Gregor Blanco had his worst season as a Giant in 2016. He batted just .224 and only got on base at a .309 clip. While he was never considered a power threat, he saw his isolated power rating dip below .100 after finishing above that mark in 2014 and 2015. There was some bad luck involved when you take a look at his career-low .279 BABIP, plus his strikeout (18.6%) and walk (10.6%) rates were right around his career averages, so it may not be the beginning of the end for 32-year-old. Blanco's fantasy value as a fourth outfielder was his ability to provide a little bit of power and speed when filling in for one of the Giants' starters. Now a member of the Diamondbacks organization, Blanco will be given a chance to compete for a similar reserve outfielder role, although the multitude of younger alternatives could push the 33-year-old into an organizational depth role.
Blanco has a better shot at making the Diamondbacks' Opening Day roster after Socrates Brito (finger) was ruled out for the next two months. Blanco, Brito, Jeremy Hazelbaker, and Oswaldo Arcia seem to be the main competitors for the fourth outfielder role in Arizona, but the temporary removal of one candidate certainly helps the veteran Blanco out. The 33-year-old non-roster invitee hasn't made much of his offensive chances in camp thus far, slashing just .143/.250/.286 in 25 plate appearances, but he also is out of minor league options (unlike Hazelbaker), which could help him if he shows enough on the defensive side of things to sway the Diamondbacks brass his way.
Blanco agreed to a minor league contract with the Diamondbacks on Tuesday that includes an invitation to spring training. Blanco enjoyed a nice run with the Giants over the past five years, but his 2016 campaign proved to be the worst offensive season of his career. In 274 plate appearances, the veteran outfielder slashed .224/.309/.311 and stole a career-low six bases. The Diamondbacks' starting outfielders seem to be set in stone, but Blanco will have a chance to compete for a reserve role.
Blanco will play left field and bat eighth as a late addition to Monday's lineup versus the Cubs, Jayson Stark of ESPN reports. Angel Pagan was a late scratch from the lineup due to back spasms, which led to the addition of Blanco. The veteran is hitless in seven at-bats against Arrieta this season.
Blanco (shoulder) has been activated off the 15-day disabled list in advance of Friday's game against the Cardinals. A right shoulder impingement has kept the utility outfielder on the shelf since late-August, but after being evaluated earlier in the week, the Giants felt confident that he was ready to get back on the field. He's not in the lineup Friday, but he should be available off the bench and could get into the lineup later in the weekend should one of the Giants' outfielders need a breather.
Blanco (shoulder) will be reevaluated Wednesday, Alex Pavlovic of CSN Bay Area reports. Blanco landed on the disabled list toward the end of August and little has come out since then by way of a potential timetable, but his status should become a bit clearer following Wednesday's evaluation. Whenever he's healthy enough to rejoin the team, Blanco figures to resume his role as the team's top reserve outfield option.