On today’s Locked On Giants podcast, host Ben Kaspick provides status updates on several San Francisco Giants players who are either injured or have yet to appear in a Spring Training game. Among the Giants in that category are Brandon Belt, Kevin Gausman, Austin Slater, and Aaron Sanchez, all of whom are vital to the team’s success in 2021. Belt is the most likely of all to miss Opening Day, as he has been sidelined with a non-COVID illness all spring. Fortunately for San Francisco, their first opponent of the year, the Seattle Mariners, figure to start three consecutive left-handed starters. That should allow the Giants to withstand the loss of Belt for a short period of time.
Gausman is arguably more indispensible. He emerged as a front-line starter in 2020, and he should start on Opening Day if he’s available. Although Gausman has yet to appear in a spring game, manager Gabe Kapler hasn’t indicated that there’s anything wrong with his health, and he has been throwing bullpens and live batting practice. Slater is an important player for the Giants as well, and he should be starting all three opening series games if he’s available, but he is nursing a sore hamstring. Sanchez’s status is similar to Gausman’s. He’s apparently healthy, but he hasn’t pitched in a spring game. He has a checkered injury history, so it’s worth monitoring his progress.