Francisco Cervelli has a new helmet

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You may now update all of your old “David Wright looks funny in that big batting helmet” jokes to Francsico Cervelli, who will be donning one in New York this season after suffering his second concussion earlier this week:

Cervelli said he plans to wear the helmet at the plate all season, though he won’t wear it when catching or running the bases.

“To me it just makes sense,” said Girardi, who would make the new
helmets mandatory. “It you have something you’ve had to deal with, if
there’s some way to improve the protection or keep you maybe from being
injured again, it makes sense to use that device… It is much more
padded. It’s really unbelievable. You look at it and think ‘why don’t
more people wear it? Why doesn’t everyone wear it?'”

Yeah, on second thought, let’s just 86 the jokes, OK?  Yes, the helmet looks odd, but we’re only just now starting to realize how serious concussions — especially second and third concussions — really are.  Last night there were a lot of jokes among Yankees writers in the Twitterverse regarding Cervelli’s new headgear — and apparently he’s taking some mocking from his teammates too — but a guy’s health and career are no laughing matter.

If I was standing in against 95 mph heat, I’d wear a propeller hat, a mixing bowl or a church crown on my head if I thought it’d keep me safe.

Giants nearing deal with Cameron Maybin

Cameron Maybin
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The Giants are finalizing a minor league deal for free agent outfielder Cameron Maybin, according to Andrew Baggarly and Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. The team has not confirmed the signing, but it’s in keeping with their stated goal of adding more veteran presence and outfield options to their roster in advance of the 2019 season.

Maybin, 31, appeared in back-to-back gigs with the Marlins and Mariners in 2018. He slashed an underwhelming .249/.326/.336 with four home runs, 10 stolen bases (in 15 chances), a .662 OPS, and 0.5 fWAR through 384 plate appearances for the two clubs, a clear improvement over his totals in 2017 but still shy of the career numbers he posted with the Padres all the way back in 2011. It’s not only his offense that has tanked, but his speed and defense in center field, all of which he’ll try to improve as he jockeys for a roster spot in camp this month.

The Giants’ outfield has been largely depleted of any kind of consistent talent lately, especially taking into account the recent departures of Hunter Pence, Gregor Blanco, and Gorkys Hernández. Even with the acquisition of, say, All-Star right fielder Bryce Harper, there’s nothing standing in the way of Maybin and fellow veteran signee Gerardo Parra grabbing hold of full- or part-time roles this year, though they’ll need to outperform candidates like Chris Shaw, Steven Duggar, Drew Ferguson, Mac Williamson, Austin Slater, Craig Gentry, Mike Gerber, and others first.

In a previous report on Friday, Baggarly revealed that a “handshake understanding” had been established with several veteran players already this offseason, all but guaranteeing them regular starting opportunities over the course of the season. How those agreements will be affected by spring training performances remains to be seen, but at least for now, the Giants appear prepared to give their newest players a long leash as they try to get back on top in the NL West.