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Austin Slater scratched from first Giants Cactus League lineup



Courtesy of SF Giants

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Austin Slater was supposed to start in center field and hit cleanup in the Giants’ first Cactus League game, but was scratched from their starting lineup due to minor elbow soreness.

Slater’s injury isn’t viewed as serious, manager Gabe Kapler said, and won’t immediately require an MRI exam.

Early in spring training, soreness and soft-tissue fatigue is common, and teams typically proceed with caution.

“We discussed having him still play, we just thought we should probably give him a day or two for that to calm down,” Kapler said.

Slater played 125 games last year, posting a .774 OPS. He’s expected to make up half of San Francisco’s center field platoon with Mike Yastrzemski.

Bryce Johnson, who led the Triple-A River Cats in stolen bases last year with 31, is set to replace Slater in center and hit ninth.

Spring training lineups aren’t typically formulated to reflect a regular season squad, instead with the intended purpose of getting specific players the proper amount of at-bats.

San Francisco is starting several regulars against the Cubs in Mesa, including veteran Brandon Crawford. Tristan Beck, a right-handed prospect known for his command, is starting on the mound. The first batter he’ll face will be Nico Hoerner, his former teammate at Stanford.

Here are the starting lineups for the Giants’ Cactus League Opening Day, with first pitch at 12:05 PT.


LaMonte Wade Jr. – 1B
Thairo Estrada – 2B
Joc Pederson – DH
Stephen Piscotty – LF
Brandon Crawford – SS
Heliot Ramos – RF
Blake Sabol – C
Casey Schmitt – 3B
Bryce Johnson – CF
(Tristan Beck – SP)


Nico Hoerner – 2B
Dansby Swanson – SS
Ian Happ – LF
Seiya Suzuki – RF
Trey Mancini – DH
Cody Bellinger – CF
Eric Hosmer – 1B
Patrick Wisdom – 3B
Yan Gomes – C
(Marcus Stroman – SP)