It’s a new year for the San Francisco Giants, and they have a new man leading the proceedings.
New leadoff man Tommy La Stella got off to a solid start for the Giants in spring training, per the San Francisco Chronicle’s Susan Slusser, working a full count in his first at-bat and hitting a double his second time up.
No. 2 hitter, Mike Yastrzemski, had himself a fine start too, playing off the new guy, La Stella. Yastrzemski singled in the first inning and had a sacrifice fly in the third, which moved La Stella over to third base.
Manager Gabe Kapler liked the potential for top-of-the-order chaos created by his first and second hitters.
“I was really excited to see those two hitters back-to-back,” manager Gabe Kapler said. “You can tell what a hard grind they would give opposing pitchers.”San Francisco Chronicle
Also: Kapler had a comment on catcher Joey Bart’s spring training start, which saw the much ballyhooed prospect have two hits, including an opposite-field single.
“It’s way too early to have any definitive takeaways, but it’s certainly cause for optimism to see him drive pitches like that and use the opposite field,” Kapler said.San Francisco Chronicle
Time will tell how much Bart plays this season. Three-time World Series champion Buster Posey is still first in line to play behind the plate, as he always has been.
But while he might have significant production to provide, especially after taking last year off due to the pandemic, Posey is clearly on his way down as Bart is likely to ascend naturally very soon. Kapler said he doesn’t want to go overboard, but I think Bart might be ready to take over now.
It’s blasphemy to some, but having the designated hitter might have helped the Giants with that situation. But the whole team is important, not just Bart, such as that new top of the lineup. They’ve set a good tone thus far and will of course look to do the same as the season progresses.