Issue: Freddy Sanchez and Opening Day.
Analysis: In short, don’t hold your breath.
And if that surprises you, you haven’t been paying very close attention. Not only has Sanchez been slow to heal from his myriad injuries since climbing aboard the Good Ship Orange and Black, but it’s March 15 and he hasn’t yet played defense in a Cactus League game.
He debuted as a DH on Friday, and when I spoke to him he insisted that his workouts are going well, that his shoulder is coming along just fine, etc., etc. Read More
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Madison Bumgarner still has some tuning up to do. “That’s what spring training is for,” said the 22-year-old lefty, still the youngest pitcher in camp. Read More
SURPRISE, Ariz. — Tim Lincecum had a chance to stretch out, pitching four innings in a game for the first time this spring and virtually shutting down the Kansas City Royals to earn the win in the Giants’ 2-1 victory Monday.
Lincecum, who had been roughed up in his previous spring starts, entered the game with a 13.50 ERA, but knocked that down to 6.75 after keeping runners off the basepaths, facing the minimum number of batters through the first three innings. Read More
Making his first appearance of the spring, Giants closer Brian Wilson didn’t seem to skip a beat.
The right-hander needed only nine pitches to complete a shutout inning Sunday as part of a 7-5 Giants win against the Seattle Mariners in Cactus League action.
Wilson, who was bothered by elbow issues at the end of the 2011 season, gave up one hit, but catcher Buster Posey helped him get out of the inning by finishing off a strike-’em out, throw-’em out double play. Read More
You can’t win in baseball scoring 3.5 runs per game.That’s why the Giants made speed a point of emphasis heading into this season.With the newly acquired Angel Pagan and Melky Cabrera at the top of the batting order, the Giants will have more sizzle, which they hope translates into more scoring. Read More
Let’s call it Territory Purgatory. The A’s are in it; Bud Selig’s “blue-ribbon panel” has kept them in it for more than three years now; and with an emphatic victory this week in a fairly comical battle of press releases, the Giants made it clear that they’re rather enjoying — and are perfectly willing, able and expertly equipped to help extend — it.Give the A’s some credit for at least coming out with some information on the urban legend about late owner Walter Haas Jr. giving the Giants the rights to South Bay rights at issue way back when. Read More
PEORIA, Ariz. — Call it baptism by fire — or fireballer.
Giants star Buster Posey is scheduled to start at catcher today in an exhibition game in Scottsdale, Ariz., against the Cincinnati Reds.
And in his first at-bat since he was injured early last season, Posey will likely face one of the hardest throwers in the majors. The Reds’ probable starter is Aroldis Chapman, whose fastball has been clocked at more than 100 mph. Read More
Issue: Buster’s backup
Analysis: Manager Bruce Bochy has said that he probably won’t name a backup to Buster Posey until the end of camp, and that deciding between Eli Whiteside and Chris Stewart will be one of his toughest decisions.
It shouldn’t be. It’s an easy call. It should be Hector Sanchez. Read More
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — In baseball, it’s great to be known as a terrific defensive outfielder.
It’s not so great, though, to be known as a fourth outfielder.
So this is the year for Nate Schierholtz to break through.
Schierholtz, after years of serving as a reserve — he was a key defensive backup in the drive to the World Series in 2010 — is set to start in right field.
“It’s more than exciting for me,” said Schierholtz, who played his high school ball in Danville. Read More
In each of the last three seasons, manager Bruce Bochy slotted a left-handers between co-aces Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain in the season-opening rotation.It was Randy Johnson in 2009, Barry Zito in 2010 and Jonathan Sanchez last season. It's Bochy's way of separating his hard-throwing right-handers, an attempt to keep hitters off balance.The trend figures to continue this year. Another left-hander, Madison Bumgarner, seems destined for the No. 2 slot between Lincecum and Cain. Read More