Giants

Bochy repeats opening-day lineup

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Bochy repeats opening-day lineup

PHOENIX -- Giants manager Bruce Bochy used eleventy billion different lineups last season. (Unofficially.) He's going with the same starting eight -- in the same order -- in Game 2 today at Arizona.

But don't expect the same group for a third consecutive day.

Bochy, like most managers, wants to involve his whole roster as early as possible. So he plans to get some different faces in there behind Matt Cain on Sunday. Gregor Blanco and Emmanuel Burriss are good bets. Maybe Nate Schierholtz, too.

There's another reason managers like to pre-program a little in these first few days.

"I don't want these guys concerned (that) if they don't get a hit, they won't be in the lineup," Bochy said.

As for Blanco, Bochy said he's "going to try to use him as much as I can. Off the bench, double switch ... he's a guy who can start, too. He's going to create a lot of interest."

One other note: Yes, Buster Posey is aware of his 14-game hitting streak. Before I asked him that question, though, I asked another. And no, he said he's not superstitious in the slightest.

Posey actually hasn't caught nine innings in a game yet. In both his complete games, once this spring and also Friday's opener, the Giants lost as the visiting team and their opponent didn't bat in the ninth.

"I'd like to get him nine today," Bochy said, smiling.

Here's the lineup against Daniel Hudson, who was Arizona's best looking starter this spring:

1. Angel Pagan (S) CF
2. Melky Cabrera (S) RF
3. Pablo Sandoval (S) 3B
4. Buster Posey (R) C
5. Aubrey Huff (L) LF
6. Brandon Belt (L) 1B
7. Ryan Theriot (R) 2B
8. Brandon Crawford (L) SS
9. Madison Bumgarner (R) P

Here is the Arizona Diamondbacks lineup:

1. Ryan Roberts (R) 3B
2. Aaron Hill (R) 2B
3. Justin Upton (R) RF
4. Miguel Montero (L) C
5. Chris Young (R) CF
6. Paul Goldschmidt (R) 1B
7. Jason Kubel (L) LF
8. John McDonald (R) SS
9. Daniel Hudson (R) P

Dave Righetti is the face of the Giants' rebuild so far

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AP

Dave Righetti is the face of the Giants' rebuild so far

There was something almost disturbingly surreptitious about the Giants’ decision to announce Dave Righetti’s removal as pitching coach (for a front office job) Saturday. Saturday, after all, is the day you typically bury sports news that isn’t football, or related to football in some way.

But that could just be us being needlessly conspiratorial. We’re willing to bestow, if not the benefit of the doubt, at least the lack of doubt.

Still, Righetti’s reassignment, and those of bullpen coach Mark Gardner and assistant hitting coach Steve Decker, makes it clear that however the Giants want to avoid the use of the word “rebuilding,” they are indeed rebuilding – just not in the traditional new-players-for-old way.

General manager Bobby Evans made it clear without saying the words that Righetti’s messaging had lost its efficacy with the younger pitchers, who for the most part had not been part of the franchise’s most glorious times. And since the only pitchers still on the 40-man roster who had been with the club for its last World Series parade are Madison Bumgarner and Hunter Strickland, Evans clearly concluded that the message to the new staff needed to come from elsewhere.

Now this assumes that the problem with the Giants’ pitching was not the talent level or the execution, of course. Typically, it takes a lot for a manager or coach to screw up his job so profoundly that he needs to be replaced – mostly it’s considered an environmental matter that a new voice saying the old stuff is sufficient. It’s really more alchemy than science, and alchemy is fairly hit-or-miss.

But it is change where the Giants feel they can change; their four starters (Bumgarner, Johnny Cueto, Jeff Samardzija and Matt Moore) and closer (Mark Melancon) are in for $70.8 million this coming year, so a full-on demolition is not cost effective, and the young’uns (Chris Stratton, Strickland, Cory Gearrin, Derek Law, et. al.) remain in that tenuous middle ground between dependable and disposable. In other words, there aren’t a lot of options for dramatic player change, and the Giants don’t look to be aggressive buyers in the off-season, crackpot Giancarlo Stanton rumors notwithstanding.

So this is the face of the Giants’ rebuild so far – Dave Righetti, Mark Gardner and Steve Decker. Make of the act and the circumstances of the release of the information what you will, but as it is neither the manager (Bruce Bochy is golden) or the players (who with only a few exceptions are decidedly meh, with a side of feh), it will have to do as the first answer to the question, “What do they intend to do about 64-98?"

I mean other than keeping a low profile about it.

Report: Two Giants hitters elect free agency

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USATSI

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.