SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — There’s so little to glean from the early days of spring training, but Dany Jimenez’s arm stood out.
The 26-year-old Rule 5 pick, who was grabbed from the Blue Jays and would have to be returned to the Blue Jays if the Giants want to demote him, threw live batting practice Tuesday, with the Giants unrolling a plan of high heat and low breaking balls.
Jimenez, who struck out 46 and walked 12 in 33 2/3 Double-A innings last season, has a fastball that touches the upper 90s and a breaking pitch to complement it.
In a camp that is all about competition, Jimenez’s fight is slightly different; San Francisco is rooting for him to make the roster because others can be optioned.
“Dany’s competition is just demonstrating he can perform at this level,” Gabe Kapler said Tuesday at Scottsdale Stadium. “Some of that comes with executing a gameplan, circling back to things he’s in control of. That’s landing two pitches for strikes. … He’s going to be an interesting guy for us to study and work with, support throughout camp.”
Tyler Heineman, himself competing for a backup-catcher job, was on the other end of the battery during Jimenez’s live session.
“When you’re first starting to learn how to [pitch up in the zone], you miss high a lot, and if you miss down, you miss in the honey hole, where people want to hit the ball,” Heineman said of the righty. “So there’s a learning curve there.”
Pablo Sandoval had an eventful day that began with his wearing a hard hat and safety vest in the clubhouse.
“My swing is under construction,” he announced.
Very much so, as he teed off against both Jimenez and righty Luis Madero, barely taking any pitches.
“I’ve never seen an approach to live batting practice like Pablo just took,” Kapler said. “Kind of demonstrates why he’s so dangerous at the plate because he’s just prepared to drive every pitch.
“… He just took aggressive hacks at everything Madero was throwing up there. That was pretty cool.”
The Giants will have to hold back Sandoval, who is ahead of schedule in his rehab from Tommy John surgery.