Top prospects for two teams — the Giants’ Brandon Belt and the Blue Jays’ Brett Lawrie — each had scares yesterday as they were each hit by pitches on the left wrist. Each of them also received good news: in both cases no bones were broken and the diagnosis was a mere bruise.
Lawrie’s little ordeal was more interesting inasmuch as it kind of unfolded in real time. Reader Rob Browne emailed me about his HBP right as it happened in the Las Vegas-Tucson game, I tweeted it and then the Internet went kind of wacko for a while. Understandable given how much Jays’ fans are anticipating Lawrie’s arrival in Toronto, most likely at the end of the week. Lawrie was rather anxious too, tweeting the following:
At hospital , pls be bruised .. #praying
Just a BRUISE !!! #yaaaaabudddddy
Belt’s news came in more traditional fashion, with Andrew Baggarly tweeting it.
Both guys will probably get a day or two off after which they can continue to serve as the repository for their respective fan bases’ hopes and dreams.
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.