PEORIA, Ariz. -- A couple days ago, right-hander Clay Hensley saw a groupof reporters in the clubhouse and started limping to his locker. He caught ourglances and a big smile broke across his face.
I couldnt help but think of that stunt when Hensley walkedoff the mound with trainer Dave Groeschner in the sixth inning. He threw fourpitches before feeling something behind his right knee. Groeschner clearlytried to talk down Hensley, who insisted upon throwing two warmup pitches. Bothefforts looked OK, but Groeschner continued to plead and Hensley finallyrelented.
Hensley was day-to-day at one point earlier this spring because of a tight hamstring. But Giants manager Bruce Bochy said he didnt think the injurywas serious and probably wouldnt affect the roster.
We think we got it in time but tomorrow Ill be able toanswer that a little better, Bochy said. Its not a big setback. Maybe a dayor so.
Ill bet Hensley wont be fake limping again any time soon,though.
Assuming Hensley will be fine, the Giants must choose theirfinal reliever (and a temporary one, since Ryan Vogelsong will need that rosterspot after eight games) from among Dan Otero, Steve Edlefsen and non-roster guyJean Machi.
Machi is intriguing and throws hard, but the 40-man space is an impediment.Theyll need their current vacancy to purchase the contract of Gregor Blanco, and perhaps another space if theydecide to keep infielder Joaquin Arias.
Being familiar with how the front office operates, thesafest prediction is that the last reliever will be Edlefsen, who has at least some big leagueexposure and is having a good spring.
But Otero wow.
He replaced Zito and threw two scoreless innings, loweringhis ERA to 0.90. In 10 innings, he still hasnt walked a batter. Hell be upsoon enough, if not from the outset.
A couple years ago, the Giants began the season with Joe Martinez on the roster -- a huge surprise at the time. So there's precedent for going with the darker horse, too. Especially when he's a strike thrower.
Angel Pagan hit an impressive triple off Padres relieverAndrew Cashner, who is not going to be fun to have around in the NL West.Cashner was dialing it up close to 99 mph with a 90 mph changeup that madeBrandon Crawford and Emmanuel Burriss look rather, well, no-chanceish.
Between Cashner and Sean Marshall this past offseason, the Cubs might have givenup a pair of shutdown relief pitchers who will be racking up a lot of savesbefore its all said and done. Thats why theyre the Cubs, I suppose.
Pablo Sandoval is putting aside a sluggish spring. Histhree-run homer came from the left side against Dustin Moseley and tied thegame in the fifth inning. It was an opposite-field shot.
The Giants scored seven runs in the inning to take the lead.(They later lost it when Jeremy Hermida pounded a two-run homer off Sergio Romoin the eighth. The Padres won 8-7.)
Bochy was pleased with the seven-run outburst, but hes notsatisfied with the offense.
Were getting off to slow starts here and we dont seem toget it going until the third time around, Bochy said. Weve got to get runsearlier. Thatll make this work a lot easier. Thats something weve got totalk about.
Its been a divergent spring for two former Giantsoutfielders. Aaron Rowand couldnt hit Tim Lincecums weight and got releasedby the Miami Marlins. Meanwhile, Cody Ross has six homers for the Boston Red Sox(for a share of the major league lead) and looks ready to play a season full of pepper with the Green Monster.
Spring training stats only mean so much, though. Ask last year's Cactus League home run leader: Mr. Aubrey Lewis Huff, Esq.
I try not to eat at ballpark concession stands very often,but Id already succumbed to the In-N-Out drive-thru window on my way toPeoria. So what the hell. I went whole hog after returning from Barry Zitosavailability session in the clubhouse.
They have a mini donuts stand here at Peoria and the smellwas intoxicating. I think the whole thing is staged, though.
The prices were 4 for a bag of six or 5 for a bag of 15.
I bought 15, of course and shared with the rest of anappreciative press box.
The more I thought about the pricing structure, though, Ithink the donut stand was a psychological experiment to measure consumerspending habits. How else do those prices make sense?
The verdict: More is better. Especially when you dontcharge extra for the cinnamon sugar.