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Friday, February 22, 2013

Giants Set for Cactus League Opener

Just like the offseason that preceded it, the Giants spring has been relatively quiet and uneventful, and now it's finally time to switch gears back to game action!

Ryan Vogelsong will take the hill as the Giants will play host to the Angels in their first game action since winning the World Series in Detroit last October. Boch didn't say what Vogey's pitch limit will be but my guess is the Giants will try and get him to go two if possible. Vogelsong will depart to play in the WBC next week so I'm sure the Giants will want to get him some work beforehand as there's no real telling how much work he'll see on the US roster. Bochy said he plans to use Sergio Romo, Jeremy Affeldt and George Kontos some work Saturday as well. Then depending on how things go, Chad Gaudin, Scott Proctor, Jean Machi and Dan Otero could all see an inning of work too, as the battle for the final bullpen spot officially begins. Another surprise contender for that final spot that Boch revealed earlier this week is Dan Runzler, who's apparently looking the best he's looked in a Giants uni early on this spring. He can have Jonny Venters-type stuff when he's on, and would be incredible to watch if he can finally put it all together and stay healthy. Bochy said he'd carry four lefties in the pen if the issue forces itself, but something tells me that if Runzler really impresses this spring, one will be used as trade ammunition for some need at the end of spring.

Now, as I said at the top of the post, outside of the minor battles for the only three roster spots that have yet to be determined, there really hasn't been many headlines coming out of Giants' camp. They did have a minor scare earlier this week as Javier Lopez took a Madison Bumgarner throw off the back of his pitching hand. What could have been a lot worse was diagnosed as only a bruise and Lopez shouldn't be out of action more than a week or so. It did, however, make his decision easy to skip out on the WBC. That isn't the case for Pablo Sandoval though. Once again, the Giants' third basemen arrived in camp significantly over the weight limit the Giants' staff would like him to be at. It hasn't effected him at the plate one bit, as he's put up some of the Giants' most impressive batting sessions in practices, but it will effect him when it comes time to do more than stand in the cage and rake. He'll be working hard on shedding some of that winter weight between now and the start of the WBC, which unfortunately isn't that much time. Ideally, I think the Giants would prefer he opt out of the tourney to stay in Scottsdale and work like he did in the spring of 2011, but instead he'll have to get his conditioning in while traveling with the Venezuelan squad.

The Giants did make a minor trade on Friday afternoon, sending Connor Gillaspie, who's been at a stand-still in the organization for years now, to the White Sox for relief prospect Jeff Soptic. Gillaspie wasn't going to make the 25-man roster and would have likely been lost on waivers at the end of spring, so at least the Giants got something for him. I don't know much about 21 year-old right-hander other than the fact that he throws hard and is tough to hit, but still is learning how to harness his stuff. Drafted in the 3rd round in 2011, he went 3-2 with a 5.40 ERA in his first full season as a pro with Chicago's low-A squad.
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4 Comments:

  • At 11:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I've always liked Runzler. I think he can be like Affeldt if he can control his pitches. That fastball is killer. I remember he k'd 3 in one inning he's first time up a while back in like 13 pitches.

     
  • At 9:55 PM, Anonymous Jason Billingsley said…

    Lovely to hear Miller and Kuip back on the air and I look forward to reading your blog again this season. I really hope we give another young guy with upside a shot at the last bullpen slot. I will scream if Scott Protractor or Chad Gaudin make the team. We all know they won't last anyway.

    I like Jean Machi a lot, got to see him in Fresno quite a bit. Runzler too. Ramon Ramirez and Sandy Rosario would be better than Proctor and Gaudin too IMO. Wonder if Hembree has any chance in hell at making it?

     
  • At 10:38 PM, Anonymous Section 138* said…

    Gosh, saw some video from todays game, Pablo looks 300 LBS!

     
  • At 7:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    thanks for share..

     

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