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


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

ST. LOUIS Giants second baseman Marco Scutaro wasdiagnosed with a contusion and a strained left hip but remains a possibility to startGame 3 of the NLCS Wednesday night at Busch Stadium.

An MRI exam confirmed the strain and ruled out otherstructural damage stemming from Matt Hollidays hard, late and controversialslide in the first inning Monday night, when the Cardinals power hittersuccessfully broke up a double play. Scutaros left knee was sore as well,Giants manager Bruce Bochy said.

Were hopeful he can go, said Bochy,adding that he was comfortable with veteran Ryan Theriot as an alternative.Hell get treatment today and well know where hes at tomorrow. But thatswhat were hopeful for.

Scutaro accompanied the team to St. Louis on Tuesdayscharter flight and offered to test his condition with some baseball activities.Bochy and trainers originally planned to limit him to rest and treatment, but Scutaro talked his way into jogging in the outfield and taking some swings in the cage, including one that went for a home run.

Bochy added that the chance of wet weather wouldnt impacthis decision whether or not to play Scutaro, whose ability to field hisposition would be the bigger concern.

But I will say hes more optimistic about where hes atright now than when it first happened, Bochy said.

And about what happened

Bochy was resolute when asked if his perceptions ofHollidays slide changed at all after hearing the left fielders remorse atstarting into the base later than he had planned.

RELATED: Brutal takeout slides from past postseasons

I dont think Ive changed my stance on what I said lastnight, said Bochy, reiterating that the slide was illegal in his view. Idont think there was intent to hurt someone. But it was late. And I explainedmy reasons last night. The second baseman is in a position where there can bedamage done, as we saw. He came out of this pretty good considering how hard hegot hit.

So I dont think my chance has changed at all. Thats an illegal slide.

RELATED: Bochy declares takeout slide on Scutaro 'illegal'

Bochy acknowledged he was watching first base and wasscreened out from having a view on Hollidays sideways, body-blocking slide overthe top of second base in the first inning, which took out Scutaros legs. Whenhe asked second base umpire Greg Gibson whether the slide constitutedinterference, the umpire told Bochy that Hollidays momentum carried him intothe runner.

Replays showed more than just a runner sliding through the bag.

Bochy never bristled louder than when asked a question thatincluded the word retaliation. The manager has said many times over hiscareer that hes never ordered a pitcher to hit someone, and he did not wanthis players to be tempted into committing any macho acts in Game 3.

Whats on our mind is to go out and play our best ball,Bochy said. Thats over. You have to move on. You hate to see what happened.Whats important is we keep our focus and try to win a ballgame.

And yes, that includes throwing inside. Matt Cain has heldHolliday to a .200 average (8 for 40) but with three home runs over their manytangles, and the right-hander said he wouldnt be timid about throwing insideas part of his game plan.

If one gets away, it gets away, Cain said.

Said Bochy: Were not changing our game plan with whathappened. Were going to go out there and hopefully execute pitches and not getcaught into that. We dont want any distraction. Well do what we can to win aballgame.

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.

Early on 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.