Official 2016 San Francisco Giants Season Thread - NLDS (3-1 CHC) Congrats Chicago Cubs! - Page 68
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Posted on Wednesday, March 12 at 3:07pm | By John SheaWith 18 days until Opening Day, it’s time for the Giants to consider other options at second base.
Marco Scutaro took live batting practice for the first time in spring training – swings off a coach on the main field at Scottsdale Stadium – and wasn’t optimistic about opening the season as the Giants’ second baseman.
“It’s hard to target it,” Scutaro said. “I could probably go out and play tomorrow, but what about the next day? I could go play right now with pain and make it through, but the next day’s going to be worse. I want to be able to feel like I can play the next day.”
In the final week of last year’s spring training, Scutaro’s back locked up, and he hasn’t recovered. He played in pain for much of the season (also with a finger injury), appearing in 127 games and hitting .297. He was hoping to enter 2014 healthy. “In the offseason, I worked hard, but it didn’t get any better,” Scutaro said.
He added, “For me, the hardest part is hitting and rotating. When (the back) moves, some muscles aren’t working and other muscles are working extra hard. That’s the reason they start getting mad at me.”
Scutaro assumes he’ll swing again Thursday. Meantime, manager Bruce Bochy has to consider Plan B. The safe replacement is veteran Joaquin Arias, a valuable utility man for the Giants in 2012 and 2013, appearing in more than 100 games each season.
But a wild card could be Ehire Adrianza, who’s out of options and is liked by management and the coaching staff. A switch-hitter, he has homered from each side of the plate.
Tony Abreu started at second in today’s Giants-White Sox exhibition at Scottsdale Stadium.
“It’s really frustrating. It’s driving me crazy,” Scutaro said.
He spoke last season about his finger injury and correcting the issue for life after baseball. When asked about his back in the same light, he said, “Living LIFE is frustrating. Standing up hurts. Sitting hurts. Whatever you do, it’s like, ‘Leave me alone. I want to relax.’ ”
Last year, when Scutaro visited Dr. Robert Watkins, a back specialist in L.A. who advised him to strengthen his core, he noticed several famous people on the doctor’s wall, all of whom underwent back surgery.
“Yeah, nice collection,” Scutaro noted, “but I don’t want to be up there.
By Alex Pavlovic email@example.com
POSTED: 03/09/2014 06:14:19 PM PDT | UPDATED: 4 DAYS AGO
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Gary Brown's locker in the Scottsdale Stadium clubhouse was right near the front door last year. When Brown showed up this season, he was tucked into the opposite corner.
As far as neighbors go, Brown has traded Hunter Pence and Brandon Belt for a refrigerator overflowing with Dasani water bottles.
Once a top-50 prospect, Brown's star has dimmed, and the message sent by the organization wasn't a subtle one. It would be hard for a 25-year-old former first-round pick to be any further under the radar than Brown is this spring.
And he's just fine with that.
"I'm trying to stay under the radar," he said, smiling. "I want to talk with my actions, not my words."
Those actions have sent a mixed message. Brown still has all the tools to develop into a major leaguer: A plus glove in center field, blazing speed and surprising power for a player listed at 6-foot-1, 190 pounds.
In his first full season out of Cal State Fullerton, Brown hit .336 for the San Jose Giants, with a .407 on-base percentage, 14 homers and 53 stolen bases. At the time he looked like the organization's leadoff hitter of the future, but last season at Triple-A Fresno he was missing all the qualities of a top-notch No. 1 hitter. Brown had a .286 on-base percentage for the Grizzlies and was caught stealing on 11 of 28 attempts.
The disappointing year led to some re-evaluation within the organization.
"He profiled as a leadoff-type hitter, but he may not be that as we get to this level," Giants hitting coach Hensley Meulens said. "We need a guy who gets on base and makes contact. We've talked about it within our staff that he might not be that type of guy."
