Down on the Farm: Giants force Game 3, lose Arizona League championship


Down on the Farm: Giants force Game 3, lose Arizona League championship

With a blowout 10-run loss to the AZL Cubs, the AZL Giants fell short of the coveted trophy in the Arizona Rookie League championship Thursday night at the Giants Baseball Complex in Scottsdale, Ariz. 

After dropping Game 1 of the three-game series, 10-4, the AZL Giants forced a Game 3 with a 6-5 win by breaking a tie in the ninth inning of Game 2, only to loss 13-3 in the final game of this short season. 

Giants third-round pick Seth Corry took the loss on the mound. The 18-year-old started Game 3 and allowed two earned runs over 2.1 innings pitched. He finished his first season of pro ball 0-3 with a 5.84 ERA. 

Corry, the highest-drafted prep out of Utah since 2005, struggled with his command the whole season and walked two more batters Thursday night. Over 26.2 innings pitched, the lefty finished with 24 strikeouts as well as 24 walks. 

The Giants are one of the best organizations in baseball at developing pitching. Corry is far from a finished prospect and missed most of his junior year in high school on the mound after the All-State safety tore his ACL in football. 

At the plate, the Giants were led by second-round pick Jacob Gonzalez. The third baseman went 1-for-4 to finish his first season of pro ball. In the three-game championship series, Gonzalez was the AZL Giants’ top hitter, boasting a .417 batting average (5-for-12). 

The 19-year-old son of Luis Gonzalez gave the Giants plenty of reasons to be excited with his 50 games in Arizona. Gonzalez was named the Arizona Rookie League Player of the Month in August after hitting .322 to go with his lone home run. 

Including the playoffs, Gonzalez finished with a .346 batting average. He also drove in 26 runs and hit 17 doubles. 

The AZL Giants were without their top prospect, center fielder Heliot Ramos. Selected No. 19 overall by the Giants in the 2017 MLB Draft, Ramos missed the rest of the season after suffering a concussion on Aug. 20. 

Ramos, seen as a young Yoenis Cespedes by his manager, slugged six home runs in 35 games. The powerful teenager — he just turned 18 on Sept. 7 — batted .348 with a 1.049 OPS. 

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.

Bochy, Giants issue statement following manager's heart procedure


Bochy, Giants issue statement following manager's heart procedure

Bruce Bochy's minor offseason heart procedure went as planned, the team announced Friday afternoon. 

In a message passed along to beat reporters, Bochy said "the procedure went extremely well and I'm feeling better. I'm grateful for the doctors and want to thank everyone who has reached out with well wishes."

Bochy, 62, had an ablation procedure to help him deal with heart issues that have plagued him in recent years. The operation was his second of the year, but it was considered minor enough that it could be pushed back to the end of the season.

Cleveland's Terry Francona had a similar procedure this year and returned to manage, and Bochy has left no doubt about his future. 

“I don’t want anyone to think this has an effect on my work, or ability to work,” Bochy said last week. “This is something that is not uncommon.”