Joey Bart’s hand looks just fine. pic.twitter.com/3odc2Vf0Fd
— KNBR (@KNBR) February 12, 2020
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Joey Bart is a quiet presence. The Giants know he’s there, as do the fans, even if he mainly exists in San Francisco as a looming shadow, a beacon of hope.
To begin camp, though, it was the noise he did make that caught Gabe Kapler’s attention.
“Watching him on the field taking live batting practice,” the Giants manager said Wednesday, after the first pitchers and catchers workout, when asked his first impressions of the catcher, “is how loud the ball comes off his bat, particularly to the opposite field. He really drove some baseballs today. … To come out the first day and be driving the ball that way is a good sign.”
It was good for the Giants to see their 23-year-old top prospect hammer batting-practice pitches using both hands, coming off an Arizona Fall League right thumb fracture — his second significant hand injury of last year, which finished with a cup of coffee at Double-A Richmond.
Bart, who is not in serious consideration to make the team out of camp, said he’s 100 percent and isn’t planning to hit any differently after a pair of setbacks that pushed his arrival date back. He isn’t wearing any additional padding — just the hand guard he always uses — as he embarks on a season he wants to end at Oracle Park.
“I got my body in better shape,” Bart said about the downtime following his injuries. “Just really trying to come out and compete. I’m gonna get hit again. You know, hopefully I don’t get on the hit on the hand again, but I can’t control that.”
The Giants made a pair of transactions official.
Wilmer Flores will wear the orange and black, the lefty-killing infielder signed to a two-year deal with a third-year club option worth $6.25 million guaranteed. The Giants moved Reyes Moronta to the 60-day injured list to make roster space.
The Giants also officially signed righty Trevor Cahill to a minor league pact with a major league camp invitation.
“First thing I think Trevor brings is versatility,” Kapler said. “[Could] see him making starts for us, we could also see him pitching out of the pen. But his stuff plays and he’s great at making adjustments.”
For the first time in MLB history, a female full-time coach took the field for workouts. Alyssa Nakken appeared to fit right in.
“Alyssa’s attention to detail is incredibly strong. You see it when she’s out on the field,” Kapler said. “She’s very good at observing, listening, digesting, soaking up information. That’s really what we’ve seen from her in the clubhouse. And then being able to call on what she’s learned very quickly, so that’s what we saw from her walking around the field today.”
After a round of questions, Kapler asked media if he could note some things that stood out to him. Here’s your space, Gabe:
— “Thought [Jeff] Samardzija had a really good first pen [session]. Looks like he’s executing on both sides of the plate. It was good to see him come out with intensity and life in his body and executing his pitches on Day One. I think it set a nice tone.
— “Tyler Cyr also stood out today. [Pitching coach] Andrew Bailey came up to me and specifically called him out for the cutter that he’s working on and the execution of his pitches in the bullpen today. That was excellent.
— “One other dynamic that I noticed that I thought is going to play really well for us is the way Buster [Posey] led in the bullpen sessions today. And in particular, as our our catching group was off to the side, Buster talked through his process, his setup, his most athletic positions in the neighborhood of guys like [Chad] Tromp and Gino [Ricardo Genoves]. And I think that’s important because they’re going to see Buster’s intensity, his attention to detail, and they’re going to naturally emulate that. And I think over the course of camp, we’re going to see some of the younger catchers, including Bart, bear witness to Buster’s intensity and attention to detail.”