SAN FRANCISCO — The Giants feel better about their pitching depth in the upper minors than they did a couple weeks ago, and on Tuesday two players got promotions to new levels. As for the big name out there, general manager Bobby Evans said on "SportsTalk Live" on Tuesday that Tim Lincecum continues to be viewed as a reliever. The Giants have yet to make an official offer.
“We’re in discussions with his (agent) Rick Thurman just to understand their expectations and market and we’ll continue that,” Evans said. “Whether there is actually a formal offer will really be dictated based on our situation and whether there’s a good match.”
The Giants aren’t close to changes at the big league level, whether the newcomer is Lincecum or somebody else. Jake Peavy and Matt Cain took positive steps on back-to-back days, and the Giants are sticking with them, hoping they break through for good.
But they did shake up a couple of rotations lower in the organization. Joan Gregorio, a 6-foot-7 right-hander, was bumped from Double-A to Triple-A after posting a 2.33 ERA in his first five starts. San Jose left-hander Andrew Suarez had a 2.43 ERA in his first five starts, earning him a promotion to Richmond.
Gregorio, 24, is definitely a name to watch. He has been on the 40-man roster for a couple of seasons has shown flashes of his potential in big league camp. Johnny Cueto took Gregorio under his wing this spring, and the Dominican Republic native got off to a fast start. Gregorio had a 0.78 WHIP in Richmond, with 30 strikeouts to six walks in 27 innings. The Giants view him as an option to help out in the big leagues in some respect later this season.
Suarez, 23, has reached Double-A less than a year after he was selected in the second round out of the University of Miami. With an advanced approach and plus slider, Suarez struck out 34 in 29 2/3 innings against A-ball hitters and walked just five in his five starts. He’ll be on the radar as soon as next spring.
Elsewhere in the minors, Chris Heston threw 6 2/3 inning on Monday to get back on track, and Tyler Beede had a second straight strong start at Double-A. Beede has allowed seven hits and just one run over 10 innings in his past two starts, and his fastball is back in the 96-97 range that made him a first rounder coming out of Vanderbilt.
San Francisco Giants
--- George Kontos threw a scoreless rehab inning last night, giving up two hits and striking out one. Sergio Romo played catch and will get back on a mound today, ramping things up a bit from Monday’s bullpen session.
--- Manager Bruce Bochy said he will continue to sprinkle in days off until the Giants get more open days on the schedule. They’re currently in a stretch without a day off from April 28 to May 15, so Brandon Crawford got a scheduled rest day on Tuesday. The schedule really doesn’t lighten up until June, when the Giants get three off days in 11 days, and Bochy said that’s when the #FullSquad (if healthy) will be out there on a more consistent basis.
“We’ve had a tough early start to the schedule,” Bochy said. “If you look at consecutive days played, we’re at the bottom in the number of days off. It’s been a pretty good grind to start the season. Usually you have days off to break into that everyday mode.”
The Giants have played 35 games already. The Cubs (leading the Central), by comparison, have played 31 and the East-leading Mets have played 32. In the division, the Dodgers have had two more days off than the Giants.
--- From last night, my game story on a wasted opportunity. Cain was good, the lineup once again wasn't.