Giants notes: Conforto makes first outfield appearance originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — More than an hour before Thursday’s first pitch, as teammates ate lunch and started to get ready, a fully-dressed Michael Conforto grabbed his bat bag and started to walk out of the clubhouse. Joc Pederson smiled and cracked a joke about how excited Conforto was, but it was hard to blame him.
The offseason addition played in the outfield for the first time since he was the New York Mets right fielder on Oct. 3, 2021. Conforto was limited to DH duty in his first five spring appearances as a Giant, but he started in right field on Thursday.
“I was excited, but also it was a show-and-go today so I needed to get some stuff done. But yeah, it was like, let’s get this thing rolling,” he said. “I was just excited to go out there and feel like a real ballplayer again.”
While the Giants had initially talked about Conforto as their left fielder and Mitch Haniger as their right fielder, Conforto’s rehab from shoulder surgery has gone so well that it is possible he ends camp as the roster’s best right field option. The Giants are getting both offseason additions reps in both corners to see what the best alignment is.
Manager Gabe Kapler said it’s unlikely that Conforto and Haniger will move around much once the season starts. The preference is to pick an alignment and stick with it.
“You want to get these guys as comfortable as possible,” Kapler said. “Sometimes it’s just nice to leave it alone and just kind of create as much confidence and then leave it alone. You’re still trying to cover the entire outfield with three guys and the margins are pretty thin.”
While Haniger made an athletic grab in left on Wednesday night, Conforto didn’t get any action in his spring debut in right. He continued to show off at the plate, though, homering for the third straight game.
— Brett Wisely was a late scratch because of a stomach virus, which kept him from keeping the momentum going. Wisely has two homers already and pretty quickly is establishing himself as a shortstop option if the Giants need more help behind Brandon Crawford. That’s not all, though.
Wisely is taking reps in center field and coaches have been impressed with how natural he looks out there. He only has 23 innings of professional experience in the outfield but he’s now expected to see some time in center before the spring is over. For a young player trying to crack the roster with a franchise that values versatility, it could be a bit of a game-changer.
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— Outfield prospect Vaun Brown is out with left patellar tendonitis, the Giants announced. Brown had a cleanup procedure in the knee last season and has been limited to five at-bats this spring. Left-hander Thomas Szapucki is also sidelined because of a left arm neuropathy.
There was better news with top prospect Marco Luciano, who has resumed full baseball work after being sidelined early in camp by a back injury. The Giants also announced that Cole Waites (lat strain) threw a bullpen session on Monday and Austin Slater (elbow neuritis) is starting a throwing program.
— The Giants sent Logan Webb to their minor league facility so that he could get more structured work. Joey Bart went with him and Webb threw 50 pitches in a scrimmage game.
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