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Giants add center fielder Siri to player pool

@mi_guardado
July 14, 2020

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants added Jose Siri to their player pool on Tuesday, giving them another center fielder to evaluate as they begin piecing together their 30-man roster for Opening Day next week. Siri, 24, was claimed off waivers from the Mariners in March and appeared in eight Cactus

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants added Jose Siri to their player pool on Tuesday, giving them another center fielder to evaluate as they begin piecing together their 30-man roster for Opening Day next week.

Siri, 24, was claimed off waivers from the Mariners in March and appeared in eight Cactus League games before Spring Training operations were halted by the coronavirus pandemic, going 2-for-10 with one home run and one stolen base for Seattle.

A former top prospect in the Reds organization, Siri has struggled over the last two seasons in the Minors and slashed .237/.300/.357 with 11 homers and 26 steals over 131 games between Double-A Chattanooga and Triple-A Louisville in 2019. Manager Gabe Kapler said hitting coach Donnie Ecker, who was part of Cincinnati’s coaching staff last year, has had his eye on Siri for a while.

“He was a guy with a high ceiling for the Reds and a prospect there with tools and athleticism and power," Kapler said. “I think that’s the general overview of Jose Siri. He’s high upside, high potential.”

The Giants are short on established center-field options at the moment, as Billy Hamilton has yet to report to Summer Camp. He was placed on the 10-day injured list for “medical purposes” last week, but the Giants have not revealed a timetable for his return.

Steven Duggar, Mike Yastrzemski, Jaylin Davis, Austin Slater and Mauricio Dubón, a converted infielder, are among the players who have seen time in center during intrasquad games at Oracle Park this week. Heliot Ramos, who is ranked the club’s No. 3 prospect by MLB Pipeline, is also a center fielder by trade, but he is not viewed as a candidate for the Opening Day roster.

Injury updates

• First baseman Brandon Belt (sore right heel) shed his walking boot on Tuesday and took some swings in the batting cage, but Kapler acknowledged that he might not have enough time to ramp up and be ready for Opening Day against the Dodgers on July 23.

“At this point, I’m not 100 percent sure,” Kapler said.

If Belt is unavailable to start the season, the Giants could have Wilmer Flores, Pablo Sandoval or Darin Ruf fill in at first base for the opening series against the Dodgers.

• Left-hander Tony Watson faced infielder Abiatal Avelino and Duggar in his second live bullpen session of Summer Camp on Tuesday. The Giants have been slow-playing Watson after he dealt with shoulder tightness during Spring Training, but Kapler said he believes the 35-year-old veteran is progressing well and should be ready to pitch in an intrasquad game later this week.

“He hasn’t had anything happen that would lead us to believe that he won’t be ready,” Kapler said. “For me, this is a veteran pitcher who just needs to get ready at his pace.”

• Lefty reliever Jarlin García, who was placed on the 10-day injured list for “medical purposes” last week, was spotted at Oracle Park on Tuesday and is expected to begin participating in workouts on Wednesday.

Intrasquad recap

Team Orange defeated Team Black, 3-2, in Tuesday’s four-inning intrasquad game at Oracle Park. Johnny Cueto, who has officially been re-named the Giants’ Opening Day starter, allowed a two-run triple to Duggar and struck out three over three innings. The offensive standout of the game was Alex Dickerson, who launched a solo shot to right field off Shaun Anderson.

“Today it started to come around,” Dickerson said when asked about his swing during a Zoom call with reporters. “It feels kind of like Spring Training. You have two or three really good days and then the live stuff doesn’t click. Today I had a terrible batting-practice day and then the swing felt great in the game. It’s just kind of the process of getting more reps and finding consistency. But it’s definitely showing up these days, and I’m confident that I’ll be ready to go.”

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