Giants

Posey: 'I don't think I've been that excited to take live BP, ever'

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Posey: 'I don't think I've been that excited to take live BP, ever'

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. The first live batting practice is amuch-anticipated day in camp. Sergio Romo immediately figured out it was abigger deal than usual.Obviously, you know, said Romo, When the first hitter yousee is Buster Posey and hes getting a standing ovation.Posey got to compete against live pitching for the firsttime since May 25, when his left leg shattered in a home-plate collision. Sincethen, the gift of the game is being returned to him in small boxes. This onewas especially shiny.I dont think Ive been that excited to take live battingpractice ever, said Posey, his eyes joyfully wide.
Posey saw 15 pitches from Jeremy Affeldt and Romo, swung ateight and managed to get at least a piece each time. His last round againstRomo included an apparent ground-rule double (on a slider) and a crisp linedrive to left field (on a challenge fastball.)REWIND: Posey pumped to face live pitching
Romo has never been so glad to give up a couple of ringingknocks.Its very uplifting and exciting to have Buster out there,doing whats normal, Romo said. Because hes not normal. There are few guyslike him. But for him to say hes feeling normal is a huge lift for us.Romo said his competitive juices started to flow and he hadto remind himself to use the session to work on his pitches. But he also wantedto find something out about his cleanup-hitting catcher. So he grooved afastball on the last pitch.Like, 'Lets see how far he hits it, Romo said. I did it(two years ago) to (Juan) Uribe when he took me deep. Id venture to sayBuster is comfortable (facing) me. It doesnt offend me when they swing. Hey,take your hacks. I want you to be ready as much as I want to be ready.Posey tried to get ready by standing in during bullpensessions to track pitches. It was a different feeling to react in the box,though. Hes going through the same exercise as the rest of the hitters, excepthis layoff has been more than twice as long.Its all about getting your timing, Posey said. Itsseeing some pitches and working on backing up the ball as much as I can. Iguess I didnt really know what to expect, but I was happy with how I felt. Thats the first arm Ive seen sincelast May. Regardless of the result, the goal is to see the ball as well as youcan and get your timing. So whether you square it up or not, you feel on time.Giants manager Bruce Bochy said Poseys excitement levelwould be the same when he plays in his first game. Its never easy, but helooks comfortable and he feels good, and thats whats important.When will that first game be? Will Posey start theexhibition opener against Arizona next Sunday? Bochy said he wouldnt have ananswer for two or three more days.But I will say hes doing fine, Bochy said.Sundays workout also marked the first time this spring thatPosey caught on consecutive days. He received Matt Cain for the first BPsession on the main field, then joined the hitting group against Affeldt andRomo.BAGGARLY: Cain, Sandoval involved in scary moments during live BP
Posey said Cain looked really good. His ball was jumping.He threw fastballs and changeups, then curves. He looked great.As for Poseys reconstructed ankle, he said he hasnt dealtwith any setbacks thus far this spring. But he continues to take it day to daywith the training staff.In these past nine months Ive got it figured out where mythreshold can be, said Posey, who required two surgeries to repair three tornligaments. I know what that is after getting loose, and knowing when not topush it.

Good news, bad news for Chris Shaw's first week in the Arizona Fall League

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MiLB/Sacramento River Cats

Good news, bad news for Chris Shaw's first week in the Arizona Fall League

Every time the Journey song “Lights” plays throughout AT&T Park, the lyrics When the lights go down in the City ring too true for the Giants’ offense. There’s a power outage in San Francisco. 

The savior to this issue can soon be prospect Chris Shaw, who turns 24 years old on Oct. 20. Shaw, along with five other Giants prospects, is continuing his 2017 season among a multitude of baseball’s best young up-and-comers in the Arizona Fall League. As he takes the field for the Scottsdale Scorpions, Shaw’s bat is far from the top focus for the Giants. 

After playing right and left field at Boston College, the Giants turned Shaw into a first baseman once they selected the 6-foot-4, 235-pound lefty in 2015. This year, the Giants’ front office decided to make a change. As the big league team continued to look for their own answers, Shaw saw himself in left field in 94 of the 125 games he played between Double-A and Triple-A this season. 

“I saw improvements through the course of the year,” Brian Sabean said about Shaw’s outfield defense on The Giants Insider Podcast. “The problem is playing left field in our left field isn’t necessarily the easiest thing to do.” 

The AFL is all about reps in left field for Shaw as the Giants have already said he will get a long look in spring training. He earned that right after a breakout year at the plate.

One week into the AFL though, Shaw’s bat is way behind. Through four games, Shaw is batting a pedestrian .133 (2-for-15), both hits being singles. But even in such a slow start there are positives. 

Shaw has walked three times to only two strikeouts. His only downfall at the plate once he reached Triple-A Sacramento was his on-base percentage fell from .390 in Double-A to .328 at the higher level. With the River Cats, Shaw struck out 106 times, leading the team, while taking his base 20 times.

One week in the desert, Shaw is showing more patience and putting the ball into play more often. The ball simply isn’t finding grass.

In the outfield, every ball Shaw sees -- practice or game -- during the AFL is a step in the right direction for he and the Giants. He is yet to make an error in his short time at the AFL. The big lefty will never be a guy to make the spectacular play, but if he improves his instincts with the glove and improves his eye at the plate, the Giants can finally have their left fielder of the future. 

Former Giants infielder replaces Dodgers' star shortstop on NLCS roster

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USATSI

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.