Strickland defuses subplot of fight: 'I know Buster has got our backs'

Strickland defuses subplot of fight: 'I know Buster has got our backs'

SAN FRANCISCO — For the second time in less than 24 hours, Hunter Strickland stood in front of his locker and addressed a purpose pitch and a punch. This time, Strickland knew what the brawl had cost him. 

The right-hander was suspended six games by Major League Baseball, although he has appealed. Bryce Harper got four games for his role, and he also appealed. Both players are available Tuesday, but Strickland did not expect his showdown with Harper to carry over. 

“I think it’s done,” he said. “Yesterday is in the past and we’ve got to go out today and try to win a game and compete.”

The Giants do not expect retaliation, and there was no indication it was coming. Both sides tried to move forward the day after, putting all the subplots in the past. Strickland met with manager Bruce Bochy and also with catcher Buster Posey. Bochy also met with Posey, who got some national attention for not running to Strickland’s defense. 

“I know Buster has got our backs,” Strickland said. “We as a team stick together and that was never a worry of mine. I have talked to Buster but I don’t think he needs to explain his role.”

Posey repeatedly told reporters, “My focus is on playing the game today.” It would be impossible for Posey to avoid all the noise, but he isn’t one prone to listening to talk radio or cruising social media. He has joked in the past that he drives in silence to get some peace after so much time spent as a father to two young kids.

Bochy did not shed any light on his discussion with Posey. 

“They’re going to find things to say about everything about a brawl,” he said of the reaction. “There are some things we’d like to keep internal and I’ll keep it at that.”

In informal discussions around the clubhouse and during batting practice, players said this won’t be an issue. Sure, there are players down there who don’t agree with what Posey did, but most understand the importance of avoiding pileups, especially when you’ve had an ankle injury in the past and a concussion already this season. 

One player said he was sprinting for the pile in hopes of reaching Harper, but he saw how many large humans had gathered on the mound and thought better of it. The pile included Daniel Murphy, who ended up on the ground and told a Giants coach that he had spike marks all over his legs. It also included Jeff Samardzija and Michael Morse, who collided. Harper told reporters he was happy Morse got in Samardzija’s way before he could throw a punch. 

"I'm very thankful for Mikey Mo,” he said. 

A punch from Samardzija would have led to another suspension, but he’ll start Tuesday. Strickland will be available for the seventh as always, although the Giants will soon have to deal with life without one of their two setup guys. Bochy said George Kontos and Bryan Morris would be elevated when Strickland serves his suspension. He’s hopeful it’s not ultimately six games.

“We’re a man short there with six (games),” Bochy said. “Our hope is we get it down.”


Dodgers lose Justin Turner to broken wrist after getting hit by pitch vs A's


Dodgers lose Justin Turner to broken wrist after getting hit by pitch vs A's

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Los Angeles third baseman Justin Turner's broken left wrist is expected to heal without surgery, according to Los Angeles manager Dave Roberts.

Turner was hurt Monday when hit by a pitch from Oakland's Kendall Graveman.

Turner arrived at the Dodgers spring training facility with a cast over his wrist Tuesday morning and was scheduled to see a hand specialist for an estimate of the time he could miss.

"We know that it's not a surgery thing, it's just essentially time," Roberts said. "That's the initial thought. That could change but that's what I've heard."

Turner hit .322 with 21 homers and 71 RBIs last year and was a first-time All-Star. He had 14 RBIs against the Chicago Cubs in the NL Championship Series and was voted MVP.

The Dodgers appear poised to move Logan Forsythe from second base to third in Turner's absence and have Enrique Hernandez and Chase Utley share time at second.

"It obviously makes a lot of sense to have Logan over there a lot more at third, and to kind of put together some guys at second base, and leave Chris (Taylor) in center field," Roberts said.

Backup catcher Austin Barnes also could see time at second base.

Giants' outfield picture becoming clearer after latest round of roster cuts


Giants' outfield picture becoming clearer after latest round of roster cuts

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants moved closer to setting their opening day roster on Monday when they made a significant round of cuts to their spring training roster. 

A total of 15 players were reassigned or optioned, bringing the total to 31 players remaining in camp. Many of the players cut Monday entered the spring competing for jobs. 

In the outfield, Mac Williamson and Austin Slater were optioned to Triple-A and Chris Shaw was reassigned to minor league camp. Williamson had a huge spring and was the likeliest of the trio to push for an opening day spot, but he'll start his year in the minors. Steven Duggar was not among the cuts, and he remains an option to make the team, with the Giants also looking at Gregor Blanco, Gorkys Hernandez and Jarrett Parker for backup spots. Hernandez and Parker are out of minor league options. 

Tyler Beede was optioned and Andrew Suarez was reassigned to minor league camp, leaving three players vying for the final two rotation spots. Ty Blach and Chris Stratton have been the favorites all along, although both struggled the last time out and Derek Holland has had a strong spring. 

Both backup catchers -- Trevor Brown and Hector Sanchez -- were reassigned, along with Orlando Calixte, who saw time in the big leagues last year. Joan Gregorio, Jose Valdez, Justin O'Conner and Kyle Jensen were also reassigned. Chase d'Arnaud, who appeared to be making a strong push, was on the list, too, leaving Josh Rutledge as the only competition for Kelby Tomlinson for the final infield spot. 

Finally, Derek Law and Roberto Gomez were optioned to Triple-A. Josh Osich remains and appears the frontrunner for a bullpen job. Julian Fernandez, the Rule 5 pick, also remains in camp. 

The Giants break camp on Friday.