Giants reassign Tanaka, two catchers to minor league camp

Giants reassign Tanaka, two catchers to minor league camp
March 21, 2013, 4:30 pm
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After a slow start at the plate this spring, Kensuke Tanaka eventually found his stroke but dealt with consistent struggles on defense. (USA TODAY IMAGES)

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – The Giants trimmed three more players from major league camp on Thursday, reassigning infielder Kensuke Tanaka as well as catchers Jackson Williams and Johnny Monell. 

The Giants are down to 34 players in major league camp, including six non-roster invitees.

One of them is well-traveled catcher Guillermo Quiroz, who is the only backstop remaining other than Buster Posey and Hector Sanchez. If Sanchez’s shoulder forces him to begin the season on the disabled list, Quiroz would be the backup.

Tanaka had a shot to win a backup infielder job when the spring began but it became apparent just a few days into camp that he wouldn’t bear more consideration. He made seven of the club’s 19 errors this spring – nearly all of them on throws – and had another toss go awry in the exhibition against Japan that didn’t count in the spring training statistics.

Tanaka’s last error came on Wednesday, when he threw so high and wide on a 40-foot toss that first baseman Brandon Belt didn’t even bother trying to reach for it.

It was thought that Tanaka would accept an assignment to Triple-A Fresno, but now it remains to be seen if the Giants still want to offer a minor league position to him. It’s hard to fathom how he won four Gold Gloves in Japan with the Nippon Ham Fighters.

Monell had a big spring, hitting .500 (10 for 20) with two doubles and a homer but has a lot of work to do on his receiving skills.

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