Casali (hand) is expected to start Friday's spring game against the Padres, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Casali underwent hamate surgery in December, but he played catch and hit without pain to begin spring training. He'll make his Cactus League debut Friday, batting third while playing catcher. Barring any setbacks, the veteran backstop should have plenty of time to prepare for Opening Day.
Casali revealed Saturday that he underwent hamate surgery in December, John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Casali signed a major-league contract with the Giants in January, but the catcher revealed Saturday that he had surgery during the offseason. However, the 32-year-old has been playing catch and hitting without pain to begin spring training. While he could face some limitations during camp, Casali was optimistic that he'll be ready for Opening Day.
Casali signed a one-year, $1.5 million deal with the Giants on Monday. While the Giants aren't paying Casali all that much, the major-league contract implies that they see him as part of the active roster in 2021. He deserves at least a backup spot given his respectable .230/.316/.413 slash line in parts of seven seasons at the highest level. That leaves the Giants' catcher depth chart rather full, however, as Buster Posey will be returning to action after opting out of the 2020 season and the highly-rated Joey Bart has already arrived, appearing in 33 games in Posey's absence last season. The signing of Casali potentially indicates that the Giants intend to give Bart more seasoning in the minors to start the year.
Casali was non-tendered by the Reds on Wednesday. Casali logged a respectable .866 OPS in 93 plate appearances last year, working primarily as a backup. He should be able to catch on elsewhere in a similar capacity, but he may need to settle for a pay cut.
Casali (wrist) was used off the bench in Game 2 of last week's series-clinching loss to the Braves, catching one inning and logging no plate appearances. Casali started behind the dish in Game 1 of the series, but he exited in the sixth inning of a 1-0 loss in 13 innings while he battled a sore wrist. While he ceded his spot in the lineup to Tucker Barnhart in Game 2, Casali's entry into the game as a substitute suggests he'll head into the winter healthy. Unless the Reds feel confident that top catching prospect Tyler Stephenson is ready for a full-time assignment in the majors in 2021, Casali will likely reprise his role as a part-timer alongside Barnhart next season.