Vogelsong looks terrific in Cactus League debut


Vogelsong looks terrific in Cactus League debut

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. It will be hard for Ryan Vogelsong towrite a worthy follow-up story to his remarkable, memorable and emotional All-Starseason in 2011.

But his opening lines were expertly written Monday.

Vogelsongs first appearance against big league hitters thisspring was a complete success. He made it through 2 23 innings against the Kansas City Royals on his 40-pitchlimit, he threw strikes with all his pitches, his breaking stuff had nasty snapand his fastball hit 92 mph.

His strained lower back didnt enter his mind once, he said.

Get the first one out of the way, Vogelsong said. Getback to business.

The Giants needed to see it. Earlier in the day, they sentyoung left-hander Eric Surkamp to the MRI chamber to have his sore left elbowexamined. They dont have much rotation depth in the system. Barry Zito iscoming off a wretched outing, too.
RELATED: Elbow tests for Eric Surkamp

Vogelsong is still expected to begin the season on the disabledlist as the Giants use a day off on their opening road trip to operate with afour-man rotation. Theyll need a fifth starter on April 15 nine games intothe season and theyre hoping Vogelsong will be ready to slide into the foldon that day.

Maybe the least worried person was Vogelsong.

No, I was pretty confident I was going to be OK, he said. Ithink you guys (in the media) were more suspect than anything else."

Yet Vogelsong also said: You cant simulate game speed. Toget the game speed out of the way relaxes my mind more than anything. Now I canget ready for the season and work on my pitches and get this back thing out ofmy mind.

Vogelsong allowed a run on two hits, but one was a fly ballthat Nate Schierholtz dropped on the warning track in right field. Vogelsongstruck out two both on called breaking balls and didnt walk a batter.

It was definitely better the second and third inning, Vogelsongsaid. The first inning was not bad but I definitely felt better mechanicallyand rhythm wise. I got to sit down and get up three times. No issues with myback.

No issues when he fielded a bunt, either.

To be honest, I havent thought about it at all when Im onthe mound, he said. I go to a space mentally where I dont heard the crowd,I dont hear the music. I just focus on hitting that glove as much as I can.

I wanted to control my emotions against big league hittersand I did. I kept myself poised and under control. I got into a rhythm and thepitches were there. I fielded a bunt. I did everything I wanted to.

And what if Vogelsong has to stay in Arizona and pitch in aminor league game, and possibly another at Triple-A Fresno, as his compatriotsjet off to start the season?

If thats what they tell me to do, thats what I need todo, said Vogelsong, whose past experience rehabbing from Tommy John surgeryhas helped him stay patient. Theres 25 on the big league roster and itswhats best for all of us to get us where we need to be.

Brian Wilson followed Vogelsong and allowed a hit in ascoreless inning. He struck out one and his fastball was in the 93 mph range.Wilson is expected to be ready for a save situation when the Giants open theseason April 6.

Report: Giants make trade offer for Giancarlo Stanton


Report: Giants make trade offer for Giancarlo Stanton

The hot stove is heating up. 

Giancarlo Stanton is the biggest name swirling in trade rumors and the Giants are reportedly pushing forward in their attempt to acquire the slugger. San Francisco's front office has proposed a trade to Miami for Stanton, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic

Details of what the Giants offered have not been reported yet. 

Stanton, who recently turned 28, is guaranteed $295 million over the next 10 seasons. His contract includes a full no-trade clause and an opt-out after 2020. 

On Thursday, Stanton was named the National League MVP after hitting .281 with a league-leading 59 home runs and 132 RBI. The last MVP to be traded in the offseason after winning the award was Alex Rodriguez from the Rangers to the Yankees before the 2004 season. 

How seven Giants prospects performed in the 2017 Arizona Fall League


How seven Giants prospects performed in the 2017 Arizona Fall League

The Arizona Fall League came to an end for seven Giants prospects on Thursday as the Scottsdale Scorpions (12-17-1) came up short from playing in Saturday's championship game. 

Let's take a look at how these seven names fared against some of the top young talent in all of baseball. 

The Hitters

As the Giants are linked to trade targets in center field like Billy Hamilton and Jackie Bradley Jr., a young in-house option only helped his case in the desert.

Steven Duggar likely would have seen the AT&T outfield this season, but his season was hindered by injuries, keeping him to only 44 games between three levels. With the Scorpions, Duggar took advantage of his opportunity with more at-bats. 

Duggar left Arizona with a .263/.367/.421 slash line over 20 games. The speedy lefty also stole nine bases and hit three home runs. Even if the Giants go for an experienced glove in center field this offseason and keep Duggar, the 24-year-old has also played 135 games in right field during his minor league career. 

For the second straight year, the Giants sent catcher Aramis Garcia to the AFL. And he's sure to be coming home much happier this go around with an up-and-down campaign.

Splitting time behind the plate with three other catchers, Garcia appeared in 13 games and slashed .259/.293/.333 and hit one home run. Garcia struggled to get one base with only one walk to 10 strikeouts, but showed his natural ability to drive runs in with 10 RBI. 

Rounding out the Giants' trio of bats they sent to Arizona is arguably their top prospect, but his time in the AFL was cut short. Chris Shaw only played in five games and hit .158. He dealt with a sore shoulder.

The Pitchers

The Giants sent two starting pitchers (Tyler Beede and Joan Gregorio) and two relievers (Tyler Cyr and D.J. Snelten) to the AFL. 

Pitching for the first time in nearly three months, Beede showed exactly why he's the Giants' top pitching prospect. Beede went 0-1 with a 4.50 ERA in four starts, but his final three show the potential he's full of -- 14 innings pitched, three earned runs, a 1.93 ERA, 10 strikeouts and only one walk. 

Gregorio, who was suspended this season for Performance Enhancing Drugs, pitched in eight games (three starts) for Scottsdale. He left with a 1-0 record and 5.87 ERA. In Triple-A, Gregorio went 4-4 with a 3.04 ERA this year over 13 starts. The 25-year-old presents an interesting arm that can help sooner than later in the bullpen. 

Cyr's stats don't look pretty (0-1, 5.63 ERA, 8 IP), but he's catching some attention. The right-hander was named to the Fall Stars Game and is most likely to start 2018 in Triple-A after converting 18 saves at Double-A in 2017. 

Snelten, a 6-foot-7 lefty, impressed in eight appearances out of the bullpen. He didn't allow an earned run until his final outing of the fall, bringing his ERA from a perfect 0.00 to 2.25 in 12 innings pitched.

After combining for a 2.20 ERA to go with an 8-1 record between Double-A and Triple-A in 2017, Snelten is a name to know as the Giants look to find more lefties for their bullpen.