Austin Slater scratched from SF Giants’ Cactus League opener

Austin Slater scratched from SF Giants’ Cactus League opener

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — The San Francisco Giants started a large portion of their expected Opening Day lineup for their Cactus League opener on Saturday, but it was down one fewer projected starter than initially planned.

Center fielder Austin Slater was a late scratch with a sore right elbow, but manager Gabe Kapler said it the move was mostly precautionary and the club wasn’t concerned.

“His elbow’s a little sore,” Kapler said. “We discussed having him still play. We just thought we’d give him a day or two to let that calm down, so we took him out of the lineup.”

Slater was penciled in to play center field at bat fourth. Instead, Bryce Johnson, the speedy, switch-hitting 27-year-old outfielder, took Slater’s place in center, and Stephen Piscotty, who started in left, slid up to fourth in the batting order.

One sign the Giants aren’t overly concerned about Slater’s elbow: it won’t require an MRI.

“We had the conversation with (head trainer Dave Groeschner),” Kapler said, “and it wasn’t anything concerning enough to do anything major with, just enough to have him be cautious about it.”

Starting lineup

The Giants begin Cactus League play at 12:05 p.m. PT against the Cubs at Sloan Park in Mesa. All their starters are expected to get 2-3 at-bats.


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