Cueto arrives in Giants camp, confirms he'll skip first round of WBC

Cueto arrives in Giants camp, confirms he'll skip first round of WBC

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — In recent weeks, Johnny Cueto’s famous Instagram account became the best way for many teammates to keep track of the missing right-hander. Cueto pulled a tire on the beach in one video. He jumped over hurdles in a gym. He did rope work in a yard, with prospects looking on. 

“It wasn’t like I was in the Dominican sitting down,” Cueto said Saturday, through interpreter Erwin Higueros. “I was working hard.”

The coaching staff saw that through other videos, clips of bullpen sessions that Cueto was throwing at the team’s facility in Boca Chica. He faced hitters during three live batting practice sessions, and when he finally checked into camp on Saturday morning, Cueto said he’s probably a little ahead of where he was this time a year ago. 

In his first spring with the Giants, Cueto was coming off a long postseason run with the Royals. He was slow-played. This time around, Cueto accelerated his work to prepare for the World Baseball Classic. But he confirmed Saturday that he will not participate in the first round. 

“I feel bad,” Cueto said through interpreter Erwin Higueros. “I wanted to be able to be a part of the first round, but they know why I won’t be there.”

Cueto said he may join the Dominican Republic if his countrymen can advance to the second round, but even that seems like a bit of a long shot. While Cueto feels strong physically, he said he’ll need to take some time to “adjust” to being in big league camp. He had a physical on Saturday and spoke with manager Bruce Bochy, who plans to ease Cueto into camp. 

"We're not going to put him in a game right away," Bochy said. "We've got to give him a few days to get acclimated here and then see where he's at."

Bochy kept in touch with Cueto throughout his absence, and the Giants helped him get his father, Domingo, over to Scottsdale. Domingo Cueto was hospitalized for 10 days last month with what was described to Johnny as a pre-stroke. He had kidney problems and wasn’t recognizing people, but Johnny said his father is doing much better. 

“As the head of the family, I felt I needed to stay there to make sure nothing worse happened,” he said. “If I reported when I was supposed to report and something did happen to my dad, then it would have been worse to go back (with) the distance.”

Domingo will stay with Johnny as he kicks off what could be his final year with the Giants. His contract, signed in December of 2015, includes an opt-out clause after the second year. Cueto said that’s not on his mind. 

“To me, this is just a regular year,” he said. 

The Giants hope it’s another long one. They’re counting on Cueto to repeat his outstanding 2016 season, when he went 18-5 with a 2.79 ERA and pitched 219 2/3 innings. Cueto noted that he’s part of a very strong rotation, one that should lead the club back to the postseason. If the Giants get there, Cueto might get another shot at a Cubs team he relished facing last season. He was scheduled to start Game 5 of the NLDS, but the Giants couldn’t put their season on his shoulders. 

“I really did want to pitch that fifth game,” Cueto said. “But it didn’t happen. The only thing I can think of now is this new year.”


Dodgers lose Justin Turner to broken wrist after getting hit by pitch vs A's


Dodgers lose Justin Turner to broken wrist after getting hit by pitch vs A's

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Los Angeles third baseman Justin Turner's broken left wrist is expected to heal without surgery, according to Los Angeles manager Dave Roberts.

Turner was hurt Monday when hit by a pitch from Oakland's Kendall Graveman.

Turner arrived at the Dodgers spring training facility with a cast over his wrist Tuesday morning and was scheduled to see a hand specialist for an estimate of the time he could miss.

"We know that it's not a surgery thing, it's just essentially time," Roberts said. "That's the initial thought. That could change but that's what I've heard."

Turner hit .322 with 21 homers and 71 RBIs last year and was a first-time All-Star. He had 14 RBIs against the Chicago Cubs in the NL Championship Series and was voted MVP.

The Dodgers appear poised to move Logan Forsythe from second base to third in Turner's absence and have Enrique Hernandez and Chase Utley share time at second.

"It obviously makes a lot of sense to have Logan over there a lot more at third, and to kind of put together some guys at second base, and leave Chris (Taylor) in center field," Roberts said.

Backup catcher Austin Barnes also could see time at second base.

Giants' outfield picture becoming clearer after latest round of roster cuts


Giants' outfield picture becoming clearer after latest round of roster cuts

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants moved closer to setting their opening day roster on Monday when they made a significant round of cuts to their spring training roster. 

A total of 15 players were reassigned or optioned, bringing the total to 31 players remaining in camp. Many of the players cut Monday entered the spring competing for jobs. 

In the outfield, Mac Williamson and Austin Slater were optioned to Triple-A and Chris Shaw was reassigned to minor league camp. Williamson had a huge spring and was the likeliest of the trio to push for an opening day spot, but he'll start his year in the minors. Steven Duggar was not among the cuts, and he remains an option to make the team, with the Giants also looking at Gregor Blanco, Gorkys Hernandez and Jarrett Parker for backup spots. Hernandez and Parker are out of minor league options. 

Tyler Beede was optioned and Andrew Suarez was reassigned to minor league camp, leaving three players vying for the final two rotation spots. Ty Blach and Chris Stratton have been the favorites all along, although both struggled the last time out and Derek Holland has had a strong spring. 

Both backup catchers -- Trevor Brown and Hector Sanchez -- were reassigned, along with Orlando Calixte, who saw time in the big leagues last year. Joan Gregorio, Jose Valdez, Justin O'Conner and Kyle Jensen were also reassigned. Chase d'Arnaud, who appeared to be making a strong push, was on the list, too, leaving Josh Rutledge as the only competition for Kelby Tomlinson for the final infield spot. 

Finally, Derek Law and Roberto Gomez were optioned to Triple-A. Josh Osich remains and appears the frontrunner for a bullpen job. Julian Fernandez, the Rule 5 pick, also remains in camp. 

The Giants break camp on Friday.