Giants

Scutaro talks continue; Giants weigh LF options

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Scutaro talks continue; Giants weigh LF options

NASHVILLE -- The Giants replaced Angel Pagan with Angel Pagan, and didn't that work out neatly for all parties?

But they still have to figure a plan for left field, and let's not forget that Canadian defector Melky Cabrera led the major leagues in hits and runs when he was suspended for testosterone on Aug. 15.

As of now, the plan is the same as the day Cabrera got popped: Gregor Blanco.

"He did a great job for us so he'll be a part of this club and could be our left fielder," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "I can't tell you what's going to happen. Right now, he'll get a lot of playing time in left field."

The Giants are looking for a right-handed complement, and they've checked in with the agent for Scott Hairston. But Hairston reportedly has a two-year offer from Detroit.

Regardless, it's a back-burner issue for the Giants until they reach a result with second baseman Marco Scutaro. Despite all predictions that Scutaro would sign before Pagan, the Giants still find themselves without an agreement with the NLCS MVP -- and the Yankees might have entered the picture now that third baseman Alex Rodriguez is out until at least June because of hip surgery.

Asked to characterize the Scutaro negotiations, Giants VP Bobby Evans said he has been discussing "various offers and considerations from the beginning. Any time you've had the year he had, it'll make clubs look long and hard at how he can help you."

Scutaro hit .362 in 61 games after joining the Giants in the trade that sent minor leaguer Charlie Culberson to the Colorado Rockies. Then Scutaro became unconscious while going 14 for 28 and lifting the Giants to a seven-game NLCS comeback series victory over the St. Louis Cardinals.

Evans said he wouldn't rule out Scutaro, 37, getting a three-year offer on the open market.

"He can play multiple positions and is coming off a great year," Evans said. "The disadvantage is he has a little more age on him."

Evans acknowledged there is a much smaller pool of backup options at second base than there was in center field, if they had been unable to re-sign Pagan. (His four-year, 40 million contract is pending a physical.) Internally, Nick Noonan is the closest second baseman to the big leagues but is seen as more of a utility presence. The best infield prospect in the system, Joe Panik, is another year away.

The Giants have not discussed moving first baseman Brandon Belt to left field or anywhere else, Evans said.

If the Giants are unable to re-sign Scutaro, they might be able to divert some of those funds to the outfield. But they already spent more than they had planned to bring back Pagan, even crossing the bridge of offering a fourth year to a player who has exceeded 123 games in a season just twice in his career.

Evans acknowledged that B.J. Upton's five-year pact with the Atlanta Braves might have reshaped the market for Pagan. The Giants are banking that Pagan's athleticism will allow him to age well.

"You have to respond to the market at some level or be prepared to settle for a secondary option," said Evans, who might have been forced to overpay for Shane Victorino if the club didn't strike a deal with Pagan.

The last time the Giants overpaid for a former Philies outfielder in Nashville, they took home Aaron Rowand for five years and 60 million.

So Bochy was ecstatic to have Pagan back for 2013.

"It's a huge advantage," Bochy said. "You take away a lot of the unknown factors of a player playing in our ballpark. He had a great time here, I know the fans love Angel and there's chemistry with his teammates. He's a big fit for us.

"That's a pretty big need when you need a center fielder and a leadoff hitter, and we took care of both."

Down on the Farm: How Giants prospects performed in Single-A All-Star Games

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Tim Cattera

Down on the Farm: How Giants prospects performed in Single-A All-Star Games

The MLB All-Star Game is less than a month away and two Giants -- Buster Posey and Brandon Crawford -- are currently leading their position groups in fan voting to start for the National League. Down on the farm, prospects are already representing their teams in the MidSummer Classic.

In total, eight Giants prospects -- three from the Augusta GreenJackets and five from the San Jose Giants -- participated in All-Star Games on Tuesday night. The five from San Jose represented the North in the California League All-Star Game and the three from Augusta represented the South in the South Atlantic All-Star Game. 

Here's how all eight fared for the Noth and South: 

Augusta GreenJackets, South Atlantic League All-Star Game 

Manuel Geraldo, SS: Geraldo started at shortstop for the South and batted sixth in the lineup. The 21-year-old had a great night going 3-for-5 with two runs scored and a solo home run to lead off the seventh inning, giving the South an 8-3 lead. Geraldo is batting .284 on the year with eight home runs and 16 stolen bases.

John Gavin, LHP: Gavin was the first pitcher out of the bullpen for the South, replacing Joe Cavallaro in the second inning. The San Jose native earned the win, allowing one earned run on three hits in one inning. Selecting in the eighth round of the 2017 MLB Draft, Gavin has been dominant this season with a 1.94 ERA and 0.99 WHIP in 12 starts. 

