Giants

Bochy makes MVP pitch for Posey, delays Melky decision

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Bochy makes MVP pitch for Posey, delays Melky decision

There are still eight games remaining on the Giantsschedule, but that didnt stop manager Bruce Bochy from casting hisnon-existent MVP vote for Buster Posey.To me he is the MVP, Bochy said before Wednesdays gameagainst the Arizona Diamondbacks. Were not in this situation without Buster.Thats how valuable he is to us with the year hes had and being a catcher andhandling the staff and hitting cleanup and all thats thrown at him. Thats notbeing disrespectful to the other guys, but hes my guy. Sure, thats how Ifeel.Posey had an impressive first half en route to an All-Star Game start, thenturned into a different hitter after the Midsummer Classic. Since going 0-for-2with a walk and a run scored in Kansas City, Posey has hit a majorleague-leading .384 with 20 doubles, 13 home runs, 56 RBIs and 39 runs. He isin a race with Pittsburghs Andrew McCutchen for the National League battingtitle and is one RBI away from becoming the first Giant since Barry Bonds in2004 to reach the century club.Hes had an incredible season, especially when you look at what he wentthrough, the long road he had to go down on his rehab, Bochy said. And nowhes looking at getting 100 RBIs.Posey has also played in 141 games, which includes 106 starts at catcher, 27 atfirst base and three as Bochys designated hitter. Those numbers are on thehigh end for any regular catcher, let alone one coming off major surgery.The day off he had a couple days ago, that was his firstday off in 27, 28 games, Bochy said. Its a credit to how well he takes careof himself, how hard he worked on his rehab, our training staff, how hard theyworked with him. It also shows you what an incredible talent that Buster is tomiss all that time and come back this year and put together the season that hehas.For Bochy, Poseys contributions range far beyond the box score.Hes got a calmness about him. Hes not afraid to talk tosomebody if its time to talk to him. And he leads by example. He comes outhere every day ready to go. His preparation before the game, whether itsworking out or studying getting ready for the game.Insider Andrew Baggarly reported Wednesday morning that Melky Cabrera, servingthe tail end of his 50-game suspension for failing a drug test, would not be inthe Giants postseason plans. Bochy would not confirm that the decision hasbeen made yet, but he did offer some clarification on the timeframe for anannouncement.
NEWS: Melky to be left off Giants' playoff roster
Well have something tomorrow, Bochy said. Like I saidyesterday, before we hit the road here, well hopefully get this cleared up andfigure out exactly what were going to do.While Bochy will likely be the one to announce the decision,that doesnt mean hes heavily involved in the debate.Melky, his agent, Im sure they're involved, Bochy said. Imnot in those discussions personally. My focus has been out here. They want toget something done here pretty soon.It would make sense for the Giants to wait until Bochys postgame pressconference Thursday, which would give reporters the least amount of time topepper him with Cabrera-related questions. I know its getting close here and there are different waysto look at this, Bochy said. We have to think about whats best for the club.Guys that are ready and have been playing, things like that. That comes intoit. Whether he could be ready. All these things are being talked about now.Cabrera wouldnt even be eligible to return to the Giants until after theyveplayed five playoff games. That gives Bochy even more time to postpone adecision.Right now, were going to the playoffs, Bochy said. Weregoing to the first round so hes not a part of that. Thats why its kind ofbeen on the back burner, to be honest, for me.The Giants media notes list Sundays starter in San Diegoas TBA. The series finale against the Padres would normally be Tim Lincecumsturn to pitch, but the Giants are likely hoping to give him and the otherstarters some extra rest while also aligning their rotation for the playoffs.Bochy said theres still a chance that Lincecum could pitchSunday, but strongly hinted that wouldnt be the case.Theres a chance Lincecum pitches, Bochy said. Weregoing to leave that open in case we want to tweak the rotation. Thats the luxuryyou have when you clinch early. We havent set that yet and if we want to moveit around, then we have the pitching here that we can do it.Yusmeiro Petit started in place of Lincecum last Sunday, the day after theGiants clinched the division title, and seems to be the most likely candidatefor a spot start again Sunday.Bochy said he was impressed with Petits Giants debut andthat hes being considered for the Sunday start in San Diego."Hes already started one and he did a good job," Bochysaid. "Its nice to have a starter here that you can put in there and give yousome innings and you dont have to chew up your bullpen."

Report: Two Giants hitters elect free agency

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Report: Two Giants hitters elect free agency

With free agency set to begin five days after the World Series ends, two hitters that played for the Giants during the 2017 season have put their names on the open market.

