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Thursday, February 14, 2013

Back to Work!

Finally, after what's seemed like a relatively slow and uneventful offseason, the Giants' pitchers and catchers reported to Scottsdale Tuesday and preparation for their tittle defense has officially begun.

Being barely a day and a half into camp, there really hasn't been too much news to hit the wire out of Arizona yet, but there have certainly been some positive feedback regarding some of the pitchers first bullpen sessions. The one I was most curious about, and I'm sure I'm not the only one, was how Tim Lincecum looked fresh off a winter in which he had to work some issues out mechanically and physically. From everything I've heard on Timmy's first session though, apparently things couldn't have gone much better and Lincecum declared himself fully healthy and 100% focused after the practice. The Giants were able to win the world series last year without having their ace even in the playoff rotation, so obviously if the Giants get him back to his pre-2012 form, this rotation returns to one of the elite (if not the best) rotation in all of baseball. Of course, a lot of that will lie with whether or not Barry Zito can carry over his 2012 rebound year into 2013, but Bruce Bochy has to be feeling just fine with how things are looking here early on.

Since the positional players aren't required to report until later this week, there aren't many in camp quite yet, however, one guy who has shown up early is Pablo Sandoval. The Panda had the health scare that required a hospital stint last month, and apparently he's still feeling some of the effects of that and as a result, hasn't been able to take on his full workload. Bochy acknowledged that Sandoval needs to shed some pounds and the Giants will used these next few weeks before the Cactus League starts to get him completely healthy and work his conditioning. At the same time, Pablo won the World Series MVP last fall playing at a weight that was significantly higher than the Giants' brass would prefer as the weight doesn't really affect his hitting ability. Where it does come into play though is with his range at third base as well as increasing his chances to injuries like hamstring pulls and muscle strains. Last time Pablo played close to a full season, he hit .330 with 25 jacks and 90 RBI. The goal for the Giants this year with Pablo has to be avoiding that disabled list.

There will be much more to talk about as the players start trickling into camp and the activities increase beyond bullpen sessions and catchers batting practice. There are also still expected to be 3 open spots for the opening day roster, so even though the starting lineup, rotation and back-end of the bullpen is virtually set, there will be some lower-scale competitions to monitor starting here shortly.
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15 Comments:

  • At 2:56 PM, Anonymous Jason Billingsley said…

    Ohh man, so stoked baseball is back, can't wait until April. I think Lincecum is in for a huge bounceback. 20-5, 2.50 ERA and another CY Young!

    Repeat in 2013! Lessgo Giants!

     
  • At 3:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Wow, Cactus league starts in just one week? I always thought it started in March? Anyone know when the first game will be televised? After listening to those hacks in the postseason, it will be great to hear Kruk and Kuip call a game again, even a spring training exhibition.

     
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    I still hope they can find another right-handed outfielder. I'm sorry but I can't see Gregor Blanco being a success there. No way do I want to go through the year watching him hit .220, I don't care how good his defense is.

     
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