Belt, Brown among 22 Giants non-roster invitees

Belt, Brown among 22 Giants non-roster invitees


SAN FRANCISCO The San Francisco Giants have extended non-roster invitations for Major League Spring Training to the following 22 players, club Senior Vice President and General ManagerBrian Sabean announced today: right-handed pitchersCasey Daigle, Waldis Joaquin, Shane Loux,Guillermo Mota, Felix Romero, Jason Stoffel andRyan Vogelsong; left-handed pitchers Wilmin Rodriguez,Ryan Verdugo and Matt Yourkin; catchersTommy Joseph, Hector Sanchez, Chris Stewart and Jackson Williams; infieldersBrandon Belt, Brandon Crawford, Charles Culberson, Brad Eldredand Nick Noonan; and outfieldersGary Brown, Terry Evans and Juan Perez.
RELATED: Giants roster page
Daigle, 29, will begin his 12th professional season, his first in theGiants' organization. The Lake Charles, LA native owns a 3-4 recordwith a 7.16 ERA in 33 big league contests while pitching for Arizona(2004, 2006) and Houston (2010). He appeared in 13 games for the Astrosin 2010, allowing 13 runs in 10.1 innings.Joaquin, 24, has appeared in the big leagues with San Francisco in eachof the last two seasons (2009-10), posting a 5.87 ERA in 14 reliefappearances. A native of La Vega, Dominican Republic, he made 4 reliefoutings with the Giants last season, allowing 6 runs in 4.2 innings. Healso pitched for the clubs Arizona Rookie League squad and for triple-AFresno, combining to go 1-2 with a 4.43 ERA (20er, 40.2ip) in 27 minorleague contests (9 starts). Joaquin was claimed off waivers by theChicago White Sox on November 22, however, rejected the waiver claimand signed a minor league contract with the Giants in December.Loux, 31, has appeared in parts of four Major League seasons withDetroit (2002-03) and Los Angeles-AL (2008-09), going 3-7 with a 6.14ERA in 39 games (13 starts). He spent the 2010 campaign with triple-ARound Rock in the Astros organization, forging a 6-12 record with a5.25 ERA (63er, 108.0ip) in 20 games (19 starts).Mota, a veteran of 12 big league seasons, owns a 37-42 record with 9saves and a 3.92 ERA (329er, 755.2ip) in 665 Major League contests.The 37-year-old proved to be valuable out of the bullpen during SanFranciscos run to winning the World Series last season, as he had a1-3 record with 1 save and a 4.33 ERA (26er, 54.0ip) in 56 reliefappearances. Mota has seen big league action with the Expos(1999-2001), Dodgers (2002-04, 2009), Marlins (2004-05), Indians(2006), Mets (2006-07), Brewers (2008) and Giants (2010).Rodriguez, will make his debut at big league camp in 2011. The25-year-old, who was signed by the Giants as a non-drafted free agentin 2004, split time between Class A Augusta and double-A Richmond lastseason, going 4-4 with a 3.67 ERA (22er, 54.0ip) in 37 games (onestart). Overall, he has forged a 17-14 record with a 4.07 ERA (145er,320.2ip) in 182 games (17 starts) in seven minor league seasons.Romero, 30, will open his 13th professional season, his third full yearwith the Giants organization in 2011. He split last season betweendouble-A Richmond and triple-A Fresno, going 5-3 with a 3.62 ERA (44er,109.1ip) in 33 games (14 starts). The Dominican native has struck out831 batters in 811.0 innings over his minor league career. He will bein Giants big league camp for the second straight season.Stoffel, 22, will make his first appearance at big league camp for theGiants in 2011. The Agoura Hills, CA native spent all of last seasonwith Class A Advanced San Jose, logging a 2-4 record with a 4.80 ERA(27er, 50.2ip) and going 25-for-29 in save opportunities. The 6-foot-2,220-pound right-handed pitcher was San Franciscos 4th round selectionin the 2009 First-Year Player Draft.Verdugo,23, will make his debut at big league camp after posting an impressive2010 campaign by combining for an 8-1 record with a 1.87 ERA (13er,62.2ip) in 44 games (one start) with Class A Augusta and Class AAdvanced San Jose. Following the season he played for the ScottsdaleScorpions of the Arizona Fall League and went 4-1 with a 2.45 ERA (6er,22.0ip) in 7 starts. Drafted by the Giants in the 9th round in 2008,Verdugo has fashioned a 13-1 record with a 1.75 ERA (22er, 113.0ip) injust 76 games over three minor league seasons.Vogelsong,33, returns to San Francisco, as he was originally the Giants fifthround selection in the 1998 draft. He was traded by the Giants alongwith outfielder Armando Rios to Pittsburgh in exchange for right-handedpitcher Jason Schmidt and outfielder John Vander Wal in 2001. In sixbig league seasons the North Carolina native has gone 10-22 with a 5.86ERA (205er, 315.0ip) in 120 games (33 starts). He last appeared at thebig league level in 2006 with Pittsburgh. Last season he split thecampaign between triple-A Lehigh Valley (Philadelphia) and triple-ASalt Lake (Los Angeles-AL), going 3-8 with a 4.81 ERA (51er, 95.1ip) in33 games (14 starts).Yourkin, 29, will be in big league camp for first time in his career.The Napa, CA native spent the entire 2010 season with triple-A Fresno,going 7-8 with a 4.24 ERA (64er, 136.0ip) in 29 games (24 starts).Joseph will be the youngest player in camp at just 19 years of age. Inhis first professional season last year, the Scottsdale, AZ nativebatted .236 (103-for-436) with 22 doubles, 16 home runs and 68 RBI forClass A Augusta and was named to the