Giants notes: Spring standout Ronald Guzman suffers injury to pitching arm
Giants notes: Spring standout Guzmán injures pitching arm originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- One of the more interesting stories of the spring for the Giants took a brutal turn on Sunday.
Ronald Guzmán, a two-way player who was establishing himself as a reliever, bent down in pain after throwing a pitch in the eighth inning of the Giants' 4-3 win over the Oakland Athletics on Sunday at Scottsdale Stadium and immediately came out of the game. Manager Gabe Kapler said Guzmán felt discomfort in his left forearm.
"It's disappointing -- he really opened up a lot of eyes," Kapler said. "I don't want to go too far as to say that this is a serious injury, because I don't know, but anytime you see a pitcher walk off the field like that you get the impression that something's not right. We'll find out about it."
Guzmán hit 16 homers with the Texas Rangers in 2018 but has been trying to reinvent himself as a two-way player. The Giants have focused on the pitching side this spring and Guzmán was coming off one of the more dominant outings of the spring. He struck out the side on Thursday, hitting 98 mph with a wipeout slider.
Guzmán has not swung a bat in a game yet this spring but has been taking batting practice. Given how far he has come on the mound, he was starting to look like a real option to help the big league bullpen at some point this year. Now, the Giants will wait and hope for the best from imaging.
--- It didn't take long for Blake Sabol to pick up his outfield glove. Sabol took fly balls in left during BP on Sunday. He should play in a game there soon, and Kapler said the Mitch Haniger injury has led to increased conversation about keeping a third catcher (Sabol, with Joey Bart and Roberto Perez likely as the other two).
"The piece that has changed from a week ago is Mitch," Kapler said. "He's going to make every push to be ready for Opening Day. Maybe it's Opening Day, maybe it's a little after."
If Haniger is not ready for the season-opening road trip, the Giants could carry Sabol as an outfielder for a few days and see if some of this spring success translates. Because he's a Rule 5 pick, Sabol cannot be optioned to Triple-A at the end of the spring.
--- Lost in Sabol-mania on Saturday was a pretty strong outing from Melvin Adon, who hit triple digits with his fastball and also showed a 92 mph breaking ball while striking out two of the three batters he faced. A few years before Camilo Doval emerged, Adon was the hard-throwing right-hander who looked like a potential future closer at Oracle Park, but shoulder surgery limited him to just 21 minor league appearances since 2019.
The key for Adon, like most pitchers who throw that hard, will be throwing strikes. He generally was around the plate on Saturday, which allowed him to get help from some Dodgers hitters who expanded their zones. Kapler noted that it was promising, but that Adon will have to be around the zone a bit more to make an impact. Command was an issue before surgery and he walked 13 in 24 2/3 innings last year.
"But when you have that kind of stuff, you're throwing 100 mph and have a sharp breaking ball, being around the plate is a good step," Kapler said.
--- Joey Bart and A's catcher Kyle McCann are friends back home in Georgia and occasional offseason workout partners, and McCann followed Bart behind the plate at Georgia Tech. McCann was on second on Sunday and tried to take third on a pitch in the dirt, but Bart threw him out at third.
As McCann shot a quick glance back at the plate, Bart turned to the batter at the plate. "That's my boy," he said, laughing.
--- Tristan Beck is one of the Triple-A layers of defense behind a rotation that goes seven deep, along with Sean Hjelle and Kyle Harrison. Beck has displayed good velocity this spring and flashed a nasty slider early in his outing:
Tristan Beck ð pic.twitter.com/PnYwPp1ooR
— Alex Pavlovic (@PavlovicNBCS) March 12, 2023
Beck's day was cut short in the seventh when he became the third Giants pitcher in two days to get hit by a line drive back to the mound. After testing his left ankle, Beck walked back to the dugout with a trainer. Kapler said the Giants were just being cautious with a pitcher who "looked great" and "has a good chance to make an impact" this season.
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On Saturday, Alex Cobb took a comebacker off the knee but got good news from an X-ray, and a day later he barely even had a limp. Ross Stripling saw an even harder shot come back to the mound but it hit his glove on Sunday, and Stripling didn't even flinch on the mound. As Stripling talked to reporters later, Cobb walked up and gave him a fist bump.
"You handled that better than I did," he joked.
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