Lincecum returns to standard workouts


Lincecum returns to standard workouts

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- It was a quiet morning in Giants camp, which counts as anupset when you consider that Aubrey Huff showed up for the first time.Tim Lincecums stiff back was improved and he participatedin activities, including stretching and calisthenics. He also played catch withBarry Zito. The Giants took Lincecum inside a little early as a precaution, but manager Bruce Bochy said he expected the two-time Cy Young Award winner tothrow his usual bullpen session on Thursday.
As for Brian Wilson, he didnt throw with his usual groupoff a mound. But that was predetermined. Instead of throwing a bullpen everyother day, the Giants have Wilson throwing every third day as a precautionbecause of the strained elbow that dogged him most of last season. So hes onthe schedule for Thursday as well.Its all mapped out, Bochy said.Left-hander Dan Runzler still has a touch of the lat strainin his side that kept him out for part of last season, but hes not beingrestricted. Hell also throw his next bullpen on Thursday.Second baseman Freddy Sanchez stretched out his throwingdistance to 140 feet as he attempts to build strength in his repaired rightshoulder. The real test will come when he makes throws as part of fielding hisposition, though.And Buster Posey took a day off from catching bullpens. He's on the every-other-day schedule, but could begin to ramp that up soon.
Other than that, it was just another day for the pitchers tobuild arm strength and watch some of these minor leaguers in camp.One thing youd notice immediately from this group ofyounger arms: They are not shrimps. Seems like everyone is threatening to bangtheir heads on the door frame as they walk out of the clubhouse.You probably know about Heath Hembree, who throws up theupper, upper 90s. But Id suggest keeping an eye on Hector Correa, too. Hesgot a power sinker that should play well against big league hitters at somepoint this season.As for Huff, he arrived a day before position players aredue to check in. He took some swings in the cage, shared a few wisecracks withreporters and shook some hands. (Watch out for the famous Huff dead fishhandshake.)Bochy saw him signing autographs and yelled out his welcome.Youre playing third base and hitting third, Bochy said.Joking, of course.

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."