Suarez brings versatility to Giants' pitching staff

Suarez brings versatility to Giants' pitching staff

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- The Giants aren't yet certain what to do with Albert Suarez. However, they seem to sense that keeping him on the pitching staff would be a fine idea.

Making his first Cactus League start Tuesday, Suarez yielded two runs and six hits in 2 2/3 innings as the Giants outlasted the Cleveland Indians, 6-5. The right-hander walked two but struck out four, displaying his usual array of lively deliveries.

Manager Bruce Bochy mentioned multiple roles that might suit Suarez: spot starting, middle relief and, of course, long relief, which he handled last year as a rookie. Suarez came out of the bullpen to pitch at least two innings six times. Overall, he finished 3-5 with a 4.29 ERA in 22 appearances (12 starts) for San Francisco.

"We're going to stay open-minded," Bochy said.

Bochy pointedly added that he prefers to include a long reliever in his relief contingent. Yusmeiro Petit proved the value of that role during his 2012-15 stint with the Giants.

"We're going to have to have somebody to pitch multiple innings," Bochy said.

Said Suarez, "I'm ready for whatever they want me to do."

Parker's progress: Jarrett Parker continued to strengthen his bid for the Opening Day left-field job, homering and singling in his first two plate appearances Tuesday to extend his hitting streak to five consecutive at-bats.

Parker's two-run dinger to right

Overall, Parker's batting .323 with a 1.107 OPS, three homers and a team-high 10 RBIs. Mac Williamson, the other leading left-field contender, is hitting .333 with a .961 OPS, two homers and two RBIs.

Plate discipline could be the biggest difference in Parker's game. He has coaxed a team-high seven walks.

As for the competition, Parker said, "I'm not going to worry about any of that, to be honest. The game's enough as it is. I'm just trying to keep it simple and try to enjoy it, try to get better, try to do anything I can to help the team in any way, and whatever else happens is out of my control. I understand the situation, but if you sit there and be consumed with it, what good can come of that? I know what I'm capable of and I'm just going to try to do that every day."

Bochy, who has repeated that he expects the left-field competition to extend into the final week of exhibition games, said that he, his staff and the Giants' decision-makers discuss the situation virtually every day.

Chris Haft has covered the Giants since 2005, and for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.