Bochy questions Sandoval's conditioning, ability to play 3B


Bochy questions Sandoval's conditioning, ability to play 3B

SAN FRANCISCO Pablo Sandoval will continue his rehab assignmentas the starting third baseman for Single-A San Jose at Stockton on Monday night.

He has much more to prove than the health of his surgicallyrepaired left hand. Much, much more.

Giants management was becoming increasingly dissatisfied withSandovals condition and dedication, even before the All-Star third baseman wasquestioned by police in relation to a possible sexual assault that allegedlytook place Friday morning in Santa Cruz.

Giants manager Bruce Bochy met briefly with Sandoval onSaturday, and while he didnt mention specifics of the conversation, clearly itwas not a pleasant exchange.

Bochy acknowledged that he isnt sure that Sandoval is incondition to return to third base, where Joaquin Arias has set a defensivestandard that will be difficult to match.

Hes been told we have enough first basemen, said Bochy,asked about whether a position change might be in the works for the rotundPanda. That said, hopefully were not forced to make a change. Thats in Pabloshands.

Being able to make the plays Joaquin has been making, thatsso vital. You look at how important the plays were in (Sundays) ballgame. Thatspart of when (Sandoval) comes back up here. Its not just the hitting. Its howhes playing third base, which is what hes doing today.

Bochy acknowledged the Giants are likely to wait until June12 to activate Sandoval. Thats because his swing remains limited from theright side and the Texas Rangers are scheduled to throw two left-handers in thisweekends series at AT&T Park.

We could wait until (next) Tuesday, Bochy said. Thatmight make more sense.

Sandoval is expected to report to Triple-A Fresno after Monday night's game to continue his rehab assignment.

Sandoval, who had a broken hamate bone removed from his lefthand May 4, took 15 swings from the right side in batting practice Sunday andwill take 15 more on Monday.

He came out of that well, Bochy said.

Sandoval signed a three-year, 17.15 million contract in January. He was leading the Giants in home runs and RBIs when he got hurt.

Bochy acknowledged he still envisions Sandoval as an everyday player upon his return.
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KFP48Thank you all for your kind words, working hard and can't wait to get back on the field to help my SF Giants.
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In other pregame news, Santiago Casilla tested his bruisedknee by throwing on flat ground and he might be available to pitch Monday,Bochy said.

Hector Sanchez has two wraps on his left leg after foulingtwo pitches off it a day earlier. But he said hell be available off the bench.

Back in Arizona, left-hander Dan Runzler is throwing simulatedinnings and Freddy Sanchezs back has progressed to the point where he willbegin taking light swings. His shoulder remains the major issue, though.

As for the lineup, Bochy is giving Nate Schierholtz thefirst start of his career in the leadoff spot. He said Gregor Blanco needs aday off, and he wants to keep some lineup continuity with Angel Pagan, who hasbeen a good fit as the No.5 hitter.

Bochy said he might leave Pagan down in the lineup whenSandoval returns because Ryan Theriot has done such a good job as the No.2hitter, where he is accustomed to being.

But Bochy said he didnt want to make any pronouncements onwhat the lineup will look like upon Sandovals return.

I dont want these guys thinking about that, the manager said.

Durable Longoria ready for additional boost from ballpark, Giants fans

Durable Longoria ready for additional boost from ballpark, Giants fans

SAN FRANCISCO — The field at AT&T Park is covered with patches and small piles of dirt right now, showing the signs of a winter hosting holiday parties and concerts, and a week with plenty of rain. 

For Evan Longoria, though, that grass was a beautiful sight.

A month after a trade that had him switching coasts, Longoria was introduced at a press conference at AT&T Park and ran the usual gauntlet with team employees and season-ticket holders. He spent some time this week looking for housing in the Bay Area, but soon he’ll be back in Scottsdale, getting to know new teammates and preparing his body for the 2018 season. 

Longoria said his workouts have been a bit different with a new staff, but the goal remains the same. He is a player who prides himself on taking the field every day, and that’s one of the traits that drew the Giants to Longoria. He has played at least 156 games in five consecutive seasons, and 160 in four of those seasons. 

It’s no accident that Bruce Bochy has mentioned durability during every media session this season. Andrew McCutchen has a similar track record, and the Giants lineup certainly could use some stability, especially at third base, where seven different players made double-digit starts last season. Longoria will change that. 

“I have a desire to play every day, and I think that that is infectious,” he said. “Players that may feel the grind of a long season or might be in a little bit of a funk offensively or defensively or with pitching, something like that can give you a boost when you have guys around that you know come to play and compete on a daily basis, no matter what the circumstance is.”

[RELATED: Just a number? Longoria says slow down with concerns of Giants' aging roster]

For Longoria, who turned 32 early in the offseason, the circumstance has changed for the better. After years on the unforgiving turf at The Trop, he comes to a park and division featuring nothing but natural grass. 

“I hope it helps,” he said. “Going on the road (with the Rays), my body definitely felt better when I played on grass. I’m sure that it will help. It’s definitely not going to be a negative. Not playing on the turf anymore is something that crossed my mind as soon as the trade happened.”

Longoria expects to benefit from another aspect of AT&T Park, too. The Rays finished dead last in the majors last year with an average of 15,670 fans per game. Even though their sellout streak ended, the Giants still had an average of more than 40,000 per night. Asked about playing outdoors, Longoria smiled and added, “in front of fans.”

“The environment here is obviously much different, so it’s going to be nice to step into that on a daily basis and play in front of a fan base that’s obviously very storied,” he said. “It helps with energy. It helps with motivation.”

McCutchen ready for more conversations with 'Steve the Seagull' at AT&T Park

McCutchen ready for more conversations with 'Steve the Seagull' at AT&T Park

Andrew McCutchen has been one of the best players in the National League for years now. The 31-year-old is a five-time All-Star and was named the 2013 NL MVP. 

Not only do his stats stand out, McCutchen is also one of the most entertaining players in baseball. And that's clearly going to continue in San Francisco. 

On Thursday, McCutchen was asked about the famous seagulls of San Francisco flying around the outfield at AT&T Park. 

"I definitely made a few friends out there over the years. Steve the Seagull out there, I know him," McCutchen said on KNBR. "He comes in every now and then. We have a little pow-wow when I come to San Francisco. Yeah, we get along well, me and the guys, me and the birds. They know when to come in that's for sure." 

Denard Span, who the Giants traded to acquire Evan Longoria, had a much different relationship with the seagulls. 

McCutchen is clearly the opposite of Span in this regard though. He seems about as calm as can be when it comes to the birds paying him a visit. 

"They chill, we have some conversations. It's all good," says McCutchen. 

One other aspect McCutchen can't wait for in the outfield at AT&T Park, is getting to know all the fans. Specifically, not being a part of a special chant Giants fans have for opposing outfielders. 

"I'm lookin' forward to fans not callin' me bums anymore," McCutchen said with a laugh. "I'm glad I'm on the winning side. I'm glad I'm on the San Francisco Giants side. I can't wait to meet all the fans."