Fontenot cut, Vogelsong, Sanchez and Runzler to DL

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Fontenot cut, Vogelsong, Sanchez and Runzler to DL

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. The Giants cut a player from their 2010World Series team and placed four others on the disabled list as theycontinued to shape their opening-day roster.

In addition to placing infielder Mike Fontenot on releasewaivers, the Giants placed second baseman Freddy Sanchez on the disabled listalong with right-hander Ryan Vogelsong, left-hander Eric Surkamp and left-hander Dan Runzler.

NEWS: Giants waive Fontenot

Sanchez (right shoulder), Surkamp (strained flexor tendon) and Runzler (strained lat muscle) areretroactive to March 26, meaning they could be eligible to return by thefifth game of the season on April 11. None of the three players is expected to be ready bythat date, however.

Vogelsong (strained lower back) is on the mend but didnthave enough time to rebuild arm strength after missing the first three weeks ofthe spring. The plan is to activate him on April 15, when the Giants need afifth starter for the first time.

Sanchez has begun playing catch after getting a cortisoneshot in his repaired right shoulder on Sunday. But there remains no timetableto try making throws to bases in infield practice as a precursor to playing inthe field. Sanchez hasnt been able to throw with much zip or attempt the morestrenuous, across-the-body throws that are required of a second baseman whenturning double plays.

Fontenot came over in a trade from the Chicago Cubs in themiddle of the 2010 season and hit .227 as a part-time player last year. The31-year-old was deemed expendable because the Giants already have too manyleft-handed hitters and they dont expect to need much coverage behind BrandonCrawford, who is slated to be the everyday shortstop.

The Giants cut Fontenot on the last possible day before his1.05 million contract would become fully guaranteed. The Giants areresponsible for just a quarter of that amount, saving themselves 787,500.

The club faced the same deadline with Ryan Theriot, Fontenotsteammate at LSU and with the Cubs. But although Theriots best defensive daysat shortstop are behind him, his right-handed bat was a better fit for theGiants bench needs. Theriot will make 1.25 million this season.

Cutting Fontenot might clear the way for the Giants to carrya third catcher in Hector Sanchez, who has been the best offensive player incamp. A third catcher would allow the Giants to better pace Buster Posey in theearly going as he comes back from his horrific ankle injury. It will be morelikely that manager Bruce Bochy can take Posey out of blowout games early or pinch-runfor him if he has a third catcher. Plus Sanchezs switch-hitting bat would be aboon for the bench.

Even with Freddy Sanchez out indefinitely, the Giants feltthey had enough middle infield depth without Fontenot. One factor in thatanalysis is non-roster infielder Joaquin Arias, who has played extremely wellat every infield position this spring. Even if Arias begins the season atTriple-A Fresno, the Giants feel good about having him for insurance.

What they're saying: 2017 Baseball Hall of Fame class

What they're saying: 2017 Baseball Hall of Fame class

The National Baseball Hall of Fame inducted Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines and Ivan Rodriguez Wednesday. Here's what they and their peers are saying.

https://twitter.com/baseballhall/status/821855144681897988


Still on outside, Bonds, Clemens have become invaluable to Hall

Still on outside, Bonds, Clemens have become invaluable to Hall

The Baseball Hall of Fame becomes yesterday’s news Friday, as it always does. Three months of buildup, one day to announce the names, one day to castigate the voters for their willfully negligent slights, and then nine months of hibernation.

So much for the concept of “joining the immortals.”

But at least Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines and Ivan Rodriguez never have to go through this annual pageant of nonsense again.

Barry Bonds does, though, and so does Roger Clemens, and to a lesser extent, so does Curt Schilling. They are the new litmus strips for the Hall, and they will more than replace Raines (voter ignorance division) and Bagwell (presumption of guilt with evidence division) for self-involved debate.

And in that adjusted role from doomed outsiders to serious candidates, Bonds and Clemens – and to a lesser extent again, Schilling – have become invaluable to the Hall, and their eventual election and induction will reduce the Hall’s ability to inflame passions outside the seamhead community.

On a day when Bagwell and Raines finally cleared the 75 percent threshold and Bonds and Clemens moved from 45 percent to 53.8 and 54.1 percent, respectively, the Hall of Fame Debating And Chowder Society saw the end times for its power as a multi-month debate-churner.

The blatherers are dead, long live the blatherers.

An entire mini-industry of Hall watchers has been spawned, in part by the now-feted Ryan Thibodaux and his exit polling but also by the debates about what the Hall should be and who should get to decide it. It has made days like Wednesday event viewing when it hadn’t been for years. For that, the Hall owes Bonds and Clemens a debt that the powers inside Major League Baseball wishes it didn’t have to pay. But the day they are inducted is the day that PEDs die as a debating point. The answer will have been provided, and there will be no more need for discussion.

Worse yet, the BBWAA’S new voter transparency rules may unfortunately impact our pal Thibodaux, whose seminal work in this understudied area of social science undermined ballot secrecy. In short, if everyone has to fess up, the desperate need to know early returns may dry up.

Oh, there will always be the day of post mortem-ization, as those who didn’t clear the threshold are subject to a few rounds of the popular parlor game, “Who Got Snubbed, And The Tedious And Half-Informed Reasons Why.”

For instance, the big debating point from today’s results will not be about Raines and Guerrero getting in, but what happened to the Bonds and Clemens votes. People have already postulated that a lot of the jump in their respective votes can be directly linked to Bud Selig’s election from the Veterans Committee. Voters who had previously ridden the Hall-as-temple argument suddenly lost their raison d’etre and realized that the PED problem was an industry matter rather than a greedy players’ matter.

In short, they saw Selig getting in as tacit approval that the PED issue was no longer a moral one in baseball but a cynical one, a way to blame labor for management’s culpability. That is an irony whose existence Selig will almost surely deny, but it’s there anyway, and it represents one more non-glacial change in a system that has been nearly immovable for most of its existence.

The next change, of course, may be removing the vote from the BBWAA and turning it over to a more malleable panel of “experts” who may not skew as young and values-neutral as the BBWAA of the future seems to be heading. That course may be hastened if/when Bonds and Clemens are elected, because halls of fame in their more traditional role have been more about rewarding friends and punishing enemies, and a large and shifting electorate makes that harder to accomplish.

The argument against such a course, though, is that the current system of three months of fevered public debate about the same old stuff works for the Hall’s sense of its importance. I mean, MLB Network and its fetish for shrill argument only has so much reach.

By Friday, though, all of this will revert to its typically inert state. Bonds, Clemens (ATALE Schilling), PEDs, morality, practicality, secrecy, old voter/young voter – all of it will fade back into insignificance.

And in a year or two or maybe three, Bonds and Clemens will wipe it all out by being included in the one club that we once knew would never tolerate their presence, and the Hall Of Fame’s Golden Age Of Shrieking Argument will end.

In a weird and largely unpleasant way, it will be missed.