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Beede's progress to continue in Minors

Giants prospect strikes out 6 but allows 5 runs in loss to Padres
MLB.com

SAN DIEGO -- Tyler Beede proved he can strike out Major League hitters. Sustaining a thorough effort against them must wait for another time, as the Giants' 10-1 loss Sunday to the Padres demonstrated.

The Padres treated Beede like the novice he was, scoring five runs off him in 3 2/3 innings. Three of the six hits he yielded were doubles. A two-out walk he issued in the third inning generated a pair of Padres runs. The right-hander did amass six strikeouts, which gave him something positive to cling to.

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SAN DIEGO -- Tyler Beede proved he can strike out Major League hitters. Sustaining a thorough effort against them must wait for another time, as the Giants' 10-1 loss Sunday to the Padres demonstrated.

The Padres treated Beede like the novice he was, scoring five runs off him in 3 2/3 innings. Three of the six hits he yielded were doubles. A two-out walk he issued in the third inning generated a pair of Padres runs. The right-hander did amass six strikeouts, which gave him something positive to cling to.

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"My stuff plays," said Beede, the Giants' No. 1 selection in the 2014 Draft. "It's just a matter of being more polished later in the count."

Not surprisingly, Giants manager Bruce Bochy announced after the club's third straight defeat that Beede would be optioned back down to Triple-A Sacramento. There, he can continue his development and gain more of an understanding of what he tried to do in two starts with the Giants. Besides, Johnny Cueto will rejoin the starting rotation Tuesday and Jeff Samardzija will shortly follow. The Giants have no need for Beede right now, especially in his current state.

Bochy said Beede will focus on the bookends of pitching: getting ahead of hitters more frequently in the count, and then putting them away. This is particularly a must with runners on base.

"That's when you have to make your pitches," Bochy said. "We were living in the heart of the plate. That doesn't work."

Not much worked for Beede. Christian Villanueva doubled home two runs in the third inning before Jose Pirela and Freddy Galvis drilled consecutive run-scoring hits in the fourth, finishing Beede -- but only temporarily.

Video: SF@SD: Galvis rips an RBI single to center field

"I have a lot of confidence coming out of these two starts," Beede said. "It's just a matter of going down there and refining some things."

Other aspects of the Giants' performance looked troubling.

Left-hander Josh Osich, who looked so promising as the season began, allowed two runs and three hits while walking one in 1 2/3 innings. His ERA ballooned to 6.14.

San Francisco's erratic offense mustered seven hits and scored only in the second inning off Padres starter Joey Lucchesi. Nick Hundley singled, moved to third base on Evan Longoria's single and scored on Brandon Belt's sacrifice fly.

Video: SF@SD: Belt plates Hundley to give Giants the lead

The Giants lost three games in this four-game series as their fortunes at Petco Park continued to plummet. In their last six series here, the Giants have lost five and split one.

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
A prime example of how Beede can tighten up his game occurred with two outs in the third inning and the Giants leading, 1-0. Beede walked Galvis, leaving the door open for the Padres. Franchy Cordero singled, setting up Villanueva's two-run double.

Video: SF@SD: Villanueva rips a two-run double to left field

SOUND SMART
Everything in the Giants-Padres season series changed in 2016, at least in terms of games played in San Diego. San Francisco swept the Padres in a three-game series May 17-19, and since then, the Giants have struggled at Petco Park, losing 20 of 25 games.

UP NEXT
Following Monday's scheduled off-day, the Giants will confront the NL West-leading Arizona Diamondbacks in a three-game series beginning Tuesday at Phoenix's Chase Field. Cueto is expected to leave the disabled list to face left-hander Patrick Corbin.

Chris Haft has covered the Giants since 2005, and for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast.

San Francisco Giants, Tyler Beede

Bumgarner transferred to 60-day disabled list

Special to MLB.com

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants selected the contract of left-hander Andrew Suarez from Triple-A Sacramento prior to Suarez's first career start in San Francisco's 7-3 loss to Arizona in Wednesday afternoon's series finale.

In corresponding roster moves, Madison Bumgarner was transferred to the 60-day disabled list and reliever Steven Okert was optioned back to Sacramento after one day with the Giants.

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SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants selected the contract of left-hander Andrew Suarez from Triple-A Sacramento prior to Suarez's first career start in San Francisco's 7-3 loss to Arizona in Wednesday afternoon's series finale.

In corresponding roster moves, Madison Bumgarner was transferred to the 60-day disabled list and reliever Steven Okert was optioned back to Sacramento after one day with the Giants.

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Bumgarner's move to the 60-day disabled list means that the earliest he would be eligible to be activated would be May 25. The lefty continues to recover from a fractured finger in his pitching hand sustained during Spring Training.

