Posey gives repaired ankle its most rigorous test yet

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Posey gives repaired ankle its most rigorous test yet

PEORIA, Ariz. Barry Zito's incredibly shrinking stuff is cause for alarm, but at leastthe other end of the Giantsbattery appeared fully charged Friday night.

Not only did Buster Posey play nine innings for the firsttime all spring, but no part of it was a country club. He had to squat forthree interminable innings with Zito on the mound. He had to warm up JavierLopez after Clay Hensley left with an injury.

Most impressively, he had to push it harder on the basepathsthan at any point this spring. And then he had to push again.

Posey ran aggressively down the line while beating out aninfield chopper in the fifth inning. He took second base on a wild pitch. Thenhe scored from second on Brandon Belts single to right field. Posey slid intothe plate before the ball arrived, never showing a bit of hesitation.

He was 2 for 5 and has a .324 average this spring.

This was a long game. That was a good test, said Giantsmanager Bruce Bochy, adding that Posey would play first base on Saturday. Hesbeen coming through all the tests.

Its interesting that Posey will play first base a day afterhis most taxing night on the field. Thats probably what the Giants will askhim to do often this season. The club plays 39 day games after night games.Theyll play four such quick turn games out of the first 10 this season.

Bochy said Poseys health, ability and steady progress haveexceeded expectations.

We were optimistic hed be fine, but we havent had anyhiccups, Bochy said. (Trainer) Dave Groeschner has done a terrific job withthe rehab plan and Buster has come through all the stuff we put him through.

Hes really back to where he was.

Bochy added that Posey would do the lions share of thecatching, but he still couldnt put a number on the total starts he expects.Bochy might not have a true read on that until the end of April or the beginningof May.

Santiago Casilla says he never received offer from Giants

Santiago Casilla says he never received offer from Giants

SAN FRANCISCO — Over the final month of his time with the Giants, it became clear that Santiago Casilla and the team would part ways. On Friday, Casilla confirmed that he never had the opportunity to return. 

On a conference call to announce a two-year deal with the Oakland A’s, Casilla said he “would have been happy to return to the Giants, but I never got an offer from them. I understood.”

Casilla said he had several opportunities to go elsewhere and close, mentioning the Milwaukee Brewers as one interested team. Casilla signed a two-year, $11 million deal with the A’s, who likely won’t need him to pitch in the ninth. The Brewers went on to bring in Neftali Feliz for one year and $5.35 million; he is expected to close. 

“I preferred to return to the Athletics because that’s where my career started,” Casilla said through interpreter Manolo Hernández Douen. “And I’m very excited.”

Casilla spent the first six years of his career with the A’s before crossing the bridge and becoming a key figure in three title runs. In seven seasons in San Francisco, he posted a 2.42 ERA and saved 123 games. Casilla had a 0.92 ERA in the postseason, but he was stripped of a prominent role in the weeks leading up to the 2016 playoffs. 

Casilla, 36, blew nine saves before being pulled from the ninth inning. He appeared just three times in the final 14 regular season games and just once in the playoffs. He did not take the mound in Game 4 of the NLDS, watching as five other relievers teamed up to give back a three-run lead. 

That moment stung Casilla, and it affected Bruce Bochy, too. The Giants struck quickly in December to bring Mark Melancon in as their new closer, but at the Winter Meetings, Bochy said he would welcome Casilla back in a setup role. 

“He’s a great team player (and) teammate,” Bochy said. “(I) certainly wouldn’t rule it out because he still has great stuff. And he had some hiccups there in that closing role, but I would take him anytime.”

As it turned out, that opportunity was never there for Casilla. The Giants didn’t make another move after the big deal with Melancon, and they’ll rely on younger arms to record most of the outs in the seventh and eighth. Casilla said he’s not bitter about the way it all ended. 

“I have left that in the past,” he said. “It’s a new year, it’s a new year. I have left this in the past.” 

Authorities: Two Dodgers security guards arrested, accused of theft

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Authorities: Two Dodgers security guards arrested, accused of theft

LOS ANGELES -- Prosecutors say two security guards at Los Angeles' Dodger Stadium have been arrested and are accused of stealing equipment, baseballs and jerseys from the major league team to sell online.

The Los Angeles County district attorney's office says Juan DeDios Prada and Fernando Sierra pleaded not guilty to burglary and other charges Thursday.

Prosecutors say the two security guards conspired with a third man, Jesse Luis Dagnesses, to steal baseball uniforms and other team merchandise to sell online.

They say Prada and Sierra stole more than $3,400 from a locked equipment room at the stadium between January 2013 and February 2016.

Authorities say Dagnesses is accused of receiving $950 in stolen baseballs and jerseys.

It wasn't immediately clear if the men had attorneys who could comment on the allegations.