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Fans will get their first taste of the San Francisco Giants since last September on Friday at 12:05 p.m. in their Cactus League opener against the Milwaukee Brewers. A series of reports has indicated who they’ll see take the field throughout the weekend.
This isn't the batting order, but tomorrow's Giants lineup is expected to include, besides lefty Ty Blach, Nick Hundley (C), Ryder Jones (1B), Miguel Gomez (2B), Kelby Tomlinson (SS), Pablo Sandoval (3B) and, L to R in OF, Hunter Pence, Steven Duggar and Andrew McCutchen.
— Chris Haft/SF Giants (@sfgiantsbeat) February 22, 2018
This Friday will not only be the first time to watch Andrew McCutchen take the field as a member of the Giants, but it will also be the first opportunity to see Steven Duggar, who will start in centerfield, work to standout this spring. To this point in Spring Training, Duggar has shown off his line-drive producing swing, but what the Giants will be primarily looking for from the 24-year-old outfielder is his defense.
He was reputed in the minor leagues for his plus-defense and the Giants hope he can keep it up during Spring Training. Duggar is expected to make his major league debut sometime this season and become the keystone of the Giants’ centerfield platoon, which will likely consist of Gorkys Hernandez and Gregor Blanco.
Ryder Jones will start at first base against the Brewers, but he’s reportedly also going to try his hand in the outfield this spring. Last season at Triple-A Sacramento, Jones appeared in 22 games as an outfielder and even started a game in left field after being called up by the Giants last June.
He’s primarily a first and third baseman, but with those positions stocked up with veteran talent — Evan Longoria, Brandon Belt, and even Pablo Sandoval, who is a familiar sight in the hot corner, brought a first baseman’s glove to camp — adapting to the outfield might be only Jones’ ticket back to the major league roster.
#SFGiants pitchers this weekend
Friday: Blach, Suarez, P. Johnson, Snelten, Cyr, Younginer
Saturday: Stratton, Herb, Valdez, Okert, R Gomez, Moronta
Sunday: Bumgarner, Rodriguez, TBD
— Kerry Crowley (@KO_Crowley) February 22, 2018
As for pitching, the Giants will get to see Ty Blach, Chris Stratton, and Andrew Suarez appear in their first two Spring Training games. While Blach will start Friday’s game and Stratton was given the nod for Saturday’s game against the Los Angeles Dodgers, Suarez is listed to appear in relief against the Brewers.
Suarez is one of four prospects without any major league experience that will be given an opportunity to show what they’ve got during Spring Training’s opening weekend; along with Tyler Cyr, D.J. Snelten, and Tyler Herb. Madison Younginer, Roberto Gomez, Reyes Moronta, Steven Okert, Pierce Johnson, Jose Valdez and Dereck Rodriguez have all made their major league debuts, but are still working to earn a spot on the Giants’ pitching staff.
Although he won’t start the Cactus League opener, Madison Bumgarner will start on Saturday and then eventually start his fifth consecutive Opening Day on March 29, both against the Dodgers. This will be a telling season for Bumgarner, who went 4-6 in the 13 starts following his dirt biking accident last season. Never in his career has Bumgarner had to rebound from an injury of this magnitude and it will be paramount for him to succeed this season, starting in Spring Training.