SCOTTSDALE — About a dozen players were called into Bruce Bochy’s office on Sunday morning and given the news that they were headed to minor league camp. Others thought they had survived the day, only to be called in after Sunday’s game.
One pitcher, Sam Coonrod, came off the mound after striking out three and immediately got the call to see general manager Bobby Evans. Coonrod was being reassigned, along with nine others.
The full list of players reassigned to minor league camp: Coonrod, Christian Arroyo, Tyler Beede, Junior Arias, Rando Moreno, Ryder Jones, Chase Johnson, Albert Suarez, Ty Ross, Aramis Garcia and Matt Winn. The 40-man roster players who were optioned to minor league camp: Ray Black, Kyle Crick, Ian Gardeck, Joan Gregorio, Derek Law, Adalberto Mejia, Jake Smith and Chris Stratton.
Most of the minor leaguers boosted their standing in three-plus weeks here. This is the best group of young pitchers the Giants have had in years, and the position players didn’t look overmatched at all.
“These kids have been as good as advertised,” Bochy said.
The future appears bright, but it wasn’t all good news over the last month. Gardeck, a hard-throwing right-handed reliever, tore a ligament while pitching against the Rangers last week and will need Tommy John surgery.
HEALTH UPDATE: Denard Span will play center field for the first time on Wednesday. Span has been dealing with a sore shoulder. In case you missed it, here's the latest on Madison Bumgarner's health.
POSITION BATTLES: As I’ve written before, Kelby Tomlinson might change the roster math for others if he proves a capable backup at short and third. Tomlinson has looked just fine at short, and he deftly fielded a short-hop grounder to third in the third inning today to get his first out of the spring as a third baseman. Tomlinson has just six starts at third in the minors, and the Giants will keep throwing him out there this spring to see how he handles the longer throws.
STOCK RISING: Gorkys Hernandez absolutely flew to second for a hustle double in the fourth. Hernandez is hitting .346 and his case is helped by the fact that the Giants are looking pretty thin in center field. Span has been limited, Gregor Blanco was scratched today with a sore back, and Angel Pagan is being slow-played in left. Hernandez has a shot to make it as a fifth outfielder/pinch-runner.
NOTEWORTHY: Mac Williamson now leads the Cactus League with four homers. He hit a blast to right early in this one, but his second at-bat may have been better. Williamson came up with the bases loaded, and you’d think that he might be sniffing a grand slam that would really boost his case to make this team. But Williamson kept a good approach, lining the first ball up the middle for a two-run single … Span drove in two runs and looked near 100 percent while legging out a double.
QUOTABLE: “I was there for that … I didn’t see it, but I heard about it. He came back into the clubhouse wet, so I assume he did it.” — Brandon Crawford, on my podcast, talking about Brandon Belt going swimming in a dugout in the minors. If you missed it earlier in the week, Crawford was my first podcast guest. You can find it online here and on iTunes here.