Cabrera blasts two, leads Giants past Dodgers


Cabrera blasts two, leads Giants past Dodgers

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Melky Cabrera showed off his offensive prowess on Tuesday.Cabrera homered from both sides of the plate in the San Francisco Giants' 8-4 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers.Barry Zito gave up four hits and two runs and got the win for the Giants.Ted Lilly struggled as he allowed five runs, including two homers, in two innings for Los Angeles.

BAGGARLY: Zito getting up to speed?
Cabrera led off the game with a right-handed homer off Lilly that sailed over the left-field bullpen.Then, after Emmanuel Burriss doubled, Brett Pill hit a two-run homer to left. Cabrera hit another solo homer, batted left-handed, in the sixth, off the Dodgers' Ramon Troncoso.The Giants acquired Cabrera from the Royals to help bolster their offense."I don't care if it's spring training," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "That's impressive. Few guys can or have done that. A great job on his part."Lilly also gave up three hits and two runs in the second inning."I'm not so much concerned, just not happy with the outcome," Lilly said."If I search hard and try to be positive, I came out of it healthy. Even though it's spring training, I'm looking for results."
BAGGARLY: Cabrera breaks out, homers from both sides
Lilly said he struggled to locate his fastball, then had to throw more breaking balls than he'd planned.Zito threw a scoreless first inning, giving up an infield hit to Dee Gordon. He gave up two runs, including a solo homer to Andre Ethier, in the second inning.Zito threw 28 strikes out of 35 pitches in his first spring outing. He struck out Matt Kemp and had some other Dodger hitters off balance."I'm happy with it," he said.His manager was also pleased."I thought Barry looked great," Bochy said. "He should feel good about that outing."Zito was "a little uncomfortable" pitching out of the windup, which he has been tinkering with, so he pitched to one batter in the third inning, Bochy said.The Giants finished with 16 hits. Cabrera, Pill, Burriss, Joe Panik and Nate Schierholtz, each had two hits.Notes: Aaron Harang will start Wednesday for the Dodgers. ... With the left-hander Zito on the mound, Ethier hit fifth for the Dodgers instead of fourth, behind Juan Rivera, something that could be routine in the regular season. ... Scott Van Slyke, who homered for the Dodgers on Monday will work "in different spots in the outfield, right or left, get some at-bats, get some experience," manager Don Mattingly said. "He's coming off a good year (in the minors). He's probably coming in with a lot of confidence. It's a good chance for him to show people what he can do."

Good news, bad news for Chris Shaw's first week in the Arizona Fall League

MiLB/Sacramento River Cats

Good news, bad news for Chris Shaw's first week in the Arizona Fall League

Every time the Journey song “Lights” plays throughout AT&T Park, the lyrics When the lights go down in the City ring too true for the Giants’ offense. There’s a power outage in San Francisco. 

The savior to this issue can soon be prospect Chris Shaw, who turns 24 years old on Oct. 20. Shaw, along with five other Giants prospects, is continuing his 2017 season among a multitude of baseball’s best young up-and-comers in the Arizona Fall League. As he takes the field for the Scottsdale Scorpions, Shaw’s bat is far from the top focus for the Giants. 

After playing right and left field at Boston College, the Giants turned Shaw into a first baseman once they selected the 6-foot-4, 235-pound lefty in 2015. This year, the Giants’ front office decided to make a change. As the big league team continued to look for their own answers, Shaw saw himself in left field in 94 of the 125 games he played between Double-A and Triple-A this season. 

“I saw improvements through the course of the year,” Brian Sabean said about Shaw’s outfield defense on The Giants Insider Podcast. “The problem is playing left field in our left field isn’t necessarily the easiest thing to do.” 

The AFL is all about reps in left field for Shaw as the Giants have already said he will get a long look in spring training. He earned that right after a breakout year at the plate.

One week into the AFL though, Shaw’s bat is way behind. Through four games, Shaw is batting a pedestrian .133 (2-for-15), both hits being singles. But even in such a slow start there are positives. 

Shaw has walked three times to only two strikeouts. His only downfall at the plate once he reached Triple-A Sacramento was his on-base percentage fell from .390 in Double-A to .328 at the higher level. With the River Cats, Shaw struck out 106 times, leading the team, while taking his base 20 times.

One week in the desert, Shaw is showing more patience and putting the ball into play more often. The ball simply isn’t finding grass.

In the outfield, every ball Shaw sees -- practice or game -- during the AFL is a step in the right direction for he and the Giants. He is yet to make an error in his short time at the AFL. The big lefty will never be a guy to make the spectacular play, but if he improves his instincts with the glove and improves his eye at the plate, the Giants can finally have their left fielder of the future. 

Former Giants infielder replaces Dodgers' star shortstop on NLCS roster


Former Giants infielder replaces Dodgers' star shortstop on NLCS roster

LOS ANGELES — Shortstop Corey Seager has been left off the Los Angeles Dodgers' roster for the NL Championship Series against the Chicago Cubs.

The Dodgers announced Seager's surprise omission due to a back injury on Saturday, several hours before Game 1 at Dodger Stadium.

Los Angeles also dropped reliever Pedro Baez from its roster. Infielder Charlie Culberson and outfielder Joc Pederson were added.

Chicago made only one change from the last playoff round, adding reliever Hector Rondon and removing reliever Justin Wilson.

Seager complained of back soreness during the Dodgers' NL Division Series clincher in Arizona on Monday, and 2016 NL Rookie of the Year didn't participate in team workouts this week. Still, manager Dave Roberts said Friday that he was very optimistic that Seager would play in the NLCS.

Seager was an All-Star selection this season while batting .295 with 22 homers and 77 RBIs as a key part of the top of the Dodgers' lineup.

Kike Hernandez, Chris Taylor and Culberson all worked out at shortstop Friday for the Dodgers. The versatile Taylor was the Dodgers' center fielder during the NLDS, but he made 96 appearances in the outfield this season and 44 in the infield, including 14 games at shortstop.

Pederson is batting .071 with no homers since July, but the Dodgers could need him in center field if Taylor plays shortstop.

Culberson famously homered to clinch the Dodgers' NL West title in announcer Vin Scully's final home game last season, but the infielder spent most of this season at Triple-A, appearing in only 14 games for the Dodgers.

Rondon was the Cubs' closer in 2014 and 2015, but moved to a setup role last season after Aroldis Chapman's arrival. He appeared in 61 regular-season games this year, going 4-1 with a 4.24 ERA in an up-and-down campaign.

Chicago acquired Wilson in a trade with Detroit on July 31, adding a veteran left-handed reliever who had 13 saves for the Tigers this season. The Southern California native wasn't great in his two months with the Cubs, posting a 5.09 ERA with 19 walks in 23 appearances.

Manager Joe Maddon chose Wilson for the NLDS over Rondon, only to switch it up against the Dodgers.