Bochy details plan for Pagan, Cabrera, Schierholtz


Bochy details plan for Pagan, Cabrera, Schierholtz

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Giants manager Bruce Bochy had been staunchly non-committal about how he planned to array his outfielders. But by the end of the team's first full workout, he was eager to pencil it out.

Bochy said Angel Pagan will be his primary leadoff hitter and center fielder, with Melky Cabrera getting everyday time in left field. He prefaced his thoughts on right field by saying he was "staying open minded," but he declared Nate Schierholtz the clear frontrunner.

"Nate is the guy we're looking at to go out and play right field," Bochy said. "I like the progress he made last year. He can do some things and it'll be up to Nate to get it done. I know he's primed and ready for this challenge."

Bochy has tried to get Schierholtz to be more active on the basepaths, but he has been hesitant to take more chances with his speed. With 52 combined steals from Cabrera and Pagan last season, the Giants should have an easier time getting away from an extreme station-to-station lineup.

Bochy said he could ask Cabrera to bat anywhere from first to sixth in the lineup, either as a table setter or a run producer. The 27-year-old is coming off a career season with the Kansas City Royals in which he compiled 200 hits, 100 runs and hit better than .300 from both sides of the plate.

Cabrera was a major disappointment in 2010 with Atlanta; he grounded out against Brian Wilson for the final out when the Giants clinched the NLDS over the Braves. He also had a big double off Wilson earlier in the series.

"He had a rough year, and whether that woke him up or not, he made a change," Bochy said. "I could see it in spring training (last year) with Kansas City. You saw a different guy."

Bochy said Cabrera, a free agent after the season, is "in great shape. He can play anywhere in the outfield. He's flexible in the lineup. That's what we're talking about now. We'll see what makes the most sense for us."

Cabrera will get plenty of time in center field this spring as well, Bochy said. The Giants will need him to back up Pagan at that position, especially if they break with just four full-time outfielders on the roster.

As for the lineup, the Giants could use Cabrera in the No. 3 hole in front of Buster Posey, or possibly put Pablo Sandoval in that slot and move Cabrera down to fifth or sixth.

Cabrera, speaking with the help of interpreter Emmanuel Burriss, said he would be comfortable in any role. Cabrera also lauded those pitchers who shut down the Braves in that low-scoring NLDS.

"This pitching staff is legit," said Cabrera through Burriss, who probably won't be translating at the United Nations anytime soon.

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.”