Giants

Bochy: Posey to play more first base in 2012

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Bochy: Posey to play more first base in 2012

DALLAS-- Giants manager Bruce Bochy spoke with reporters at baseball's WinterMeetings and provided some clarity on how he plans to use Buster Posey in 2012.Posey, working his way back from season-ending leg and ankle injuries sustainedlast May, will play some first base next season to allow him to rest more whilekeeping his bat in the lineup, Bochy said.Busteris our primary catcher, but if this is a way to give him a break occasionallythen it will work out well for him and whoevers playing first.

Posey hit.284 with 4 home runs in 45 games last season after winning the Rookie of theYear in 2010 with a .305 average, 18 home runs and 67 RBIs."Wed like to get himout there as much as we can without wearing him down," Bochy said. "And if putting him atfirst base a few games allows us to play him more, then this is why weredeciding to give him more playing time at first base.More notes from Bochy's media session:- Second baseman Freddy Sanchez threw today for the first time since undergoingshoulder surgery on Aug. 2.- Closer Brian Wilson has been building strength and will start throwing onJan. 1.- Aubrey Huff is aware of the possibility that he will need to play more leftfield next season and has been working out everyday to get back to where he wasbefore his disappointing 2011 season.He knowsthat left field is a place where he could be getting a lot of playing time.This would help our situation, having the flexibility that we could have withBuster going to first, Aubrey playing left, and with Brandon Belt we can mix and match the waywed like to.
- Nate Schierholtz is the front-runner to take the starting right field job."Its his job to lose but hes got to come in and do what he knows what we think hell do and what he believes he can do and thats stay healthy and go out and play well.
- Bochy is comfortable with Brandon Crawford being his everyday shortstop andwould not comment on rumors that the Giants are interested in Japaneseshortstop Hiroyuki Nakajima, who he called a "good player."
Bochy on Crawford:
Were comfortable. I thought Brandon did a nice job there. I really liked the way he carried himself even through some tough games offensively. He didnt let it affect him and hes a very good defender. Thats the plan right now to have him at short.

Bochy on Nakajima:

"Good tools, very good defender, he can handle the bat. His strength is what he can do at shortstop ... hes a guy who can provide some offense too.

- Hector Sanchez, who hit .258 in a brief call-up last season, has impressed Bochy and is a candidate to back up Posey at catcher, though Bochy said he'd like Sanchez to play everyday.

"This kid is really opening up eyes this past year," Bochy said. "Hes made as much improvement for a young player that Ive seen in a long time. His skills behind the plate, handling pitchers, of course the bat. Hes down there having a great year in Venezuela and I think he leads the league in hitting. And hes a young kid. Hes really making a lot of noise. And for a catcher to swing the bat the way he does as a switch hitter, thats a rare commodity. I look forward to his progress and I look forward to seeing him in the spring.

- Brian Sabean said that Pablo Sandoval would be comfortable catching on days Posey isn't behind the plate if needed.

"On the days Buster needs a day off period and wouldn't be a first baseman or catcher, Pablo could catch Zito starts to get more offense in the lineup and he's open to that. Now whether that happens I don't know but it's been discussed."

- The Giants have reached out to Tim Lincecum's camp regarding a new contract but there have been no substantial developments.

Offseason can be tense on other side of Giancarlo Stanton rumors

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USATI

Offseason can be tense on other side of Giancarlo Stanton rumors

SAN FRANCISCO — Just around dinner time on Monday, Tyler Beede got a call he had been waiting for. General manager Bobby Evans informed Beede, the Giants’ top pitching prospect, that he was being added to the 40-man roster, a significant step toward making his big league debut. Earlier that day, however, Beede’s phone brought him some unwanted news. 

Like most Giants fans, Beede woke up to a report out of South Florida that he was one of several names the Giants and Marlins had discussed in Giancarlo Stanton trade talks. For fans or team employees, it would be painful to give up a Beede or a Chris Shaw or a Joe Panik, but images of Stanton taking aim at the Coke bottle at AT&T Park would soon wash away most concerns. 

For players, the reality this time of year is much different. The Giants are the only organization that all of the rumored pieces have ever known. Panik is a New Yorker, but he and his wife have grown to love San Francisco. Beede and Shaw have spent years dreaming of debuting at AT&T Park and playing in front of sellout crowds. That makes the Hot Stove Season a particularly tense time of year. 

“I try to be a guy who doesn’t look those kinds of things up too frequently, but obviously I’m a normal guy, so I tend to dig into it a little bit more and see what’s going on and see what people are saying,” Beede said on this week’s Giants Insider Podcast. “It’s funny. I don't really know how to handle it. It’s my third year going through the trade deadline and trade talk. I’ve just go to keep telling myself it’s a realistic possibility and not to be shocked if anything were to come out or a trade were to be made.”

