When the 2012 schedule came out the Reds and officials in Cincinnati were none too pleased. Why? Because in addition to not getting the first game of the season — which they used to all the time but haven’t for many years now — they weren’t even going to be playing on the whole first day that regular games were played. And what’s more, their first game was going to be on Good Friday, which city fathers feared would interfere with the parade and festivities that go on in the Queen City each Opening Day.
Well, that’s fixed. The Reds just announced that their first game will now be on Thursday, April 5th. That’s the day after the Marlins and Cardinals kick off the season in a prime time Wednesday night game. Seeing as though the Reds likewise open against the Marlins — Miami gets a one-game series to showcase their new joint — it means that they’ll be a bit more rested than their opposition.
But hey: the parade and parties have been saved.
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.