© Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
The San Francisco Giants are now 13 games deep into spring training and, as happens every year, players are using the opportunity to make their case for being selected to the 25-man roster.
Whether they are prospects hoping to win a major league debut or veterans on a mission to show they’ve moved on from past struggles, there are several players in camp that have not only stood out to the Giants, but also KNBR’s resident baseball expert Marty Lurie. While appearing on The Krueg Show on Tuesday, Lurie shared which players have stuck out to him this spring training with host Larry Krueger.
“I think that there are a couple of guys that we didn’t talk about that, at some point, could see the big leagues,” Lurie said. “One of them is Tyler Cyr. He’s a very serious, confident young man. He’s a former starter at Embry-Riddle. He’s got four pitches and has got an idea of what to do…I think he has some promise. He’s got to be at Triple-A, but he has some promise.”
Cyr is a former tenth-round selection by the Giants, who is in the midst of his first major league spring Training. Thus far, he’s thrown 3.2 innings and has given up two runs with four walks and two strikeouts. Having been drafted in 2015, Cyr has only pitched as high as Double-A Richmond, but the Giants like the pitching repertoire the 24-year-old right-hander brings
“The other one is Dereck Rodriguez, believe it or not, Pudge Rodriguez’s kid,” Lurie said. “He’s here as a minor league free agent. He’s got the arm and is really learning how to pitch. He was an outfielder until a few years ago and then made him a pitcher, but I think there’s potential there.”
There’s hardly anyone in baseball that doesn’t know the name Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez, who was elected into the Hall of Fame during the offseason. His son, Dereck, is trying to make a name for himself with the Giants.
Formerly a sixth-round selection by the Minnesota Twins, the Giants signed Rodriguez to a minor league deal and, like Cyr, he has yet to pitch higher than Double-A. He’s only pitched two innings over two games this spring, which didn’t go well. He allowed eight hits and six runs with two strikeouts. Nonetheless, Lurie believes he will be a player to keep an eye on as the 25-year-old right-hander continues to improve.
“I think Bumgarner, just to get back to a well-known name,” Lurie said. “He looks like a very determined person, Larry. He doesn’t throw a lot before he gets here and neither does Cueto. Both are having really good spring trainings and so is Samardzija.”
Thus far, the top three starters have all pitched well this spring. Bumgarner leads the trio with eight innings pitched, where he’s allowed five runs and one walk, but struck out a staggering 15 batters. As for Cueto and Samardzija, their time on the mound hasn’t exceeded four innings, but both are showing promising signs of success this season.
“On the offensive side, Shaw clearly, clearly is going to be a major leaguer,” Lurie said. “The ball jumps off his bat and he hit his first home run the other day….Chase d’Arnaud has a lot of speed, whether the bat will ever play, who knows, but he does have second baseman potential. Miguel Gomez has swung the bat well down here. Tomlinson has done his thing.”
Shaw is the organization’s No. 2 prospect and he’s shown off his strong swing during spring training, batting .333 with a booming home run and three doubles. Should he make the major league club, which he’s expected to do sometime this year, Shaw would likely assume the role of a backup outfielder.
As for D’Arnaud, he’s making some noise by batting .350 with three doubles and four stolen bases and is proving himself to be a reliable glove at second base. If he continues to swing the bat well and excel defensively, D’Arnaud could see himself serving as a utility infielder for the Giants sometime this season.
To listen to the full interview check out the podcast below, and skip to 27:22 for Lurie on Giants.