Veteran third baseman Conor Gillaspie and longtime minor league outfielder Carlos Moncrief have both elected for free agency, according to Baseball America.

The 30-year-old Gillaspie appeared in 44 games for the Giants this past season. He hit just .168/.218/.288 with four doubles, two home runs and eight RBI. He was designated for assignment on August 3 and outrighted to Triple-A Sacramento on August 5. With the River Cats, Gillaspie hit .375 with four doubles in 15 games in August.

Prior to the 2017 season, Gillaspie signed a one-year, $1.4 million deal with the Giants.

As for Moncrief, the soon-to-be 29-year-old finally got his first call-up the majors this past season after eight and a half seasons in the minors. He debuted for the Giants on July 29. In 28 games, he hit .211/.256/.237 with one double and five RBI. While he didn't do much with the bat, Moncrief showed off a cannon for an arm when he patrolled right field.

Giants reassign pitching coach Dave Righetti, two other coaches

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Giants reassign pitching coach Dave Righetti, two other coaches

SAN FRANCISCO — Late in a 98-loss season, general manager Bobby Evans met with members of the coaching staff to discuss new roles. The shakeup of the staff ended up being a stunning one. 

Pitching coach Dave Righetti was one of three coaches to be reassigned Saturday morning. After 18 seasons as pitching coach, Righetti will now serve as special assistant to the general manager. Bullpen coach Mark Gardner was given a “special assignment role to assist in pitching evaluations.” Assistant hitting coach Steve Decker will be a special assistant for baseball operations. 

The moves cap a 13-month run in which the coaching staff has taken much of the blame for a $200 million roster that was poorly constructed in places and played embarrassing baseball for long stretches of the 2016 and 2017 seasons. Third base coach Roberto Kelly was let go after the 2016 season and first base coach Billy Hayes was reassigned. More changes appear on the way. 

“It does raise the level of attention to change when you struggle as much as we have, but you’re always contemplating making changes to try to help keep pushing your guys and make sure you continue to have different perspectives and new voices and reflections on how to get the most out of them,” Evans said on a conference call. 

Throughout September, multiple coaches expressed concern about their future roles, but the Giants held off several weeks before announcing changes. At least two members of the staff were involved in managerial searches elsewhere, and third base coach Phil Nevin is reportedly still a candidate for the open job in Philadelphia. 

Evans confirmed that he has interviewed outside candidates for a hitting coach role, but he would not go so far as to say Hensley Meulens will be reassigned as well. He also would not speak to the future of Ron Wotus, although the longtime bench coach is expected to be mixed up in future changes as well. Evans indicated he would announce further moves after all the open managerial vacancies are filled.

For now, the Giants are in the process of trying to find a new pitching coach. They are focused on experienced outside candidates, and they have plenty of options, as several other teams have made changes this month. Evans hinted that he wants the next pitching coach to have a more analytical approach. 

Righetti's replacement will have massive shoes to fill. His run was the longest for a pitching coach in franchise history. The Giants, usually so reliant on pitching, finished 16th in the Majors with a 4.50 ERA, but it’s hard to see how Righetti takes the blame for that. Madison Bumgarner missed a chunk of the season after a dirt bike accident, Johnny Cueto had a brutal injury-plagued year, Matt Moore battled himself and had the worst ERA in the National League, and the bullpen struggled, with closer Mark Melancon pitching through an injury that required season-ending surgery. 

Righetti was credited with helping to develop a rotation and bullpen that won three titles, and the bond he shared with pitchers was on display during the final weekend of the year, when Matt Cain talked repeatedly about their close relationship and went straight for Righetti after he came off the field for the final time. While it’s often hard to figure out where to give credit, even in a down year for the staff, Righetti played a role in Sam Dyson’s resurgence, and he helped Ty Blach and Chris Stratton break in as big league regulars. 

“Ultimately a change for us in the clubhouse is really an opportunity just to put a new voice with our pitching staff and try to keep pushing to the heights that we aspire as an organization and a club,” Evans said. “Changes sometimes are needed as much for the sake of that new voice as anything, and I think that was really the priority here.”

Righetti will help Evans in a front office role. Evans admitted that Righetti’s “heartbeat is in uniform as a coach,” but said he was willing to take on a new role for an organization he loves. 

Gardner, a former Giants pitcher, had been on staff since 2003. He will now help to evaluate pitchers inside and outside the organization, and Evans said Gardner could serve an important role in evaluating trade options. Decker joined the big league staff in 2015 after a long run working in the minor leagues. The 2017 season was his 23rd with the organization. He will have a “blank canvas,” Evans said, working in different roles inside the organization. Decker will also help with draft preparation.