Giants see positives on mound from Wilson, Lincecum


Giants see positives on mound from Wilson, Lincecum

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. The Giants never had great concerns overTim Lincecums mild back stiffness, but it was nonetheless reassuring when thecoaching staff watched him return to the mound on Tuesday.They were smiling even more after watching closer Brian Wilsonpush himself harder in his mound session.
Wilson, who spent all winter rehabbing a sore right elbow,appeared to throw at close to full intensity. His special session, whichfollowed the two main throwing groups, was watched by manager Bruce Bochy,pitching coach Dave Righetti, GM Brian Sabean, vice president Dick Tidrow andtrainer Dave Groeschner.Its just getting better each time, said Bochy, who hasWilson throwing every third day. The last time he felt improvement. He feltgood about it. He feels even better today.Lincecum appears to have shaken off the mild back stiffnessthat caused him to miss his previous bullpen session. He threw with his normalgroup and appeared unrestricted.Timmy didnt hold back, Bochy said. His back wasnt anissue. We got him off the field early, just to be safe. But it looks like hesput this past him.Lincecum said he woke up with some stiffness on Tuesday butit already cleared up.Why push it? he said. Its February. Weve got twomonths. Lincecum isnt rushing his pitch repertoire, either. For thesecond session in a row, he threw only fastballs and changeups.When I feel my arm speed is where it needs to be, Ill startthrowing everything else, Lincecum said. I feel my curve and slider can takeaway from staying behind the ball. I want to throw lots of strike one. Whenyoure throwing more fastballs and controlling the zone, thatll help.Left-hander Dan Runzler, who strained a lat muscle in hislast outing of the season last September, threw his session after Wilson. Righettiwas pleased with the way Runzler has worked to refine his delivery, which isnoticeably smoother.

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.”