Programming note: Giants Insider Andrew Baggarly is in Arizona. Check back for his coverage throughout spring training and watch SportsNet Central nightly at 6 and 10:30 p.m. for all the day’s MLB news.
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – Barely a minute after Tyler Colvin walked into the Giants’ clubhouse, Willie Mays appeared around a corner for the first time this spring.
Talk about being upstaged.
Colvin doesn’t need a spotlight, though. Just an opportunity. And after a major league deal with the Baltimore Orioles fell through, the 28-year-old outfielder felt the Giants offered the best chance among the teams offering minor league contracts.
[RELATED: Giants agree to terms with OF Tyler Colvin]
“This is a good club and they really wanted me,” said Colvin, who will be invited to major league camp. “The Giants were genuinely interested.”
The physical wasn’t completed yet, but it was far enough along that the Giants didn’t foresee any issues finalizing Colvin's deal. That wasn’t the case with the Orioles, whose medical staff curiously flunked several players – including former A’s closer Grant Balfour – this offseason.
Was Colvin surprised when his back didn’t pass Baltimore’s medical approval?
“Honestly, no,” Colvin said. “Seeing what they’re doing over there, it didn’t really surprise me 100 percent. But I know how my body feels. If somebody wants to tell me different…”
Colvin said he felt healthy shortly after last season, when he hurt his back while playing for the Rockies’ Triple-A club. He returned in August and was designated for assignment after playing one game.
“I’m No. 88 right now,” Colvin said. “That’s definitely motivation to me.”
Colvin will get more than a token shot at winning the No.5 outfield job this spring. The Giants already have a solid candidate in Juan Perez, but Colvin offers something the club doesn’t have: a left-handed pinch hitter capable of extra-base power.
“He’s an experienced player with a good bat,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. “You never know. He’ll get some playing time…It’s more depth, more options. We went through some injuries last year (in the outfield).”
Yes, they did. That’s why you saw so much of Andres Torres, Jeff Francoeur and even Kensuke Tanaka in the outfield – a swath of 300-plus plate appearances that yielded almost no production.
It’s apparent that the Giants are putting little faith in internal options Roger Kieschnick or Gary Brown, either. Neither minor leaguer has been able to make the adjustments at the plate that the organization wanted to see.
Bochy said Brown looks “determined” this spring but didn’t exactly praise the former first-round pick for overhauling his approach.
“He looks a little freer to me with where his hands are,” Bochy said. “It looks like he’s trying to make some adjustments.”
Bochy said Tim Hudson “snuck in there” and participated in some fielding drills on a back field. He’ll do more fielding work to test his ankle over the next week and should be far enough along to start during the first few exhibition games when the Cactus League schedule starts on Wednesday.
Hudson will use a DH for his first start, Bochy said.
Right-hander Sandy Rosario was held out of Saturday’s workout because of leg soreness.