Giants

Scutaro able to laugh after freight train collision

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Scutaro able to laugh after freight train collision

ST. LOUIS It takes toughness, and maybe lunacy, to collidewith a train and laugh about it.

A train derailment is how Marco Scutaro described thecontroversial, body-flying takeout slide from Matt Holliday that sent theGiants second baseman to the MRI chamber in Game 2 of the NLCS Monday night.

RATTO: Clarification coming in NLCS

Scutaro emerged sore but expressed confidence he would startat second base for the Giants in Game 3 Wednesday night. And with no majordamage done, he demonstrated a willingness to forgive and forget.

And to laugh.

Asked what he thought about Hollidays efforts to reach outto him after the game, Scutaro offered a Mona Lisa smile.

That was kind of nice to, you know, hear from him afterhe tried to kick my ass, he said.

What if Holliday tries to approach him before Game 3?

I might kick his ass, he said.

Before batting practice? After?

Whenever he wants, Scutaro said, barely breaking face asreporters laughed. Hes only 6-4, 250. No big deal.

Its easier to choose laughter over loathing when the testscome back with just a strain and bruises and likely wont keep Scutaro off thefield for any greater length of time than the four innings he missed at thetail end of the Giants 7-1 victory in Game 2.

RELATED: Scutaro 'more optimistic' about Game 3; Bochy vows no retaliation

Its a win that Scutaro helped to bring home with a pair ofsingles following the first-inning collision, including the bases-clearing linedrive in the fourth that Holliday, of all people, kicked for an error.

After seeing the replay of Hollidays slide, though, Scutaroagreed that it was over the top literally and otherwise. And yes, it upsethim.

Umm, after I saw the replay, kind of, Scutaro said. Youknow, hes a guy who always plays hard but I think he slid a little late. Iguess he wasnt trying to do that but he was coming full speed. To be honestIm just happy nothing real bad happened and Ill probably be able to playtomorrow.

How did he recall the play developing?

First of all I was just trying to make sure of one out,slow roller, and all the sudden I saw this train coming, Scutaro said. Ididnt have time to pretty much do anything. As soon as I caught the ball hewas on top of me and I dont even know how I threw the ball to first. But Ithink I did, right?

Was the slide illegal, as Giants manager Bruce Bochycontended?

I dont know too much about sliding rules, but I think itwas a little late, Scutaro said. As a second baseman, pretty much the onlyprotection you have is your bag. Seeing the replay, he slid at the bag. I dontthink there was intention for me. He was trying to break up a double play.

At least when they slide before the bag, you can use thebag as protection and jump or something.

Scutaro could only recall getting hit harder at second baseone time, when he played for the As and they had hit someone on the opposingteam. Scutaro was playing shortstop while turning the pivot when a runnertried to kill me.

He did not believe Holliday had that intent, even if thecollision felt like unnecessary roughness.

I dont think you can slide harder than that, Scutarosaid. Youll probably hit the shortstop.

Another circle of laughter. Another lightning round ofone-liners.

Do you want your pitchers to retaliate?

Ask them. I dont know. I just work here.

How would you want them to respond?

Yeah, I want them to throw a nine-inning shutout and wewin.

The Giants No. 2 hitter appeared able to provide some runsupport to those pitchers when the series resumes at Busch Stadium. He wasntsupposed to participate in the Giants workout Tuesday, as trainers preferredhe rest and get treatment. But after stepping off a four-hour flight, he joggedin the outfield and then stepped into the cage -- crushing two home runs in hisfirst round of batting practice.

The trainers, theyre doing a great job, Scutaro said. Ididnt think I was going to feel this good today. I thought I would be worse.Its usually the next day you feel it the most. Im just happy nothing reallybad happened and Ive still got my leg there.

Scutaro said he stayed in Mondays game because he felt hecould still move enough to contribute, but his hip pain increased and began toradiate to his groin. By the fifth inning, his leg was so numb that if pinchhitter Skip Schumaker had hit a ground ball a few feet to the side, he wouldnthave been able to reach for it.

A day later, he felt less numb, more nimble and apparently,willing to move on to the next depot.

McCutchen Mailbag: What does trade mean for Giants' young outfielders?

McCutchen Mailbag: What does trade mean for Giants' young outfielders?

SAN FRANCISCO — The Giants will introduce Evan Longoria on Friday at AT&T Park (we’ll be airing it and doing Facebook Live, so get ready) and at some point they figure to get Andrew McCutchen up on a podium with a brand new jersey. 

At that point, McCutchen can talk a bit more about his new team and his walk year. For now, let’s run through some questions about the trade and what might come next … 

How are you liking this move, Alex? I love it. — @DionTheDude

I was an advocate of taking a step back in 2018 and rebuilding a bit for the future, but the Giants were never going to do that. So, if you’re going to go for it, I think McCutchen is the perfect fit and a really savvy move. I also don’t think it cost the Giants very much. For my full thoughts, check out the Emergency Andrew McCutchen Podcast I did with Ahmed Fareed. 