South Atlantic League All-StarGame. Joseph was selected by the Giants in the second round of the 2009draft out of Horizon High School.Sanchez, 22, returns for his second consecutive Spring Training withthe Giants as a non-roster invitee. Last year he batted .274(85-for-310) with 5 HRs and 31 RBI in 89 games for Class A Augusta.Sanchez was signed by San Francisco in 2007 and has compiled a .300batting avg. (226-for-753) with 52 doubles, 5 triples, 14 home runs and134 RBI in 221 minor league games.Stewart, 28, has seen brief time at the Major League level, hitting.188 (9-for-48) for the White Sox (2006), Rangers (2007) and Yankees(2008). He spent the entire 2010 campaign with the triple-A PortlandBeavers (San Diego), batting .248 (66-for-266) with 7 home runs and 39RBI in 85 contests. He had his contract purchased by the Padres lastseason when rosters expanded on Sept. 1 and appeared in two big leaguegames.Williams will be in his fourth-straight big league camp with SanFrancisco. The 24-year-old native of Tulsa, OK batted .204 (65-for-318)with 5 home runs and 31 RBI for double-A Richmond and triple-A Fresnolast season.Belt, 22, had a spectacular professional debut last year, compiling oneof the best seasons of any minor league player in 2010, batting .352(173-for-492) with 43 doubles, 23 home runs and 112 RBI in 136 gamesbetween Class A Advanced San Jose, double-A Richmond and triple-AFresno. He was selected to the California League All-Star team afterhitting .383 (103-for-269) for San Jose. Following his firstprofessional year, he helped Scottsdale win the Arizona Leaguechampionship by hitting .372 (32-for-86) with one home run and 16 RBIin 22 games. Named a Minor League All-Star byBaseball America, Beltplayed one year at San Jacinto Junior College, transferred to theUniversity of Texas and then was selected by San Francisco in the fifthround of the 2009 draft.Crawford,24, will be in big league camp for the second time. He was sidelinedfor nearly eight weeks during last season after breaking his right handand batted .236 (73-for-309) with 7 home runs and 23 RBI in limitedtime with double-A Richmond and Class A Advanced San Jose. He was namedto the Eastern League All-Star team, but did not play. The Giantsfourth round selection in the 2008 draft is a career .266 hitter(219-for-822) with 17 home runs and 74 RBI in 222 minor leaguecontests.Culberson, 21, will be making his debut in big league camp. SanFranciscos sandwich pick (51st selection overall) in the 2007First-Year Player Draft hit a professional best .290 (146-for-503) with16 home runs and 71 RBI last season while playing for Class A AdvancedSan Jose. Following the season he played for the Scottsdale Scorpionsof the Arizona Fall League and was named a Rising Star after hitting.366 (34-for-93) in 21 games. Eldred will enter his first season with San Francisco. The 30-year-oldinfielder has seen brief time at the Major League level with Pittsburgh(2005, 2007) and Colorado (2010), batting .204 (53-for-260) with 15home runs and 33 RBI. He split last season between triple-A ColoradoSprings and at the big league level with Colorado. He appeared in just11 games with the Rockies, batting .250 (6-for-24). Eldred was draftedby the Pirates out of Florida International University in the sixthround of the 2002 draft.Noonan, 21, spent all of last season with double-A Richmond and batted.237 (88-for-372) with 3 home runs and 26 RBI in 101 contests. ThePoway, CA native owns a .268 clip (411-for-1,536) and 198 RBI over fourprofessional seasons within the Giants organization. He will be in hissecond-straight big league camp.Browna 22-year-old outfielder, was the Giants first selection (24th overall)of the 2010 First Year Player Draft. The outfielder played in just 12games for the Arizona League Giants and short-season Salem-Keizer aftersigning his professional contract. Drafted by San Francisco out of CalState Fullerton, Brown was named an All-American by Baseball America(2nd team), Rivals.com (1st team), Collegiate Baseball (1st team), theNational Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (1st team) and theAmerican Baseball Coaches Association (1st team). Named the 2010 BigWest Conference Player of the Year, the speedy outfielder set thesingle-season school record in batting average by hitting .438 andbecame the first Titan to steal more than 30 bases in a season in 1994(32 steals). His .438 batting average ranked eighth in the nation.Evans will be making his first appearance with the Giants as anon-roster invitee. The 6-foot-3, 205-pound outfielder will be enteringhis 10th professional season and has produced a .274 average(984-for-3585) in 958 minor league games. The Dublin, GA native wasoriginally drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals in the 47th round of the2001 First Year Player Draft. He also played for the Los Angeles Angelsof Anaheims organization from 2006-2010.Perez, a Bronx, NY native, put together a solid 2010 season for Class Aadvanced San Jose in just his second year of professional baseball. ACalifornia League All-Star, Perez batted .298 (164-for-551) with 37doubles, 13 home runs and 63 RBI in 131 games last season. The24-year-old outfielder was the Giants 13th selection in the 2008 FirstYear Player Draft.Courtesy San Francisco Giants media services

