 6-foot-11 pitcher is expected to be a big part of the Giants' future.

Jimenez and Anderson likely will pitch for the Giants this season, and Bart could see time if an opportunity to get him consistent at-bats presents itself.

Giants roster breakdown: Johnny Cueto, veterans to fill out rotation

Giants roster breakdown: Johnny Cueto, veterans to fill out rotation

In recent Giants seasons, it has become relatively commonplace for a team's PR staff to put out game notes that list a bunch of TBDs as the pitching probables. Managers are becoming more and more hesitant to give away even seemingly innocuous information, and the surge of openers has made it even more difficult to predict what a series might look like. 

This season, you can expect even more of this, but for a whole new reason. With just three weeks to prepare for a 60-game season, teams do not expect to have true five-man rotations. Giants manager Gabe Kapler made it clear earlier this week that his starting staff will carry a much different type of workload, but there still will be a starting staff in some form.

Here in Part II of our Summer Camp preview, we take a look at the guys who likely will start the most games for the Giants over 60 games. 

Johnny Cueto

The last thing Kapler did before spring training shut down was name Cueto his Opening Day starter, and there's no reason to think that'll change. Kapler and his coaches have been regularly checking in with their pitchers, but all you need to keep tabs on Cueto is an Instagram account. He has been posting regular videos of his bullpen sessions and recently uploaded a fun series of matchups with former Giant Eduardo Nuñez:

Cueto returned from Tommy John for four up-and-down starts last September, and on Opening Day, it will have been 24 months since his last big league start of more than five innings. But the Giants have always thought Cueto would age well, and if he can find his healthy 2016 form (18-5, 2.79 ERA) they'll have a much better shot of staying in contention. 

Jeff Samardzija

Few, if any, Giants have more at stake this season than Samardzija, who is coming off an underrated 2019. He threw 181 1/3 innings last year with a 3.52 ERA, and this is the final season of a five-year deal he signed on the eve of the Winter Meetings in 2015. 

Samardzija turned 35 in January and is the type of mid-level player you would expect to have a tough time this offseason given the grudge owners will hold, but he has 10-12 starts now to state his case. 

Kevin Gausman

It seems like it's been three years since the right-hander signed a one-year, $9 million deal. Back in December, the Gausman agreement looked like it could set both sides up for the future. Gausman, a former first-round pick, had a great chance to rebuild his value before hitting free agency again. For the Giants, Gausman and Drew Smyly represented opportunities to potentially repeat the Drew Pomeranz-for-Mauricio Dubon deal they made last July.

What does this all look like after the hiatus? The 29-year-old should have a dozen starts to build his value, but the Giants likely will not be in a position to be all that active at a deadline that comes after just five weeks of games. 

Gausman had some success as a reliever for the Reds last season and he was throwing well this spring. Perhaps the Giants will have him air it out a bit more than he normally would in the early innings, making him more of a power starter than he would have been over 162 games. 

Drew Smyly

The Giants gave Smyly a $4 million deal in January and immediately threw him into the rotation, and like Gausman, he was throwing well in Scottsdale. Smyly should be right at home in a strange season, as he has started and relieved in his career. 

Smyly hasn't been a full-time member of a starting rotation since 2016 and has dealt with some serious injuries, but the left-hander is still just 31 and he has a chance to set himself up nicely for the offseason. Teams are expected to be stingy, but left-handed starters are always in high demand.

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Logan Webb and Tyler Anderson

The fifth starter spot was supposed to go to Tyler Beede, but his elbow started barking in Scottsdale and he had Tommy John surgery in March. Beede won't miss nearly as many games as first anticipated, but he'll be out all of this year and could miss the beginning of next season. 

It seems unlikely that Kapler even names a full-time fifth starter at this point, but there are two guys who stand above the rest -- the Giants have plenty of former starters headed for their bullpen -- as likely candidates to take the ball.

Webb might have given Beede a true run for this role in spring training had it not been for an innings limit. Because of a suspension, he only threw 103 innings last year. The Giants were going to slow-play Webb early in the year, but now the harness can be taken off. Webb is just 23 and showed flashes of his potential last season. Over 60 games, perhaps he'll grab a long-term spot in the rotation. 

[RELATED: How Giants highest-paid player in 2020 isn't with team]

Anderson had knee surgery last year that was supposed to keep him out until about June. Well, it's July, and he'll be a full go in camp and ready for Opening Day. The lefty had a 4.69 ERA in four seasons with the Rockies and the Giants were excited to get him to sea level. 

It's unclear how deep he'll be able to go in starts given the long layoff, but Anderson and Webb might form a pretty effective duo if the Giants piggyback their fifth starter. Webb is a hard-throwing righty and Anderson relies heavily on a cutter and changeup from the left side. They would give completely different looks to an opposing lineup. 

Giants expect healthy Pablo Sandoval, Tony Watson with season coming


Giants expect healthy Pablo Sandoval, Tony Watson with season coming

After more than three months of waiting, the MLB Players Association finally tweeted out the good news Tuesday evening. 

"All remaining issues have been resolved and the Players are reporting to training camps," the union said. 

You can forgive them for the lack of an exclamation point. This has been a long, nasty process, but on Tuesday players got the news they've been waiting for. The Giants will return to Oracle Park on July 1 for the start of Spring Training 2.0 -- Summer Training? -- with Opening Day set for July 23 or 24.

Ironically, the roster is in better shape than it was in mid-March, at which point the Giants had already spent a month preparing for the season. Players have been working out in preparation for this day, and some injured players have had months to heal, including potential closer Tony Watson, who might have missed the start of the original year with shoulder tightness. 

"Watty is feeling much better. He might need a tiny bit more time to ramp up once we start camp but he's doing good, feeling better than when we broke camp," manager Gabe Kapler told NBC Sports Bay Area. "Tyler Anderson is going to be good to go. Pablo Sandoval is going to be ready to play third base. Aramis Garcia could be ready as early as mid to late August. Moronta could be ready for us in late August or early in September."

[RELATED: MLB power rankings - Where Giants stand before restart]

Sandoval was far ahead in his rehab from Tommy John surgery this spring, but the Giants originally thought he would need until about May 1 to be ready to play the field and join the roster. He now can potentially platoon with Evan Longoria at third base. Anderson (knee) was supposed to be out for half the year but now will join a pitching staff that likely will not have a set five-man rotation and instead will rely partially on creative methods to fill innings. Garcia had hip surgery in the spring and Moronta had shoulder surgery last year. Both were originally expected to miss most of the 2020 season. 

All the players will report to Oracle Park, where the Giants have spent recent weeks figuring out ways to spread players out. It's likely that some drills will take place in concourses, and team executives have explored the idea of building batting cages out there since fans won't be attending games. They also plan to spread players out to both the home and visiting clubhouses.

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