GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Chris Stratton had the day that’s become familiar for Giants starters this spring. He gave up a few hits, got pulled in the middle of an inning and left with a couple runs on the scoreboard. But this was no ordinary outing for Stratton, and this has been no ordinary spring. The former first-rounder is in big league camp for the first time and is enjoying every second.
“Dream come true is a good way to put it,” Stratton said of his month at Scottsdale Stadium. “I worked pretty hard to get where I am.”
The road here has been a bumpy one for Stratton, the 20th overall pick in 2012. He suffered a concussion late that summer when he was by a line drive during batting practice, and it took awhile for Stratton to get back to full speed. Looking back on the incident, he says the concussion was “probably a little worse than I first thought.”
Stratton had a solid year for Augusta in 2013 before struggling at High-A San Jose. That didn’t stop the Giants from promoting him, though, and he had a 3.52 ERA in five starts for Double-A Richmond late last summer. The fast track has him in big league camp this spring, and Stratton has soaked up what he can.
“I talk to (Jake) Peavy the most,” he said. “We talk about baseball and going after hitters. He tells me not to give them too much credit.”
Peavy has urged Stratton to elevate his fastball more often.
“You focus so much on throwing the ball down that you forget about elevating,” Stratton said.
With Tim Lincecum fighting a stiff neck, Stratton got a spot start against the Reds on Monday. He gave up seven hits and two runs — one of them earned — but was hurt by some bad luck. With two on and no outs in the third, Marlon Byrd hit a towering pop-up to center that got lost in the sun and dropped in front of Justin Maxwell. That was the end for Stratton, and the Reds would go on to score twice.
“I thought he was good,” Bochy said. “I like that kid’s poise and his stuff. He’s a kid that I think looks comfortable out there in his first big league camp.”
If Stratton keeps progressing, it won’t be his last camp.
For now, other news and notes from Goodyear, home of a drive-thru Panda Express!
STAT OF THE DAY: A player pointed out to a trash-talking Shawon Dunston that only two big leaguers had double-digit homers, triples and doubles last season. The two: Hunter Pence and Brandon Crawford.
NOTEWORTHY: Bochy has said he’s looking for defense first and foremost from his backup catcher, so it had to stand out when Hector Sanchez -- from his knees -- gunned Kristopher Negron down at second base and later picked off a runner at second to end a Reds threat … This was another messy game for the Giants, but they did get homers out of Joaquin Arias and Carlos Triunfel … Kyle Crick had been having a great camp, but he gave up five runs in two innings … Tyler Rogers pitched a scoreless inning in relief of Stratton, but what really stood out was how Rogers, who has had two strong years in the minors, did it. He’s a true submariner. It’s definitely fun to watch:
The submarine delivery of Tyler Rogers, who has a 1.92 ERA in two minor league seasons: https://t.co/EoXik0Pu2g— Alex Pavlovic (@AlexPavlovic) March 16, 2015