Von Miller calls 49ers’ Trent Brown 'the best right tackle in the NFL’


Von Miller calls 49ers’ Trent Brown 'the best right tackle in the NFL’

Von Miller has 73.5 sacks to his name over six seasons in the NFL. He's a five-time Prow Bowl linebacker, three-time All-Pro, Super Bowl champion, and Super Bowl MVP. 

Trent Brown has played 21 games in two NFL seasons for the 49ers, 18 of them as starts. Despite his little time in the NFL and lack of honors, the Broncos' defensive star sees San Francisco's young offensive lineman as the best in the game at his position.

“He’s the best right tackle in the National Football League,” Miller said to the San Francisco Chronicle Wednesday after the first of two joint practices with the 49ers. “And he may even be a top-five tackle, period, in the National Football League. There’s not another tackle who’s that tall, that big and can move he way he moves.”

Brown, at 24 years old and standing 6-foot-8 while weighing 355 pounds, was the only offensive lineman invited to Miller's "Pass Rush Summit" at Stanford in June. Miller says he invited Brown so he could gain more knowledge, but also added, "from my point of view, we could get it (more knowledge) from a premier-offensive-tackle point of view.”

The two went up against each other in the trenches Wednesday in Santa Clara. After Brown held his own, Miller poured on the praise, but he made it clear how the young offensive lineman's future is all up to himself. Brown holds the keys to his potential. 

"He’ll be as good as he wants to be," Miller said. "When he’s on, there’s not another tackle in the National Football League that’s as good as him."

Miller also made a bold prediction. "He’s going to have one of the biggest (contracts) for an offensive lineman."

Brown's rookie deal ends after the 2018 season. 

Practice report: Conley locking in mentally while rehabbing injury


Practice report: Conley locking in mentally while rehabbing injury

NAPA – Gareon Conley ran Sunday for the first time in two months. The Raiders first-round cornerback remains on the physically unable to perform list with a shin injury originally suffered during a June minicamp. He wants to get back on the field. He just isn’t ready yet.

Missing training camp certainly sets back a dynamic cover man, but it doesn’t mean Conley can’t make an instant impact. While he hasn’t been seen on the practice field, the Raiders have been encouraged that Conley’s proving a quick learner and an inquisitive mind.

“We’d love to have him out there right now,” Raiders assistant head coach – defense John Pagano said. “When he’s out there, he’ll be out there. Until then, I think he got the reps he needed in OTAs. His mental game has picked up tremendously. He’s always asking questions, even more. It’s hard for a lot of injured players in this league to stand there on the sidelines and be able to just watch and look out there, but he’s always asking. He’s getting those mental reps.

"When he’s able to come back, he’ll be at a fast level. Injuries are part of the game, you deal with it and you just have to make sure, as a rookie, you’re taking those mental reps.”

Conley has been on the practice field with his position group most days, with a play sheet in hand to follow along. He has also lifted weights the past two days and worked on the JUGS machine Wednesday.

Nearly a month remains until the regular season starts, leaving Conley time to get back in the mix.


-- Cornerback Sean Smith took some reps with the first unit on Wednesday, though most of them came as an outside corner in the nickel package. TJ Carrie slid inside in those instances, and generally remained outside in the base defense.

Smith had his second straight quality practice, a sign he might be rebounding after a rough week where he practiced with the second unit and didn’t fare well at Arizona. The Raiders hope he can build on good work and be steadier in coverage.

“I think he’s growing every day,” Pagano said. “There’s always highs and lows in this game. You don’t want to make it, as we term, inconsistent. We’re always looking for the consistency. It’s how you build. It’s how you learn. It’s how you come off those things. There’s always room for improvement in the backend, in the front, all across our defense. There’s guys we’re asking them to go out there and make plays. Has he been improving at practice? Yeah. Then our job is to take that practice stuff and take it to the game field and have that consistency and that carry over to those types of games.”

-- Offensive line coach Mike Tice praised Ian Silberman’s play in a position switch to center. He has seen extensive reps there in camp, including a massive amount in the preseason opener at Arizona. Silberman will play some left guard in coming weeks to establish versatility and give him a shot to make the team.

-- Undrafted rookie Nicholas Morrow played with the first unit in sub packages, as the Raiders continue searching for coverage options in those personnel groups.

-- Jon Feliciano worked with the first unit on Wednesday at left guard. He will be a primary backup at every interior line spot. He is working back from a knee injury that kept him out until last week.