Giants in scramble mode after injuries to catchers Bailey, Murphy

Giants in scramble mode after injuries to catchers Bailey, Murphy originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

Five years ago, when the Giants churned through catchers at the end of camp in an effort to find a veteran backup for Buster Posey, team officials turned to a truth you hear often within the industry: You can never have too much catching.

It's a theory that has taken over what thus far has been a disastrous weekend in Philadelphia.

On the same day that Patrick Bailey got placed on the concussion IL, the Giants lost backup Tom Murphy to a potentially serious left knee injury. Murphy left the game in the second inning, immediately hobbling to the dugout after attempting to block a pitch in the wet dirt. After the game, he told reporters in Philadelphia that he felt a pop in his knee.

"It doesn't seem great," manager Bob Melvin told reporters in Philadelphia. "We're calling it a left knee strain. I know they're going to get a picture of it tomorrow ... it feels like it's significant, but I'm not sure."

Murphy will get an MRI on Sunday, but it seems likely the Giants end up having two catchers for their next game who were on their Triple-A roster on Friday night. Jakson Reetz was not in the Sacramento River Cats' lineup on Saturday night and should be on the same red-eye flight to Philadelphia that Blake Sabol took 24 hours earlier.

San Francisco cannot get Patrick Bailey back until next Saturday at the earliest, and while he missed the minimum seven days with a concussion last year, those can be unpredictable. Regardless, they may need another backup the rest of the year. Sabol was Bailey's backup last year, but the Giants had hoped to move him to more of a multi-position role, and he had been playing some first base in Triple-A in addition to catching.

President of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi has had a quiet first month, embracing stability on the big league roster. But he surely is working the phones trying to find an experienced backup, or at the very least, another option for the Triple-A roster. The Giants have just three catchers on their 40-man roster at the moment and two are hurt.

A couple of old friends could end up being options if the Giants look outside the organization. Curt Casali is in Triple-A with the Chicago Cubs and Austin Wynns is playing for the Cincinnati Reds' Triple-A affiliate. The Giants could also just stick with Reetz, a 28-year-old who made two big league appearances for the Washington Nationals in 2021, and has plenty of Triple-A experience while also appearing in big league camp this spring.

Adding Reetz, or anyone else for that matter, would require a 40-man move. It's possible the Giants see enough on Murphy's MRI that they put him on the 60-day IL right away, but they're running short on available spots. They already might need one for Mason Black if he's the choice to start on Monday.

That seemed a bit more likely before Saturday's blowout loss, which threw team officials into scramble mode to try and fill their catching needs while also making sure Melvin has enough pitching to get through the rest of this road trip. In the eighth inning of a 14-3 loss to the Phillies, Melvin turned to utility man Tyler Fitzgerald.

"We're going to have to rethink these things," Melvin said. "Some of the guys that pitched today are not going to be available tomorrow. We had two guys down there that we didn't pitch and some other guys are going to have to pitch. We've got (Logan Webb) going tomorrow so hopefully that's a benefit, but we're certainly going to have to look at some things coming up."

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