Melancon trolls with 'Players Weekend' jersey, and he'll be back right in time


Melancon trolls with 'Players Weekend' jersey, and he'll be back right in time

SAN FRANCISCO — As part of a “Players Weekend” initiative, MLB asked players to choose a nickname that will be displayed on the back of their jerseys from August 25-27. Kyle Seager of the Mariners went with “Corey’s Brother.” Josh Phegley of the A’s is “PTBNL.” In the Giants’ clubhouse, there are choices like “Mad-Bum” and “Tommy.”

Mark Melancon decided to troll a bit and have some fun with a “controversy” that erupted randomly this season. Melancon will wear “Stretch” on his jersey for three games, a reference to the Fox Sports story earlier this season that insisted the Giants were derailed in part by Melancon’s choice to change the pre-game stretching routine for the relievers. 

The good news for the Giants is that Melancon should actually be back on the field in time to wear that custom jersey. He will travel with the Giants to Washington D.C. this weekend and could be activated. Melancon threw a sharp inning for the San Jose Giants last night, striking out two. 

“He’ll be reevaluated Friday,” manager Bruce Bochy said. “It seems he came out of that fine, which is good news.”

It’s possible Melancon throws one more time for Double-A Richmond, close to Washington D.C. He also could throw a simulated game if he feels he needs more work. Whenever he returns, Melancon could have a different role at first. Bochy said he would meet with Melancon and Sam Dyson, who has been a revelation as the interim closer. 

“It’s a workable situation,” Bochy said. “It’s just a matter of what to do with Mark initially.”

--- Elsewhere on the injury front: An MRI showed that Miguel Gomez has knee inflammation; he is day to day ... Austin Slater (groin) is doing so well that he'll go to Arizona this weekend to rehab; Bochy expects him back in September ... Brandon Belt (concussion) will see team doctors today. He will not travel with the team. 

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.”