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Giants give a few outfielders a look at first base


Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports


LOS ANGELES — The Giants called up one first baseman Thursday but then tried out a couple more.

Taking ground balls at the position before they began a series at Dodger Stadium were the expected few — Jason Vosler, who was starting, and the just-summoned LaMonte Wade Jr. — but ostensible outfielders Austin Slater and Alex Dickerson, too.

“We want to just kind of open up the possibilities at first base,” Gabe Kapler said before the Giants’ first game with both Brandon Belt (oblique) and Darin Ruf (hamstring) on the 10-day injured list.

Vosler and Wade are both lefty hitters, and Vosler’s call-up was expected to include his spelling Evan Longoria at third base. Wade, who was the corresponding move to Ruf going down, played first base in college and already has shown this season an ability to handle the spot. Yet, he does not have the proven bat that Dickerson or the righty version, Slater, have.

Dickerson has played first in his past, but not recently. He got 109 games at the spot when he was in High-A in 2012. But he hasn’t taken ground balls in a game at the position since 2019, when he played six games at first with the Padres’ Triple-A team.

Kapler announced in spring training that Slater would strictly be an outfielder this year, but injuries may have changed that determination. He has been predominantly only starting against lefty pitching since the Giants traded for Mike Tauchman, and playing Slater at first would open up an avenue toward getting his bat in the lineup.

Kapler suggested Curt Casali could see time at the spot, as he already has, but did not want to broach that idea with Buster Posey just yet. The Giants are trying to not overwork the 34-year-old, whose bat looks like new. Posey was out of the lineup Thursday after playing two consecutive games; the Giants want to maximize his games between off days, and the plan appears to be for him to play Friday and Saturday and sit Sunday.

“What we’ve done is kind of taken a look at all of these players and tiered them out defensively [at first], just to give us a feel for what the best later-inning moves are,” Kapler said over Zoom.


The Giants reinstated righty Matt Wisler off the bereavement list and optioned lefty Sam Selman.

 

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