How additions of Conforto, Haniger stabilize Giants’ outfield originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
The Giants will head into the 2023 MLB season with a more stable outfield. Although none of the outfielders are Aaron Judge, who re-signed with the New York Yankees, San Francisco fans can count on new names regularly taking the field.
San Francisco signed Michael Conforto to a two-year, $36 million contract and Mitch Haniger to a three-year, $43.5 million deal this offseason. Health permitting, Conforto and Haniger will prevent the Giants from platooning in the outfield.
Giants manager Gabe Kapler joined KNBR 680’s “Tolbert & Copes” on Thursday to discuss having outfielders that likely will feature in the everyday lineup.
“Those are guys that aren’t sort of the traditional platoon dudes that we’ve run out there,” Kapler said. “We’ll try to give them their days off against when they have a little bit of a disadvantage potentially. But for the most part, you’re going to see those guys in the lineup regularly.”
While the outfield mostly will feature Conforto, who did not play in 2022 after surgery to repair his right shoulder last year, and Haniger, Kapler will not trout them out if the matchup isn’t right for either player or if either player needs a day off.
“I don’t want to swear that it’s going to be 162 games,” Kapler continued. “The reason I would never go in that direction … baseball is so hard right now, and it’s such a mental and physical grind that a few days off here and there is really good.
“We saw that for Buster [Posey] when he was having a phenomenal year in . We saw it with [Brandon Crawford] in ’21. We just tried to give them a little bit of a blow here and there … But I think you can feel good about seeing [Conforto and Haniger] regularly on the field.”
Along with inserting his two outfielders into the Giants’ regular lineup, Kapler will also have to ensure his entire squad is prepared for the new MLB rules this upcoming season.
The Giants skipper and his entire coaching staff will have a busy spring training as the team hopes to bounce back from a disappointing 81-81 record in 2021.