Suarez, the Giants' No. 10 prospect according to MLB Pipeline, retired the first 10 hitters he faced on Wednesday and attacked the strike zone effectively, allowing only four hits and striking out seven without issuing a walk. However, he fell victim to the long ball, as he allowed homers to Paul Goldschmidt and John Ryan Murphy on a pair of hanging sliders.

Video: ARI@SF: Suarez records first MLB strikeout

The 25-year-old left-hander was ultimately charged with four earned runs in 5 1/3 innings pitched. He was lifted after 83 pitches.

"I thought he did a nice job," manager Bruce Bochy said. "Sure, he made a couple of mistakes, but I thought overall, it was a pretty good job by him in his first start, his debut. Again, throwing strikes. He worked ahead, and I know there are a couple of pitches, sure, that he'd like to have back, but I thought it was pretty impressive."

The Giants have already guaranteed a second start on Sunday to right-hander Tyler Beede, who debuted Tuesday, but despite Suarez's promising outing, Bochy hesitated to offer a similarly concrete timeline for Suarez's next start.

"He'll get another chance. I can't tell you when," Bochy said. "We'll wait and see. We're talking about it now. He's going to pitch up here, I can tell you that, at some point, whether he's making another start here real soon, depending on Johnny [Cueto]'s ankle, but we'll wait."

On Wednesday, Suarez took the rotation spot of Johnny Cueto, who was placed on the 10-day disabled list on Tuesday following a left ankle sprain suffered during a workout.

Despite the uncertainty in his timeline, Suarez remained unconcerned.

"I'm just going through it day by day, and whatever happens, happens," Suarez said.

Do-Hyoung Park is a contributor to MLB.com.

San Francisco Giants, Madison Bumgarner, Andrew Suarez

Beede to make MLB debut, start tonight

MLB.com

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants announced after their 2-1 loss to the D-backs that right-hander Tyler Beede will make his Major League debut Tuesday night when he starts the second game of the series.

Beede's arrival briefly caused apparent consternation among the Giants' decision-makers, who couldn't immediately settle on dates for Beede's assignment and for Johnny Cueto's next start. The state of Cueto's ankle, which he tweaked in his previous outing, apparently became an issue, as did Beede's scheduling. Cueto will start Wednesday's series finale, the Giants announced.

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SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants announced after their 2-1 loss to the D-backs that right-hander Tyler Beede will make his Major League debut Tuesday night when he starts the second game of the series.

Beede's arrival briefly caused apparent consternation among the Giants' decision-makers, who couldn't immediately settle on dates for Beede's assignment and for Johnny Cueto's next start. The state of Cueto's ankle, which he tweaked in his previous outing, apparently became an issue, as did Beede's scheduling. Cueto will start Wednesday's series finale, the Giants announced.

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Beede's recall will become official Tuesday. The Giants' initial motivation for summoning him was to keep the rotation's other starters on their regular four days' rest.

Beede said before Monday's game, "All I know at this point [is] I've got my spikes on and I'll get ready for whenever they call my name."

Beede, 24, was San Francisco's No. 1 selection in the 2014 Draft (14th overall). Due to inclement weather in Tacoma, where Sacramento opened its season, the Giants sent Beede to join Class A Advanced San Jose to prevent him from getting too much rest. He pitched a five-inning one-hitter last Thursday against Inland Empire at San Bernardino, allowing one run while walking three and striking out four. MLB Pipeline ranked Beede fourth among the organization's top 30 prospects.

Chris Haft has covered the Giants since 2005, and for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast.

San Francisco Giants, Tyler Beede

Suarez or Beede? Giants mum on 5th starter

Samardzija continues working toward return from injury
MLB.com

SAN FRANCISCO -- Rather than ask Bruce Bochy who will be summoned from Triple-A Sacramento to start Wednesday against Arizona, a clever reporter phrased his question to the Giants manager to try to elicit a specific response: Which rookie will be summoned from Triple-A Sacramento to receive the pitching assignment, Tyler Beede or Andrew Suarez?

Bochy paused briefly before responding.

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SAN FRANCISCO -- Rather than ask Bruce Bochy who will be summoned from Triple-A Sacramento to start Wednesday against Arizona, a clever reporter phrased his question to the Giants manager to try to elicit a specific response: Which rookie will be summoned from Triple-A Sacramento to receive the pitching assignment, Tyler Beede or Andrew Suarez?

Bochy paused briefly before responding.

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"Either or," he said. "How's that?"

Until Bochy announces a decision, this mini-issue could prompt a spirited debate, at least among Giants fans. Except for the obvious difference that Beede throws right-handed and Suarez is a lefty, there's little separating the two, at least on the surface.

Beede entered the organization with a higher pedigree as its No. 1 selection in the 2014 Draft (14th overall). But Suarez impressed many, including Bochy, during his rise through the Minor League system. Both performed impressively in their 2018 debuts. Beede threw a one-hitter for five innings, Suarez a one-hitter through four.

