SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Bruce Bochy sat down in the dugout, looked around at beat reporters in front of him, and smiled.
“It’s great to see you guys,” he said.
Bochy may feel differently in a month, or three, or by September. We will wear him down. But on Day 1, there’s no taking the bounce out of a manger’s step. The first day of the spring always brings hope, no matter your situation, and the Giants got underway shortly after 10 a.m. Wednesday when Ty Blach hopped up the dugout steps and onto the field. The rest of the team soon followed. Here are three observations from a day that started with yet another roster move …
Buster Posey didn’t appear limited during the first workout, but running is still a tricky issue after hip surgery and Bochy said we’ll see some adjustments to Posey’s schedule later on.
“Once we get a little closer to games and maybe the workload is picked up, we will monitor him,” Bochy said. “He feels great right now.”
Posey was in a hitting group with Rene Rivera, Stephen Vogt, and Joey Bart, who was the focus of today’s main story. Vogt looked healthy while hitting but is behind with his throwing. Bochy anticipates him in games the second week of March, and Vogt could be ready for Opening Day. That could put him on the roster. Bochy said there’s a real shot that the Giants carry three catchers early on given Posey’s situation, and Vogt provides a different look as a left-handed bat.
Don’t Forget Garcia
You might remember September as the month the Giants lost just about every single night. Aramis Garcia prefers to remember it as the month he made a statement, batting .286 with four homers. Now, Garcia also struck out in nearly half his at-bats, part of the reason Bochy said Wednesday that you prefer to have young players playing every day and getting needed at-bats.
But Garcia provides pop off the bench and showed that he can more than handle himself at first, so he’s in the mix.
“We’ll stay open-minded,” Bochy said.
There’s nothing Garcia can do about the flood of veteran catchers who have come into camp, but he came in looking to be in tremendous shape, and he said he’s ready to play more first base over the next six weeks if asked. Bochy said that’s a possibility.
Most of the position players are at Scottsdale Stadium already even though they don’t have to report until next Monday, and Johnny Cueto was the only significant pitcher who didn’t make it in by Tuesday’s first workout. Cueto, recovering from Tommy John surgery, had a personal issue to take care of but will be here Thursday, Bochy said. The personal issue is not, we're told, related to his horse, Popeye, who passed away Tuesday.
Two other pitchers will be late: non-roster invitees Jandel Gustave and Carlos Navas. The Giants went after Gustave hard when he became a minor league free agent, but he waited until about 10 days ago to sign. The front office was pretty psyched to get the 26-year-old right-hander.