Spring Training recap—Day 1
Baseball is back!
Catchers and pitchers reported to Scottsdale Stadium this morning as the San Francisco Giants kicked off another year of spring training here.
I can’t be there myself this year, unfortunately, but I’ve got a couple of “on-the-scene” tweeps who will be relaying first-hand reports to me throughout the Cactus League season.
I’ll also be recapping the day’s events as reported from the various beat writers who are covering the Giants in Arizona.
No matter what, I promise you’ll get an aggregated recap of each day’s news. That way you won’t have to go to four or five different sites to find out everything that’s going on.
Let’s get started, shall we?
According to manager Bruce Bochy (via Comcast SportsNet’s Andrew Baggarly), Giants closer Brian Wilson is “on track” and threw 40 pitches off a mound. He will not be facing any live batters anytime soon, and in fact, probably won’t even make his Cactus League debut until the second week.
Hitters aren’t expected to show up until Thursday, but San Jose Mercury beat writer Alex Pavlovic tweeted that Brandon Crawford was in the batting cage this morning at 7:45. Nate Schierholtz, Hector Sanchez, and Brandon Belt are also in camp early, per Jaymee Sire (Comcast SportsNet).
San Francisco Chronicle beat writer Hank Schulman says he talked to Belt, who also arrived in camp earlier this week. Belt, who spent six weeks in the Dominican Republic, hopes his playing time in winter ball will translate into consistency at the plate this spring.
Baggs also reported today that Posey won’t be catching on consecutive days early on, but will likely be behind the plate in the team’s Cactus League opener against the Diamondbacks on March 3.
The whole Pablo Sandoval weight issue that Craig Calcaterra of NBC’s Hardball Talk made a big deal out of last week was—like I mentioned in the comments section of said blog—blown way out of proportion. Jame McCauley of the Associated Press tweeted today that Bochy is “unconcerned” about the Panda’s weight. The skipper said, “He looks good. I don’t see it being an issue.”
As I mentioned in yesterday’s 13 Giant Questions post, Matt Cain wants to have his contract situation resolved by the end of spring training. Pavlovic tweeted that Bochy understands why Cain wants to keep his (free agency) options open.
Speaking of Cain, Schulman noted that the right-hander looks thinner. Shotgun told the Giants beat writer that he got an early jump on his off-season workouts and has been doing a lot more cardio this winter.
I also predicted yesterday that Huff will win the first base job out of spring training, and Bochy hinted as much today telling Schulman that Huff’s track record gives him the inside edge. That being said, Brett Pill and Belt will still compete with Huff this spring for the first base job.
“Crook”—one of my “insiders”—showed up at the yard today and said that he saw Javier Lopez signing autographs for everyone. Meanwhile, Charlie Culberson walked by and no one even noticed him. Or cared? Because, according to Baggs, Culberson is wearing Aaron Rowand‘s old No.33. Not exactly the best way to endear yourself to Giants fans, Charlie.
Rowand, who’s in camp with the Miami Marlins (and still getting paid handsomely by the Giants), is wearing No. 33, which belonged to Scott Cousins last year. Cousins is switching to No. 6, after his favorite childhood player, J.T. Snow. Don’t you just love it?
As I mentioned a few weeks ago, Angel Pagan will wear No. 16 this year for the Giants, Clay Hensley will wear No. 34, Melky Cabrera No. 53, and Madison Bumgarner has evidently switched from No. 40 to No. 23.
Lincecum and Cain will throw tomorrow; Wilson will throw again on Monday, per Baggarly. Workouts on the field are scheduled for 10:00 a.m. on most days.
Check back here each day for updated information. And click here to check out my 2012 Giants Ultimate Spring Training Guide.