Hello and happy Tuesday, San Francisco Giants fans.
‘Tis the season for minor news. Sometimes even Minors news. In this case, both.
The Giants have fed us a little bit of news in the last few days, as they continue to prep for their March 30 opener against Aaron Judge (not to be confused with Arson Judge, who is on the Giants).
First up: the team has made their initial round of camp cuts. This is a common thing that will happen a few more times over the next few weeks as the size of Major League camp dwindles (even with the latest cuts, there are 66 players in camp). At this stage, the cuts really don’t mean anything other than confirming that players we knew wouldn’t make the Opening Day roster will, indeed, not make the Opening Day roster. But still, there’s always an option to read into things too much, so let’s see if we can do that.
The Giants reassigned 11 players to Minor League camp: right-handed pitchers Ljay Newsome, Joe Ross, and Drew Strotman; left-handed pitchers Sean Newcomb, Darien Núñez, and Daniel Tillo; infielders Donovan Walton, Colton Welker, and Brady Whalen; and catchers Brett Cumberland and Andy Thomas. A decent amount of those players were already at Minor League camp, which is where the rehabbing players hang out and ... well ... rehab.
San Francisco also optioned one player: right-handed pitcher Randy Rodríguez. I don’t particularly think there’s a reason to read much into that, but it is worth noting that Rodríguez — a Rule 5 selection over a year ago, who made it to AAA last season — is the first player in camp to be optioned.
Speaking of the Minors, the Giants announced two new additions to the Minor League coaching staff, and they’re both former draft picks by the team. Over at High-A Eugene, Tommy Joseph has been named the hitting coach. Joseph was a second-round pick by the Giants in 2009, the year they drafted Zack Wheeler. He was the biggest piece that the Giants sent to the Philadelphia Phillies in exchange for Hunter Pence. He made the Majors in 2016, but his MLB career only lasted two years. He’s spent the last two seasons as a hitting coach in the New York Mets organization.
And one of the Giants two rookie ball teams will welcome in Jacob Heyward as manager. Heyward — the younger brother of All-Star Jason — was a 19th-round pick in 2016 by the Giants. He flashed promised, but spent the last three seasons with AA Richmond, and really struggled in 2022. Already 27 years old, it seemed clear that he had no future playing for the Giants, and his path to the Majors seemed pretty slim. It’s awesome to see him staying around the game in such a cool capacity, which just may lead to him making the Majors eventually!
And very excitingly, Joe Panik is returning to help out with player development!
Former infielder and World Series champion Joe Panik is back in the #SFGiants organization as a special assistant in player development, per the club's media guide. Panik, 32, retired in May.— Steven Rissotto (@StevenRissotto) March 7, 2023
And finally, some lame news.
You might have noticed that the Giants have not had a televised game since their Spring Training opener. And they don’t have one until Sunday. That’s because they barely have any.
Over at Baseball America, J.J. Cooper counted up the televised games for Spring Training. The Los Angeles Dodgers lead the way with 30 broadcasts, and five teams have at least 20. The Giants? They have six. Only the Colorado Rockies, Washington Nationals, and Baltimore Orioles have fewer.