Giants ink Justin Christian to minors contract

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According to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com, the Giants reached agreement on a minor league contract Saturday with outfielder Justin Christian.

Christian, 30, posted a decent .289/.366/.435 batting line with nine homers and 22 stolen bases over 468 plate appearances between Double-A Trenton and Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre last season.

The Lincoln, Nebraska native has spent his entire career in the Yankees’ farm system.  Well, until now.

Christian’s deal does not carry an invitation to big league camp, so he will spend his spring training with the Giants’ minor leaguers and attempt to work his way up once the season begins.  He hasn’t appeared in a major league game since 2008.  Right now, he’s playing for Mexico in the Caribbean Series.

Michael Pineda throws off mound for first time since Tommy John surgery

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According to MLB.com associate reporter Jarrid Denney, right-hander Michael Pineda threw off a mound Wednesday morning at Target Field for the first time since undergoing Tommy John surgery.

Pineda was signed to a two-year, $10 million free agent contract this winter by the Twins, who are probably more focused on what he might be able to do in 2019 rather than 2018.

He had the reconstructive elbow surgery last July 18, so he won’t be an option for the Minnesota rotation until probably late August or September of this year. Still, that deal seems like a nice gamble given the price point and the possibility that he will regain his form as a No. 2 or No. 3 starter. That he’s making steady progress in his rehab makes the situation all the more encouraging.

Pineda, 29, holds a 4.05 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, and 687 strikeouts in 680 career major league innings.