Urban: Scouts high on newest Giant Keppinger


Urban: Scouts high on newest Giant Keppinger

July 20, 2011


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Mychael Urban

SAN FRANCISCO -- Jeff Keppinger didn't arrive at the Home of the Ring on King until about 1:50 p.m. Wednesday, delaying his highly anticipated first start in orange and black.No matter. That merely provided more time to do a little digging on the guy who, at the very least, will be keeping second base warm until Freddy Sanchez makes a triumphant return to the Giants' lineup. At worst, in this case represented by potential complications from a potential Sanchez shoulder surgery, he's your starting second baseman for the start of 2012.
URBAN: Giants' Keppinger deal solid if unspectacular
This was no archeological dig in an exotic locale, mind you. For hours before every game at AT&T Park, you'll find three or four big-league scouts lounging in the press box, prepping their paperwork, swapping stories and generally solving every problem from Questec to the draft slotting system to the baffling selection of random hosts on the once-great The View.

They're more than happy to entertain any questions an industrious media type might have of a player on whom they have an opinion, and that covers pretty much every player who's strapped it on.Urban Shocker, for instance? Yeah, flexible guy, the scouts will tell you. Plus command. Nice little slide-piece. Character issues early but matured into plus makeup. Don't ask 'em how they know. Shocker's last season was in 1928. They just do. They're scouts. Come on.They know about Keppinger, too, and it would have been nice to record their thoughts on the guy for all Giants fans to hear. Alas, as much as scouts love to talk about any and all players, when it comes to being identified, they're downright Hughsian. Everything has to be anonymous.Not off-the-record. Anonymous. And here's what they had to say about Keppinger on Thursday before Clayton Kershaw and Tim Lincecum locked horns in one of those rare pitching matchups that actually lived up to the hype.
RECAP: Kershaw outduels Lincecum in 1-0 Giants loss
Scout 1: "Kepp's a nice little player; I call him Kepp. Saw him at Georgia when I was a cross-checker. Liked him then, like him now."Scout 2: "I like him more now. He's filled out real nice."Scout 1: "Filled out, yeah. Still can't hit one out of my kid's Legion ball yard, though."Scout 3: "That's not the type of hitter he is, anyway. He's a slash and burn guy. Real aggressive. Doesn't even look to hit for power, it seems."Scout 2: "It's in there, though. He'll jump up and bite you here and there if you try to sneak 3-1 past his belt."Scout 3: "Has he even worked a 3-1 count? I haven't seen many of those with him. He's up there to hit. Look at his on-base. Not a big walker."Scout 1: "Not a big strikeout guy, either. Hardest guy to strike out in the league, I read today in one of the papers here."Scout 2: "You can read?"Scout 1: "I can read your mind. You're thinking about your next meal. I suggest a salad, porky."Scout 3: "Look at Mr. Universe giving dietary advice."Guys, guys. Can we re-focus here? Keppinger, remember? How's his D?Scout 2: "Better than most people think. He'll make the routines. Solid fundamentally. Won't hurt you. Almost never."Scout 1: "Won't be on Plays of the Week very often, though, either. He's what I like to call a base defender; athletic enough to make the plays you need to win and move around the diamond a little bit, but not athletic enough to save your ass very often."Scout 3: "Make enough routines and you're saving enough asses as it is."Scout 2: "Especially with this pitching staff. The Giants don't need highlight plays. They need plays, period. Freddy Sanchez isn't a highlight machine, either."Scout 1: "But Kepp's no Freddy Sanchez."Scout 2: "No, but he's similar in that he's solid, scrappy, hard-nosed like Sanchez."Scout 3: "Not as good a hitter as Sanchez, either."Scout 2: "Yeah, but he's not that far off. He can handle the two-hole like Sanchez, and he's gonna get you a bunch of hits."Scout 1: "Or at least hits in bunches."Scout 3: "Yeah. A little streaky. But aren't we all?"Scout 2: "Still waiting for you to get hot, actually. When's that gonna happen, anyway?"Scout 1: "Same time Kepp hits his 25th homer -- never. Nice little player, though. Giants did well on this."

Steph Curry golfs with Barack Obama, Jordan Spieth in Dallas


Steph Curry golfs with Barack Obama, Jordan Spieth in Dallas

Programming note: Warriors-Mavs coverage starts today at 4:30pm with Warriors Pregame Live on NBC Sports Bay Area.

After the Warriors lost to the Grizzlies on Saturday night in Memphis, they flew to Dallas.

