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Giants part ways with veteran outfielder Maybin

@mi_guardado
March 22, 2019

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- For the second consecutive day, the Giants eliminated a contender from their outfield competition by releasing veteran Cameron Maybin on Friday. Maybin, who signed a Minor League deal in February, had been competing for a job as a right-handed-hitting outfielder who could back up Steven Duggar in

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- For the second consecutive day, the Giants eliminated a contender from their outfield competition by releasing veteran Cameron Maybin on Friday.

Maybin, who signed a Minor League deal in February, had been competing for a job as a right-handed-hitting outfielder who could back up Steven Duggar in center, but Maybin batted .163 (7-for-43) with 13 strikeouts in 16 Cactus League games, and he was also arrested on a DUI charge in Scottsdale on March 1.

“Where we’re at right now, we just didn’t see Cameron breaking with the club,” manager Bruce Bochy said. “It’s always a tough deal when you have a veteran, a great guy like that. We just don’t have a spot for him to start the season. That’s pretty much what it was.

"This gives him a little time maybe to hook on with somebody.”

Maybin’s departure comes one day after Rule 5 Draft pick Drew Ferguson was designated for assignment. Ferguson, who hit .111 (3-for-27) over 20 games, cleared waivers and was returned to the Astros on Friday.

With less than a week to go until Opening Day, the Giants find themselves short on center-field depth now that Maybin and Ferguson are no longer in the picture. Non-roster invitee Henry Ramos is the only true backup center fielder in camp, and he has never played in the Majors. Ramos, 26, is batting .216 (8-for-37) over 21 Cactus League games.

Gerardo Parra started in center field against the Rockies on Friday night, but he has not played that position in the Majors since 2017.

Mike Gerber was reassigned to Minor League camp earlier this month, but the Giants could also bring him back for another look. Gerber batted .421 (8-for-19) in 17 Cactus League games before being sent down, but he would add another left-handed bat to the outfield mix, which is already expected to have a pair of lefty hitters in Duggar and Parra.

An external acquisition is also possible. One potential fit came on the market on Friday after the White Sox released Brandon Guyer. The 33-year-old batted just .206 with a .671 OPS over 103 games with the Indians last year, but he has a strong track record against left-handed pitching, batting .274 with an .824 OPS in his career.

Bochy said the Giants will likely carry four outfielders on their Opening Day roster and at least one utility player who can also handle a corner outfield spot. Yangervis Solarte and Rule 5 Draft pick Connor Joe could give the club that flexibility.

Parra, Solarte and right-handed reliever Nick Vincent were informed on Friday that they’ve made the team as non-roster invitees. The trio will have to be added to the 40-man roster before the start of the season, though the Giants have not yet made any corresponding moves.

The decision to keep Vincent came as a mild surprise. The 32-year-old has a career 3.17 ERA over seven seasons in the Majors, but the club also has Rule 5 Draft pick Travis Bergen and Trevor Gott, who is out of options, battling for bullpen spots. Bergen and Gott have not allowed a run over a combined 19 1/3 innings this spring.

“You look at his body of work in the big leagues, he’s got experience,” Bochy said of Vincent. “He’s had a lot of success, and you like the way he really commands the strike zone. He’s a pro. He’s thrown the ball well coming into camp. That was a pretty easy one for us.”

Veteran Rene Rivera and rookie Aramis Garcia continue to compete for the backup catcher job, but Bochy said Stephen Vogt has agreed to open the season at Triple-A Sacramento. Vogt is coming off shoulder surgery and he has not yet caught in a Cactus League game.

“He’s going to go down and continue to play in Sacramento,” Bochy said. “He’s not quite ready to catch, but he’s getting close and doing some catching on the Minor League side. He just needs a little bit more time.”

Maria Guardado covers the Giants for MLB.com. She previously covered the Angels from 2017-18. Follow her on Twitter.