Giants' Cain in midseason form after two spring starts


Giants' Cain in midseason form after two spring starts

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Almost one year ago, Matt Cain pitched threeinnings in a simulated game, his first action since missing a spring start withelbow problems.On Friday in Scottsdale, Cain threw three innings that werefar from simulated, allowing no runs and striking out four Reds. He allowedthree hits and hit a batter in his brief outing. The Giants projected No. 3starter has a perfect 0.00 ERA through his first two spring starts.Besides working an extra inning in his second appearance,Cain also had a new battery mate in Buster Posey, who made a two-inning springdebut Friday.The pair received quite an ovation as they walked to thebullpen before the game.I thought everyone really loved me, Cain said. Then Ilooked behind me and saw Buster."

While Posey may garner more fan attention, Cain is quietlysetting up to do what he does best: 200 innings pitched and an ERA you cancount on.I felt good today, Cain said. I felt like I had a goodrhythm. I just have to remember that and take it into the next bullpen sessionand keep carrying that over into the season.Coming off a full-season career-low 2.88 ERA in 2011, Cainis looking for a repeat performance in what may be his final year as a Giant.With no news on a potential contract extension, Cain couldbecome a free agent after this season if the Giants cant reach an agreementwith their big right-hander by the end of spring training.But it appears Cain is staying focused on his performance,not his paycheck, and its working. All of Cains pitches, but especially the curveball, were inmidseason form as he worked through the Reds lineup and his manager tooknotice. Cains looked great, Bruce Bochy said. Hes in tremendousshape. Hes throwing the ball well. Solid effort every time he hits the mound,whether its a bullpen or facing hitters. Hes so consistent thats what youlove about him.

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.”