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Smyly debut, Joey Bart, Jaylin Davis moments: Takeaways from Giants-Diamondbacks


© Orlando Ramirez | 2019 Mar 11


SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — For most of the game, there was a little bit of everything for the Giants to like Monday.

Jaylin Davis smashing hits and hustling triples. Steven Duggar’s arm scaring tagging-up runners back to third. Drew Smyly’s arm looking lively. And a barrage of late-game hits from pieces of their possible future.

The Giants scored nine runs from the fifth through seventh, which helped build a lead that Nick Vincent almost blew, en route to an 11-9 victory over the Diamondbacks at Scottsdale Stadium. Evan Longoria had a pretty double early on, but it was names like Ryan Howard, Sean Roby and Drew Robinson whose hits propelled the explosion. Oh, and Davis and Joey Bart were pretty good, too.

Here are some takeaways from a game that improves the Giants to an ever-meaningless 2-1 this spring:

All Smylies

Smyly’s arm looked good. Perhaps as importantly, he said his mind felt good.

The lefty’s first start of the spring was incident-free, 1 2/3 innings of one-hit, one-walk, two-strikeout, zero-run ball, his fastball touching 94 mph.

Last year, as his arm returned stronger from Tommy John surgery, his fastball averaged a nearly career-best 91.2 mph. He has said, though, that his head was focused as much on his elbow as his opponent, concerned how it would feel with each twirl of the arm.

Another season removed from the 2017 surgery, which ended up costing him all of 2018, the 30-year-old feels as if he’s ready for a comeback.

Smyly cited throwing his offspeed for strikes as one of his goals for camp. He didn’t know what to expect velocity-wise without checking radar guns, but 94 mph felt nice.

“I knew my arm’s been feeling good all spring,” Smyly said. “In the offseason I was able to work really hard and continue my strength [training], versus last offseason I was still in rehab mode. I felt really good, just keeping building up.”

A-O-Jay

Jaylin Davis had been eager for spring games to begin, wanting to unleash a tweaked swing that was intended to get more balls in the air.

In his second game of the season, the hits started to fall.

The 25-year-old, one of the pet projects of the new hitting coaches, crushed a sixth-inning double to left center, and came back an inning later with another gapper in the same direction.

It looked like a double off the bat, but Davis never stopped running. The Diamondbacks’ relay was not perfect, and he dove in headfirst with a hustle triple — the sort of aggressiveness the Giants are craving.

How you doin’?

Joey can hit.

The Bart hype train has left the station, the 23-year-old stud prospect lacing two more singles two days after his first at-bat resulted in a home run. Three games in, Bart is batting .750.

The Giants have said they would like him to start in the minors, believing more reps would be beneficial for his development (and would put less pressure on Buster Posey). Three games means little, but it’s as encouraging a start as possible.

Hard luck

Shaun Anderson’s velocity impressed, too, though his results did not.

The Giants will stretch Anderson out as a starter despite his tick-up in stuff and speed when he transferred to the bullpen last season, and the fastball that touched 96 mph last year was back.

He struggled through his frame, though, Anderson allowing four hits and three runs — all on a Domingo Leyba home run on a 2-0 fastball. Anderson struck out one, but he did not walk off the mound in the fourth happy.

He rules?

There will be extra attention paid to Dany Jimenez, the Rule 5 pick from the Blue Jays whom the Giants want to find a reason to keep on the roster.

Jimenez’s first live action of the season was harmless, buzzing at about 94 mph, in the seventh. He allowed a single before inducing a pop-up, followed by Arizona’s Juniel Querecuto lining into a double play.

Jimenez’s status will be decided much later, but it was a clean start.

Quick hits

— Nick Vincent got blasted in the eighth inning, allowing three home runs and five runs while recording just one out. The non-roster invite, who pitched in 18 games last season with San Francisco, has a 135.0 spring ERA to shrink.

— Brandon Crawford, who had missed a few days due to a sickness last week, debuted and went 0-for-2.

— Alex Canario, the team’s No. 7 prospect, made his big-league camp debut, entering as a right fielder in the sixth. He was hit in the foot in his first plate appearance then struck out in the seventh.

— Howard, a 25-year-old prospect playing shortstop and up from minor league camp, made a nice dive-and-throw to finish the seventh.

— Jacob Heyward put a good swing on an opposite-field double in the seventh, driving in one.

— Ex-Giants catcher Stephen Vogt got a nice round of applause for each at-bat.

— No one under the name of Madison Bumgarner or Mason Saunders entered for Arizona.

 

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