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Giants’ rehabbing rotation option takes a big step forward

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Quietly, mostly hidden away from the public’s vantage point, a possible piece of the Giants rotation took a large step forward Monday.

For the first time since major left knee surgery in June, Tyler Anderson threw a bullpen session, the Giants’ offseason acquisition from Colorado providing the first taste of what he can be.

The Giants were not concerned about the radar gun and were not desperate to see good movement. They wanted to see Anderson on the mound throwing and walk away healthy. Anderson was not around to talk with media after the session, but according to Kapler, he feels fine.

“You just want a guy to come out healthy and feeling strong, and he did,” Kapler said of the milestone.

The 30-year-old lefty, who was claimed from the Rockies and eventually signed as a free agent, is not expected to be ready by the start of the season, but May is a possibility. Originally the Giants believed he would be destined for the 60-day injured list to start the season, but Anderson has come along faster than anticipated.

Anderson, who had a terrific 2016 rookie season in Coors Field then fell off, falling victim to injuries and a league-leading 30 home runs in 2018 before last season’s surgery, will be competing for a rotation spot that is sure to be a fight continuing all season. Oftentimes it’s more important to see how pitchers feel the next day, so Tuesday will be important for him.

Jaylin Davis, one of the star pupils of the attempted hitting revolution going on around the Giants, has been wearing a bat sensor to better understand his swing.

Davis, who hit 35 minor league home runs last season before struggling in his debut, has been working with the hitting coaches for months, first traveling to Arizona in December.

With the sensor, “He’s able to track his bat through the zone, see how quickly he’s rotating, see how fast his bat is moving,” Kapler said. “Jaylin’s a standout in those regards. You can kind of see it in those regards — you can see it with your eyes, too, when the ball comes off his bat, it’s fairly loud.

Pablo Sandoval wanted to begin throwing across the diamond while fielding ground balls, but the Giants said no. Instead, he was spotted playing catch with Hunter Pence and took ground balls, as well as putting up an impressive performance in the batting cage.

Five months removed from Tommy John surgery, Sandoval looks comfortable. Kapler said the Panda is right about where the Giants expected he would be at this point.

Mauricio Dubon spent some time working in center field, and he might have to have the busiest camp of any Giant.

“We’ll look to get him reps up the middle obviously, at shortstop and second base,” Kapler said. “A little bit lower on the priority list is some looks at third base and just scratched the surface of talks about first base.”


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