Marco Scutaro has been a key player for the San Francisco Giants the last few seasons, including on the World Series champion team in 2012. Dealing with a lingering hip injury and still going through a core strengthening program, Scutaro has not taken the field yet for the Giants this spring.
Having only participated in limited groundball work and having not yet swung a bat, Scutaro’s availability for Opening Day might start getting called into question. Andrew Baggarly of CSN Bay Area writes the following:
Now it is March and the Cactus League schedule has begun and not only has Scutaro not appeared in a game, but he hasn’t even swung a bat. He’s only begun taking ground balls on a back field the last three days.
The Giants will tell you this is all by design. They plotted out a course for their 38-year-old infielder over the winter, knowing the first two weeks of the spring would be spent strengthening every bit of meat in his back, abdominals and hips.”
Might these issues with Scutaro, who batted .297/.357/.369 in 127 games last season, motivate the Giants to go look for an alternative at second base? Not so, says general manager Brian Sabean:
I have no plans right now to switch gears because we expect him to be healthy…and there’s plenty of time to get him healthy.”
This news comes on the same morning that we heard that free agent Stephen Drew would be open to signing with a team to play second base. That would presumably only be a course of action for the Giants if Scutaro’s injury got worse, but the timing is interesting nevertheless. For now, the Giants will stick with internal options and hope for Scutaro is available early in the season.