Joey Marciano, LHP: Marciano is the final GreenJacket and second lefty out of the bullpen. He was the fifth pitcher to toe the rubber for the South and tossed a scoreless fifth inning, allowing one hit and striking out one batter. The 23-year-old is 4-2 with a 2.33 ERA and 1.11 WHIP this season. 

San Jose Giants, California League All-Star Game

Jalen Miller, 2B: Miller started at second base and was No. 2 in the lineup for the North. He went 1-for-5 with a double in an 8-1 win over an eventful weekend. Prior to Tuesday night's game, Miller was in the Home Run Derby and hit eight long balls. In 64 games, Miller is on the rise with seven home runs and a .305 batting average. 

Wander Franco, 3B: Franco's day didn't go quite as smooth as Miller's. He started at third base and batted sixth, but went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts. The 23-year-old is batting .294 with 22 doubles this season. 

Johneshwy Fargas, CF: Coming off the bench, Fargas was a perfect 2-for-2 with two runs scored for the North. The speedy 23-year-old has 18 stolen bases this year to go with his .266 batting average. 

Logan Webb, RHP: The Rocklin native was the first bullpen arm for the North and earned the hold for the night. Webb threw one scoreless inning, allowing one hit and striking out one batter. The 21-year-old is 1-2 with a 2.30 ERA over 14 appearances, 13 starts. 

Sandro Cabrera, LHP: Two innings later, it was Cabrera's turn to get on the bump and it couldn't have gone any better. Cabrera pitched one perfect inning and struck out two batters. He has appeared in 14 games this season -- half as a starter, half as a reliever -- and is 6-2 with a 3.49 ERA. 

Giants, Marlins play beanball near end of dramatic season series

Giants, Marlins play beanball near end of dramatic season series

SAN FRANCISCO — On Tuesday morning, in Los Angeles, Evan Longoria had his fractured fifth metacarpal repaired. In the afternoon, in San Francisco, Hunter Strickland had a similar procedure. 

The metacarpal madness did not lead to any excess caution for a team that has dealt with injuries throughout. It was the opposite, in fact. The Giants sprinted headfirst into a beanball war with a team with nothing to lose. That led to a scary moment for Buster Posey, but ultimately the Giants came away unscathed, and with a win. 

Players and coaches predictably shied away from the drama in the moments following a 6-3 win. But manager Bruce Bochy repeatedly praised rookie Dereck Rodriguez for the way he handled himself — he drilled opposing rookie Lewis Brinson — and said this was just part of the game.

“It’s baseball,” Bochy said. “We’re men. This is what happens in baseball.”

The Giants say they were upset over a Dan Straily pitch last week that sent Longoria to the disabled list, and Bochy twice mentioned that Kelby Tomlinson was hit in Monday night’s game. This doesn’t quite hold up under scrutiny. If the Giants wanted to get revenge on behalf of Longoria, they would have hit a Marlin on Monday night. Or they could have waited for Straily’s at-bat in the top of the second inning Tuesday. No, this was about more than a couple of pitches that hit Giants players.

There was never much doubt that the Giants would retaliate against Brinson, and Rodriguez didn’t waste any time. His first pitch to Brinson, with two on and one out in the second, was a 92 mph fastball that drilled his hip. 

“Runners on second and third and less than two outs, you don’t want him to get a sacrifice fly,” Rodriguez said. “I was trying to go in. It got him. It happens.”

Brinson knew it was coming following Monday night’s theatrics. After a 95 mph fastball from Strickland shot up toward his head, he lined the game-tying single into right. Brinson, 24, hopped up and down as he headed toward first and turned and yelled something at Strickland. A few minutes later, Strickland’s night was done, and he walked near third base on his way to the dugout, exchanging words with Brinson. 

Rodriguez’s pitch a day later led to warnings for both sides, but the Marlins are headed for the top of the draft, and they didn’t much seem to care about losing their starting pitcher. Dan Straily drilled Posey on the arm in the bottom of the second and was immediately ejected. Retaliation?

“I don’t know,” Posey said. “I don’t know. It seemed that way.”

Bochy came out raging, and he later said that Marlins manager Don Mattingly had indicated payback was coming.

“I don’t know what happened there when he came out,” Bochy said. “I guess he was upset about the warnings. I guess they thought they have to do something. I guess there was fuzzy math going on when our third baseman is on the DL for eight weeks and we had a guy get hit in the back last night.”

The only math that ultimately mattered was 90 feet. Whether they were upset about Longoria, or about Brinson’s trip around the bases Monday night, the Giants decided to get into it at a time when they can’t afford another injury. The pitch to Posey rode up and in, and was near his hands, where metacarpals are all too easy to break, but he jogged the 90 feet down to first and chatted with Justin Bour. 

That would be it for the drama, but the Giants and Marlins may not be done, no matter what’s said behind closed doors. The visiting starter for the final matchup of the season between these two will be Jose Urena, who hit an MLB-leading 14 batters last year and three Cubs on opening day this year.