SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. Chris Dominguez turns heads wherever hegoes. But not necessarily because people recognize him.
Oh, yeah, I get that a lot, said Dominguez, asked ifanyone ever told him he bears a resemblance to Albert Pujols.
Dominguez has the same goatee and hes a sturdy, 6-foot-4.Even some of his actions at first base are reminiscent of the three-time NLMVP.
But hes balding, Dominguez said with a laugh. Im not.
Pujols owns a couple of Gold Gloves, too. But even he probablywouldnt have made the two plays that Dominguez did on Saturday, both timesranging far into foul ground while making over-the-shoulder catches.
Oh, it was fun. It was great, said Dominguez, a thirdbaseman, who started at first base at the last minute because Aubrey Huffsback stiffened up. I can play a little outfield, too.
BAGGARLY: Huff scratched with back tightness
Dominguez definitely looked unsure of himself earlier in thegame, when he didnt cover the bag on a ground ball to second baseman RyanTheriot. Tim Lincecum sprinted off the mound and was able to receive the throwto record the out.
But Dominguez was beaming after the first catch in foulground.
Hes smiling when he turns around, Lincecum said. Youcant help but smile with him. To be able to share that, its awesome.
Dominguez was smiling after the second catch, too.
I cant believe it happened again, he said. Once isenough.
Dominguez, 25, earned a quick promotion out of Single-A SanJose last season but wasnt able to make the same statement at Double-ARichmond, where he hit .244 with a career low .403 slugging percentage. He andrecent draftee Ricky Oropesa probably have the most raw power in the system,though. Dominguez also has the strongest arm of any infielder in the organization.
If he can cut down his strikeouts, he could be a pretty big power threat off the bench someday soon. Who knows? Maybe the Pujols resemblance would even strike some fear in opposing pitchers.
I just want to learn as much as I can here, and work onbeing more consistent, he said.
Dominguez was one of three hitters who stood in against RyanVogelsong, who threw live batting practice for the first time this spring.
He wasnt putting it where he wanted, but the stuff wasgood, Dominguez said.
Vogelsong said his strained lower back did not limit himwhile throwing 45 pitches.
At this point as long as I dont feel anything, Im happyabout it, said Vogelsong, who injured himself while doing squats in the firstweek of February. I didnt think about my back at all. It feels normal to me.
Giants manager Bruce Bochy said Vogelsong had good stuff,but not the greatest command. One more session vs. hitters and then Vogelsongwill be cleared to participate in a Cactus League game.
As Ive mentioned, the Giants could always start Vogelsongon the DL, since they wont need a fifth starter until the ninth game of theseason April 15. I guarantee you that Vogelsong wants no part of that, though.
Pablo Sandoval took some ugly hacks in his first at-bat, butin the sixth inning, he cranked his second homer of the spring. It was a deepshot down the right field line. Ryan Theriot, who hasnt stood out with the bator the glove thus far, also hit a home run. It was his first of the spring.Angel Pagan went deep for the first time as a Giant, too.
The Giants have hit 21 home runs in 17 games, which leadsall NL clubs.
Santiago Casillas game-ending strikeout pitch was 96 mph.Hes ready.
Sergio Romo is not, but he insisted that his right elbowjust needed a little break. He didnt expect to be sidelined for more than aday or two.
Weve come to expect a little hiccup from Romo every spring.His devastating slider is a pitch that taks its toll on his elbow. Its thereason his innings are monitored so carefully.
Its also the reason that Casilla or Jeremy Affeldt, notRomo, would be considered the primary closer candidates whenever Brian Wilsonis not available.
Its going to be touch-and-go around here on Sunday. The rain thatspelted the Bay Area most of the week is tailing down into the desert. Assumingthey play, itll be Madison Bumgarner against the Padres Edinson Volquez atScottsdale.