Vogelsong, Sanchez make progress in rehab

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Vogelsong, Sanchez make progress in rehab

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Second baseman Freddy Sanchez and right-hander Ryan Vogelsong both made progress in their rehab work Saturday.

Sanchez took ground balls on the main field during batting practice and made throws to bases. His throws weren't snapped off, but they weren't lobs, either. He practiced underhand flips and overhand tosses to shortstop Brandon Crawford -- the first time the middle infield combo has worked together this spring.

Sanchez, who dislocated his shoulder in June and had surgery in August, hadn't taken grounders during batting practice. Most of his work to date this spring had been on a back field. The Giants remain hopeful that he can DH in games in another week, and begin playing second base shortly thereafter.

Vogelsong, who strained his lower back in the weight room 3-4 weeks ago, did some flat-ground work that included played catch from 105 feet. He said he felt no discomfort. He plans to play catch from 120 feet on Sunday and get on a mound Tuesday or Wednesday.

"I'm just waiting on the big man," said Vogelsong, referring to trainer Dave Groeschner and not a higher power.

The Giants are sufficiently concerned about Vogelsong that they are slotting Madison Bumgarner as their No.2 starter for the time being. If Vogelsong isn't ready, the Giants would have three left-handers in the rotation with Bumgarner, Barry Zito and likely Eric Surkamp. Moving Bumgarner in between Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain would allow them to avoid having those three lefties throw back-to-back-to-back.

Evans: Giants want to give Parker, Williamson chance to play, but...

Evans: Giants want to give Parker, Williamson chance to play, but...

While the Giants aggressively pursue a new closer, they haven't been aggressive for a new left fielder.

Angel Pagan is a free agent and isn't likely to come back. That leaves talented, but unproven youngsters Mac Williams and Jarrett Parker.

And for GM Bobby Evans, who is always looking for ways to improve the roster, it appears he is content going into the 2017 with Williamson and Parker filling the void in left field.

"Our mindset has been to keep an open mind in any way we can improve the club offensively. But that said, I feel like we've got a starting lineup today that we don't have to adjust or improve upon. I'd always like to find ways to improve it. I think there are some big market options, but we've got two young guys that we want to get a good evaluation on, and you can't really do that until they get major league at-bats. That's Mac Williamson and Jarrett Parker and both of them are really in-waiting for an opportunity to get everyday playing time and show what they can do," Evans told ESPN's Buster Olney on Friday.

But Evans is keeping an open mind regarding acquiring a left fielder.

"That said, I also have to make sure that if we have an opportunity to improve or solidify our lineup in some way, I want to take advantage of it. But I can't lose sight of the benefit of developing our own guys and giving them a chance and not locking ourselves into keeping them from playing time in the next two to three years" Evans said.

Evans: Giants still in 'search mode' for closer, but 'it's progressing'

Evans: Giants still in 'search mode' for closer, but 'it's progressing'

As the Winter Meetings get set to begin in Washington, D.C. on Monday, the Giants still haven't crossed off the top item on their offseason wish list.

The closer role remains vacant.

Names like Mark Melancon and Greg Holland have been linked to the Giants over the last few weeks, but nothing has materialized.

On Friday, GM Bobby Evans provided an update while speaking with ESPN's Buster Olney.

"There's been a lot of signings and a number of trades. In many ways, more done prior to the winter meetings than in the last couple of years. We still are in process, relative to trade options, relative to free agent options, to be clear who's pitching the ninth inning for us. So we feel we have the makings of a good bullpen, we just need to be clear who's pitching the ninth. And we'd like to solidify that through the trade market or free agent market. It's progressing. We're a month into this process, so we have a lot more information. But ultimately, until we have a closer, we're still in the search mode.

There's a nice balance between both. It's just that, they both have costs. Relative to a trade, sometimes you're giving up, in some cases, one or more of your top prospects and other prospects below that. In the way of free agency, it's obviously an expenditure for a certain number of years that is elavated more on the supply and demand side. That said, there are some middle tier late inning options as well that may not be as demanding as some of the bigger names. Again, it's a balance of options trying to measure all three."