I don’t think you’re going to see the word “news” written too much on this website over the next few months. With the coronavirus suspending the MLB season indefinitely, there simply isn’t likely to be much news rolling through.
But San Francisco Giants President of Baseball Operations Farhan Zaidi talked with reporters on Thursday, and dished out some news. So we’ve got a few actual relevant baseball things to discuss.
Duggar and Anderson optioned
A few Spring Training moves have gone on as normal, even with Spring Training on hold. The Giants officially optioned both Steven Duggar and Shaun Anderson to AAA Sacramento.
Shaun Anderson and Steven Duggar were optioned to Triple-A.— Alex Pavlovic (@PavlovicNBCS) March 19, 2020
I’m not sure if there’s any reason for making these moves now. And while neither move is surprising, they do represent some minor falls from grace for these two prospects.
Anderson entered camp as many people’s favorite to win the closer job (if the Giants opt to have a traditional closer). After an up-and-down debut year as a starter in 2019, Anderson was moved to the bullpen late in the season. He had a few horrible outings, but also showed a lot of promise, and settled into things at the end of the year.
But the spring had not been kind to Anderson, who accumulated a 19.29 ERA in, admittedly, a tiny sample size. Anderson pitched 4.2 innings, but allowed a whopping 10 hits, including 3 home runs. He also walked a batter, while striking out 5.
Duggar entered camp with lower expectations, but it wasn’t long ago when there were high hopes for him as the team’s future starting center fielder. But with the team expressing confidence in corner outfielder Mike Yastrzemski and middle infielder Mauricio Dubon as centerfielders, it became clear that Duggar would need to be more than just a defensive stud to make the team.
Unfortunately his bat stayed cold in the spring, as he hit 4-21 with 1 triple, 3 walks, and 9 strikeouts.
They’ll get a chance to work on things in Sacramento, and we’ll likely see both in San Francisco at some point this year, assuming there’s a season.
Giants coronavirus update
Per Zaidi, no members of the Giants organization have taken tests for the coronavirus. This is certainly a good thing, as tests should be reserved for people experiencing symptoms.
Farhan Zaidi said nobody in the Giants organization has been tested for the novel coronavirus. No concerns as of now due to symptoms or contact.— Andrew Baggarly (@extrabaggs) March 19, 2020
It appears that the pandemic has largely avoided MLB, presumably since the teams weren’t really traveling yet. A few minor leaguers have tested positive, but there are no known cases of MLB players.
Compare that to the NBA, where 10 players have already tested positive, including stars Kevin Durant, Donovan Mitchell, and Rudy Gobert.
Giants to pay minor leaguers, shut down facilities
As I wrote yesterday, MLB is working on a plan to pay their minor league players the standard minor league salary during the season suspension. The league announced that all players will be paid through April 8, which was the scheduled start of the minor league season, and that they’re working to ensure pay following that time, until baseball resumes.
Zaidi mentioned to reporters that the Giants will be paying their minor leaguers more than what the league is mandating. It’s unclear exactly what this means. The Giants had already committed to raising minor league pay rates above the MLB standard for this year, so it may just mean that the Giants are following MLB’s plan, but at their own scheduled pay rates, which are higher.
Zaidi also confirmed that the team’s facilities in Scottsdale, Arizona, have been shut down.
Farhan Zaidi said Giants closed both facilities in Scottsdale. They're providing additional money for minor leaguers, above what MLB announced today.— Alex Pavlovic (@PavlovicNBCS) March 19, 2020
Beede to have Tommy John
I wrote about this yesterday, but right-handed pitcher Tyler Beede will undergo Tommy John surgery today. Beede sprained his UCL a little over two weeks ago.
Tyler Beede is having Tommy John surgery tomorrow, Farhan Zaidi announced.— Alex Pavlovic (@PavlovicNBCS) March 19, 2020
The suspension of the season apparently did not play a role in the team deciding to move forward with surgery, rather than non-surgical rehab.
Zaidi: Doctor's consensus was for Tyler Beede to undergo surgery given his age and the possible recurrence of elbow pain if he tried to rehab it. The pause in the 2020 schedule wasn't really a factor.— Andrew Baggarly (@extrabaggs) March 19, 2020
That’s all the news for now, and likely for a while.
Update: International signing
The Giants signed 17-year old shortstop Javier Alexander Francisco, who is from the Dominican Republic.
Thanks to readers gianator and Split Change for pointing this out:
Giants signed SS/RHH Javier Alexander Francisco (17Y, 6’2” 162, Dominican Republic) to an international free agent contract. Article about him from last year, talking similarities between him and Fernando Tatis Jr. https://t.co/0oAeHIWuYp— GPT (@giantsprospects) March 17, 2020