Giants

After missing out on WBC, Cueto dominates White Sox

After missing out on WBC, Cueto dominates White Sox

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Johnny Cueto spent the offseason preparing to join the Dominican Republic’s team for the World Baseball Classic, and when his father’s illness kept him out of the early rounds, he spent his first two weeks in Giants camp getting ready to pitch a semifinal game. 

Team USA made sure Cueto wouldn’t get that shot with a knockout win on Saturday, but just in case there was any doubt, Cueto showed Monday that he was physically ready to represent his country. Instead of facing Japan at Dodger Stadium, he dominated the White Sox at Camelback Ranch. Cueto gave up just one hit and one run over five innings, striking out three. 

"What a great job he did mixing it up," manager Bruce Bochy said. "He's on schedule. He came in late, but he's right on schedule."

Cueto bunny-hopped off the mound when his day was done, and he smiled and high-fived fans down the left-field line as he headed to the clubhouse. He said he “feels really good.”

“The plan now is just to continue working the same way I’ve been doing, working on my sinker, my cutter, slider, everything,” he said through interpreter Erwin Higueros. “I’m getting close. As I pitch more and more, I think I’m getting ready.”

Cueto went 18-5 in his first year in San Francisco and posted a 2.79 ERA. While that’s a lofty standard, it wouldn’t be crazy for the Giants to expect even more. Last spring, Cueto slow-played his workouts because he was coming off a World Series run with the Royals. Before his second year in San Francisco, he ramped things up, getting in shape earlier because of the possibility of the WBC. 

“That was the plan,” he said. “I wanted to get ready for the Classic. That’s over, but now I can continue working.”

The work Monday was easy. Cueto retired the first nine hitters he faced before a Peter Bourjos leadoff triple in the fourth. Even that play showed Cueto is in the right frame of mind, as he alertly backed up third and kept a Gordon Beckham relay throw from sailing into the stands. 

While Cueto has pitched just 10 2/3 innings this spring, Bochy believes he’ll be ready to rock for the second game of the season. Monday’s outing backed that up, but it also left onlookers wondering what could have been. How would Cueto have fared against Japan?

“You can never tell, right?” he said. “But I do know I was going to go crazy out there and play with them and pitch the way I’m going to pitch.”

Christian Arroyo won't play again for Giants in 2017

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AP

Christian Arroyo won't play again for Giants in 2017

Christian Arroyo is not going to take the field again this season.

"He won't be back," Giants GM Bobby Evans announced on KNBR 680. "He's gonna hopefully get some winter ball opportunity, but he will not be healthy enough to come back this season during the regular season."

The Giants selected Arroyo with the 25th overall pick in the 2013 draft.

He made his big-league debut on April 24.

Over his first 13 games with the Orange and Black, he hit .255 with three home runs and six RBI.

But over his next 21 games (19 starts), he hit .149 with no home runs, eight RBI and 19 strikeouts.

On June 4, he was optioned to Triple-A Sacramento.

Then, on July 1 -- in his first minor-league game in a couple weeks -- he sustained a broken left hand when he was hit by a pitch.

Arroyo underwent surgery on July 10.

Giancarlo Stanton: Barry Bonds' 73 not the home run record

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AP

Giancarlo Stanton: Barry Bonds' 73 not the home run record

In 1961, Roger Maris hit a record 61 home runs.

In 1998, Mark McGwire broke the record when he hit 70.

In 2001, Barry Bonds crushed 73.

So who is the single-season home run king?

"It doesn’t matter,’’ Giancarlo Stanton told Dave Hyde of the Sun Sentinel. “The record is the record. But, personally, I do (think 61 is the record)."

Whoa.

With 43 games remaining, Stanton has hit 44 home runs. He's on pace to hit 60.

Does Stanton really believe 61 is the legitimate number?

As Hyde writes:

After saying he considered Maris’ record the real one, after saying 61 home runs always was the number he knew as a kid, he thought about it for a while in the Marlins’ clubhouse following their 8-1 win against San Francisco.

He wanted to clarify his thoughts some more. So he did something he rarely does. He walked back over to the group of reporters who left him 10 minutes earlier and took another stab at the question.

He admitted he’s “at a crossroads” in an internal debate over what to think about all this. If PED users like Bonds, McGwire and Sosa need an asterisk by their name, he said, so does Babe Ruth since he only faced white pitchers.

Bonds was Stanton's hitting coach in 2016...