Pablo in pain as Giants open crucial series


Pablo in pain as Giants open crucial series

It's by far the biggest game of the year, and Pablo Sandoval is coming off the best week among all National League position players.So why isn't he in the lineup Tuesday against Dodgers ace and NL Cy Young frontrunner Clayton Kershaw?Pretty simple. He's a PUP instead of a Panda.

PUP as in physically unable to perform. It's an acronym typically reserved for the NFL, but it applies here. Obviously.You think Sandoval isn't dying right now? You think this isn't exactly the stage on which he's dying to perform? Of course it is. He lives for this kind of drama. But if you can't go, you can't go. And Sandoval is smart enough to know that faking his way into the lineup against talent like Kershaw is likely to hurt the Giants more than it'll help them.The more troublesome part of this deal isn't how it affects tonight. As dominant as Kershaw has been against the Giants this season, the defending champs were going to have their hands full even with their best, most productive player.That Sandoval, a right-handed hitter, can't swing right-handed with even an ounce of confidence, though, is a major concern heading into the final week-plus of the regular season.He's been battling shoulder soreness for some time, and the pain has come and gone. It's back with a vengeance now, however, and if the pain doesn't die back down real soon, the Giants are all but cooked.Or are they? Maybe he can suck it up and bat lefty vs. lefties from here on out. He did it a little bit earlier in the year, and the force of his will might just be strong enough to make it work for a little while.Not against Kershaw, though. Kershaw's a load for Pablo at 10 percent from the right side. Kershaw against Pablo from the left side could have been ugly. Real ugly. Calling Dr. Cortisone.

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.”