Analyzing the San Francisco Giants’ Roster as Cutdowns Approach
Now that the midway point of spring training is upon us, it’s about time for teams to start making some sizable cutdowns as they start to give their regular players some more playing time and give more consistent work to their premium relief pitchers. Though the San Francisco Giants may keep a large group in camp for longer than usual due to battles for bench and bullpen spots that are currently going on, there are a few players that seem destined to be sent to minor league camp in the next few days. A big cutdown day should be coming soon, likely on Friday, a week to date after the Giants made their first reassignments of the spring.
Starters Kendry Flores and Mike Kickham and reliever Derek Law would probably benefit from being sent down in the next few days. While they’ve gotten some work in during “B” games and intrasquad contests, neither Flores or Kickham has appeared in an official Cactus League game yet this spring. Both of them need to go to minor league camp soon so that they can begin to build up their stamina in preparation for starting duties in the minors come April.
While Law was considered to have an outside chance of breaking camp with the big club, he hasn’t really gotten a sufficient chance to show his skills this spring. While most relievers have pitched in three or four Cactus League games so far, Law has gotten into only two, with the rest of his work coming in intrasquad games. It was going to be a big jump for Law, who has never thrown a pitch above Class A, and he definitely has not had enough exposure to prove that he belongs in the big leagues this spring.
In addition to those guys, relievers such as Brett Bochy, Mitch Lively, Adam Reifer and Mason Tobin would seem to be likely candidates to be sent out with the next group, purely because of their lack of activity this spring. None of them have big-league experience, and it doesn’t seem that any of them have a realistic chance to make the club. With that said, Lively might be a good guy to keep around as a long relief option in case Yusmeiro Petit continues to struggle.
From a position player standpoint, no one is being shorted playing time at this point, but there are two curious cases with third baseman Adam Duvall and outfielder Tyler Colvin. Both players have been limited to just five spring training contests and have been sidelined since March 4. Colvin has been dealing with sore legs, while Duvall has an undisclosed injury.
Though Duvall may be the next third baseman in line should Pablo Sandoval go down during the season, you’d have to think that the ship has sailed on him doing anything in the Cactus League this year. It would be surprising if he wasn’t sent down with the next group of cuts.
Colvin’s case is a bit more difficult. As a five-year MLB veteran, he was brought into camp on a non-roster deal to battle with Juan Perez and Roger Kieschnick for the Giants’ fifth outfielder spot. Though Kieschnick has had major struggles at the plate and Perez hasn’t exactly been spectacular, Colvin isn’t going to win a spot if he doesn’t prove himself on the field. If he doesn’t come back soon, it’s worth wondering how the Giants will handle the situation. He’d be a nice player to plug in for depth at Triple-A, but the Giants may prefer to let a younger player like Jarrett Parker develop there, especially considering that Kieschnick and Colvin have virtually identical skill sets. If he doesn’t end up making the team, it’s a reasonable possibility that the Giants could simply elect to let Colvin go and give him the opportunity to catch on with another organization.