Vogelsong, Sanchez expected to start on DL


Vogelsong, Sanchez expected to start on DL

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Although it had become obvious to everyone from the South Rim to the Mexican border that Freddy Sanchez and Ryan Vogelsong would begin the season on the disabled list, Giants manager Bruce Bochy acknowledged Friday that the organization is leaning in that direction with both players.

Sanchez took infield practice but did not make full throws. He'll finally start at second base in a minor league game either Saturday or Sunday. But he will have the option to not throw to first base on ground balls in the hole, which would cause him to throw across his body and test his surgically repaired right shoulder.

Vogelsong made his first game appearance in minor league camp on Friday and was frustrated that he only was allowed to throw 24 pitches. Bochy confirmed the Giants are looking at skipping his first turn and starting him April 15, when the club needs a fifth starter for the first time.

Thus the opening rotation would be Tim Lincecum, Madison Bumgarner, Matt Cain and Barry Zito. Cain would be lined up to pitch the home opener April 13.

"We're being cautious and he knows that," Bochy said of Vogelsong, who strained his lower back in the weight room in early February. "We'll take this slow. We're not going to push him to get him ready for his first start."

Vogelsong has taken fielding practice but hasn't taken any swings besides bunting. Bochy said the training staff does not want Vogelsong, a fairly good hitter, taking swings yet.

Vogelsong could make a minor league start as a tuneup for April 15, Bochy said.

"We'll make that decision as we see where Vogey's at," the manager said.

As for Sanchez, it's become clear as day that he won't be ready to start the season. Bochy said it was a "strong possibility" that Sanchez would begin on the DL.

"it's kind of day to day with Freddy right now, to be honest," Bochy said.

In other injury news, Buster Posey is expected to catch six innings Friday night and start at first base in Saturday's home split-squad against the Colorado Rockies -- the first time all spring that he'll play defense on consecutive days. Bochy said he didn't have a read on how much Posey could catch this season, and likely wouldn't until April or May.

Aubrey Huff is starting in left field both Friday night and Saturday. Bochy cautioned not to read too much into that, except he wanted to be sure Huff got some action at the position and was comfortable being an option there.

Finally, Brian Wilson will appear in a minor league game Saturday and if all goes well, he'd throw an inning Monday against the Kansas City Royals at Scottsdale.

Here are the lineups for Friday night, and also both squads on Saturday. Subject to change, as always:

Friday vs. Texas at Scottsdale Stadium
CF Angel Pagan
DH Gregor Blanco
C Buster Posey
LF Aubrey Huff
1B Brandon Belt
RF Nate Schierholtz
3B Ryan Theriot
SS Brandon Crawford
2B Emmanuel Burriss
P Madison Bumgarner

(Crawford is feeling better after a dizzy spell a day earlier. Theriot's ankle is improved, as is Burriss's hamstring.)

Saturday vs. Rockies at Scottsdale Stadium
Angel Pagan CF
Melky Cabrera RF
Aubrey Huff LF
Buster Posey 1B
Hector Sanchez C
Mike Fontenot 2B
Brandon Crawford SS
Joaquin Arias 3B
Travis Blackley P (up from minor league camp)

Saturday vs. Reds at Goodyear
Gregor Blanco CF
Emmanuel Burriss SS
Brandon Belt 1B
Pablo Sandoval 3B
Nate Schierholtz RF
Ryan Theriot 2B
Eli Whiteside C
Justin Christian LF
Matt Cain P

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.

Bochy, Giants issue statement following manager's heart procedure


Bochy, Giants issue statement following manager's heart procedure

Bruce Bochy's minor offseason heart procedure went as planned, the team announced Friday afternoon. 

In a message passed along to beat reporters, Bochy said "the procedure went extremely well and I'm feeling better. I'm grateful for the doctors and want to thank everyone who has reached out with well wishes."

Bochy, 62, had an ablation procedure to help him deal with heart issues that have plagued him in recent years. The operation was his second of the year, but it was considered minor enough that it could be pushed back to the end of the season.

Cleveland's Terry Francona had a similar procedure this year and returned to manage, and Bochy has left no doubt about his future. 

“I don’t want anyone to think this has an effect on my work, or ability to work,” Bochy said last week. “This is something that is not uncommon.”