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Crawford placed on paternity list, Cueto throws off mound

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San Francisco Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford speaks to the media as the San Francisco Giants hold media day at AT&T Park in San Francisco, Calif., on Friday, February 10, 2017.

Brandon Crawford was placed on the paternity list Monday as he is expecting his fourth child.

According to manager Bruce Bochy, Crawford’s wife is scheduled for a Cesarean Section, which allowed them to pinpoint the timing of the birth. Crawford will be back in the lineup Wednesday for the final game of the series with the Marlins. Kelby Tomlinson has been recalled to serve as his fill-in in the meantime.

Johnny Cueto (right elbow inflammation) threw all four of his pitches Monday in a 40 pitch bullpen that simulated two innings of work, with a brief break midway through. The Giants were encouraged by the way the session went, though a lot depends on how Cueto feels in the coming days.

Cueto said through team translator Erwin Higueros:

“I was throwing all my pitches and everything was working very fine. I guess the next step is for me to go down to the minor leagues and do a rehab.”

With Cueto expected to make at least two rehab starts, Bochy gave early July as a tentative time frame for his return, though he allowed that this could change based on a variety of factors including Cueto’s health and the club’s needs. 

Jeff Samardzija (right shoulder tightness) will throw his second rehab game Thursday with Triple-A Sacramento after having a very promising first rehab outing Friday with the River Cats in which he threw 43 pitches in three innings allowing just one hit and striking out four. 

Said Bochy:

“That was a lot different than his [other] rehab starts — he came out free and easy, the velo was there, all his pitches were crisper. He feels a lot better talking to him, even [better] than when he did his rehab last time. You can’t always trust the player, especially a guy like Samardzija — he’s gonna tell you he’s ready to go. But we’re looking at the stuff and the velocity, and it is what it normally is with him, which it wasn’t last time he went on rehab.”

Evan Longoria (fractured left pinkie) will undergo surgery Tuesday to speed up the healing of the hand fracture he sustained last week after being hit by a pitch in Miami.

Giants No. 2 overall draft pick Joey Bart officially signed with the Giants for the highest up-front bonus for a position player in the draft’s history — more than $7 million — Sunday. He stopped by AT&T Park ahead of Monday’s game for a tour of the stadium and a brief introduction to a handful of big leaguers including fellow-Georgian’s Buster Posey and Hunter Strickland.

He has spent the last couple of days working out in the team’s Spring Training complex in Phoenix, but expects to join the Giants Class-A affiliate Salem-Keizer Volcanoes in Oregon in the near future. 

Bart is glad to have been drafted by San Francisco and said he couldn’t have drawn it up better himself:

“I like to say I’m a winner and one of the things this team does is they wanna win now. I respect that a lot. You can’t really choose who drafts you, but if I had to go and do it, this is the way I would’ve done it, so I’m extremely lucky.”

A curious thing has changed in Pablo Sandoval’s approach at the plate this season. First noted by Jeff Sullivan of FanGraphs, Sandoval has laid off of first pitches. Like, almost all of them. He had a 44 percent first-pitch swing-rate in 2017, but this season that number is under 5 percent. As a result, the switch-hitting third baseman is also seeing many more first-pitch strikes.

Of the apparent change to his approach Sandoval said:

“When you’re in the league you see every way the pitcher [throws], you take all their stuff and work a little on different things. You realize that the way that they do their approach to you, you have to get an approach to them, so that’s what I’m doing different.”

He was playfully tight-lipped on any changes to his approach or strategy this year, except to say that he was a more “patient hitter:” 

“What happens if you don’t throw the first pitch for a strike? I’m ahead in the count, so then I get a pitch to hit.”


Julie Parker is SFBay’s San Francisco Giants beat writer. Follow @SFBay and @InsideThePark3r on Twitter and at SFBay.ca for full coverage of Giants baseball.

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