And on Sunday in the Lone Star State, Steph Curry enjoyed some free time on the golf course:


A post shared by Jordan Spieth (@jordanspieth) on

From left to right -- Jonnie West, Seth Curry, Kevin Plank (Under Armour CEO), Jordan Spieth, Barack Obama, Curry.

This is not the first time Curry has enjoyed a round of golf with Obama, as the two hit the links back in August 2015.

Curry and the Warriors face the Mavs on Monday night.

Seth Curry unfortunately will not suit up because of a left leg injury.

Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders and a Web Producer at NBC Sports Bay Area. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller

49ers snap count: Reid no longer starter; rookies see more time on offense


49ers snap count: Reid no longer starter; rookies see more time on offense

Veteran safety Eric Reid returned from a knee injury that kept him out three games to discover he lost his starting job.

Strong safety Jaquiski Tartt has continued to serve as an every-down player for the 49ers’ defense. On Sunday, Reid played 48 snaps (64 percent) as the 49ers employed six defensive backs against the Dallas Cowboys three-receiver sets.

The 49ers had to adjust their sub package after nickel back K’Waun Williams sustained a hip injury. Rookie Adrian Colbert entered the game at safety with Jimmie Ward taking over Williams’ role. Colbert played 29 snaps.

Newly signed defensive linemen Leger Douzable and Tony McDaniel saw a lot of action in their 49ers debuts. Douzable played the third-most of any defensive lineman (behind Solomon Thomas and DeForest Buckner), seeing action on 47 of the team’s 75 snaps. McDaniel played 25 snaps.

On offense, the 49ers appear to be making a point to go with younger players. Rookie Cole Hikutini played 21 snaps, taking over as the No. 2 tight end over Garrett Celek and Logan Paulsen.

Wide receiver Kendrick Bourne, another undrafted rookie, played a season-high 23 snaps. On fourth-and-4 from the Dallas 28 early in the third quarter, coach Kyle Shanahan decided to go for it instead of kicking a 46-yard field goal. Bourne was the intended target. But he stumbled after a spin move from the slot, and C.J. Beathard’s pass was incomplete.

“As I was throwing the ball he tripped,” Beathard said. “If he hadn’t tripped on a DB’s feet or whatever happened there, it would’ve been a big play.”

Here is a look at the 49ers’ playing time on offense, defense and special teams:

(66 plays)
Quarterback – C.J. Beathard 66
Running back – Carlos Hyde 51, Matt Breida 15
Wide receiver – Pierre Garçon 46, Trent Taylor 46, Marquise Goodwin 39, Aldrick Robinson 30, Kendrick Bourne 23
Tight end – George Kittle 31, Cole Hikutini 21, Garrett Celek 18, Logan Paulsen 11
Offensive line – Joe Staley 66, Daniel Kilgore 66, Laken Tomlinson 66, Brandon Fusco 52, Trent Brown 45, Garry Gilliam 20, Zane Beadles 14

(75 plays)
Defensive line – Solomon Thomas 61, DeForest Buckner 50, Leger Douzable 47, Earl Mitchell 38, Xavier Cooper 26, D.J. Jones 25, Tony McDaniel 25, Elvis Dumervil 15
Linebacker – Reuben Foster 53, Eli Harold 31, Ray-Ray Armstrong 27, Brock Coyle 22, Dekoda Watson 9
Cornerback – Dontae Johnson 63, Rashard Robinson 51, Ahkello Witherspoon 35, K’Waun Williams 20
Safety – Jaquiski Tartt 75, Jimmie Ward 75, Eric Reid 48, Adrian Colbert 29

(24 plays)
Elijah Lee 21, Coyle 21, Raheem Mostert 16, Celek 15, Colbert 16, Witherspoon 15, Breida 14, Harold 12, Hikutini 12, Armstrong 10, Tartt 10, Bradley Pinion 9, Jones 8, R.Robinson 8, Ward 8, Johnson 7, Kyle Nelson 6, Buckner 6, Thomas 6, Paulsen 6, Reid 5, Mitchell 5, Douzable 4, A.Robinson 3, Taylor 3, Robbie Gould 2, Foster 2, Staley 2, Kilgore 2, Gilliam 2, Beadles 2, Tomlinson 1, Fusco 1, Brown 1, Dumervil 1, Watson 1, Williams 1

QB Brian Hoyer

WR Victor Bolden
DB Dexter McCoil
FB Kyle Juszczyk (back)
LB Mark Nzeocha
LB Pita Taumoepenu
DL Aaron Lynch (calf)
OL Erik Magnuson