With Spring Training fast approaching, MLB.com will take a look at a different aspect of this year's Giants squad each day this week. Today's topic: Spring Training is here.SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants believe that the restorative power of a new season will help them shrug off the jarring effects
With Spring Training fast approaching, MLB.com will take a look at a different aspect of this year's Giants squad each day this week. Today's topic: Spring Training is here.
SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants believe that the restorative power of a new season will help them shrug off the jarring effects of the last one.
They'll welcome a fresh start after enduring last year's painful conclusion, the loss to the Cubs in Game 4 of the Division Series, in which San Francisco blew a three-run, ninth-inning lead.
:: Spring Training 2017 preview ::
"You've got to move on and focus forward," manager Bruce Bochy said. "You have to let it go. I'm ready to go."
Shortstop Brandon Crawford's remarks reflected the resilience that the Giants must maintain as they begin Spring Training.
"A couple of weeks after the [previous] season, you're back to normal and you're fine," he said.
Let's take a quick look at the Giants' Spring Training basics.
Pitchers and catchers report: Monday
Position players report: Thursday
First Cactus League game: Home vs. Reds on Friday, Feb. 24, at 12:05 p.m. PT
New faces: The Giants made one major purchase in free agency, and it was one they desperately needed to engineer. They signed Mark Melancon to a four-year, $62 million contract to fill the closer's role and solidify a bullpen that crumbled through last season's second half and into the Division Series loss to the Cubs. Melancon has amassed 147 saves since 2013, the third-highest total in the big leagues in that span. He recorded 47 saves in 51 chances last year for Pittsburgh and Washington. With Melancon anchoring the bullpen, Bochy won't have to select a reliever du jour from his cast of setup men and should be able to assign more specific roles to each member of the bullpen. The Giants also signed catcher Nick Hundley to a one-year, $2 million deal to add power, depth and experience.
Interesting non-roster invitees: This group alone would form an intriguing lineup. It would be an old one, too. Start with shortstop James Rollins, the 17-year veteran and 2007 NL Most Valuable Player with Philadelphia. Contestants for the left-field vacancy include Michael Morse, who delivered some key hits as a member of the 2014 World Series-winning Giants; Justin Ruggiano, who hit 31 homers in a part-time role with Miami in 2012-13; and Chris Marrero, who slugged 23 homers last year for Boston's Triple-A Pawtucket affiliate. Korean star Jae-gyun Hwang is expected to provide competition at third base. And infielder James Beckham has a chance to secure a utility role.
Prospects to watch: Infielder Christian Arroyo and right-hander Tyler Beede, San Francisco's top position-player and pitching prospects, respectively, will be back in camp. Beede was No. 88 and Arroyo was No. 89 on MLBPipeline.com's Top 100 prospects list across the Minor Leagues. Non-roster invitees ranked on MLBPipeline.com's most recent list of the organization's Top 30 prospects are right-hander Sam Coonrod (No. 5), catcher Aramis Garcia (No. 6), right-hander Joan Gregorio (No. 7), left-hander Andrew Suarez (No. 8), outfielder Steven Duggar (No. 10), shortstop C.J. Hinojosa (No. 13) and outfielder Austin Slater (No. 22).
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.