The rumor mill is nothing new for these players. Panik acknowledged several times during the season that he could be the odd man out. Shaw actually already once thought he got traded to Florida. For a few minutes at the 2016 deadline, Twitter had him as a key piece in the Matt Moore deal. The outfielder came out of a hotel bathroom right after the deadline to see two teammates staring at him in disbelief as Twitter rumors flew. 

Five minutes later, he got a call from Bobby Evans. “You’re still a Giant,” Evans told him. “Don’t take your jersey off.”

“It’s a little tense for sure,” Shaw said earlier this year. “It’s not something you can try to predict. You can have a feeling but that means nothing.”

Evans has always communicated to players and their agents that they can reach out any time they have a question or concern about what they might be hearing, but when it comes to getting on the phone himself, he treats the trade deadline and offseason differently. There’s more urgency to clear the air in July when players might have to take at-bats or throw pitches with rumors weighing on their minds. In the offseason, Evans will wait to reach out until deals are closer to being agreed upon. He tries not to worry as much about “hot stove banter,” he said. 

“In the offseason I think it’s a little less of an issue because a lot of things get thrown out there that don’t have validity,” he said. “We certainly don’t try to respond to every single rumor with an update because there are new rumors every hour, so it’s hard to keep up. A lot more names are mentioned this time of year.”

Players try to find different ways to get away from it all. Every year, several Giants prospects talk of playing golf during the trade deadline to stay away from MLB Network and their phones. For veterans, it’s often easiest to just take offseason vacations, and Panik planned to visit Europe with his wife. 

Beede has a somewhat unique distraction as rumors trickle out. He’s getting married on Saturday, which along with the holiday, has kept him busy all week. Still, he knows the rumors will be out there. 

“After a couple of days I start to just understand that (my) name is going to be in rumors or there may be things that people say or speculate,” he said. “(If) Bobby tells me something, or my agent says something, then I can start to maybe engage in it a little bit more. But as of right now, I’m just trying to go about my preparation and I’ll continue to enjoy being a San Francisco Giant.”

Projection system loves Giancarlo Stanton at AT&T Park

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AP

Projection system loves Giancarlo Stanton at AT&T Park

SAN FRANCISCO — The Giants have made a habit in recent winters of “kicking the tires,” so to speak, on as many free agents as possible. General manager Bobby Evans is committed to being thorough, but at times there is probably no need. 

Hitters have made no secret of the fact that they prefer friendlier confines, and if you’re a power hitter, you’re going to ask Evans for a significantly larger check to play 81 of your games at the harshest power park in the majors. That’s what makes Giancarlo Stanton, readily available via trade, so intriguing. But would Stanton be fully immune to the realities of AT&T Park?

The numbers, at least in a small sample, suggest he would. Stanton has played 27 games in San Francisco and taken 108 at-bats. He has nine homers, 11 doubles and a triple. His .676 slugging percentage at AT&T Park isn’t far off his mark at Coors Field (.714), and his 1.048 OPS is higher than his OPS during the 2017 season, when he hit 59 homers. 

The damage has been done in limited time, but the Giants clearly believe it’s fully sustainable, and a recent study done by ESPN’s Dan Szymborski backs that up. Szymborski ran his ZiPS projection system to estimate Stanton’s stats over the next 10 years for a variety of suitors. The numbers in orange and black are overwhelming. 

The projections have Stanton at 46.2 WAR over the next 10 seasons, including 7.1 in 2018 and 6.8 in 2019, the two seasons the organization should be focused on given Madison Bumgarner’s contract situation. ZiPS projects Stanton at 46 homers next season if he plays for the Giants, followed by 43, 42, 39, 35 over the following four years. For comparison’s sake, Brandon Belt led the Giants in homers each of the last two seasons and he has 35 total during that span. 

Any sort of projection system needs to be taken with a huge grain of salt, especially with a player who has had injury issues in the past. But ZiPS believes Stanton -- who plays in a huge park already -- is a rarity, the kind of power hitter who can keep crushing well into his 30’s and put up huge numbers even if he is limited by the realities of getting older and getting hurt. Szymborski’s projections have Stanton playing just 102 games in 2025, but he’s still projected to hit 23 homers, 20 doubles and post an OPS+ of 121. Even in the 10th year of the projections, ZiPS has Stanton down for 16 homers. 

There are no sure things in this game, but as Evans continues to chase a blockbuster deal, he can be confident that Stanton is one player who should be able to provide power for years to come, no matter what AT&T Park does to hold hitters down.