Giants

EXTRA BAGGS: A pearly result for Pagan, etc.

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EXTRA BAGGS: A pearly result for Pagan, etc.

DENVER What happens when Angel Pagan reaches base ninetimes in a two-game span?

He smiles.

I didnt know he had teeth for a little while, Giantsmanager Bruce Bochy said.

After more than a month of frustrating at-bats, scowls atumpires and one painful moment of self-immolation with an inanimate object,Pagan is smiling again. He made an adjustment to help him from the left side ofthe plate. Its translating to better contact from the right side, too.

I felt like I opened my eyes, Pagan said. You can neverlose your confidence, plain and simple. You cannot lose your belief inyourself. You get here early and theres so much work you put in so you canhelp the team in any way. When you do, you feel good.

Right now, I feel great.

Bochy said Pagan could be a real shot in the arm if hekeeps producing, especially if he can stamp himself as the Giants leadoff man.

Entering the game, here is what the Giants had received fromthe top spot in the order:

Name StartsAverage OBP
Gregor Blanco 68 .240 .334
Angel Pagan 26 .259 .289
Nate Schierholtz 8 .207 .303
Justin Christian 6 .211 .286
Marco Scutaro 2 .250 .300

No, Pagan is not an ideal leadoff man. But with Hunter Pencehitting fifth and Pablo Sandoval soon to return as the No.6 hitter, there mightnot be a better fit for him. Hell have to outperform Gregor Blanco, a moreprototypical leadoff presence, to keep getting at-bats in center field.

And that means Pagan will have to keep making contact. InJuly, he struck out 19 times and drew just four walks in 86 plate appearances.In two games at Coors Field, he hasnt whiffed once.

He started at leadoff because the Rockies were throwingleft-handers in each of the first two games in the series. He hit his home run Saturdayoff Rockies lefty Rex Brothers, But he did plenty of damage from the left sideagainst the Rockies right-handed relievers, too.

Youve just got to keep believing, man, he said. You seewhat you can do to make it better. It can be just a hair of an adjustment, butsomehow you have to make it better and have better at-bats.

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Bochy was pleased that the Giants and Xavier Nady were ableto come to terms on a minor league contract.

Its well worth taking a look, Bochy said. I know him andI know hes got a big bat, with great power.

Nady, who broke in while Bochy was managing the San DiegoPadres, hasnt played since late June because of a wrist injury. Bochy saidaccording to what he knows, Nady is healthier now.

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The Giants continue to turn over stones looking forright-handed relief help. Id be shocked if they didnt make at least one ortwo waiver deals over the coming days and weeks.

Theyll get one guy back soon. Guillermo Mota can beginworking out at the Giants complex in Arizona 20 games before his 100-gamesuspension is up. Mota, who blamed his positive drug test on childrens coughsyrup, is eligible to return Aug. 28.

Saturday nights game was made for Mota. Instead, Brad Pennymissed over the plate and Clay Hensley walked the leadoff batter in the eighthdespite a five-run lead. No, it hasnt been pretty.

You know what? Im not concerned, Bochy said. Penny, Ithought he had good stuff. Hensley has been pitching a lot and Im sure hes alittle tired. I think well be all right, especially with that 13thpitcher.

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Brandon Belt watched with approval as the U.S. team rompedto victory in the 4x100 medley relay. He said he was quite the swimmer as a kidand holds an undefeated record at the city pool where he grew up in Texas.

How could I lose with these flippers? he said, pointing tohis size 15s.

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

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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

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USATSI

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.