Giants

EXTRAS: Pagan snaps slump, Bochy on OF situation

691118.jpg

EXTRAS: Pagan snaps slump, Bochy on OF situation

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Angel Pagan, acquired for fan-favoriteAndres Torres and reliever Ramon Ramirez in an offseason trade with the Mets,came into Tuesdays game just 5-for-22.After a 2-for-4 day against the Chicago Cubs, including a double and a triple,Pagan upped his spring average to .269 and flashed his speed and glovework incenter all afternoon.Today was a good day, Pagan said. Now I just have to workon consistency.In the top of the second inning, Pagan dove to rob the Cubs Steve Clevenger ofa base hit in the left-center field gap with a runner on second base.Madison Bumgarner, who was struggling in the inning, was appreciative.It looked like he was gaining on it pretty quick so Ithought he might have a chance to catch it, Bumgarner said. It was afantastic catch, though.Manager Bruce Bochy was also impressed.

Great game for him, Bochy said. Great play out there almost made another tremendous play and swung the bat well. Good to see him getsome good swings off.The almost play that Bochy referred to was a fly ball to dead center off thebat of David DeJesus. Pagan turned around and sprinted with his back to homeplate, attempting to make a basket catch a la Giants legend Willie Mays TheCatch. He came up short, but said after the game that he was close tofinishing the play. RELATED: Bumgarner tests new slider grip in rough start
Believe it or not, I thought I had the ball in my glove,Pagan said. I thought it was a pretty good effort. I know I can do a betterjob than that, but thats what were here for. Id rather miss it over herethan miss it in the season. Next time I should be able to catch it.While Pagans speed can lead to some spectacular plays on defense, it alsohelps on the basepaths. It certainly helped him on his RBI triple into right-centerfield in the fifth inning. He looked fast heading to first, then put it intoanother gear halfway between first and second.When he gets going, hes flying, Bochy said. He can run.Thats why hes our leadoff hitter. Hopefully he puts some pressure on opposingteams and makes some things happen. You saw him going home to third thatspretty quick.After covering a lot of ground in center Tuesday, Bochy saidthat Pagan will get the day off Wednesday for rest and maybe Thursday as well becausehes getting a wisdom tooth pulled. Pagan knows his speed will help him handle the difficultoutfield at his new home in San Franciso.The hardest part is how the wind carries it, he said. Thebounce it takes off the brick wall is hard too. RELATED: Posey hitless in third spring start, will DH Wednesday
When I asked if he leans on Nate Schierholtz for advice, Pagan had kind words forhis new teammate: He knows whats going on out there, for sure.--

Brandon Belt saw more action in right field Tuesday, butBochy said that he wont get much time there in the regular season andclarified his plan for positioning his outfielders.Belts doing fine, Bochy said. Hes done OK. He playeda little more right in his younger years so I think hes a little morecomfortable there. I just want to take a look at him there but more likelyhell be going back to left, particularly at our ballpark. Melky will probablybe the one going to right field. But I just want to take a look at it. Huffwill play some outfield, too. Well have to make that decision, which way wethink is the best way to go.Belt went 1-for-3 Wednesday and was tested in right when Alfonso Soriano triedto stretch a single into a double in the fifth inning. Belt hustled to get to theball down the line and fired a one-hop throw to Brandon Crawford, who couldnthang on to apply the tag.I figured he would try and do that so I got to it as fast Icould, Belt said. I gave Crawford a tough ball to handle.--Nate Schierholtz and Mike Fontenot both saw game action Wednesday, alleviatingfears about nagging injuries.NEWS: Bumgarner struggles, Giants lose to Cubs 5-4
Schierholtz, who was nursing a bruised hip, went 0-for-1 as a pinch-hitter. AndMike Fontenot, limited with a groin injury, singled, walked and played secondbase after coming off the bench.While Schierholtz and Fontenot made strides, Freddy Sanchez had his timetablefor a return to second base pushed back. Bochy recently said that Sanchez couldplay defense for the first time this spring on Thursday or Friday, but is nowsaying he hopes to have Sanchez ready this weekend. In the mean time, he willcontinue to get at-bats as Bochys designated hitter.In other minor injury update news, Ryan Vogelsong is stillscheduled to throw 45 pitches in a bullpen session Wednesday morning. And BrianWilson will make his second Cactus League outing later that afternoon againstthe Indians.--No one should be worried about Sergio Romos 4.50 ERA this spring, but itsworth noting that the run he gave up Wednesday wasnt of the ordinary variety.Romo left a slider up to big Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo, who was a memberof the Padres last year after coming over from the Red Sox in the AdrianGonzalez trade. Rizzo pounced on it and sent it around 450 feet to deep rightfield.He hung that one breaking ball, a bad pitch with two strikes, Bochy said. Wherehe threw that ball, it should be hit hard. Its good he gets to see someleft-handed hitters. As good as he is, he has little hiccups againstleft-handers.--In the familiar faces department, spotted at Scottsdale Stadium Tuesday morningwere former Giants outfielders Randy Winn and Pat Burrell. Brian Sabean wasalso seen on the field talking with Bochy, presumably about the tough rosterdecisions that await the general manager and field manager.

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

shaw-milb.jpg
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

corey-us.jpg
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.