Giants neutralize A’s with pitching, platoons as Opening Day nears

On today’s Locked On Giants podcast, host Ben Kaspick talks about the Giants’ exhibition win over the Oakland Athletics. It was the Giants’ second straight victory over Oakland, and they played very well in both games. The Giants used nine pitchers for one inning apiece in both games, and almost everyone was sharp. On Tuesday, submarine pitcher Tyler Rogers started the game and overmatched the top of the A’s lineup. The fact that the Giants used a so-called “opener” is probably a sign of things to come this year under manager Gabe Kapler and president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi. Both are known for their innovative and forward thinking baseball minds. On the offensive side, Mike Yastrzemski led off the bottom of the first with a booming home run to right-center, and Alex Dickerson led off the second with a home run to the opposite field gap. Both Yastrzemski and Dickerson figure to be key players this season, especially against right-handed pitching.

Ben also speculates about how the Giants will finalize their 30-man roster ahead of Thursday’s season opener in Los Angeles. The Giants have quite a few decisions to make, including deciding which catchers will make the roster. As it stands now, the Giants don’t have any active catchers on the 40-man roster. They’ll also have to decide the fate of non-roster invitees like Yolmer Sánchez, Darin Ruf, and Pablo Sandoval, all of whom are likely, but not guaranteed, to make the team. Another player who’s probably under strong consideration to make the roster is Joe McCarthy, who had good at-bats last night despite not having any hits to show for it. McCarthy, Ben argues, is likely to make the team because of the injury to Brandon Belt, who’s dealing with heel pain.

Also of note, several Giants players and coaches kneels again during the nation anthem played before the game. Hunter Pence and Pablo Sandoval joined those who had kneeled the night before in Oakland.

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