Video: Top Prospects: Tyler Beede, RHP, Giants

MLB Pipeline ranked Beede No. 4 among the organization's top 30 Minor League prospects. Suarez is 10th.

Samardzija staying busy

Right-hander Jeff Samardzija (strained right pectoral) remained on course to rejoin the starting rotation. He's scheduled to pitch in an extended spring game in Arizona on Monday, along with left-hander Will Smith.

Samardzija continued his recovery by throwing the equivalent of two innings off an indoor mound Friday. Though he'd prefer to resume pitching as soon as possible, he insisted he won't jeopardize his physical recovery by rushing his rehabilitation.

"We want to be malleable with the schedule," Samardzija said.

• After Friday's rainout, Bochy wanted to rearrange the starting rotation while affecting a minimum number of pitchers, explaining why he limited the shuffling to moving Derek Holland's next turn from Friday to Monday.

• Left fielder Hunter Pence was back in the lineup Saturday, despite a mild right thumb injury. Bochy explained the ailment interfered more with Pence's throwing than his hitting.

• Bochy affirmed that right-hander Johnny Cueto's right ankle, which he tweaked while pitching Wednesday, is fine.

Chris Haft has covered the Giants since 2005, and for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast.

San Francisco Giants, Tyler Beede, Andrew Suarez

Giants prospect Hinojosa suspended 50 games

MLB.com

Giants Minor League shortstop C.J. Hinojosa, who is the team's No. 17-ranked propsect according to MLB Pipeline and currently on the roster of the Class A San Jose Giants of the California League, has received a 50-game suspension without pay following a second positive test for a drug of abuse in violation of the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. 

The suspension of Hinojosa is effective immediately.

Giants Minor League shortstop C.J. Hinojosa, who is the team's No. 17-ranked propsect according to MLB Pipeline and currently on the roster of the Class A San Jose Giants of the California League, has received a 50-game suspension without pay following a second positive test for a drug of abuse in violation of the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. 

The suspension of Hinojosa is effective immediately.

The 23-year-old is recovering from an Achilles injury sustained last season. He hit .265/.321/.340 in 99 games with Double-A Richmond, where he was likely going to begin the year once he's healthy.

San Francisco Giants

Where Giants' Top 30 prospects are starting season

MLB.com

With the 2018 season getting started, here's a look at where the Giants' Top 30 Prospects are projected to start the season:

1. Heliot Ramos (MLB No. 63), OF -- Augusta GreenJackets (A)
2. Chris Shaw, OF/1B -- Sacramento River Cats (AAA)
3. Steven Duggar, OF -- Sacramento River Cats (AAA)
4. Tyler Beede, RHP -- Sacramento River Cats (AAA)
5. Austin Slater, OF -- Sacramento River Cats (AAA)
6. Sandro Fabian, OF -- San Jose Giants (A Adv)
7. Aramis Garcia, C/1B -- Richmond Flying Squirrels (AA)
8. Shaun Anderson, RHP -- Richmond Flying Squirrels (AA)
9. Garrett Williams, LHP -- Richmond Flying Squirrels (AA)
10. Andrew Suarez, LHP -- Sacramento River Cats (AAA)
11. Jacob Gonzalez, 3B -- Augusta GreenJackets (A)
12. Heath Quinn, OF -- San Jose Giants (A Adv)
13. Reyes Moronta, RHP -- San Francisco Giants (MLB)
14. Alexander Canario, OF -- Extended spring training
15. Tyler Herb, RHP -- Sacramento River Cats (AAA)
16. Gregory Santos, RHP -- Extended spring training
17. C.J. Hinojosa, INF -- Richmond Flying Squirrels (AA) -- DL
18. Joan Gregorio, RHP -- Sacramento River Cats (AAA)
19. Melvin Adon, RHP -- San Jose Giants (A Adv)
20. Seth Corry, LHP -- Extended spring training
21. Garrett Cave, RHP -- Augusta GreenJackets (A)
22. Kelvin Beltre, 2B -- San Jose Giants (A Adv) -- DL
23. Miguel Gomez, 2B -- Sacramento River Cats (AAA)
24. Ryan Howard, SS/3B -- Richmond Flying Squirrels (AA)
25. Sam Wolff, RHP -- Sacramento River Cats (AAA) -- DL
26. Sam Coonrod, RHP -- Richmond Flying Squirrels (AA) -- DL
27. D.J. Snelten, LHP -- Sacramento River Cats (AAA)
28. Ricardo Genoves, C -- Extended spring training
29. Jordan Johnson, RHP -- Richmond Flying Squirrels (AA)
30. Malique Ziegler, OF -- Augusta GreenJackets (A)

With the 2018 season getting started, here's a look at where the Giants' Top 30 Prospects are projected to start the season:

