Posey's durability likely to affect roster decisions


Posey's durability likely to affect roster decisions

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. Buster Posey continues to exceedexpectations this spring and it might be impacting how the Giants arrangetheir opening-day roster.

Posey started at first base Saturday afternoon, just a fewhours after a strenuous workload Friday night in Peoria. Against the San DiegoPadres, Posey had pushed himself hard on the basepaths and caught a completegame for the first time this spring. They were long innings, too.

He said he woke up with a normal amount of stiffness inhis surgically reconstructed left ankle.

Even when youre completely healthy, spring training is alot different than the regular season, Posey said. But Im really optimisticbecause Ive made a lot of progress this spring and I think its only gonna getbetter and better.

Most impressively, Posey scored from second base on asingle. He said yes, he thought about his ankle as he made the sharp turnaround third base.

Itll be something Ill think about for awhile, he said. Itssomething Ill get more and more comfortable with. I dont think that thinkingabout it is a bad thing.

Posey said hes pleased with how the spring has gone. Hehasnt had any apparent setbacks.

The training staff has done a great job of managing it,knowing when to push and when to pull back a little bit, Posey said. Imhappy.

Its a test for Posey to play a day game after a night game something the Giants will have in four of their first 10 contests, and 39 inall this season. His strong spring makes it more likely that manager BruceBochy will stick to his early pledge to carry just one additional catcher.

Yes, it could be Hector Sanchez instead of choosing betweenEli Whiteside and Chris Stewart.

Carrying just one catcher would allow the Giants one moreposition player; they face a tough choice between Joaquin Arias middle-infielddefense and Brett Pills right-handed power.

The coaching staff and front office also continues todiscuss Brandon Belt, where he should start the season and what his role shouldbe. Bochy has said he and GM Brian Sabean have taken their discussions lateinto the night in recent days a sign there is some healthy disagreement onthe roster construction.

Also today:

--Clay Hensley had an MRI on his calf that showed only a mildstrain. He expected to get back on a mound within a day or two.

--Ryan Vogelsong threw 55 pitches in three innings of aminor league game. He remained on course to start the season opener forTriple-A Fresno on Thursday. Hell make one more rehab start after that beforethe club activates him when they need a fifth starter April 15.

--Dan Otero is your Harry S. Jordan award winner as the mostimpressive player in his first big league camp. Otero hasnt walked a batterand has a bingo number for an ERA (0.90) in 10 appearances.

I didnt know what to expect, Otero said. The first timehere, it was overwhelming. Then you get acclimated and get a comfort level.Being here with the guys, you take it as any other day. Its baseball.

Otero, Steve Edlefsen and non-roster pitcher Jean Machi arecompeting for the final bullpen spot a temporary one, since the winner isexpected to go down when Vogelsong is ready.

Machi has a nasty splitter that has gotten the attention ofthe coaching staff, but Otero is a strike thrower.

Ive always tried not to walk guys because I know Ill giveup hits, Otero said. The fewer baserunners, the better.

Otero won a five-pack of 5 Starbucks cards. He doesn't drink coffee.

--Arias was in the early lineup but Bochy changed it and putRyan Theriot at second base, instead. Emmanuel Burriss got a rare start atshortstop, too. Although theres an excellent chance Arias will be on the teamas a backup middle infielder, if the Giants opted not to carry him, they likelywould go with todays alignment Theriot at second, Burriss at short againstsome left-handed pitchers. Theyre getting Reds lefty Jeff Francis today.

Also, it appears that Bochy is more or less set onflip-flopping Posey and Pablo Sandoval in the Nos. 3-4 spots againstleft-handers this season.

The lineup:

CF Pagan
LF Cabrera
1B Posey
3B Sandoval
2B Theriot
RF Schierholtz
SS Burriss
C Stewart
P Mota

Its a Johnny Wholestaff game today, and Mota didntexactly change his routine because he was starting. Players were dressed atnoon. Mota, as per his custom, strolled in at 11:44.

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

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


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.