Giants schedule MRI for Sanchez, but no roster move planned


Giants schedule MRI for Sanchez, but no roster move planned

ATLANTA For a backup catcher, Hector Sanchez hasexperienced a full measure of foul tips, collisions, shots off the mask andother contusion-creating mishaps behind the plate.

Trainers have to wear their distance-running shoes whenSanchez starts behind the plate.

His injury Tuesday night was the strangest yet -- but not terribly serious, theGiants hope. Sanchez sprained his left knee on thebasepaths while making a sudden move to first base on a pickoff throw. He willgo for an MRI exam Wednesday morning but Dr. Ken Akizukis initial diagnosiswas that the injury was not significant; Giants manager Bruce Bochy said theclub did not plan to call up another catcher as a precaution, even though thirdbaseman Pablo Sandoval would be the backup to Buster Posey if Sanchez issidelined.

Were hoping for the best, Bochy said. We think its justa couple games. Were hopeful its what we think it is.

Sanchez, who had his knee checked on Friday due to mild discomfort, said he felt better after the game. But at the timehe shuffled to first, it hurt so bad. When I tried to run, I couldnt.

Sanchez managed to keep his sense of humor when askedif hed lend Sandoval his catching gear; the Panda hasnt caught an inningsince 2009, when he started three games behind the plate.

If he wants to use it, he can use mine, Sanchez said.

Sanchezs departure in the fourth inning meant that Posey moved from first base and worked with Barry Zito for the first time sincespring training. Zito logged three shutout innings with Sanchez and four withPosey.

Me and Buster were joking around, Zito said. I said, Youprobably snipered him because you wanted to work with me.

Zito paid a compliment to both catchers, saying that Poseykept him in the same flow.

We didnt skip a beat, Zito said. He was calling the samepitches Hector was. I just hope the injury to Hector isnt too serious and hecan get back out there in a few days.

If the Giants find they need another catcher, they couldalways recall Eli Whiteside the only other catcher on the 40-man roster -- fromTriple-A Fresno and perhaps send down another player such as Justin Christian ratherthan disable Sanchez.

Top prospect Tommy Joseph, who hit a home run on his 21stbirthday earlier in the week, is geographically closer to the club at Double-A Richmond butthe Giants probably dont want him lingering on the bench in the big leagues, nor would they want to purchase his contract prematurely.

Durable Longoria ready for additional boost from ballpark, Giants fans

Durable Longoria ready for additional boost from ballpark, Giants fans

SAN FRANCISCO — The field at AT&T Park is covered with patches and small piles of dirt right now, showing the signs of a winter hosting holiday parties and concerts, and a week with plenty of rain. 

For Evan Longoria, though, that grass was a beautiful sight.

A month after a trade that had him switching coasts, Longoria was introduced at a press conference at AT&T Park and ran the usual gauntlet with team employees and season-ticket holders. He spent some time this week looking for housing in the Bay Area, but soon he’ll be back in Scottsdale, getting to know new teammates and preparing his body for the 2018 season. 

Longoria said his workouts have been a bit different with a new staff, but the goal remains the same. He is a player who prides himself on taking the field every day, and that’s one of the traits that drew the Giants to Longoria. He has played at least 156 games in five consecutive seasons, and 160 in four of those seasons. 

It’s no accident that Bruce Bochy has mentioned durability during every media session this season. Andrew McCutchen has a similar track record, and the Giants lineup certainly could use some stability, especially at third base, where seven different players made double-digit starts last season. Longoria will change that. 

“I have a desire to play every day, and I think that that is infectious,” he said. “Players that may feel the grind of a long season or might be in a little bit of a funk offensively or defensively or with pitching, something like that can give you a boost when you have guys around that you know come to play and compete on a daily basis, no matter what the circumstance is.”

[RELATED: Just a number? Longoria says slow down with concerns of Giants' aging roster]

For Longoria, who turned 32 early in the offseason, the circumstance has changed for the better. After years on the unforgiving turf at The Trop, he comes to a park and division featuring nothing but natural grass. 

“I hope it helps,” he said. “Going on the road (with the Rays), my body definitely felt better when I played on grass. I’m sure that it will help. It’s definitely not going to be a negative. Not playing on the turf anymore is something that crossed my mind as soon as the trade happened.”

Longoria expects to benefit from another aspect of AT&T Park, too. The Rays finished dead last in the majors last year with an average of 15,670 fans per game. Even though their sellout streak ended, the Giants still had an average of more than 40,000 per night. Asked about playing outdoors, Longoria smiled and added, “in front of fans.”

“The environment here is obviously much different, so it’s going to be nice to step into that on a daily basis and play in front of a fan base that’s obviously very storied,” he said. “It helps with energy. It helps with motivation.”

McCutchen ready for more conversations with 'Steve the Seagull' at AT&T Park

McCutchen ready for more conversations with 'Steve the Seagull' at AT&T Park

Andrew McCutchen has been one of the best players in the National League for years now. The 31-year-old is a five-time All-Star and was named the 2013 NL MVP. 

Not only do his stats stand out, McCutchen is also one of the most entertaining players in baseball. And that's clearly going to continue in San Francisco. 

On Thursday, McCutchen was asked about the famous seagulls of San Francisco flying around the outfield at AT&T Park. 

"I definitely made a few friends out there over the years. Steve the Seagull out there, I know him," McCutchen said on KNBR. "He comes in every now and then. We have a little pow-wow when I come to San Francisco. Yeah, we get along well, me and the guys, me and the birds. They know when to come in that's for sure." 

Denard Span, who the Giants traded to acquire Evan Longoria, had a much different relationship with the seagulls. 

McCutchen is clearly the opposite of Span in this regard though. He seems about as calm as can be when it comes to the birds paying him a visit. 

"They chill, we have some conversations. It's all good," says McCutchen. 

One other aspect McCutchen can't wait for in the outfield at AT&T Park, is getting to know all the fans. Specifically, not being a part of a special chant Giants fans have for opposing outfielders. 

"I'm lookin' forward to fans not callin' me bums anymore," McCutchen said with a laugh. "I'm glad I'm on the winning side. I'm glad I'm on the San Francisco Giants side. I can't wait to meet all the fans."