Versatility key for Vosler, Wade

March 9th, 2021

In November, the Giants completed their first signing of the offseason by adding infielder on a Major League deal. It was a mild surprise that Vosler ended up being one of the Giants’ earliest targets, as the 27-year-old has yet to play in the big leagues and spent all of last summer at the Padres’ alternate training site.

But over the first few weeks of Spring Training, Vosler has quickly shown why the Giants found him so attractive. He has emerged as an early camp standout, going 8-for-20 (.400) with three doubles and a triple over his first seven Cactus League games.

Vosler’s chances of making the Opening Day roster seemed to take a hit when the Giants signed a more experienced left-handed-hitting infielder, Tommy La Stella, to a three-year, $18.75 million deal last month, but the Giants have been deploying Vosler all over the field to try to create as many openings for him as possible.

Primarily a third baseman, Vosler has also seen time at first and second base and left field during exhibition games this spring.

“We’re staying with the themes of creating as much versatility as possible and as many paths to our Major League roster as possible for as many players as we can,” Giants manager Gabe Kapler said Sunday.

Versatility has been a key tenet for the Giants since Farhan Zaidi took over as president of baseball operations in November 2018. Aside from third baseman Evan Longoria, shortstop Brandon Crawford and first baseman Brandon Belt, virtually all of the Giants’ starting position players are capable of playing multiple positions, giving Kapler plenty of flexibility to mix and match when crafting his lineups.

“I’m not really trying to think about exactly where I fit on the team,” Vosler said last week. “I’m just kind of trying to do what they want me to do and go out there and play the best that I can. If they want me to play multiple positions, that’s great. I would love that. Besides that, I just continue to go about my work and have consistent, good at-bats and let the chips fall where they may.”

Vosler isn’t the only newcomer who has been moving around to try to boost his case for a roster spot this spring. The Giants are also taking an extended look at ., who can play all three outfield spots and also started at first base on Sunday. The left-handed-hitting Wade, who was acquired from the Twins in exchange for right-hander Shaun Anderson, played first in college and looked comfortable in his first appearance of the spring at the position.

“Anytime that you can play multiple positions, it gives you a better chance to help the team win and also helps you get into the lineup,” Wade said. “Definitely that was known coming into Spring Training.”

Wade’s best chance at carving out a spot with the Giants will likely be by showing that he can handle center field, where he could serve as a platoon option for Mauricio Dubón. The 27-year-old has a career .389 on-base percentage in the Minors, and while he hasn’t historically hit for much power, the Giants feel there could be more to tap into in that department.

Wade flashed that intriguing potential by launching a solo shot to right field off Reds right-hander Edgar García at Goodyear Ballpark on Sunday.

“I was looking for something out over the plate that I could handle and put in play hard,” Wade said. “I feel like he got ahead in the count, and I took a pitch I should have swung at, so I was just trying to get back at being aggressive in the zone.”

Vosler and Wade have options remaining, so they could open the season at Triple-A Sacramento if they’re left off the Opening Day roster, but if they continue to produce this spring, the Giants will likely find a way to keep them around.