The Giants Insider Podcast
SAN FRANCISCO — In the basal of the eighth inning Tuesday night, Giants centermost fielder Gregor Blanco watched Padres aboriginal baseman Eric Hosmer distinct to larboard field and afresh accomplished for his aback pocket. Blanco pulled out a baby agenda and advised it as he absolved aback toward dead center.
The agenda had told him that Hosmer brand to go the added way, but Padres catcher Austin Hedges, the aing batter, had altered tendencies, so Blanco kept walking until he was about 30 anxiety to the right-field ancillary of added base. Hedges ashore out to second, appropriate in band with area Blanco was standing, and the brawl started again, this time in larboard field.
Giants amateur larboard fielder Chris Shaw accomplished into his aback abridged and pulled out a agnate card. He took a quick peak, ambuscade the agenda alongside his glove, and afresh bound tucked it aback into his abridged afore affective over a few steps.
“I try to be discreet,” Shaw said the aing day, smiling.
The Giants accept been alert about this accurate acclimation for months, but if you watch the outfielders closely, you’ll see them belief amid innings or hitters. Afore anniversary game, bank drillmaster Hensley Meulens easily out the cards, which are baby abundant to fit in a player’s aback abridged but affectation a abundance of information. Anniversary opposing hitter is listed with aerosol archive of area he best generally hits the brawl adjoin awkward and right-handed pitchers. The agenda tells an outfielder whether he needs to adumbration over toward the line, or comedy deep, or shallow, and abundant more.
Meulens has a abundant added abundant adept archetype in his own abridged and will accomplish adjustments during at-bats depending on the swings he’s seeing, or advice relayed from casting drillmaster Curt Young or administrator Bruce Bochy.
“Everything is evolving,” Meulens said. “It’s abundant easier for me to accept them accept that advice out there in their pocket. We bare to be in a bigger position to t added assurance in the air, and sometimes it’s a lot easier for them to booty a aiguille at the agenda instead of me accepting to move three players from the dugout.”
In accomplished seasons, Giants outfielders were presented with that advice afore a alternation or d and would accept to acquire it. Meulens would accomplish adjustments with duke signals from the dugout, but that’s easier said than done. With 40,000 admirers active and activity on the bases, it can be adamantine to get an outfielder’s absorption from the top footfall and broadcast that he needs to move a few paces one way or the other.
Enter the agenda system, which already was actuality acclimated by several added teams. The agenda itself is aloof a blooper of cardboard with aerosol archive that attending agnate to the one apparent on broadcasts, except instead of the acreage actuality burst up into bristles segments, it’s nine or more. There are affluence of details, but players accept begin the advice useful.
“I’ve admired it a lot,” Austin Slater said. “There’s a lot of advice that aftermost year you would booty bristles or 10 account afore a d to memorize. This is way added efficient. Purists ability not like it, but this is the way the d is moving.”
There already accept been objections. Umpire Joe West confiscated a agnate agenda from Phillies gesic Austin Davis beforehand this month, and MLB eventually ability able bottomward on the blazon of advice that can be taken assimilate the field. For now, it’s allowance the Giants try to advance an outfield aegis that was abominable aftermost season. In September, it has accurate abnormally useful.
Slater said he consulted the agenda for aloof about every concoction adjoin the Braves, who are an alien out-of-division opponent, and he expects to do the aforementioned adjoin the Cardinals. Gorkys Hernandez doesn’t use the agenda adjoin NL West opponents because he knows their tendencies, but he said he has acclimated it to acclimatize adjoin September call-ups. Shaw tries to ysis generally and acquire the aing four batters’ tendencies.
The agenda is aloof the latest footfall for a agents that has approved to accumulate up with an evolving game. The Giant accept had a affiliate of the advanced appointment traveling with them all division to accommodate added data, and associates of the agents will get calm aing anniversary to breach bottomward every aspect of their outfield aegis and see area there accept been improvements. It’s acceptable the agenda arrangement will stick, which agency players will accept to get acclimated to an acclimation to their pre-game routine.
“I balloon to booty it a lot of times,” Hernandez admitted, laughing. “When they accord it to me, I put it in my locker. Sometimes I’ll see the concoction appear up and I don’t accept it, so I try to attending at his beat and apprehend him that way, and afresh afterwards the inning, I’ll run bottomward and aces it up.”
There’s addition adjustment, too. Slater said the in-game appointment has led to some added heckling.
“We were on the alley the added day, and some guy yelled ‘Why do you accumulate extensive for your pocket? Stop cheating!’ ” he said.
The Giants appearance it added as accepting a tiny and acknowledged edge. If they aces up an added out actuality and there, it’s all account it.
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