Giants

Bumgarner dominant in Giants' 5-2 win over Pads

696426.jpg

Bumgarner dominant in Giants' 5-2 win over Pads

BOX SCORE
PEORIA, Ariz. -- Edinson Volquez dealt with a case of nerves Thursday as he pitched in a San Diego Padres uniform for the first time.The veteran pitcher allowed a run and two hits in two innings as the Padres lost to the San Francisco Giants 5-2.Giants pitcher Madison Bumgarner struck out five in three shutout innings in his spring debut.

RELATED: Bumgarner moves past 2011 struggles
"First time in this uniform," Volquez said. "I don't always get nervous, just this time, especially with a new organization and a lot of eyes on me. A friend told me sometimes it's good when you're nervous, but you can't be scared."Bumgarner was very good in his first start as he needed only 44 pitches to get through the third inning.The left-hander, who went 13-13 with a 3.21 ERA in 33 starts last season, limited the Padres to two hits and walked one."My command feels pretty good," Bumgarner said. "Everything seems to be on schedule. It's better than usual. I'm just trying to focus as if it's the regular season."San Francisco outfielder Angel Pagan had an RBI single in three at-bats.Kyle Blanks hit a solo home run for the Padres and Everth Cabrera went 2 for 3 with a run scored. Micah Owings allowed a hit and struck out two in two scoreless innings for the Padres.An 18-game winner in 2008, Volquez came to the Padres in a Dec. 17 trade that sent Mat Latos to the Cincinnati Reds. The Padres hope to get Volquez, who was 5-7 with a 5.71 ERA in 20 starts last season, back on track.Volquez had reconstructive elbow surgery in 2009 and received a 50-game suspension for use of performance-enhancing drugs in 2010.Pitching coach Darren Balsley has worked closely with Volquez this spring, encouraging him to be aggressive earlier in his starts. He has also made several minor adjustments to Volquez's setup.Thus far the Padres like what they see from Volquez, who threw strikes on 23 of 31 pitches. Volquez walked one and struck out one."Every time he has been on the mound we've seen a focused guy," Padres manager Bud Black said. "His velocity was there and he had good secondary pitches. The delivery was good."Volquez said he approves of the Padres' adjustments. He also likes the way he adjusted after his bout with nervousness in the first inning."I like what I've been doing," Volquez said. "That's what I want is to be consistent and get ahead in the count."NOTES: San Francisco catcher Buster Posey is expected to start his first game of the spring on Friday, manager Bruce Bochy said. Posey hasn't played in a game since he broke his leg May 25 in a collision at the plate. He is expected to catch two innings. ... Bochy said second baseman Freddy Sanchez, who had surgery last August to repair a torn labrum in his right shoulder, will make his spring debut and serve as the team's designated hitter on Friday against the Cincinnati Reds. ... RHP Ryan Vogelsong threw off a bullpen mound for the first time this spring. Vogelsong has been sidelined with a sore back. ... Padres infielder Logan Forsythe is headed back to San Diego for surgery on a fractured left foot, manager Bud Black said. Forsythe will be out for at least eight weeks.

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

shark-righetti-dave-gray.jpg
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

gillaspie-moncrief-usatsi.jpg
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.