I didn’t mention this in the recaps this morning because I was too busy being clever about a 14-10 final score, but Evan Longoria had a huge game yesterday, going 4 for 6 with two homers and five RBI. He had a huge weekend, in fact, getting eight hits, three homers and 10 RBI against the Astros.
The interesting thing about it: he did it without batting gloves. It’s something he did in his rookie year, but not since. You can probably count the guys in baseball who don’t wear gloves on one hand. One, stinging, blistered, achy hand. It hurts my hands just thinking about it.
And don’t give me that “they used to do it back in the olden days and it was just fine” jive. They used to put mercury on scraped knees, let kids take baths in DDT and give people lobotomies as a cure for depression too, but that doesn’t make it any better. We’re civilized now, dammit, and we wear batting gloves.
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.