1. Heliot Ramos (MLB No. 63), OF -- Augusta GreenJackets (A)
2. Chris Shaw, OF/1B -- Sacramento River Cats (AAA)
3. Steven Duggar, OF -- Sacramento River Cats (AAA)
4. Tyler Beede, RHP -- Sacramento River Cats (AAA)
5. Austin Slater, OF -- Sacramento River Cats (AAA)
6. Sandro Fabian, OF -- San Jose Giants (A Adv)
7. Aramis Garcia, C/1B -- Richmond Flying Squirrels (AA)
8. Shaun Anderson, RHP -- Richmond Flying Squirrels (AA)
9. Garrett Williams, LHP -- Richmond Flying Squirrels (AA)
10. Andrew Suarez, LHP -- Sacramento River Cats (AAA)
11. Jacob Gonzalez, 3B -- Augusta GreenJackets (A)
12. Heath Quinn, OF -- San Jose Giants (A Adv)
13. Reyes Moronta, RHP -- San Francisco Giants (MLB)
14. Alexander Canario, OF -- Extended spring training
15. Tyler Herb, RHP -- Sacramento River Cats (AAA)
16. Gregory Santos, RHP -- Extended spring training
17. C.J. Hinojosa, INF -- Richmond Flying Squirrels (AA) -- DL
18. Joan Gregorio, RHP -- Sacramento River Cats (AAA)
19. Melvin Adon, RHP -- San Jose Giants (A Adv)
20. Seth Corry, LHP -- Extended spring training
21. Garrett Cave, RHP -- Augusta GreenJackets (A)
22. Kelvin Beltre, 2B -- San Jose Giants (A Adv) -- DL
23. Miguel Gomez, 2B -- Sacramento River Cats (AAA)
24. Ryan Howard, SS/3B -- Richmond Flying Squirrels (AA)
25. Sam Wolff, RHP -- Sacramento River Cats (AAA) -- DL
26. Sam Coonrod, RHP -- Richmond Flying Squirrels (AA) -- DL
27. D.J. Snelten, LHP -- Sacramento River Cats (AAA)
28. Ricardo Genoves, C -- Extended spring training
29. Jordan Johnson, RHP -- Richmond Flying Squirrels (AA)
30. Malique Ziegler, OF -- Augusta GreenJackets (A)

• Complete Giants prospect coverage on MLBPipeline.com/giants

Team to watch
Triple-A Sacramento features four of the Giants' top five prospects. The outfield alone includes Chris Shaw, the system's best power hitter who led the organization with 24 homers in 2017; Steven Duggar, the system's best defender who possesses all-around tools; and Austin Slater, who hit .282/.339/.402 in a month with San Francisco last year before tearing an adductor muscle. Right-hander Tyler Beede, San Francisco's best pitching prospect, returns to the River Cats after logging a 4.79 ERA in 19 starts for them last year. Second baseman Miguel Gomez has batted at least .305 in each of the last five seasons in the Minors.

Where baseball's top prospects are starting the 2018 season

Teams on MiLB.TV
Sacramento River Cats
Richmond Flying Squirrels
San Jose Giants

New faces
The Giants acquired hard-throwing righty reliever Sam Wolff in the Matt Moore trade with the Rangers in December, though he'll miss the start of the season as he continues his recovery after tearing the flexor tendon in his right hand last August.

On the shelf
In addition to Wolff, infielder C.J. Hinojosa (left Achilles tendon) and right-hander Sam Coonrod (Tommy John surgery) are still coming back from injuries sustained late last season. Coonrod isn't expected to pitch in a Minor League game this year. Second baseman Kelvin Beltre is sidelined with a broken left tibia.

Jim Callis is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow @jimcallisMLB on Twitter. Listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast.

San Francisco Giants

Giants' roster cuts include Williamson, Beede

Parker homers against Indians in bid for reserve OF spot
MLB.com

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- For now, the Giants figured it was easier to say see you later to Mac Williamson rather than bid Jarrett Parker farewell.

Despite sustaining one of the most dynamic Cactus League performances among Giants position players, Williamson was optioned to Triple-A Sacramento on Monday as the club made its largest round of roster cuts this spring. Fifteen players were either optioned to Sacramento or reassigned to Minor League camp, leaving 31 players in big league camp -- six over the Opening Day limit.

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SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- For now, the Giants figured it was easier to say see you later to Mac Williamson rather than bid Jarrett Parker farewell.

Despite sustaining one of the most dynamic Cactus League performances among Giants position players, Williamson was optioned to Triple-A Sacramento on Monday as the club made its largest round of roster cuts this spring. Fifteen players were either optioned to Sacramento or reassigned to Minor League camp, leaving 31 players in big league camp -- six over the Opening Day limit.

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Giants Spring Training info | Tickets | Schedule

Williamson clearly outperformed Parker in the ongoing competition for reserve outfield spots. Revitalized by an altered hitting technique, Williamson hit .318 with four homers and a team-high 14 RBIs in 20 games. By comparison, Parker's hitting .243, though he homered and threw out a runner at home plate from right field in a 5-4 loss to the Indians on Monday.

