UPDATE: We have some more details about today’s extended spring training game.
Eddie Michaels of the Philadelphia Daily News reports that Utley was able to beat out a throw on a single while David Hale of the Wilmington News Journal adds that he played four innings in the field.
“It felt pretty good just to get back out between the lines,” Utley said. “So far so good and we’ll see how it (right knee) responds tomorrow and go from there.”
1:45 PM: Yes, this is another extended spring training tidbit, but I promise it’s a good one.
According to Todd Zolecki of MLB.com, Chase Utley played in his first extended spring training game this morning in Dunedin, Florida and went 5-for-7 with two home runs.
Of course, Utley has been able to take batting practice without any issues throughout this entire process, so his success at the plate shouldn’t be a huge surprise. I’m more interested to learn if he played in the field and how he felt running the bases.
More to follow.
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.