The San Francisco Giants broke camp in Arizona on Tuesday the same way they ended their 2016 regular season, with a game against the Chicago Cubs.
There were two key differences. The outcome of the contest didn’t matter and the Giants won.
Chris Marrero hit a three-run home run in the top of the ninth inning to give San Francisco a 10-7 win.
The shot could give the first baseman/outfielder an opportunity to make the team as Michael Morse’s injury further exacerbates a lack of power hitting off the bench.
“The last game here, it seems fitting that he would do something like that,” manager Bruce Bochy told reporters, according to CSN Bay Area. “He’s already done it a couple of times. This kid has done all he can. I love his swing and the work that he’s put in.”
One person who won’t be on the team come Opening Day is Jimmy Rollins, who — according to media reports — has been told of his roster status. Bochy told reporters the Giants were waiting to hear back from him on his status for the Battle of the Bay Bridge, which begins Thursday at AT&T Park.
Meanwhile, all signs point to Aaron Hill making the team as the infielder stayed with the Giants through the end of camp instead of requesting his release early — which likely would’ve been his move if he knew he wouldn’t be receiving a $100,000 bonus on Tuesday.
That’s the same retention bonus that Gordon Beckham did not receive, leading to him asking to be off the team.
There was no resolution for the biggest storyline of Giants spring training: What they’ll do with the fifth spot in the rotation.
Matt Cain wasn’t terrible on Tuesday, allowing two runs over his first five innings before running into trouble in the fifth. Playing against a solid Cubs lineup that featured most of their stars, Cain struck out five and gave up just five hits over the full 5.1 innings.
“Today was an improvement,” Bochy said of the start.
But that doesn’t clear up if he’s won the spot in the rotation.
Ty Blach, Cain’s competition, submitted a quality start when the Giants stretched his pitch count to test his ability to be a starter. But, the fact that he’s younger and left handed could force him into the bullpen.
The process for Cain will remain the same, regardless of what the team announces Thursday.