Menez to start Giants' Cactus League opener

February 27th, 2021

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Left-hander will get the starting nod for the Giants’ Cactus League opener against the Angels on Sunday at Scottsdale Stadium, manager Gabe Kapler announced on Friday.

Menez will be one of seven pitchers who are expected to appear in the first exhibition game of the spring, which is scheduled to begin at 12:05 p.m. PT. He will be followed by fellow lefty Sam Long, a surprise standout who is being stretched out this spring, and bullpen hopefuls Jay Jackson, Zack Littell, Sam Wolff, Tyler Cyr and Jimmie Sherfy. All but Menez are in camp as non-roster invitees.

Per the 2021 Operations Manual, games that occur from the start of Spring Training through and including March 13 will be scheduled as seven-inning games, but they can be shortened to five-inning games or lengthened to nine-inning games upon mutual agreement of both managers. Kapler said the Giants will likely play seven innings in their first five games of the spring.

Sunday’s exhibition game will mark the Giants’ first time playing in front of fans in nearly a year, as they were forced to play the pandemic-shortened, 60-game regular season in empty stadiums in 2020. Approximately 750-1,000 fans are expected to be in the stands for Sunday’s matchup, and several Giants players have said they are looking forward to seeing them back at the ballpark.

“I think it’ll be fun,” shortstop Brandon Crawford said. “It was weird last year without fans. I’m happy that some are going to be able to be there. To hear a real crowd and not a fake crowd will be kind of nice.”

Dubón bulks up
Infielder/outfielder said he added 12 pounds of muscle over the offseason, consuming nearly 4,300 calories per day in order to add weight to his naturally lean frame.

After playing last season at 168 pounds, Dubón weighed in at 182 pounds this spring and said his improved physique is already paying dividends on the field.

“I just hit a ball 450 feet, probably, in live BP,” Dubón said during a Zoom call with reporters on Friday. “I’m moving really good. I feel faster and more explosive.”

Dubón said he thought the towering drive, which came off a changeup from non-roster invitee Silvino Bracho, was one of the longest of his career, which was backed up by research from’s Sarah Langs.

“I think it’s one of the farthest balls I’ve hit not in Colorado,” Dubón said.

Kapler said the Giants wanted Dubón to put on weight because they believe he’ll be able to parlay his improved strength and his contact skills into more power at the plate in 2021. The 26-year-old Honduran slashed .274/.337/.389 with four home runs over 54 games last year.

“He made a pretty big adjustment last season and was able to improve his plate discipline,” Kapler said. “Now at the plate, he's a little bit more in his legs and looks to be in a really calm position.”

Dubón is atop the Giants’ depth chart at center field right now, but he also figures to see time at shortstop, where he’s the club’s top option to back up Brandon Crawford. One of his aims this year is to prove that he can consistently produce against right-handed pitchers, who held him to a .664 OPS in 2020.

“I'm not going to lie to you guys,” Dubón said. “I see everything over there saying that I can't hit righties. I personally believe it’s not true. I've been coming up in the Minors and hitting against anybody who throws there. I just got to get some time in there and show what I can do.”

Humphreys re-acquired, Beede to 60-day IL
The Giants claimed off waivers from the Indians on Friday, bringing the 24-year-old right-hander into the organization for a second time.

San Francisco originally acquired Humphreys from the Mets in exchange for outfielder Billy Hamilton last summer, but he was transferred to the restricted list and was claimed off waivers by Cleveland in November.

To clear a spot on the 40-man roster, the Giants transferred right-hander Tyler Beede to the 60-day injured list. Beede is rehabbing from Tommy John surgery and will not be eligible to return to the Majors until May 31.

An 18th-round Draft pick of the Mets in 2015, Humphreys missed the entire '18 campaign after undergoing Tommy John surgery. He returned at the end of the '19 season and demonstrated he was healthy during an impressive stint at the Arizona Fall League, where he logged a 0.77 ERA over 11 2/3 innings and earned a Fall Stars Game selection.

Aside from his AFL experience, Humphreys has not pitched above Class A, but he’s recorded a 2.60 career ERA over four Minor League seasons.

The Giants also announced that right-hander Trevor Gott cleared waivers and was outrighted to Triple-A Sacramento. Gott, who was designated for assignment to clear a spot on the 40-man roster for Aaron Sanchez, will remain in Giants camp as a non-roster invitee.