Pat Burrell

Melvin thrilled to add Burrell and his experience with Giants prospects

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SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- It wasn't all that long ago that Pat Burrell was stepping into the cage and crushing homers onto the berm at Scottsdale Stadium. On Thursday morning, he was leaning on that cage, giving out pieces of advice as he watched young hitters go through a workout. 

Burrell is back in big league camp as a hitting coach, and his new manager, Bob Melvin, is excited to see what kind of impact the former Giants left fielder can make. Melvin is a big believer in promoting coaches from within the organization, and he was able to do that with Burrell and new bullpen coach Garvin Alston. 

For the Giants, it could be a key to putting last year's offensive woes in the rearview mirror. Burrell -- along with fellow newcomer/old friend Matt Williams -- will bring a bit more toughness and accountability to the clubhouse. And because Burrell previously was a roving hitting instructor in the minor leagues, he already has worked with all of the young position players who are now settling in.

"Having somebody that has the background and history that Pat does, to go down there and work with the younger kids in the organization, it's always great to have that resource," Melvin said. "He has got opinions already about them and they know him, too. It's similar to (bench coach) Ryan Christenson in the Oakland organization who had (Matt) Olsen and (Matt) Chapman and all those guys coming up and got to the big leagues at the same time as they did. There's a comfort that comes with that."

Another new addition will bring similar familiarity to the pitching side. Alston was the pitching coach in Triple-A last season and has worked with most of the organization's young pitchers. Melvin said that element of his staff was partly coincidence, but also partly by design. 

"I think it also just worked out really well that they were in those positions and we were looking to promote from within as well as bring in those coaches from outside," Melvin said. "Again, that's something I learned in Oakland. When you promote from within you get buy-in from everybody in the organization and they know there's not only a chance for players to come up and get to the big leagues, but also coaches. It works really well, so hopefully we can continue to do that here. 

"They lined up really well in not only the fact that they fit really well, but they were also in the right place at the right time."

--- Predictably, the Giants did not waste the opportunity to add more depth to the organization when they finally put Robbie Ray on the 60-day IL. They signed right-handed reliever Austin Warren on Wednesday, slipping him into the roster spot vacated by Ray. Warren seems likely to also go on the 60-day as they continue to add (Jorge Soler would be the first one to need a spot), as he is recovering from Tommy John surgery. 

Warren, 28, allowed just four earned runs in 16 relief appearances as a rookie in 2021 but struggled a year later and then got hurt last season. He primarily leans on a hard slider and a fastball that sits around 93-94 mph. 

Farhan Zaidi has made a habit of adding pitchers who are recovering from surgery and can be stashed on the 60-day IL. There have been some misses, but they just got two pretty good seasons out of another right-hander -- John Brebbia -- who was on the way back from Tommy John.

--- Left-handed reliever Scott Alexander has joined Ross Stripling and Alex Wood across the bridge in Oakland. Alexander made 72 appearances for the Giants over the last two seasons, including a dozen as an opener, and posted a 3.70 ERA and 3.16 FIP.

--- Taylor Rogers appears to be the only lefty locked into a spot in the bullpen at the start of camp. Veteran Amir Garrett brings experience and the Giants love Erik Miller, a Stanford alum who struck out 73 in 52 innings in Triple-A last season.

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