MIAMI — When the Giants dealt Cory Gearrin to the Texas Rangers last summer, they lost more than just a veteran reliever.
They traded away their Major League Baseball Players Association representative.
That position was left vacant during the offseason and into spring training, but at least for the time being, they’ve found an interim union rep in shortstop Brandon Crawford.
Crawford confirmed Wednesday that he has temporarily taken over as the player rep and said he’s willing to continue in the role as long as his services are needed. The Giants have not held a formal clubhouse election for a player rep since Gearrin’s departure and have no plans to do so in the immediate future, but in Crawford, they have a player who understands and values the concerns of his teammates.
Gearrin is the current player rep for the Seattle Mariners and among the most passionate players in baseball when it comes to discussing labor relations matters. He took over for long-time Giants player rep Matt Cain, who retired at the end of the 2017 season.
Crawford and Buster Posey were among the players who retweeted USA Today columnist Bob Nightengale this spring when Nightengale said it was “shameful” that veteran outfielder Adam Jones remained a free agent.
It’s shameful that 5-time All-Star outfielder Adam Jones, one of #MLB‘s greatest ambassadors, role models and clubhouse leaders, still does not have a job this winter. He’s still only 33, has produced 25 or more HRs in 7 of the last 8 seasons, and remains an elite player.
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) February 5, 2019
Posey was asked prior to spring training about the player rep vacancy and said he felt Giants players have an obligation to hold group discussions regarding labor issues.
“I think we all have a responsibility,” Posey said in February. “The Players Association is not about one person or one group, that’s the strength of the PA is the unity of it.”
Major League Baseball’s Collective Bargaining Agreement does not expire until after the 2021 season, which is when Crawford is scheduled to become a free agent. In the meantime, there are a variety of other labor issues that will arise and be discussed in clubhouses around the league.
One small matter Crawford has already handled on behalf of his teammates? The date for a make-up game.
The Giants and Rockies were rained out in Denver on May 8 and given a few options to reschedule the postponed game. One idea tossed out called for the Giants to travel from Baltimore to Colorado to play on a mutual off day, Monday, June 3.
Instead of zig-zagging across the country to face the Rockies before a three-game series in New York, the Giants will play a double-header in Denver on July 15, which is the first day of their next trip to Coors Field.
Giants hold team meeting
The Giants gathered in the clubhouse for a closed-door meeting that lasted nearly 20 minutes about two and a half hours before the start of Wednesday’s game against the Marlins.
Manager Bruce Bochy did not elect to divulge any details about the meeting, but Bochy was clearly frustrated with the team’s concentration in Monday’s 11-3 loss to the Marlins. The defeat extended the Giants’ losing streak to a season-high six games as the club has been outscored 59-17 over the last week.
Bochy and his coaching staff were involved in the meeting, so it was not a “players only” gathering.
Beede tabbed to start Thursday
The Giants added pitcher Tyler Beede to the taxi squad Wednesday as the right-hander will make his second start of the season in Thursday’s series finale.
Beede tossed seven innings of one-run ball in his last start with Triple-A starter and was chosen over fellow right-hander Dereck Rodríguez to make the start against the Marlins. Bochy said the Giants liked how Rodríguez looked in a two-inning stint out of the bullpen on Saturday against the D’backs and will continue to evaluate him in that role.
Beede threw a season-high 104 pitches including 71 strikes in his most recent start against the Salt Lake City Bees, but has struggled with command as he’s walked eight in 6 2/3 major league innings this year.
Vincent to the IL
Reliever Nick Vincent was placed on the 10-day injured list Wednesday after leaving Tuesday’s game with a right pectoral strain. The Giants recalled left-handed reliever Williams Jerez to take Vincent’s roster spot in Miami.
Bochy said Vincent likely won’t pick up a baseball for the next 10 days and could be sidelined for two-to-three weeks with the injury.
Vincent is the third different Giants reliever to be placed on the injured list in the last two weeks as he joins Trevor Gott and Travis Bergen. Gott threw a bullpen in Miami Wednesday and could be activated in New York next week while Bergen is expected to throw off a mound at the Giants’ minor league complex in Scottsdale on Thursday.
The Giants will need to clear an additional roster spot for Beede ahead of Thursday’s series finale.