EXTRA BAGGS: Burriss tweaks hamstring

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EXTRA BAGGS: Burriss tweaks hamstring

GOODYEAR, Ariz. Emmanuel Burriss started in right fieldWednesday because Nate Schierholtzs strained right forearm needed one more dayto rest up.

But now its Burriss who might need some time to heal.

His terrific spring was interrupted in the fourth inningwhen he spoke up and said his right hamstring was a little tight. JustinChristian replaced him in right field.

Ive got a good thing going, said Burriss, who has a .417average. Might as well speak up if you dont feel right. Ive played a lot ofinnings. Its nothing at all serious.

Burriss was clearly not pleased to be battling an injury,however minor. Remember, this is the guy who re-broke his foot in the firstgame of the spring two years ago. It happened here at Goodyear Ballpark, too.

You couldnt blame Burriss if he never wants to step in thisballpark again.

Burriss, who has no minor league options remaining, isexpected to make the club especially if Freddy Sanchez begins the year on theDL as expected.

We dont want to take any chances, Giants manager Bruce Bochysaid. We took him out there and see how hes doing tomorrow. It wasnt worththe risk.

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The other day, Bochy said there was no separation betweenAubrey Huff, Brandon Belt and Brett Pill. Left unsaid: Pill has been thequietest among the bunch in recent days.

Not anymore.

Pill crushed a no-doubt, three-run home run off Kevin Sloweyto power the Giants to a 5-3 victory. The shot to left field came after BusterPosey singled and Belt walked.

He kind of lost it there for a couple days but he threw outa good at-bat, Bochy said. Theyre all good players. It wont be easydeciding which way well go. Its what you want to see guys doing what they need to do.

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The most undecided competition in camp is backup catcher, although Chris Stewart continues to throw well. The Indians Asdrubal Cabrera got ahuge jump on Surkamp in the fifth inning, but Stewart came up throwing, got offa rapid throw and it was on target to throw him out.

Bochy said its a total tossup between Stewart and EliWhiteside. If management came to him now and demanded a decision, he wouldntbe able to provide one.

Hector Sanchez, by the way, was 2 for 2 to boost his averageto .480. He also appeared to tweak his groin after sliding into second base,but trainers checked him and he stayed in the game.

Ive said it before, but I think Sanchez should break withthe club to give the Giants a nice switch-hitting bat off the bench, as well asa third catcher for additional coverage behind Posey at least for the firstweek of the season. When Ryan Vogelsong or Freddy Sanchez gets activated, assumingone or both begins on the DL, then you can option Hector back to be theeveryday guy and get more experience at Triple-A Fresno.

Why not just make Sanchez the backup catcher? Well, the Giants feel he still has a lot of work to do to improve behind the plate. And he won't be able to do that while sitting on the bench.

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Javier Lopez and Santiago Casilla both threw scorelessinnings. Neither pitcher has allowed a run this spring. Casilla was a littleout of sorts at times, though. Hector Sanchez had to block a number of 54-footbreaking balls.

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I was riffing with Tim Lincecum this morning about entrancemusic and hes going to stay with Electric Feel by MGMT. Its become one ofhis trademarks and he says it gets him pumped up without getting overly amped. It just seems to fit him right.

Lincecum will take on Jamie Moyer and the Rockies onThursday night. I wonder what music Moyer will pick from his era -- baroque or romantic?

Giants trade Chris Heston to Mariners

Giants trade Chris Heston to Mariners

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. — Faced with a crowded depth chart and a need for a roster spot, the Giants shipped right-hander Chris Heston to Seattle on Wednesday night.

The Mariners announced the deal shortly after 7pm PT on Wednesday.

Heston, who made 31 starts and threw a no-hitter for the Giants in 2015, would have been designated for assignment had a deal not gotten done. The Giants will receive a player to be named later. The move clears a 40-man roster spot for closer Mark Melancon, who signed Monday. 

Heston, 28, filled in after injuries to veterans in 2015 and posted a 3.95 ERA and 12 wins, one of which was a no-hitter in New York. He was a first-half savior for an unhealthy staff, going 9-5 with a 3.39 ERA in 18 starts before the All-Star break. The long season caught up to Heston down the stretch, and the Giants filled their rotation that December with free agents Johnny Cueto and Jeff Samardzija. 

Heston made just four appearances in 2016 after being moved to the bullpen. It was a transition that didn't quite take, and he ended up back in the minors, making 14 starts for the River Cats as he worked to regain some of the velocity that was lost when he dropped 15 pounds during offseason workouts. An oblique injury led to Heston being put on the 60-day DL in June and ultimately ended his season. 

This represents a needed fresh start for Heston, who was hopelessly blocked in the Giants’ system. The Giants acquired Matt Moore at the deadline and Ty Blach and Matt Cain will compete for the final rotation spot. Veteran Albert Suarez and top pitching prospect Tyler Beede are among the starters who had jumped ahead of Heston. In Seattle, he joins a team in need of starting depth, and he should get a shot to return to a big league rotation.

Kuiper has been told to expect many boring ninth innings from Melancon

Kuiper has been told to expect many boring ninth innings from Melancon

Over the last three seasons, nobody has registered more saves than new Giants closer Mark Melancon.

The three-time All-Star is 131 for 141 in save opportunities over that span.

Giants broadcaster Duane Kuiper spoke with Nationals broadcaster F.P. Santangelo about what Melancon brings to the table.

"Mike (Krukow) and I both talked to F.P. and he basically said, 'He's boring. The ninth inning is boring.' And we were like, 'Really? Wow. We haven't seen that in awhile.' So a boring ninth inning would be good for everybody," Kuiper said on KNBR 680 on Wednesday. "Our fans, it would certainly be good for our manager and pitching coach because those two guys had to wear it."

[RELATED: Dusty Baker: 'I hate losing Melancon,' Giants have more resources than Nats]

The Giants blew 30 saves in 2016 -- the most in baseball -- and Giants GM Bobby Evans made it very clear from the moment the season ended that adding a closer was the team's top priority.

San Francisco is confident assimilating Melancon won't be an issue.

He looks like one of those guys who will fit into the clubhouse immediately," Kuiper said.