Slater showed some promise with the glove last season. Do you see him as an option in center field? 566 career CF innings in the minors. — @BrooksKnudsen 

I do, and at the winter meetings, team officials talked about him playing all three outfield spots. At the time it seemed the emphasis would be right field, but with McCutchen now out there, I would guess Slater sees most of his time in left with starts in center, as well. A lot of people asked about Slater, Jarrett Parker, Mac Williamson etc. Simply put, the Giants are now in a position that normal teams hope to be in. They don’t have to rush some of these guys into a ton of starts in the outfield. The ones who have options can ride the Sacramento-San Francisco shuttle and provide more talent than in the past when a player gets hurt -- and on this old team, players will get hurt. Parker is out of options, but you’ll see some other familiar names fill out the outfield in Triple-A. If you missed it yesterday, here's the plan for Steven Duggar. 

Could the Giants go the Dee Gordon route and just sign Eduardo Nuñez to play center? - @raj_sidhu_123

I liked what the Mariners did with Dee Gordon, but Nuñez was pretty rough in left field last year. Having said that, I recently asked about him as a potential February addition, perhaps on a minor league deal if his market just turns out to be completely dry. I was told, “Nuñey is going to be just fine,” so I assume that he has some solid infield offers in hand. 

How about some pitching? - @pablodiablow 

My friend, we’re on the same page. The bullpen has been bad for two years and just lost a promising arm in Kyle Crick. Hopefully Derek Law fills that void, but he’s coming off a down year. I think they need another bullpen arm and another starter, because it would be rather shortsighted to build a lineup that you think can contend, and then turn the back end of the rotation over to a bunch of rookies. I expect a veteran or two to be in camp to compete for an Opening Day job. 

Does this mean Billy Hamilton is still possible? - @Gaberino4 

In conversations with sources, I haven’t heard Hamilton’s name in weeks. It was McCutchen, McCutchen, McCutchen at some point. I think that ship has likely sailed, as the Reds set a high asking price and didn’t waiver. Per Zach Buchanan, one of their beat writers, Hamilton is expected to start the season in Cincinnati. 

Was hanging onto Belt a priority? Seems like that would’ve been an ideal contract to get rid of given their cap issues. — @JoshSessler 

Yes, I’m told Belt was made just about untouchable at the start of the offseason, and frankly not many teams have asked about him given his potentially scary concussion issues. But to a larger point, holding Belt should’ve been a priority. He’s a good baseball player. End of story. Sorry, Belt Bashers. Even with McCutchen and Longoria, if I had to bet on who will lead the 2018 Giants in OPS, I would choose Belt. He should benefit quite a bit from hitting lower in the order. 

Do you have an estimate of how much money they still have for a center fielder? - @PeteDeBoerWar 

According to Cot’s, the best tracker out there, the Giants have about $4.4 million until they reach the tax. They were helped by the Pirates picking up $2.5 million of McCutchen’s $14.75 million deal. I think the actual number is $3-4 million under the tax, so that’s the budget for a defense-first center fielder, if that’s the way they go. 

You think they should go for Lorenzo Cain at a reasonable price now even if they lose the second-round pick? - @pejvahdat 

I do not. Cain is still going to be very expensive and he turns 32 in April, so forgive me for immediately thinking about the years I’ve spent covering an aging Angel Pagan and Denard Span. Cain is a much better defender than either of those two, but still, I think he comes with a lot of risk. Plus, the Giants just traded two of their top five prospects and they have a poor farm system. They need to nail those second- and fifth-round picks next year and add to what appeared to be a very good draft in 2017. At some point, a rebuild is coming. 

Where are all the people wanting Bobby Evans’ head now? — @kmav88

Oh, they’re still on Twitter. I still hear from them every day. Make no mistake about it, if this doesn’t work and the Giants fall well short of the postseason again, this will all come down on the front office. But for now, Evans has to be sleeping better. At the end of the day, he came away from the offseason with Evan Longoria and Andrew McCutchen, and so far he’s kept ownership from paying the tax again and given them two new stars to sell. That’ll play. 

Just a number? Longoria says slow down with concerns of Giants' aging roster

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AP

Just a number? Longoria says slow down with concerns of Giants' aging roster

The Giants added two premier face of the franchise players this offseason in Evan Longoria and Andrew McCutchen. Together the two have combined for eight All-Star Game appearances. 

What they don't bring to San Francisco though, is youth. Longoria (32) and McCutchen (31) are the latest to join an again Giants roster. Buster Posey turn 31 in March, Johnny Cueto turns 32 in February, Hunter Pence turns 35 in April, Brandon Crawford turns 31 in January, and Brandon Belt turns 30 in April.

Father Time though, is far from getting Longoria and the rest of the Giants' stars according to the third baseman. 

"I believe that all of us believe we're in our prime and we are more than capable of competing," Longoria said Wednesday on KNBR. "That's just ways of making waves in the news. Our job is to just go out and do our job. I think we'll be just fine." 

Longoria is entering his 11th season in the big leagues. That has certainly added wear and tear on him, but also added knowledge of his body. 

"I'm definitely a different player," Longoria says now at 32 compared to 22. "There's a lot of ways that I prepare now that I didn't have to do or I didn't know how to do when I was a younger player. For me personally, it's going to be quite an experience."

While Longoria and McCutchen may not have the freshest pair of legs in baseball, they are two of the most durable players in the game. In 2017, both players appeared in 156 out of 162 games.

"Being prepared for the season is one thing and I know how to do that and I know how to get myself ready for that," Longoria said. "It's just a matter of the day in and day out homework so to speak that I'll have to do. That's gonna change based on the league and based on the division."