Bochy on Belt: 'Brandon is a little lost right now'


Bochy on Belt: 'Brandon is a little lost right now'

ATLANTA Now that Eli Whiteside is the backup catcherinstead of Hector Sanchez for the time being, how will Giants manager BruceBochy divvy up the duties behind the plate?

Bochy said hell use the same criteria that he used before:Itll be subject to the schedule, to the pace of games and when Buster Poseyrequires a break from strapping on his shin guards.

Bochy said Posey could catch Tim Lincecum on Friday. OrWhiteside could catch him. It depends on a number of factors, one of which is thepotential for a rain delay and a long night at Turner Field this evening. (Ifthe Giants walk out of here at 1 a.m., then its a good bet Posey wouldntcatch Thursday afternoons series finale.)

I mentioned to Bochy that if he decides to have Whitesidework with Lincecum on Friday in Philadelphia, it would feed the perception thatthe manager is intentionally keeping Posey from catching the Giants strugglingformer ace.

Not at all, Bochy said. This is more ... We have theluxury of Buster being able to play first base. Theres a good chance hellcatch Timmy. Well see where hes at. But at some point, hes going to need aday. When he does, its probably with (Barry) Zito or Timmy. That doesnt meanI dont want him catching them. Thats just how its been to this point.

This is more a case of were looking for production atfirst base.

So yes, the Lincecum-Posey discussion is related to thewhy-doesnt-Bochy-like-Brandon-Belt discussion.

What does Bochy make of Belts return to a funk at theplate?

I think its fair to say Brandon is a little lost rightnow, Bochy said. Its timing and confidence again. I say this so many times:Theyll have their ups and downs, young players, and they have to learn to dealwith it.

I know hes working hard in the cage. At the same time, youvegot to get production from everywhere, especially first base. Our hope is hellget it going there and contribute to this offense.

If not, Belt could find some fresh competition very soon viathe trade market if he isnt traded himself. Thats not the craziest notionin the world, given his perceived value to other GMs and the Giants relativelack of blue-chip prospects.

Belt is hitting .163 with a .222 OBP in 18 games since his torrid, 11-game hitting streak ended in late June.

As for the decision to put Hector Sanchez on the DL, Bochysaid the backup catcher likely would be out five to seven days. Thats just toolong to go short, especially when the backup -- Pablo Sandoval is a guy whohasnt caught a big league game since 2009.

Whiteside has familiarity with the staff and is on the40-man roster, so he was an automatic choice. In fact, Bochy said it made themove to DL Sanchez a bit easier because all the pitchers already know Whitesideand feel comfortable throwing to him.

Whiteside's commercial flight is scheduled to land a few minutes before the first pitch and the Giants expect him to be in uniform at some point during the game.

The tarp came off the field roughly 45 minutes before the first pitch and the field is being groomed, but there remain some pretty bright streaks across the sky. The radar shows that the rain should hold up for a few hours. As they say, we have a window.

Former Giants infielder replaces Dodgers' star shortstop on NLCS roster


Former Giants infielder replaces Dodgers' star shortstop on NLCS roster

LOS ANGELES — Shortstop Corey Seager has been left off the Los Angeles Dodgers' roster for the NL Championship Series against the Chicago Cubs.

The Dodgers announced Seager's surprise omission due to a back injury on Saturday, several hours before Game 1 at Dodger Stadium.

Los Angeles also dropped reliever Pedro Baez from its roster. Infielder Charlie Culberson and outfielder Joc Pederson were added.

Chicago made only one change from the last playoff round, adding reliever Hector Rondon and removing reliever Justin Wilson.

Seager complained of back soreness during the Dodgers' NL Division Series clincher in Arizona on Monday, and 2016 NL Rookie of the Year didn't participate in team workouts this week. Still, manager Dave Roberts said Friday that he was very optimistic that Seager would play in the NLCS.

Seager was an All-Star selection this season while batting .295 with 22 homers and 77 RBIs as a key part of the top of the Dodgers' lineup.

Kike Hernandez, Chris Taylor and Culberson all worked out at shortstop Friday for the Dodgers. The versatile Taylor was the Dodgers' center fielder during the NLDS, but he made 96 appearances in the outfield this season and 44 in the infield, including 14 games at shortstop.

Pederson is batting .071 with no homers since July, but the Dodgers could need him in center field if Taylor plays shortstop.

Culberson famously homered to clinch the Dodgers' NL West title in announcer Vin Scully's final home game last season, but the infielder spent most of this season at Triple-A, appearing in only 14 games for the Dodgers.

Rondon was the Cubs' closer in 2014 and 2015, but moved to a setup role last season after Aroldis Chapman's arrival. He appeared in 61 regular-season games this year, going 4-1 with a 4.24 ERA in an up-and-down campaign.

Chicago acquired Wilson in a trade with Detroit on July 31, adding a veteran left-handed reliever who had 13 saves for the Tigers this season. The Southern California native wasn't great in his two months with the Cubs, posting a 5.09 ERA with 19 walks in 23 appearances.

Manager Joe Maddon chose Wilson for the NLDS over Rondon, only to switch it up against the Dodgers.

Bochy, Giants issue statement following manager's heart procedure


Bochy, Giants issue statement following manager's heart procedure

Bruce Bochy's minor offseason heart procedure went as planned, the team announced Friday afternoon. 

In a message passed along to beat reporters, Bochy said "the procedure went extremely well and I'm feeling better. I'm grateful for the doctors and want to thank everyone who has reached out with well wishes."

Bochy, 62, had an ablation procedure to help him deal with heart issues that have plagued him in recent years. The operation was his second of the year, but it was considered minor enough that it could be pushed back to the end of the season.

Cleveland's Terry Francona had a similar procedure this year and returned to manage, and Bochy has left no doubt about his future. 

“I don’t want anyone to think this has an effect on my work, or ability to work,” Bochy said last week. “This is something that is not uncommon.”