Fausto Carmona throws simulated game, declares himself “ready to go”

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On the disabled list with a quadriceps injury suffered while running the bases two weeks ago, Fausto Carmona threw a three-inning simulated game yesterday and declared himself “ready to go.”

He threw 50 pitches and is now on track to return from the disabled list Monday against the Twins, although as Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports Carmona will have to pass a few more agility tests over the weekend first.

Getting Carmona back healthy and effective is a big key for the Indians’ chances of hanging in contention down the stretch. He bounced back from a terrible 2009 season to throw 210 innings with a 3.77 ERA last year, making his first All-Star team, but followed that up by going 4-10 with a 5.78 ERA in 18 starts prior to being shut down with the quadriceps injury, including 1-7 with an 8.20 ERA in his last nine outings.

Healthy or not, Carmona is a huge question mark for the second half.

Giants nearing deal with Cameron Maybin

Cameron Maybin
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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.