Mike Scioscia has said that Kendrys Morales needs to see game action by Sunday if he’s to have any chance of being on the Opening Day roster, but there’s almost zero chance of that happening with Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times reporting that Morales “still isn’t running full speed.”
Morales is 10 months removed from a broken ankle, but continues to have soreness and inflammation even without being cleared to fully run the bases yet.
Scioscia admitted that Morales’ window to get healthy by Opening Day “is narrowing” and Giovanna writes that he “is expected to open on the disabled list” and “when he’s activated, he probably will spend a considerable amount of time at designated hitter.”
The good news is that Morales has lost 14 pounds since arriving at camp last month, shedding much of the weight he gained while being inactive during the offseason. Or as Morales put it: “I couldn’t move over the winter, but I wasn’t going to starve. I figured I would address it later on.”
I’ve been taking that same approach for 28 years now. In a related note, I’m also not cleared to run full speed.
After 18 years, 12 winning seasons, seven postseason runs and three World Championships, Dave Righetti is no longer a pitching coach for the Giants. He was removed from his post on Saturday, when the team announced a few reassignments as they shake up their coaching staff. Heading into the 2018 season, Righetti will serve as special assistant to general manager Bobby Evans, former bullpen coach Mark Gardner will step into a similar special assistant role to “assist in pitching evaluations,” and former assistant hitting coach Steve Decker will take a special assistant role in baseball operations.
According to MLB.com’s Chris Haft, Righetti was the longest-tenured pitching coach in the big leagues. He helped shape the careers of notable Giants’ aces like Madison Bumgarner, Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain — all Cy Young contenders (and, in Lincecum’s case, a two-time winner) at various points in their careers. He was there to assist Ryan Vogelsong during his stunning mid-career comeback in San Francisco. He helped newcomers like Chris Stratton and Ty Blach flourish even as the team stumbled to the bottom of the division. He was there to take the credit when a sterling rotation clinched the Giants’ 56-year, drought-snapping championship title in 2010 — and, when things went so horribly south in 2017, he took the blame as well.
Hardly anything went right for the Giants’ pitching staff in 2017. Madison Bumgarner was shelved after sustaining a serious shoulder injury in a dirt bike accident, Johnny Cueto couldn’t shake a cluster of blisters on his right hand and Mark Melancon found it difficult to justify a $62 million paycheck after pitching through an arm injury to four blown losses/saves and a 4.50 ERA. It would be a lot for any pitching coach to stay on top of, and given the team’s rapid descent from 2016 postseason contenders to last-place finishers in 2017, it’s not surprising that Evans felt the need to switch things up.
Successors have yet to be named for Righetti, Gardner or Decker, though Murray hears that the Giants could have interest in former major league pitching coach Jim Hickey. NBC Bay Area’s Alex Pavlovic adds that Evans is searching for someone to “put a new voice” on the pitching staff and will likely target someone who, like Righetti, brings considerable experience to the role.