by
Greek Giant

There is absolutely no correlation between Spring Training and Regular Season records but it still sucks that the Giants are winless so far in Cactus League play this 2024. Yesterday they fell 7-4 to the Athletics and gave up a host of early runs including back-to-back homers to start the game. Spencer Howard started for the Giants and gave up those dingers. Bob Melvin complained about the early runs, a pattern so far in this young season. With yesterday’s loss the Giants are 0-3 with a tie.

Sean Hjelle gave up three runs in two innings of work. Luis Matos hit a three-run home run. J. D. Davis also homered. Those are your Giants highlights.

Yaz made his Spring Training debut as DH and went 0-2 with a walk. He was held out of action with a left should impingement.

Is Nick Ahmed an Insurance Policy at Shortstop?

I wrote yesterday about #forevergiant Brandon Crawford signing with the Cardinals and why the Giants front office elected not to retain the greatest shortstop in franchise history as his career winds down. Well today the word on the street is that Nick Ahmed, the 33 years-young former Diamondback shortstop has the inside track on the backup position at shortstop in the event of Marco Luciano’s inability to thrive and hold down arguably the most important position on the field. Ahmed is one year and a half removed from right shoulder surgery and says he is 100%.

The question is this, Giants fans: Who would you prefer as Luciano’s backup: Crawford or Ahmed? I’ll take your answers off the air and in the comments section.

“He’s here for a reason. He’s got two Gold Gloves in his pocket.”

-Bob Melvin

The Giant Injuries This Spring

Speaking of Luciano, he’s day to day with hamstring issues. So far the Giants Spring has gotten off to a rocky start with a throng of injuries to key players and poor play in Cactus League games. Maybe it’s the effects of a too-comfy winter hibernation?

Here is a complete list of the Giants injuries and the players on long-term IL for a variety of reasons, courtesy of MLB.com:

RHP Tristan Beck (right hand discomfort)
Expected returnTBD
Beck, who appeared in line to open the season as the club’s No. 5 starter, was sent back to San Francisco on Feb. 27 to be evaluated by team doctors. Beck, 27, had been slated to make his spring debut on Feb. 26, but the Giants decided to scratch him and have pitching prospect Mason Black start in his place. (Last updated: Feb. 27)

RHP Keaton Winn (right elbow soreness)
Expected returnOpening Day
Winn reported mild elbow soreness after throwing a bullpen session, though an MRI exam revealed no structural damage. The 26-year-old right-hander began a throwing program on Feb. 26 and believes he’ll still have enough time to build up to 70-80 pitches by Opening Day. (Last updated: Feb. 27)

RHP Alex Cobb (left hip surgery)
Expected returnBefore the 2024 All-Star break
Cobb will continue to throw bullpens this week as part of his rehab from left hip surgery on Oct. 31, which was performed by Dr. Marc Philippon in Vail, Colo., that is expected to sideline him for six months. Cobb has resumed throwing off the mound and said he hopes to be close to facing batters by the end of Spring Training. He doesn’t have an approximate timeline for a return, but he hopes to avoid the 60-day injured list and be back in action before the All-Star break.

Cobb dealt with a left hip impingement for much of the second half in 2023 and ended up being shut down with the injury in late September. He spent the first month of the offseason rehabbing and received multiple treatment therapies, but he decided to undergo surgery after seeking out a second opinion from Philippon. (Last updated: Feb. 26)

SS Marco Luciano (right hamstring)
Expected returnDay to day
Luciano continues to be day to day, but he’s trending toward making his Cactus League debut in the coming days. He took swings in the batting cage on Feb. 26. (Last updated: Feb. 26)

RHP Kai-Wei Teng (left oblique strain)
Expected returnMid-March
Teng suffered the oblique injury while throwing a bullpen session at the beginning of camp, though he resumed a throwing progression on Feb. 22. As of Feb. 26, he’s throwing out to 90 feet this week. (Last updated: Feb. 26)

LHP Thomas Szapucki (left shoulder soreness)
Expected returnLate February
Szapucki, who re-signed with the Giants on a Minor League deal as he works his way back from thoracic outlet surgery, missed the first week of camp with shoulder soreness, but he’s resumed his throwing program and is currently throwing out to 90 feet. (Last updated: Feb. 23)

OF Austin Slater (right elbow arthroscopic surgery)

Expected returnOpening Day
Slater’s throwing elbow has given him trouble for several years and previously limited him to designated hitter duties at the end of the 2020 season. He underwent right elbow surgery on Oct. 11, though the Giants expect him to be ready to go for Opening Day. Slater currently has no restrictions with his hitting and is nearing the end of his throwing program, as he’s progressed to throwing out to 150 feet.

Slater, 31, batted .270 with a .748 OPS and five home runs over 89 games in 2023. (Last updated: Feb. 19)

LHP Reggie Crawford (left lat strain)
Expected returnMid-March
Crawford, who is ranked the Giants’ No. 8 prospect by MLB Pipeline, is expected to miss three to four weeks after hurting his lat while playing catch earlier this week. The Giants were hoping to get a long look at their 2022 first-round Draft pick this spring, but Crawford will spend the next few weeks resting and rehabbing before resuming his ramp-up on the mound.

Crawford was initially drafted as a two-way player, but he said he now plans to focus exclusively on pitching in an attempt to speed up his timeline to the Majors. More >> (Last updated: Feb. 14)

60-day injured list

LHP Robbie Ray (Tommy John surgery)
Expected returnSecond half
Ray is currently throwing three times a week and is progressing as scheduled, though he’s still expected to be out until the second half of the 2024 season. The 32-year-old was acquired from the Mariners in exchange for outfielder Mitch Haniger and right-hander Anthony DeSclafani. (Last updated: Feb. 26)

RHP Austin Warren (Tommy John surgery)
Expected return: June or July
Warren signed a one-year, $755,000 contract with the Giants on Feb. 14, though he will be unavailable for most of the first half while he recovers from Tommy John surgery. The 28-year-old is throwing out to 120 feet for the next two weeks, and he could help boost the Giants’ bullpen once he’s healthy. He recorded a 3.55 ERA over 32 career appearances for the Angels from 2021-23. (Last updated: Feb. 26)

Today’s Cactus League Game

The Giants play the Arizona Diamondbacks at 12:10 PM, Pacific Time in Scottsdale.