The primary factor in the decision was obvious: Williamson had a Minor League option remaining. Parker did not. In order to send Parker to the Minors, he would have had to clear waivers first. Giants management apparently believed Parker would have been claimed and lost for good.

:: Spring Training coverage presented by Camping World ::

Instead, the Giants bought themselves time. Before they open the regular season against the Dodgers on March 29, they could try to engineer a trade involving Parker to avoid losing him while gaining nothing in return. Given the profiles of the other six outfielders in camp -- projected everyday cornermen Hunter Pence and Andrew McCutchen, veteran Austin Jackson, non-roster invitee Gregor Blanco, rookie center field candidate Steven Duggar and Gorkys Hernandez, who's also out of options -- envisioning a complementary role for Parker is difficult.

Video: CLE@SF: Parker belts a solo homer to right-center

Until this spring, the same could have been said of Williamson -- who, like the 29-year-old Parker, has divided each of the previous three seasons between Triple-A and the Giants. At the very least, Williamson aligned himself for a promotion later in the season if injury or ineffectiveness should arise with the Major League club.

"We want to see him carry this into Sacramento," manager Bruce Bochy said. "We think the way he looks right now, he's a guy who could be called out here every day."

Williamson, 27, remained stoic as he discussed his fate with reporters.

"I don't think it would have mattered if I had hit 1.000," he said, articulating the impossibility of unseating Pence or McCutchen. "I don't think that's what they were looking for me to do. Nor was I looking to do that. It was important for me to come in this spring and prove I was worthy of another shot down the line."

Among the younger aspirants who were sent down to continue their development, the most notable one was right-hander Tyler Beede, who is ranked as the club's No. 4 prospect by MLB Pipeline. Beede remained optimistic despite recording a 10.80 ERA in four spring appearances.

"It's just a matter of refining my craft and being consistent," said Beede, the club's No. 1 pick in the 2014 MLB Draft. "The name of the game is being consistent."

Asked about Bochy's recent mention of possibly converting Beede to relieving, the 24-year-old replied, "I will literally do anything they want me to."

In addition to Williamson and Beede, right-handers Derek Law and Roberto Gomez and outfielder Austin Slater were optioned to Triple-A.

Reassigned to Minor League camp were left-hander Andrew Suarez, right-handers Joan Gregorio and Jose Valdez, catchers Justin O'Conner, Trevor Brown and Hector Sanchez, infielders Orlando Calixte, Chase d'Arnaud and Kyle Jensen and outfielder Chris Shaw.

Chris Haft has covered the Giants since 2005, and for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast.

San Francisco Giants, Tyler Beede, Derek Law, Jarrett Parker, Austin Slater, Mac Williamson

Duggar's hot bat hard for Giants to ignore

MLB.com

MESA, Ariz. -- The fate of a top prospect heading into Spring Training depends on a range of factors, from who's ahead of him on the depth chart, to how his team envisions him contributing in the future and how he performs during his time in big league camp.

Where outfielder Steven Duggar lands when camp breaks in a couple of weeks is still to be decided, but even if he does not make that final cut, he's given the Giants plenty to ponder as they inch toward Opening Day.

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MESA, Ariz. -- The fate of a top prospect heading into Spring Training depends on a range of factors, from who's ahead of him on the depth chart, to how his team envisions him contributing in the future and how he performs during his time in big league camp.

Where outfielder Steven Duggar lands when camp breaks in a couple of weeks is still to be decided, but even if he does not make that final cut, he's given the Giants plenty to ponder as they inch toward Opening Day.

View Full Game Coverage

Duggar added to his impressive spring on Monday, launching a two-run homer off lefty Ryan Buchter in the fifth inning of the Giants' 6-5 win over the A's. He also nearly legged out a well-placed sacrifice bunt in the third.

Over 12 spring games, Duggar has four homers, nine RBIs and is slashing .300/.400/.733.

Giants Spring Training: Info | Tickets | Schedule

Considered the best in-house option in the Giants' system to play center field, Duggar will be playing every day, somewhere, when the regular season starts. Given there doesn't appear to be room for him right now in the Giants' outfield, he may be ticketed for Triple-A Sacramento. His best chance to make the big league club is if the Giants envision him being part of a platoon situation in center.

But, he's leaving a lasting impression that could benefit him as time progresses.

:: Spring Training coverage presented by Camping World ::

"I saw him take BP in Sacramento. He put on a show there," manager Bruce Bochy said. "It opened my eyes, and that was just BP. So, no, I'm not surprised. Quick bat. A good day for him."

Roster moves:

The Giants made several roster moves on Monday, optioning eight players to Triple-A Sacramento, while reassigning five more to Minor League camp.

