SF Giants: The plan for Alex Wood, one prospect’s bullpen ‘as good as it gets’, health updates

SF Giants: The plan for Alex Wood, one prospect’s bullpen ‘as good as it gets’, health updates

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — There were puppies in Giants camp on Tuesday.

We’re not talking about the dogs, up for adoption, that the team brought in to play with some of their players. Their cuteness, though, did make it more of a challenge for San Francisco’s young pups to steal the show during their first live batting practice of the spring.

Yet, R.J. Dabovich did just that.

“(Pitching coach Andrew Bailey) and I partway through that live were like, is this one of the better live BPs that you’ve seen? Yeah,” manager Gabe Kapler said Wednesday morning. “Mostly because it was just strike after strike for a guy where that’s his main objective.”

Dabovich, 24, is one of a group of young pitchers in camp that also includes 21-year-old left-hander Kyle Harrison, 22-year-old righty Jose Cruz and 24-year-old righty Cole Waites. While Harrison, a starter, is likely to begin the year at Triple-A Sacramento, Dabovich, Cruz and Waites are all candidates for the final spot in San Francisco’s bullpen.

For Dabovich, drafted in the fourth round out of Arizona State in 2020, the objective is finding the strike zone consistently. He dominated last year at Double-A, appearing in 22 games with a 2.70 ERA and, importantly, striking out 38 while walking six. That earned him a promotion to Triple-A Sacramento, but his walk rate spiked more three times over.

That’s why Dabovich throwing strike after strike Tuesday caught Kapler’s eye.

“Dabo’s live BP was as good as it gets,” Kapler said. “We have a player plan meeting with a guy and the main objective is to pound the strike zone, be in the strike zone, your stuff plays, and then he throws almost exclusively strikes with both of his pitches and gets that swing and miss and you’re like, oh, that’s kind of how it’s supposed to go.”

Where Wood fits in


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