8: 45 p.m. EDT: Well, this isn’t so encouraging. Rizzo was scratched from Tucson’s lineup tonight. He’s expected to have his thumb evaluated in San Diego on Wednesday.
The Padres are holding off on that Anthony Rizzo callup for now after the Triple-A Tucson first baseman underwent an MRI on his left thumb Tuesday.
While pretty much everyone wants to see Rizzo in a Padres uniform, the team is going the smart route in making sure his thumb is sound. The last thing they want to do is call him up and see him go on the DL shortly afterwards, allowing him to accumulate major league service time when he isn’t even playing.
Rizzo, who missed two games with the thumb injury last week, is in the Tucson lineup tonight. He homered Friday in his first game back, and he’s hitting .365/.444/.715 with 16 homers and 63 RBI for the season.
San Diego-based AP writer Bernie Wilson tweeted tonight that ballpark chatter has Rizzo debuting within the next few days. The Padres started Brad Hawpe in right field on Monday in preparation for Rizzo’s arrival.
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.