Those optioned include right-handers Tyler Herb, Pierce Johnson, Chase Johnson and Reyes Moronta, left-handers Steven Okert and D.J. Snelten, catcher Aramis Garcia and infielder Miguel Gomez. The players reassigned to Minor League camp are right-handers Tyler Cyr, Jose Flores, Dereck Rodriguez and Madison Younginer, and infielder Alen Hanson.

Injury update

Third baseman Evan Longoria was scratched from Friday's game with stiffness in his left heel and ankle and is considered day-to-day. He could return to the field Tuesday or Wednesday, according to Bochy.

Catcher Hector Sanchez has been sidelined since Feb. 28 because of a hamstring injury and is expected to miss up to two more weeks, which is right around the time the Giants are slated to break camp.

Coffee talk

With baseball in full swing, outfielder Hunter Pence doesn't have a physical presence at his new co-owned Houston coffee shop, The Coral Sword, but he is keeping close tabs on its progress through his business partners and, much to his delight, a random teammate here and there.

Pence, who lives in Houston during the offseason, and was on hand to host the grand opening of the new venue, which features coffee, board games, and interactive video games, received a text recently from John Mayberry Jr., who had recently moved to Houston and decided to check out his former teammate's newest venture.

The two were teammates when Pence played for the Phillies.

"He said, 'I'm sitting in your coffee shop right now. This is awesome,'" Pence said. "That was really cool."

Video: Pence talks about his new coffee shop

Pence is pleased with the reception The Coral Sword has received since it opened in late January. Located near the University of Houston, the establishment has attracted a wide array of young people looking to hang out with friends, have a quiet date, or, in the case of the more bookwormy patrons, study with the benefit of a strong Wi-Fi connection.

And, there's pizza.

"It's just a space to get creative, a space to do whatever you need to do," Pence said. "With all the stuff online these days, sometimes it's nice to sit down and have a face-to-face game and spend quality time. We wanted to create that connection."

Miscellaneous

• Closer Mark Melancon, who has made two appearances this spring, most recently on Sunday, will next appear in a game on Wednesday when the Giants play a night game against Seattle. Melancon yielded a home run to Jose Pirela, but otherwise had no further blemishes.

• Starting pitcher Johnny Cueto, who has made two Cactus League starts, will pitch in a Minor League game on Wednesday.

Up next

The Giants will make a return trip to Mesa on Tuesday, but this time to play the Cubs at Sloan Park at 12:05 p.m. PT. Opening Day starter Madison Bumgarner will take the mound for the Giants, as he will face Cubs righty Tyler Chatwood. Also expected to pitch for the Giants: left-hander Tony Watson and right-handers Hunter Strickland and Cory Gearrin. Listen to an exclusive audio webcast of the game on MLB.com

Alyson Footer is a national correspondent for MLB.com. Follow her on Twitter @alysonfooter.

San Francisco Giants, Steven Duggar

Pipeline Q&A: Giants prospect Garrett Williams

San Francisco lefty talks Little League World Series, development
MLB.com

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- As part of MLB Pipeline's visit to all 30 Spring Training camps, we'll sit down with prospects and get to know them a little better. At Giants camp, it was No. 9 prospect Garrett Williams.

A left-hander, Williams projected as a possible first-round pick out of both high school and college, but thoracic outlet syndrome surgery before his prep senior season and control issues at Oklahoma State depressed his stock both times. He has made significant strides since signing with the Giants for an over-slot $250,000 as a seventh-rounder in 2016, recording a 2.32 ERA with 96 strikeouts in 97 innings between two Class A stops last year.

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- As part of MLB Pipeline's visit to all 30 Spring Training camps, we'll sit down with prospects and get to know them a little better. At Giants camp, it was No. 9 prospect Garrett Williams.

A left-hander, Williams projected as a possible first-round pick out of both high school and college, but thoracic outlet syndrome surgery before his prep senior season and control issues at Oklahoma State depressed his stock both times. He has made significant strides since signing with the Giants for an over-slot $250,000 as a seventh-rounder in 2016, recording a 2.32 ERA with 96 strikeouts in 97 innings between two Class A stops last year.

:: MLB Pipeline Spring Training reports ::

MLB Pipeline: You first made baseball headlines when you struck out 17 batters in one game at the 2007 Little League World Series. What was that experience like?

Williams: At the moment, I really didn't realize exactly what all that meant. The spotlight, the media, all that stuff -- I was 12 years old. I was there to play baseball and win. Looking back on it, to be 12 years old and in the spotlight was pretty crazy.

Pipeline's Giants Spring Training report

MLB Pipeline: You had an unusual college career in that you showed dominant stuff and wowed scouts in two summers in the Cape Cod League, yet you never got the chance to pitch much at Oklahoma State, totaling just 72 2/3 innings in three seasons. Why do you think there was such a contrast?

