Huff scratched with lower back tightness

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Huff scratched with lower back tightness

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- First baseman Aubrey Huff was a late scratch from Saturday afternoon's lineup against the A's because of lower back tightness, the Giants announced.

Huff took batting practice prior to the game but retired to the clubhouse ahead of the other players. The 35-year-old first baseman, who is trying to fend off Brandon Belt for a starting role, is hitting .286 (8 for 28) with two home runs in 10 games.

Huff has received 33 innings at first base and just five in left field, although Giants manager Bruce Bochy has vowed to give him more time in the outfield this spring. By contrast, Belt has played 36 innings at first base and 23 in the outfield (17 in right, six in left).

The Giants made one other lineup change, and it cost Brandon Crawford whatever he had planned for Saturday night. They shifted the shortstop to the other split-squad game -- a 7:05 p.m. contest against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Glendale.

It was a change the Giants were forced to make. The team fielded a complaint from the league office because the night lineup didn't have any forecasted starting position players, with the possible exception of Belt.

The league requires teams to have three anticipated starting position players in every exhibition lineup, and officials are enforcing it this spring. Teams get one warning and the Giants already burned theirs when they sent over a light lineup to Tempe earlier this spring.

Mike Fontenot replaced Crawford in the afternoon lineup and minor league third baseman Chris Dominguez replaced Huff at first base. Although Dominguez got confused in the second inning and didn't cover the bag on a grounder to the right side, he later redeemed himself by ranging to haul in a foul fly with an over-the-shoulder catch.

In other news, Ryan Vogelsong (strained lower back) faced hitters for the first time this spring. Dominguez was one of the stand-ins and said Vogelsong didn't have command, but was impressed with the quality of his stuff. Vogelsong will face hitters at least one more time before he'd be cleared to start a game.

Giants avoid arbitration with Nunez, Smith, Kontos

Giants avoid arbitration with Nunez, Smith, Kontos

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants avoided arbitration with three more veterans on Friday, agreeing to one-year deals with third baseman Eduardo Nuñez, left-hander Will Smith and right-hander George Kontos.

Financial details were not immediately available. MLB Trade Rumors' projections put Nuñez at about $4.4 million, Smith at about $2.3 million, and Kontos at about $1.7 million. The Giants reached deals with all six arbitration eligible players this offseason. 

Nunez, acquired last summer, will enter camp as the starter at third base. He posted a .269/.327/.418 slash line and 12 stolen bases after coming over from the Twins.

Smith was also acquired before the trade deadline, and he had a 2.95 ERA in 26 appearances for the Giants. He is expected to play a pivotal role in setting up for new closer Mark Melancon. 

Kontos has long been Bruce Bochy's most reliable reliever in the middle innings and he could move to a higher-leverage role in a revamped bullpen. He had a 2.53 ERA in 2016, his fifth season with the Giants.

The Giants had previously reached one-year deals with Cory Gearrin, Ehire Adrianza and Conor Gillaspie. They have not gone to an arbitration hearing since 2004, when a deal could not be reached with A.J. Pierzynski. 
 

Giants Hall-of-Famer Gaylord Perry: Enshrine Bonds, not Rose

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AP

Giants Hall-of-Famer Gaylord Perry: Enshrine Bonds, not Rose

MLB Hall-of-Famer and two-time Cy Young winner Gaylord Perry believes home run king Barry Bonds will eventually be inducted into the baseball Hall of Fame. 

"I think he’ll get in eventually," Perry said, according to USA Today. "If you have a player like that, pretty soon, you put him in."

Perry, 78, was infamous for doctoring baseballs on the mound and throwing a spitball. Author of 314 career wins over a 22-year season, Perry was inducted into Cooperstown in 1991. His No. 36 is one of 10 numbers retired by the Giants. 

But Perry doesn't feel the same about hit king Pete Rose.

"Pete did the worst thing possible, worse than steroids," Perry said. "He put money on games, win or lose. He’s paying the price."

Bonds, 52, was a seven-time MVP, a 14-time All-Star, a 12-time Silver Slugger, an eight-time Gold Glover. He owns the most home runs (762), the most walks (2,558) and the most intentional walks (688) in MLB history.

Rose, 75, was Rookie of the Year, MVP and a 17-time All-Star. He owns the most games (3,562), plate appearances (15,890), at-bats (14,053), and hits (4,256) in MLB history.