Vogelsong not satisfied with his debut inning


Vogelsong not satisfied with his debut inning

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Ryan Vogelsong didn't retire any of the first four hitters he faced Friday afternoon, but that wasn't the frustrating part about his first game action in 2012.

"I threw one inning and I'm not tired," he said, after facing an A's minor league squad at Indian School Park. "So it's hard to be done."

Vogelsong gave up two doubles, a single and walked a batter before he got a called strikeout and a fly out to right field. He was pulled at that point with 24 pitches -- barely half of what he'd been throwing in live batting practice sessions.

The Giants are being cautious with their ERA leader from last season's rotation. Too cautious, in Vogelsong's estimation.

"Whether it's here or whether it's a major league game, it's kind of stupid to start the game and pitch one inning and have somebody else come in behind me," said Vogelsong, who strained his back in the weight room the first week of February.

Vogelsong said he felt fine and was happy with his movement and velocity. He credited the swing-happy minor leaguers for hitting a couple of good pitches; the single was on a ground ball and one of the two doubles wasn't hit particularly hard.

"It's coming out of my hand well, it's moving well," Vogelsong said. "I'm happy with where I'm at. Everything feels good. It's just hard to throw one inning because you don't really get a chance to settle in. But it's a step in the process. What are you going to do? Just get it out of the way and move on to the next one."

When is the next one, and how long will it last?

"You're asking the wrong guy," Vogelsong said. "My universal answer is, 'I don't know.'"

Vogelsong said he wasn't fretting over the fact the Giants break camp in barely more than a week. It's obvious to everyone, though, that it'll be hard to build him up to 70 pitches or five innings in the amount of time remaining before the season begins.

It's increasingly likely that Vogelsong will start the season on the disabled list, allowing the Giants to carry an extra player on the roster. The club has a day off during the season-opening road trip and can operate without a No. 5 starter until the ninth game of the year, on April 15.

Vogelsong could be backdated, making him eligible to pitch that day.

Hunter Pence changing positions to accommodate Andrew McCutchen

Hunter Pence changing positions to accommodate Andrew McCutchen

SAN FRANCISCO -- Andrew McCutchen has spent his entire career as a center fielder. With a new team comes a new position. 

Manager Bruce Bochy confirmed on Tuesday that McCutchen will move to right field for the Giants, with Hunter Pence sliding over from right to left. Bochy said he talked to McCutchen about the plan -- one the Giants had throughout the McCutchen chase -- after Monday's trade. 

"I'm looking forward to right field," McCutchen said. "That's one place people can't pick on me saying that my defensive metrics are so bad. I'm looking forward to playing right. I know there's a lot of room out there to run, so it's definitely going to be almost like playing center."

McCutchen said he's looking forward to picking Pence's brain about patrolling right field at AT&T Park. Bochy has already spoken to Pence and said his longtime right fielder is on board with the plan. 

"He's just so excited about getting Cutch on this club that he's good with anything or whatever is best for this club," Bochy said. "So that's the plan right now."

McCutchen has played 11,621 defensive innings in his career and all but 115 1/3 of them have been in center field. He briefly moved to right field last season but shifted back to center when Starling Marte was suspended for testing positive for a banned substance. McCutchen was a Gold Glove Award winner in 2012 but his defensive metrics tailed off in recent seasons. He was worth negative 28 Defensive Runs Saved in 2016 and was at negative 16 DRS last season. 

McCutchen had wanted to stay in center in Pittsburgh, but said it's a new case with a new team.

"I wasn’t too keen on (moving at first) because I felt that I had more there, that I could do something there (in center)," he said. "I honored (the Pirates) once they wanted me to play a little shallower and that backfired on me. I was basically asking for another shot but I didn’t get that chance or opportunity. But now that I’m going into the Giants organization and this is something they want me to do, I’m all for it.

"San Francisco has a huge field. It’s bigger than PNC Park. They’ve got Triples Alley and it’s called Triples Alley for a reason. For me, it’s another center field. I’m moving over a little and if it’s saving my legs and I can get more stolen bases, I’m all game and I’m all for it.”

Pirates front office raves about McCutchen after trading him to Giants


Pirates front office raves about McCutchen after trading him to Giants

SAN FRANCISCO — There was a sense of celebration within the Giants organization on Monday after the addition of Andrew McCutchen. He is easily their best outfielder, a potential solution atop the order, and a player who is known for being a tremendous presence in the clubhouse. 

If the Giants had any doubts, though, they surely felt better after seeing the quotes that came out of Pittsburgh. In a series of statements, Pirates officials made it clear this was a difficult trade to make, with chairman Bob Nutting calling it “one of the most emotionally agonizing decisions that we have had to make in my tenure.”

Nutting, in a statement, said that McCutchen’s smile and energy were infectious even as a teenager. Later, McCutchen got the Pirates to three straight postseason appearances. 

“He did so while always carrying himself with humility, dignity and grace,” Nutting said. 

Team president Frank Coonelly described the trade as painful. 

“(No) individual was more responsible for the success that we had from 2013 to 2015 than Cutch,” Coonelly said in a statement,” And no player was more disappointed than Andrew that we did not break through and win a World Series Championship for the City of Pittsburgh.”

McCutchen was Pittsburgh’s first-round selection in the 2005 draft and made his debut in 2009. In nine seasons with the Pirates, he was a five-time All-Star and a perennial MVP candidate. He won the award in 2013 and finished in the top five of voting for four consecutive seasons. 

General manager Neal Huntington said the decision to actually part with the franchise player was “incredibly difficult.”

“Watching Andrew patrol center field with grace, fly around the bases, drive the ball all around the ballpark, celebrate with his teammates or interact with his family, friends or fans has created lifelong memories for me and many, many others around the game of baseball,” he said.