Giants

Giants roster -- snapshot profiles

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Giants roster -- snapshot profiles

EDITOR'S NOTE: Giants baseball officially begins Friday with Opening Day in Arizona. Giants Insider Andrew Baggarly has been covering the team all spring. As part of his season preview package, check out his snapshot profile of each of the 25 active players on the Giants' roster.

Starting Pitchers

TIM LINCECUM Strikeouts were down and walks were up last season; now hes pitching to contact and scrapping his slider.

MADISON BUMGARNER Ended up with 13-13 record after 0-6 start; determined to get out of the gate faster this time.

MATT CAIN Earned his 112.5 million extension through consistency. Hes one of four pitchers with at least 20 quality starts in each of last four seasons.

RYAN VOGELSONG Last years rotation ERA leader will begin on the DL, but stuff appears to be there and strained back has improved.

BARRY ZITO There are 46 million reasons hes still around, and they all have George Washingtons face on them.

SEASON PREVIEW: Giants aim to reclaim division

Relief Pitchers

BRIAN WILSON Throwing 95 mph in the spring, but his strained elbow will be watched carefully all season.

SANTIAGO CASILLA Wicked stuff, hard fastball and bat-splintering curve make him an asset in late innings. He gets a little squirrelly in the ninth, though.

JEREMY AFFELDT He has a scud curveball, keeps the ball in the park and is effective against right-handers, too.

JAVIER LOPEZ Giants spent big bucks so this sidewinder could neutralize lefties for two more seasons.

SERGIO ROMO Wildly effective strike thrower as long as his elbow isnt barking. Thats when his famously Frisbee-esque slider tends to flatten out.

GUILLERMO MOTA He has a rubber arm and knows how to use it especially on the days that Zito pitches.

CLAY HENSLEY A favorite of Bruce Bochy, he has the ability to work multiple innings and take the ball whenever needed.

DAN OTERO Graduated from Duke University in three years. This 27-year-old rookie has smarts on the mound, too.

Position Players

BUSTER POSEY Looked great at the plate and behind it this spring. Catchers mask? Check. Chest protector? Check. Shinguards? Check. Halo? Check.

HECTOR SANCHEZ Hes a switch hitter with power from both sides, so hell be handy to have on the bench and will boost lineup on days Posey plays first base.

BRANDON BELT A patient and dangerous hitter, hes not a finished product. But Bruce Bochy must give him the chance to make adjustments against big league pitching.

RYAN THERIOT No longer a defensive dynamo, but he knows how to work a tough at-bat late in games.

BRANDON CRAWFORD The Giants first homegrown opening-day shortstop since Royce Clayton in 1996 (non-Bocock category).

PABLO SANDOVAL He was seventh in NL MVP balloting in 2009. With corrected vision in left eye and a full season, he might finish higher this year.

EMMANUEL BURRISS Hasnt hit nearly enough to warrant being an everyday player; most likely to contribute in super-utility role.

AUBREY HUFF Itll be a water buffalo, not a giraffe, in left field. He wont hang onto everyday playing time if he hits .240 again, though.

MELKY CABRERA Balanced switch-hitter might not achieve 200 hits again, but hell be motivated entering his walk year.

ANGEL PAGAN Slow starter lived up to his reputation with a brutal spring. Like Cabrera, hes motivated as he gets set for free agency.

NATE SCHIERHOLTZ Lost the right field job with an uninspiring spring. Must reestablish himself.

BRETT PILL Great happy to be here attitude and a powerful right-handed swing make him a good fit on this club.

GREGOR BLANCO Non-roster invitee was the surprise of the spring. Hes an on-base wizard who could be the everyday leadoff hitter before long.

Dusty Baker out as Nationals manager

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USATI

Dusty Baker out as Nationals manager

WASHINGTON -- The Washington Nationals say manager Dusty Baker won’t be back next season.

The team announced the move Friday.

Baker led the Nationals to the NL East title in each of his two years with the club. But Washington lost its NL Division Series both times.

His contract expired at the end of this season.

Dodgers crush Cubs in Game 5 to reach 2017 World Series

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USATSI

Dodgers crush Cubs in Game 5 to reach 2017 World Series

BOX SCORE

CHICAGO -- Enrique Hernandez put a Hollywood ending on an LA story three decades in the making.

Fueled by Hernandez's home run trilogy, Clayton Kershaw and the Los Angeles Dodgers are finally going to the World Series.

Hernandez homered three times and drove in seven runs, Kershaw breezed through six crisp innings and Los Angeles ended the Chicago Cubs' title defense with an 11-1 victory in Game 5 of the NL Championship Series on Thursday night.

"It feels good to hear World Series," Kershaw said. "It's been a long time coming for this team."

After years of playoff heartache, there was just no stopping this group of Dodgers. With Kershaw firing away at the top of a deep pitching staff and Justin Turner anchoring a tough lineup, one of baseball's most storied franchises captured its first pennant since Hall of Famer Tommy Lasorda managed Los Angeles to its last championship in 1988.

The Dodgers will host the New York Yankees or Houston Astros in Game 1 of the World Series on Tuesday night. The Yankees have a 3-2 lead in the ALCS heading into Game 6 at Houston on Friday night, so one more New York win would set up another chapter in an old October rivalry between the Yankees and Dodgers.

The Dodgers made the playoffs eight times in the previous 13 seasons and came up short each time, often with Kershaw shouldering much of the blame. The three-time NL Cy Young Award winner took the loss when Los Angeles was eliminated by the Cubs in Game 6 of last year's NLCS at Wrigley Field.

He was just OK in his first two starts in this year's postseason, but Los Angeles' loaded lineup picked him up each time. Backed by Hernandez's powerful show in Chicago, Kershaw turned in an efficient three-hit performance with five strikeouts in his sixth career playoff win - matching Burt Hooton for the franchise record.

When Kenley Jansen retired Willson Contreras on a liner to shortstop for the final out, the party was on. The Dodgers poured out of the dugout and mobbed their dominant closer near the mound, and a small, but vocal group of Los Angeles fans gathered behind the visitor's dugout and chanted "Let's go Dodgers! Let's go Dodgers!"