Bochy close to deciding opening day lineup


Bochy close to deciding opening day lineup

Bruce Bochy said Monday that his lineup for the exhibitionopener against the As would be similar to the one he pencils in Friday againstthe Arizona Diamondbacks on opening day.Sitting in his familiar spot in the Giants dugout at AT&T Park, Bochy hadhis first pregame session with reporters since the team returned to SanFrancisco from spring training. While he reserved the right to tweak the lineupbefore opening day, he said that it would be similar to Mondays:Angel Pagan CF
Melky Cabrera RF
Pablo Sandoval 3B
Buster Posey C
Aubrey Huff LF
Brandon Belt 1B
Ryan Theriot 2B
Brandon Crawford SS
Madison Bumgarner LHPWith Posey playing, Hector Sanchez will ride the pine, but Bochy left open thepossibility of having three catchers on the opening day roster, especially withPosey still learning his limitations on a surgically repaired ankle.Its good for Buster to get back to playing here, Bochy said. Springtraining was kind of part of his rehab.While Posey consistently swung the bat well in Arizona, the Giants offensestarted to struggle over the last two weeks of Cactus League action.We slowed down with the bats there, Bochy said. We need to pick it up, getthis offense going.Despite the offensive slump, Bochy said he was happy with his teams effort andhealth after the annual trip to Scottsdale.Bochy reiterated that the plan is to carry 12 pitchers,eight of which will be relievers with Ryan Vogelsong starting the season on thedisabled list. Vogelsong is still on schedule to pitch against the PittsburghPirates on April 15, the first game in which the Giants will need a fifthstarter. Another banged up Giant, Freddy Sanchez, is making progress, according to Bochy,who said his oft-injured second baseman has been getting more comfortablethrowing since receiving a cortisone shot last week.Its been a long road, Bochy said of Sanchezs slow recovery. Hopefullythere wont be another setback.

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.”