Dan Fouts

Giants switch-pitcher Pat Venditte draws early crowd at Spring Training


Giants switch-pitcher Pat Venditte draws early crowd at Spring Training

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — The Giants are getting closer and closer to having the full squad on the field. Pablo Sandoval took batting practice with Steven Duggar and Ryder Jones. Brandon Belt played catch on a back field. Mac Williamson shagged fly balls. 

Sunday is officially reporting day for position players, but nearly all of them have checked in already, well ahead of Monday’s first full squad workout. 

For a couple more days, though, the focus is on pitchers and catchers, so here are some observations from Day 4 ...

Something They Haven’t Seen

Pat Venditte, the switch-pitcher, is as fascinating to many of the Giants as he is to fans. As he warmed up his right arm Saturday, a member of the staff walked up and asked him to explain how he became a switch-pitcher. He has drawn a crowd during bullpen sessions, and manager Bruce Bochy joked about how he may use Venditte. 

“When I’m stuck and I don’t know which matchup I want, I’ll put him out there,” Bochy said smiling. “I can’t get questioned.”

Venditte has had more success as a lefty in his career but from both sides he gets good movement on his pitches. Bochy noted that he had a good season with the Dodgers, posting a 2.57 ERA in 15 appearances last year. 

“It’s pretty impressive, really, what he’s able to do,” Bochy said.

Young Power

Aramis Garcia has been a standout all week, showing easy power during batting practice. Bochy said he was happy with the work the young catcher put in over the offseason. 

"He's a strong kid," he said. "He has more power than you think"

Garcia hit four homers last September, and they weren't fluky. That's a nice trait to have as a backup catcher; it's often hard to stay in rhythm, but Nick Hundley brought some power to the lineup on his days, too. 

The other homegrown catching prospect in camp also had an impressive day. With Bochy and Farhan Zaidi watching a few feet away, Joey Bart hit a series of rockets the opposite way and over the fence in right, including a couple that clanked off the facing of the bar on top of the bullpens at Scottsdale Stadium. 

Familiar Face

Dan Fouts, the Hall of Fame quarterback, watched BP and spent about 20 minutes chatting with Bochy.

"He always stops by and spends a day with us in the spring," Bochy said. "He's a Giants fan."

Fouts is a San Francisco native who graduated from St. Ignatius in the city. 

Fouts: Owens received fair evaluation of his career with HOF voting

Fouts: Owens received fair evaluation of his career with HOF voting

Programming note: Watch the John Lynch-Kyle Shanahan introductory press conference on Thursday at 1pm on CSN Bay Area, and streaming live right here.

Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback Dan Fouts was a Hall of Fame voter for the first time on Saturday in Houston.

Fouts said on a radio interview on Nashville’s 104.5 The Zone that he presented the room with the results of a poll in which he sought input from Hall of Famers.

“The feedback I got was strong, it was passionate and it was interesting,” said Fouts, who now works in the media for CBS Sports.

Fouts was asked about the discussion of wide receiver Terrell Owens, who was a finalist in his second year of eligibility and was not elected into the Hall of Fame.

“I think he did receive a fair evaluation of his career, both pros and cons,” Fouts said. “But, obviously, ripping the Hall of Fame and the process, what good is that going to do? I just don’t understand that. But I didn’t understand a lot of things he did in his career.”

Shortly after he received word from a Hall of Fame representative that he did not receive the necessary votes to be part of the Class of 2017, Owens tweeted, “HOF is a total joke. Honestly, doesn’t mean anything to me to get in beyond this point.”

When asked what his stance was on Owens, Fouts spoke about the dilemma he faced as a voter.

“I think his numbers are very worthy,” Fouts answered. “But, again, on the other side of it, I think his actions on and off the field, on the sideline, in the locker room, and the fact that he played for so many teams. He was such a great player, the question always comes back to, if he was so great, why would those teams get rid of him? And I think we all know the answers.”

Fouts and Hall of Fame wide receiver James Lofton of Westwood One were added this season to the 48-member Board of Selectors.