Giants prospect Williamson belts two blasts

Giants prospect Williamson belts two blasts

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Mac Williamson's two-homer performance in the Giants' 7-5 Cactus League loss Saturday to the Texas Rangers was sure to stir public sentiment for the outfielder to make the Opening Day roster, though manager Bruce Bochy said when camp began that the 25-year-old needs more everyday seasoning at Triple-A Sacramento.

Impressive as Williamson's output was -- he pounded his first homer off Rangers ace Cole Hamels in the second inning before victimizing Donnie Veal in the ninth -- Bochy reiterated that Williamson's chances of securing a spot on the 25-man roster added up to a "long shot."

However, Bochy added that if Williamson -- ranked the No. 7 Giants prospect by MLB.com -- sustains his impressive hitting, he "makes that long shot a little shorter."

Williamson refrained from openly rejoicing in his big day.

• Spring: Tickets | Ballpark | 40-man roster | NRIs

Having been told by Bochy that he'll likely begin the season with Sacramento, Williamson acknowledged that spending at least part of the season in the Pacific Coast League could be in his immediate future.

"I knew coming in that it's a long shot for me to make the team," Williamson said. "Having said that, I'm going to do my best and make a good impression."

Similarly, Williamson refused to exult over tattooing Hamels' first-pitch fastball.

"It was cool, but having been in camp [last] year, I know all [the pitchers] are working on stuff. I wouldn't read too much into it," he said.

Worth noting

• Ricky Romero couldn't hide his satisfaction. "There's lots to be happy about," he said.

Simply running to the mound to start Saturday represented a triumph for Romero, the 2011 All-Star left-hander with Toronto who hasn't pitched in the Major Leagues since 2013 due to knee injuries. Better yet, Romero performed capably Saturday, working 1 2/3 scoreless innings before he reached his 35-pitch limit.

Romero makes debut with Giants

Romero replaced Johnny Cueto, San Francisco's projected No. 2 starter who needed additional time to build arm strength. Unlike Cueto, who'll perform this year under a "win now" imperative, Romero will be allowed to try to regain his winning form gradually. Regardless of Romero's fate, he'll remain at peace with himself.

"I think at this point in my career, there's no pressure," said Romero, 31. "I ain't got nothing to lose. I think I've been through it all, with the injuries. Whatever happens out of this, it's going to be because of the work I've put in. And I think I've done a pretty good job with that."

Romero's absence of discomfort reflects that work.

"The knees have bounced back really, really good so far," he said.

• Bochy said that by midweek, each of San Francisco's projected starting outfielders -- left fielder Angel Pagan, center fielder Denard Span and right fielder Hunter Pence -- should have played their first innings defensively. Pagan is slated to make his Cactus League debut Tuesday. Span is 0-for-5 as a designated hitter.

Bochy said that Pence, recovering from right Achilles tendinitis, needs more recovery time: "We'll have to run him before we put him out there."

• Rookie right-hander Tyler Beede remained in the game after Pedro Ciriaco's fourth-inning comebacker struck the pitching prospect's ankle and caromed toward third base for an infield single. However, Beede proceeded to walk three, throw a wild pitch and ultimately allow a run.

Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Haft-Baked Ideas, 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.