Brown and some of his minor league hitting coaches have not always seen eye to eye when it comes to his swing, and asked about his future as a table-setter, Brown disagreed with the notion that he might be better suited at a different spot. Aside from a brief stint in college as a No. 2 hitter, he has always been atop lineups, from Little League to the minors. In college, coaches tried to get Brown to be more of a slap hitter, bunt more often and take advantage of his speed. The Giants have tried the same thing.
"I'm not that guy," Brown said. "I've got a little bit of power, and I split the gaps. When you expect something from someone and they do something else, you're kind of shocked or you don't really know how to react. I think it's been a learning process of us getting to know each other."
Brown has not lived up to expectations thus far, but he said he hasn't crumbled under the pressure of being a first-round pick.
"Any pressure that was put on me was by myself," he said. "It wasn't anything else -- it was just my expectations. Expectations can be a bad thing."
This season, there are none. The Giants have Angel Pagan signed in center field for three more seasons, and Brown has been passed on the organization's depth chart by Juan Perez and Roger Kieschnick. Still, he's closer to the big leagues than ever, since the Giants had to put him on the 40-man roster in the offseason to hold his rights. The Giants and Brown have had some rocky times, but general manager Brian Sabean insisted the organization hasn't given up on the center fielder.
"He survived last year, and sometimes that's the goal," Sabean said. "When you go through what he did as a No. 1 pick ... I think he's ready now, and relieved he's on the (40-man) roster."
Brown has pleased coaches with his offseason conditioning work and spring work ethic, but he isn't in the mix to win a roster spot, with Perez, Kieschnick and the recently signed Tyler Colvin fighting for a job. Once one of the most exciting outfield prospects in the game, Brown is fine with being away from the spotlight, focusing on getting better and again finding that bright path.
"I'm done doing the guessing game and all that," he said. "I think we're going to have a good group of guys in Fresno, and it's going to be a fun year wherever I am. Whatever happens, happens."
ive been listening to knbr my entire life but knbr just sounds soooo outdated when i listen to it now. not to mention how annoying it is when they do stock reports, weather reports, traffic reports etc. i only want sports !!
95.7 >>>> knbr by a lot
ED+BT was the best show 95.7 had but they lost em both. and they show zero loyalty to anyone lol.
Barry Bonds took batting practice and proved he can still crush a baseball
Mike Oz By Mike Oz
March 17, 2014 1:50 PM
Big League Stew
Barry Bonds concluded his week with the San Francisco Giants as a special hitting instructor Sunday.
While Bonds' spring gig inspired the usual debate about his spot in baseball history, the man who hit 762 career home runs used his short return to MLB to say he's a different person than when he stopped playing seven years ago.
But not everything is different. Bonds can still hit baseballs very, very far, even on the cusp of his 50th birthday. Bonds snuck away Sunday and took batting practice out of the public view, and according to Carl Steward of the Bay Area News Group, the results were classic Bonds:
With the Giants' longtime left-handed batting practice specialist "Cutter John" Yandle on the mound, Bonds had an extended hitting session out of view of observers on the back field at Scottsdale Stadium.
Yandle, Bonds hit rope after rope and on his last few swings unloaded some massive blasts into the adjoining neighborhood.
"He looked better than he did before," Yandle said. "He's still got the swing down" ...
Then Bonds gave his own assessment of how the hitting session went. Does he still have it?
"Yeah, easy, no worries," he said. "Maybe in about 5-6 more years I'll start to slow down. But today ain't the day."
We know what you're wondering and, no, there's no video of Bonds' BP. We wanted to see too. The good ol' written word will have to suffice on this one, since his BP session wasn't out in the public. You can take Bonds' word too, though we know some people don't trust that too much. He said of his spring training return, "I just couldn't run. But I can still hit, though."
It'll be interesting to see what happens next with Bonds. Giants batters enjoyed their time with him and, PED issues aside, he knows a lot about hitting that could be passed down to this generation of players. But it doesn't sound like a regular coaching gig is in his immediate future. Bonds told Steward that it's hard for him to sit on the sidelines when competitiveness is still inside him.
When you can still hit big-league homers like Bonds can at age 49, that makes sense.