Giants notes: Without Lincecum, the show goes on


Giants notes: Without Lincecum, the show goes on

July 26, 2011


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Mychael Urban

PHILADELPHIA -- Shortly after emerging from the visitors' clubhouse at Citizens Bank Park, Giants manager Bruce Bochy stood on the top step of the stairs that leads from the dugout to the field and scanned the other side of the diamond, a mask of focused concern covering his face.Told he looked a little lost, Bochy winced and said. "Not lost. But looking."Turns out he was looking for his counterpart, Charlie Manuel, to inform the Phillies manager of the news he'd delivered to Barry Zito only moments before.With Tim Lincecum suffering from debilitating flu-like symptoms, Zito was bumped up from his scheduled start Wednesday to take the ball Tuesday for the opener of a three-game series that doubles as a rematch of last year's National League Championship Series and could serve as a preview for this year's playoffs."He looks pretty bad," Zito told during batting practice. "There's no way he could go today."RELATED: Lineups: Giants vs. Philadelphia -- Fontenot at SS
Bochy didn't rule out Lincecum for the entire series; with Zito bumped up, it's possible that Matt Cain, the scheduled starter for Thursday, could be moved up to Wednesday to give Lincecum another day of recovery. If Lincecum is not ready by Thursday, Ryan Vogelsong could be bumped up.As Manuel noted, either way, the Phillies will be facing nothing but All-Stars andor former Cy Young Award winners in this series."They're known for their pitching, and we'll see some of their best," Manuel said.Big day for Belt: Rookie first basemanoutfielder Brandon Belt was thrilled to be part of the proceedings at the White House on Monday, and that he wasn't a part of the World Series team being acknowledged didn't feel awkward at all."That never really crossed my mind, to tell you the truth," Belt said. "I was just like, 'I get to go to the White House!' Who cares why?"Another highlight for Belt, a 23-year-old native of Nacogdoches, Tex., was the train ride from Washington, D.C., to Philadelphia after the visit with President Obama."I'd never even been of a train before," he said with a huge smile while grabbing a bat in the dugout for his round of BP. "Very relaxing."No trade talk: Bochy gets asked about trades every day, and every day he makes it clear that it might be his least-favorite subject.He conceded that he and general manager Brian Sabean have a running dialogue about the team's present, future and needs, but asking him about the latest rumors is the quickest way to get him to clam up."It'll be nice when that July 31 deadline passes, I'll tell you what," Bochy said. Then we can go back to just talking about the game.

Casspi thanks Kings after trade to Pelicans: 'Definitely isn't easy'


Casspi thanks Kings after trade to Pelicans: 'Definitely isn't easy'

The Kings traded Omri Casspi to the New Orleans Pelicans on Monday, prompting the forward to post a heartfelt message on his Instagram account.

I want to thank the Sacramento Kings organization for the opportunity to play basketball in front of the great fans of Sacramento. My wife and I felt in Sacramento like being home and this is something we both will cherish for ever. This definitely isn't easy for me and my family to leave, and you all know how much I love our city, organization and fans but the time has come. I want to wish nothing but success to my Kings. I will definitely will follow and cheer from afar. 
Always a big part of my heart, 
Omri #18

Casspi, 28, averaged 5.9 points, 4.1 rebounds and 18 minutes per game for the Kings this year.

A's spring training Day 7: Rosales readies himself everywhere

A's spring training Day 7: Rosales readies himself everywhere

MESA, Ariz. — Adam Rosales has a real simple plan for which infield position he chooses to try to get work at.

“Wherever there’s less guys, I go over there,” he explained with a smile.

The sun came out and the A’s finally got on the field for their first full-squad workout Monday after being rained out Sunday. That meant Rosales, back for his second go-round as an Athletic, got his first chance to prepare for what figures to be a super-utility role, which is how he’s carved out a nine-year major league career.

All indications are that he’ll be the primary backup infielder, capable of spelling Jed Lowrie at second base, Marcus Semien at shortstop, Trevor Plouffe at third and even fill in at first base or left field in a pinch.

Though Rosales, who spent 2010-12 with Oakland and re-signed in January on a one-year $1.25 million deal, is well-versed in preparing himself all over the diamond, one position in particular is one that he says is most difficult to master in limited time.

“Shortstop,” he offered without hesitation. “There’s a lot more going on there, a lot less room for error. At shortstop, especially with a guy like Mike Trout running, you’ve got to be in good rhythm, good timing, get rid of the ball and make an accurate throw.”

Depending on how the A’s prioritize their 25-man roster, Rosales could very well be the only backup infielder. That means fellow infielders Joey Wendle and Chad Pinder would start in the minors if the A’s were to keep a fifth outfielder or third catcher. But because the A’s have some players who can fill in at multiple spots, there’s numerous ways they can choose to configure the roster when it comes time to pare it down.

Rosales, 33, said walking back into the A’s clubhouse for the first time made him “feel like I’m back home.” So much of the support staff — equipment guys, clubhouse guys — are the same as when he was here before. He was also happy to see former infield mate Mark Ellis walk through the door Sunday. He says Ellis, a teammate from 2010-11, instilled in him the importance of being a great defender. Ellis is working as a part-time spring instructor.

“He told me, the No. 1 reason he was in the big leagues was because of this,” Rosales said, holding up his glove. “I was such a young player then. I’d always work with him, how to turn double plays. Just to have him around is awesome.”

NOTEWORTHY: Sonny Gray and Kendall Graveman were among the pitchers who faced hitters for the first time this season. Bruce Maxwell caught Gray, his first time behind the plate with Gray other than the one inning Gray threw in an abbreviated start at Anaheim toward the end of last season. Maxwell said Gray’s changeup in particular looked good.

Manager Bob Melvin has been very impressed early on with Graveman’s command. Graveman said he’s trying to improve his changeup, in an effort to induce weak contact from righties and get them on the their front foot, which could then make him more effective on the inside corner.

CAMP BATTLE: There could be a good fight for the seventh and final spot in the bullpen, and it would seem being left-handed could give someone an edge. Sean Doolittle is the only lefty currently projected among the A’s top six relievers. Melvin had good things to say about Daniel Coulombe, a lefty who made 35 appearances in relief last year and also saw a bit of time with Oakland in 2015. Coulombe posted a 4.53 ERA last season but struck out 54 in 47 2/3 innings.