Williams: In summer ball, you can relax and develop at the same time. Those two summers were definitely fun summers for me. I got closer to getting back to being myself. We had really good pitching staffs at Oklahoma State and I struggled with command issues. We were trying to win and they wanted to put someone out there who they could trust to throw strikes. It was a struggle, but I tried to be a good teammate.

MLB Pipeline: The Giants are known for their ability to develop pitchers, so they seemed like a nice fit for a pitcher in need of development. Were you happy when you found out they were the team that drafted you?

Williams: Absolutely. The Giants are known for their homegrown guys, and that's exactly what I needed. I needed to experiment and get exposure to different things so I could gain some confidence back. The Giants are a perfect fit for that. They did a few things small mechanically, but the main thing was just getting innings.

MLB Pipeline: Both your fastball and curveball can be well-above-average pitches at their best. Which do you think is your best offering?

Williams: Last year, it was a fastball for a strike, honestly. One of the things I took away from last year is being able to throw my fastball for strikes and having success. That was a huge confidence boost, especially for a guy like me who relied on his curveball a lot and struggled with fastball command in college.

MLB Pipeline: What's on your to-do list for 2018?

Williams: Consistency, really. Keep doing what I did last year and building off that. Working on my changeup. I worked on it a lot during the offseason because I need another offspeed pitch, and it has come a long ways. I'm able to throw it consistently for strikes. I'll be working on it in Spring Training games.

Jim Callis is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow @jimcallisMLB on Twitter. Listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast.

San Francisco Giants

Pipeline report: Giants camp

MLB.com

Every Spring Training, prospects get a chance to show what they can do as they prepare for the upcoming season. Some compete for jobs in big league camp, while others vie for spots on Minor League affiliates. MLB Pipeline will visit all 30 camps this spring, and today we check in on the Giants.

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- While bolstering their 2016 playoff club and then trying to improve their current roster after enduring their worst season in 32 years, the Giants traded away their top picks in three of their past four Drafts (third baseman Christian Arroyo, right-hander Phil Bickford and outfielder Bryan Reynolds), as well as the recipient of the largest international amateur bonus in franchise history (shortstop Lucius Fox).

Every Spring Training, prospects get a chance to show what they can do as they prepare for the upcoming season. Some compete for jobs in big league camp, while others vie for spots on Minor League affiliates. MLB Pipeline will visit all 30 camps this spring, and today we check in on the Giants.

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- While bolstering their 2016 playoff club and then trying to improve their current roster after enduring their worst season in 32 years, the Giants traded away their top picks in three of their past four Drafts (third baseman Christian Arroyo, right-hander Phil Bickford and outfielder Bryan Reynolds), as well as the recipient of the largest international amateur bonus in franchise history (shortstop Lucius Fox).

Giants' Top 30 Prospects list | Q&A with Garrett Williams

Those moves have thinned out a farm system that never seems to get much love in media rankings yet still provided the nucleus for World Series championship teams in 2010, '12 and '14. San Francisco didn't have enough internal options to plug all of the holes on last year's 98-loss club, necessitating offseason deals for Evan Longoria and Andrew McCutchen.

:: MLB Pipeline Spring Training reports ::

Nevertheless, the Giants' system does have an obvious strength: outfielders. Heliot Ramos, Chris Shaw and Steven Duggar claim the first three spots on MLB Pipeline's Giants Top 30 Prospects list, while Austin Slater and Sandro Fabian check in at Nos. 5 and 6. Heath Quinn has some of the best power in the system, which was muted by hamate and shoulder injuries last year, and Alexander Canario is one of organization's best sleepers.

"We've had some success in the infield with Pablo Sandoval, Brandon Crawford, Joe Panik and Brandon Belt all homegrown," San Francisco assistant general manager Jeremy Shelley said. "As you look forward, you can see we could have long-term solutions in the outfield with guys like Steven Duggar and Chris Shaw and some of our younger player factoring in down the line."

Shaw has massive raw power and led the organization with 24 homers in 2017, though he's blocked for now in left field after Hunter Pence shifted over to make room for McCutchen in right. Duggar has on-base skills, well-above-average speed and quality range and arm strength in center field, where he's in the running for a starting job. Slater should be in line for a reserve role for San Francisco, with average tools across the board and a .282/.339/.402 line in his big league debut last year.

Ramos, Fabian and Canario have yet to advance beyond the lower levels of the system, but they should be worth the wait. San Francisco's best prospect and its first-round pick in 2017, Ramos had one of the best power/speed combinations in his Draft class and batted .348/.404/.645 in the Rookie-level Arizona League in his pro debut. He has the highest ceiling of any Giants farmhand since Buster Posey.

Fabian has some of the best feel for hitting in the system, held his own as a 19-year-old in low Class A last year and will be more dangerous once he develops a more disciplined approach. Canario has yet to make his U.S. debut, but he showed the potential for perhaps solid tools across the board in the Rookie-level Dominican Summer League, where he was MVP of its 2017 All-Star Game.

