Giants roster and schedule
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San Francisco Giants roster and schedule for 2020 season

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The 2020 MLB season is now a 60-game dash, starting on July 23 and ending, hopefully, with a full-size postseason in October. Between now and the start of the season, we’ll be giving quick capsule previews of each team, reminding you of where things stood back in Spring Training and where they stand now as we embark on what is sure to be the strangest season in baseball history. First up: The San Francisco Giants roster and schedule:

GIANTS ROSTER (projected)

When the season opens on July 23-24, teams can sport rosters of up to 30 players, with a minimum of 25. Two weeks later, rosters must be reduced to 28 and then, two weeks after that, they must be reduced to 26. Teams will be permitted to add a 27th player for doubleheaders.

In light of that, there is a great degree of latitude for which specific players will break summer camp. For now, though, here are who we expect to be on the Giants roster to begin the season:

Catchers:

Tyler Heineman
Chadwick Tromp
Rob Brantly

Infielders:

Brandon Belt
Wilmer Flores
Mauricio Dubón
Yolmer Sánchez
Brandon Crawford
Pablo Sandoval
Donovan Solano
Darin Ruf

Outfielders:

Hunter Pence
Michael Yastrzemski
Alex Dickerson
Steven Duggar
Austin Slater
Jaylin Davis

Starters:

Johnny Cueto
Jeff Samardzija
Kevin Gausman
Drew Smyly
Logan Webb
Tyler Anderson

Relievers:

Tony Watson
Trevor Gott
Tyler Rogers
Wandy Peralta
Andrew Triggs
Sam Coonrod
Dany Jiménez
Carlos Navas
Shaun Anderson
Rico Garcia


BREAKDOWN:

The Giants are without some key veteran players. Catcher Buster Posey elected not to play the 2020 season due to COVID-19. Third baseman Evan Longoria (oblique) and first baseman Brandon Belt (heel) will open the season on the disabled list. Otherwise, their roster is largely young and inexperienced. As such, the expectations aren’t high going into the abbreviated 2020 regular season.

Catching remains a fluid situation in San Francisco with Posey absent. All three of Tyler Heineman, Chadwick Tromp, and Rob Brantly could see time behind the dish, as each offers something the others do not. Pablo Sandoval will likely play both infield corners as needed along with Wilmer Flores. The Giants could also get creative with Darin Ruf, Austin Slater, and Donovan Solano. It’s not ideal.

The Giants will at least have some stability in the outfield with Mike Yastrzemski, Alex Dickerson, and Austin Slater. Speedster Billy Hamilton will rejoin the team during the season after missing the first two-plus weeks of training camp due to undisclosed medical reasons. Hunter Pence will handle the DH spot. Dickerson and Yastrzemski were the Giants’ best hitters last season; Pence was an All-Star with the Rangers.

Johnny Cueto leads the starting rotation and will get the Opening Day nod against the Dodgers on Thursday night. He’ll be followed by veterans Jeff Samardzija, Kevin Gausman, and Drew Smyly. The No. 5 spot is up in the air and, for that matter, the No. 4 spot is as well. The Giants piggybacked Smyly and Gausman during training camp, potentially previewing how they could be used during the regular season. The Giants have no shortage of other pitchers who could soak up innings in Logan Webb, Tyler Anderson, Dereck Rodríguez, Andrew Suárez, and Conner Menez.

Tony Watson will handle save opportunities out of the gate for the Giants. After eight years of dominance, Watson faltered in 2019, posting a 4.17 ERA over 54 innings in his age-34 season. He saw a significant decline in his strikeout rate, from 27.6% in 2018 to 17.8% last year. The rest of the bullpen is largely unproven and inexperienced. This could be a major stumbling block for a team expected to sit in the cellar of the NL West.

GIANTS SCHEDULE:

Every team will play 60 games. Teams will be playing 40 games against their own division rivals and 20 interleague games against the corresponding geographic division from the other league. Six of the 20 interleague games will be “rivalry” games.

  • July 23-26: @ Dodgers
  • July 28-30: vs. Padres
  • July 31-August 2: vs. Rangers
  • August 3-6: @ Rockies
  • August 7-9: @ Dodgers
  • August 10-12: @ Astros
  • August 14-16: vs. Athletics
  • August 17-18: @ Angels
  • August 19-20: vs. Angels
  • August 21-23: vs. Diamondbacks
  • August 25-27: vs. Dodgers
  • August 28-30: @ Diamondbacks
  • September 1-2: @ Rockies
  • September 4-7: vs. Diamondbacks
  • September 8-9: vs. Mariners
  • September 10-13: @ Padres
  • September 15-16: @ Mariners
  • September 18-20: @ Athletics
  • September 21-24: vs. Rockies
  • September 25-27: vs. Padres

The entire Giants schedule can be seen here.

Angels’ Andrelton Simmons opts out of final 5 games

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ANAHEIM, Calif. — Shortstop Andrelton Simmons has opted out of the remainder of the Los Angeles Angels’ season.

The Angels announced the four-time Gold Glove-winning shortstop’s decision Tuesday before they faced the San Diego Padres.

Los Angeles (24-31) is still technically in the playoff race with five games left in the regular season, and Simmons clearly caught the Angels by surprise, although the club said it respected his decision.

The 31-year-old Simmons, who can be a free agent this winter, is finishing his fifth year with the Angels. After spraining his ankle in late July and missing 22 games, Simmons is currently batting .297 with 10 RBIs while playing his usual stellar defense, albeit with four errors in 30 games.

“At this time, I feel this is the best decision for me and my family,” Simmons said in a statement. “We don’t know what the future holds, but we would like to sincerely thank the Angels organization and Angels fans for welcoming and making us feel at home.”

Manager Joe Maddon acknowledged he was caught by surprise when general manager Billy Eppler told him about Simmons’ decision Monday night after Simmons went 1 for 4 with an RBI single in the Angels’ home finale. Maddon texted Simmons, but hadn’t heard back by Tuesday afternoon.

“I’ve really enjoyed this guy a lot,” Maddon said. “I’m a big fan. This guy is a good baseball player, and I’ve enjoyed the conversations, too. It’s just unfortunate. He’s really a big part of what we’re doing right now.”

Simmons is a favorite of Angels fans for his defensive wizardry, and owner Arte Moreno has described Simmons as perhaps his favorite player to watch on the roster. Simmons has batted .281 with 36 homers and 281 RBIs during his five seasons with Los Angeles, and he won the Gold Glove in 2017 and 2018.

“He’s a thinking kind of a player, and I’ve enjoyed him a lot,” Maddon said.

Simmons will be a free agent this winter, and the Angels have an obvious replacement for him in David Fletcher, who has a .374 on-base percentage while regularly hitting leadoff for the Angels during his breakout major league season. Fletcher has been playing second base since Simmons’ return from injury.

But the Angels haven’t publicly closed the door on Simmons’ return, and he could be given a qualifying offer. Maddon has repeatedly said he would like Simmons to return in 2021 if possible.

The Angels haven’t had a winning season during Simmons’ five years in Anaheim, although Simmons said last week he wasn’t discouraged by the lack of team success. Simmons played his first four major league seasons in Atlanta, and he hasn’t appeared in the postseason since 2013.

Simmons also said he hadn’t been involved in any recent contract talks with the Angels, but he had enjoyed playing for the club. When asked if he wanted to return to the Halos, Simmons said he would have to “plead the fifth.”