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Giants swap relievers ahead of a big Rockies test

Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

Facing a Rockies lineup that skews lefty and after seeing Andrew Triggs struggle in his first look, the Giants are making a bullpen tweak for their four-game series in Colorado.

Before beginning the 10-game road trip at Coors Field, Gabe Kapler announced Andrew Suarez would be called up and Triggs would be demoted to the taxi squad a day after he was summoned from Sacramento.

Triggs got out of an inherited jam in his first major league action since surgery in 2018 for thoracic outlet syndrome, but then walked the bases loaded in a loss to the Rangers.

Suarez, a southpaw who was impressive in Scottsdale after ditching his two-seam fastball this offseason, will debut this year, Kapler saying he’s heard positive reports from the alternate camp in Sacramento.

“He can give us bulk,” Kapler said over Zoom on Monday. “He has a history as a starter. He’s got fairly pronounced splits and quite a bit of success against left-handed hitters.”

While Colorado is not loading up on lefties against Johnny Cueto, they have the ability to with a roster that features Charlie Blackmon, David Dahl, Daniel Murphy, Ryan McMahon, Tony Walters, Sam Hilliard and Raimel Tapia.

The depth of the bullpen will be tested in Colorado, as it always will, but especially once the roster must be pared to 28 Thursday.

Kapler was pleased with the layout of the hotel the Giants are staying at, having hunted around the premises for spacious, outdoor sites to meet. They found one outside a meeting room that he expects the club to work in during the series.

Heliot Ramos is a “full-go,” Kapler said, after his summer camp experience was cut short by a leg infection.

After talking with farm director Kyle Haines, Kapler highlighted Ramos’ “plate-discipline improvements” as well as Will Wilson’s ability to play second, third and short.

Facing righty Chi Chi Gonzalez, Steven Duggar’s bat will be in the lineup, but he’ll be moving to left field.

Kapler played all three outfield spots at Coors in 2002-03, when he was a Rockie, and he met with outfield coordinator Antoan Richardson and assistant coach Alyssa Nakken to discuss the ideal layout.

“Left field is a big challenge here,” said Kapler, who switched Alex Dickerson to right with Mike Yastrzemski in center. “It’s a ton of ground to cover between center and left, and Duggar, the speed, the center-field history and his ability to play any outfield position, cover ground … gave us the confidence to make that move.”

Here’s the full lineup behind Cueto:

1. Mike Yastrzemski, CF
2. Alex Dickerson, RF
3. Donovan Solano, 2B
4. Brandon Belt, 1B
5. Evan Longoria, 3B
6. Wilmer Flores, DH
7. Brandon Crawford, SS
8. Chadwick Tromp, C
9. Steven Duggar, LF


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