What We’ve Learned From the Giants’ First Two Spring Games

The Giants have finished their first two spring training games, playing the Cubs on Saturday and the Reds on Sunday. Let’s look at some of the performances that have stood out.

The Catching Battle

All eyes will be on the Giants catching battle this spring, and Blake Sabol made a great first impression. Sabol got the start for the Giants’ first game, and in his Giants debut, he went 2/3 with a homer to center and tacked on a double for good measure. He also got in more vital experience behind the plate, allowing one stolen base, but altogether looked solid and comfortable behind the plate.

Bart started in the second game against the Reds and started with a hard-hit double into the gap. His second at-bat ended in a groundout to third. Behind the plate, Bart allowed one stolen base. Preventing base stealers and throwing out runners is an area the Giants have wanted Bart to improve on this spring.

Casey Schmitt is as Advertised

Schmitt made his presence known Saturday, starting things off with a slick defensive play to rob Brennen Davis of a hit and save a run.

Video via @giantprospectiv on Twitter

Schmitt then added on a solo moonshot in the 4th.

Schmitt will be a big leaguer just through his defense, but his emerging bat is a very nice addition to that. President of Baseball Operations Farhan Zaidi and Manager Gabe Kapler both mentioned that Schmitt will have an opportunity to make the big league roster this season. Still, Schmitt can fast-track his path to the big league with a strong spring.

Late-Afternoon LaMonte

Against the Cubs, LaMonte Wade Jr sent a solo shot to left center for the Giants’ first homer of the spring. The Giants are counting on a bounceback season from Wade, hoping he can recover his 2021 form. Wade looks to be the primary 1B during the season, a position that he hasn’t played much, but Wade was penciled in at 1B during the game and looked comfortable there, making some nice defensive plays.

Defensive Woes

The defensive woes haven’t gone away (yet). One of the Giants’ big problems during the 2022 season was their league-worst defense. The Giants committed six errors in the game against the Cubs and a few more really bad defensive plays.

The game against the Reds wasn’t much better, as in the first inning Mitch Haniger misplayed a ball, allowing a run to score, and in the seventh inning, shortstop Will Wilson misplayed a double play ball that would have gotten them out of the inning, and let a run score.

The Pitch Clock

The Giants got their first taste of the new offseason rules against the Cubs. They got two clock violations called, with third baseman Casey Schmitt getting an automatic strike called and pitcher Sammy Long getting an automatic ball called. The game against the Reds went better,

It will be an adjustment period for the Giants and the rest of baseball, with the new rules designed to speed up the pace of play.

New Giants Debuting

Blake Sabol made his debut in the game against the Cubs, going 2/3 with a homer and a double.

Mitch Haniger, Michael Conforto, Brett Wisely, and Sean Manaea made their Giants debuts against the Reds. Manaea pitched two innings, giving up one run (which wasn’t his fault) and striking out two. Conforto went 1/3 with a single, Haniger went 0/2 with two strikeouts, and Wisely went 1/2 with a hard-hit single.

Other Top Prospects

Aside from Casey Schmitt, some other top prospects played in the first two spring games.

Grant McCray was put in as a pinch-runner against the Cubs, replacing Heliot Ramos. He scored on a Blake Sabol double and later hit a triple.

Heliot Ramos hit 1/3 with a double against the Cubs.

Luis Matos hit 0/2 against the Cubs; against the Reds, he hit 0/2 again but made a great defensive play.

Patrick Bailey got into the game against the Reds and hit 1/2 with an infield single to drive in a run and a sharp lineout.

Other prospects contributing to these spring games include Will Wilson, Ford Proctor, Andy Thomas, Ricardo Genoves, Shane Matheny, Tyler Fitzgerald, and Bryce Johnson.

Cody Matthews-Ayer

Cody Matthews-Ayer is a staff writer covering the San Francisco Giants for Inside The Diamonds.

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