"We're excited about the development of Ramos in his first full year," Shelley said. "Canario put himself on the map with a strong summer in the DSL, and we look forward to seeing what he could do in the States. Fabian had a good year in a tough ballpark and has a chance to be very good at the plate."

Video: Duggar, Shaw close to cracking the Giants outfield

Camp standouts

Duggar is doing everything he can to win the center-field job. He's hitting .417/.474/1.000 in the Cactus League, and while power is the least of his tools, he's tied with Mac Williamson for the team lead with three homers.

"He plays hard, goes hard," Giants special assistant Shane Turner said. "He has no real weakness. He knows the zone, he's improved stealing bases and we'll see more power. He'll be our center fielder soon because of his defense and hitting ability."

Kyle Jensen has been the biggest surprise of not just San Francisco's camp but maybe all of Spring Training. Signed to a Minor League contract in January after playing briefly in Japan a year ago, he's batting .545/.722/1.909 and is tied with Jason Kipnis for the overall spring lead with five home runs. He's 28 and not on the Giants' Top 30, but he could might claim a role as a backup first baseman/corner outfielder if he keeps this up.

Jim Calis is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow @jimcallisMLB on Twitter. Listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast.

San Francisco Giants

Duggar making serious push for center-field job

MLB.com

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- A rookie's goal is to make club management want to see more of him. On Sunday, Steven Duggar left the Giants hoping for the sight of him on at least 150 occasions between late March and October.

Duggar, 24 and the Giants' No. 3 prospect, used Sunday's 9-3 Cactus League defeat at the hands of the Los Angeles Dodgers as a platform to demonstrate why the Giants consider him a legitimate candidate to become their regular center fielder.

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SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- A rookie's goal is to make club management want to see more of him. On Sunday, Steven Duggar left the Giants hoping for the sight of him on at least 150 occasions between late March and October.

Duggar, 24 and the Giants' No. 3 prospect, used Sunday's 9-3 Cactus League defeat at the hands of the Los Angeles Dodgers as a platform to demonstrate why the Giants consider him a legitimate candidate to become their regular center fielder.

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Duggar ended the second inning and a bases-loaded Dodgers threat with a lunging catch of Chase Utley's line drive, displaying the fielding range the Giants want from the next man to patrol AT&T Park's vast center-field acreage.

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Employing what looked like a relaxed yet quick swing, Duggar opened the Giants' half of the third inning with his third spring home run. That lifted his Cactus League batting average to .412 in seven games.

"He looks like a ballplayer, for sure," Giants starter Jeff Samardzija said. "He's out there trying to win a job, and it's nice to see that he understands that. That awareness is important."

Video: LAD@SF: Duggar dives and makes catch

San Francisco's other contenders for the center-field job -- Gregor Blanco, Gorkys Hernandez and Austin Jackson -- are more experienced than Duggar. Yet none of them may match Duggar's potential.

Giants manager Bruce Bochy refused to name a favorite to claim the position.

"We're going to stay open-minded as we decide who the 25 guys are [on the Opening Day roster]," Bochy said.

Bochy admitted that Duggar is "making it tough on us," referring to himself and the club's other decision-makers.

Duggar, whom the Giants selected in the sixth round of the 2015 Draft, won't let himself assume anything.

"For me, it's day by day," Duggar said, describing his approach to the spring. "As simple as that sounds, that's how I go about things."

Video: LAD@SF: Bochy discusses offseason additions, Duggar

Bochy was especially impressed with Duggar's home run. Many Cactus League round-trippers travel unusually far due to wind or the thin desert atmosphere. But Duggar's clout off Kenta Maeda almost looked as if it had been struck by Willie McCovey, the legendary Giants slugger who was in attendance on Sunday.

"That wasn't an Arizona home run," Bochy said. "That ball goes out anywhere."

Like a surprisingly high percentage of talented outfielders, Duggar prefers to steal runs from opponents rather than generate offense himself.

"There's no better feeling than making a catch to keep guys off the scoreboard," he said.

Chris Haft has covered the Giants since 2005, and for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast.

San Francisco Giants, Steven Duggar

Coach Panda? Duggar has a tutor in Sandoval

MLB.com

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The Giants don't list Pablo Sandoval as an assistant batting coach. But he has provided analysis and instruction for fellow hitters, particularly with rookie center fielder Steven Duggar.

A left-handed batter, Duggar quickly realized that he and the switch-hitting Sandoval have a similar "load" when the latter hits left-handed. That is, they coil their bodies and set up their swing in similar ways.

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SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The Giants don't list Pablo Sandoval as an assistant batting coach. But he has provided analysis and instruction for fellow hitters, particularly with rookie center fielder Steven Duggar.

A left-handed batter, Duggar quickly realized that he and the switch-hitting Sandoval have a similar "load" when the latter hits left-handed. That is, they coil their bodies and set up their swing in similar ways.

View Full Game Coverage