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Giants name surprise starter for Cactus League opener



© Matt Kartozian | 2023 Feb 16

The Giants’ starting pitcher for their first Cactus League game certainly won’t be their Opening Day starter in the Bronx, and he probably won’t even be on their 26-man roster, either.

Tristan Beck, a 26-year-old right-handed pitching prospect, will take the mound in San Francisco’s first spring training game this weekend, manager Gabe Kapler told reporters Thursday. The Giants also announced that lefty Sam Long will factor into Saturday’s spring opener against the Cubs, along with five other non-roster invitees.

“I would say, don’t read into this stuff, and I mean it pretty strongly,” Kapler said, via The Mercury News. “It’s more just the way it worked out.”

Beck, one of the most intriguing prospects to watch this spring, has been on the club’s radar for his propensity for throwing strikes. In 111.1 innings at the Double-A and Triple-A levels last year, Beck struck out 116 batters and walked 36.

The Braves drafted Beck in the fourth round of the 2018 draft out of Stanford. A year later, Atlanta sent the Corona, CA to the Giants in the Mark Melancon trade.

Kapler has mentioned Beck as a potential option for the Giants this year, and his promotion to Triple-A signals he’s a few strong outings away from getting a chance to debut. Still, the Giants have several starting pitchers in front of him, with a six-man rotation of Logan Webb, Alex Cobb, Alex Wood, Anthony DeSclafani, Ross Stripling and Sean Manaea. Jakob Junis can also start games and top pitching prospect Kyle Harrison is likely ahead of Beck in the pecking order as well.

Beck’s Cactus League start is set for 12:05 PT in Mesa. RHP Nick Duran, RHP Trevor Hildenberger, LHP Erik Miller, RHP Drew Strotman and LHP Daniel Tilly are also scheduled to pitch.

The Giants haven’t officially announced an Opening Day starter, but ace Logan Webb is the presumptive favorite to take the ball in Yankee Stadium on March 30. Webb started last year’s Opening Day, allowing one earned runs in six innings.

Webb told Brian Murphy and Shawn Estes on KNBR Thursday morning that he’s scheduled to make his first Cactus League start of the year on Monday against the Angels.