Sandoval at least a week away, Bochy says


Sandoval at least a week away, Bochy says

DENVER -- The Giants' crack PR staff figured out that no Giants catcher has homered in four straight games since Tom Haller in 1964.

One relevant detail they didn't include: Buster Posey is at first base Sunday as the suddenly prodigious Giants go for a three-game sweep at Coors Field.

It's a perfect afternoon here, made all the more pleasant by the thought that it'll be 99 degrees and suffocatingly humid when the Giants arrive in St. Louis for a four-game series that begins on Monday.

Pablo Sandoval is eligible to return from the disabled list in Thursday's finale at Busch Stadium, but that appears to be an extreme longshot now. Giants manager Bruce Bochy said while Sandoval continues to make progress from a strained left hamstring, trainers tell him that he's roughly a week away from being ready.

So it looks like Sandoval could return by the middle of the next homestand -- just in time for what should be a challenging series against the Washington Nationals.

The probables in Saint Loo, starting Monday: Cain vs. Westbrook, Zito vs. Lynn, Vogelsong vs. Kelly, Bumgarner vs. Wainwright. That's four right-handed pitchers for the Cardinals.

But first, the Giants hope for a happier Lincecum day than the last time their two-time Cy Young Award winner pitched at Coors -- when he absorbed the shortest start of his career in a 17-8 loss.

Here's the lineup: Pagan cf, Theriot 2b, Cabrera lf, Posey 1b, Pence rf, Scutaro 3b, Sanchez c, Crawford ss, Lincecum P

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


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.