Amy G's Giants Xclusive: Romo's Relief

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Amy G's Giants Xclusive: Romo's Relief

Amy: All right, we are back after the All-Star Break. Sergio Romo nice enough to join us on the first day back to work. It is Friday the 13th. You were just running your sprints, and you were super speedy out there. Is it- Is it a little hard to get back into the full-on workout mode after having a couple days of rest?

Sergio: Hey, baby. Manny B., everybody.

A: That was Emmanuel.

S: No, uh, actually no, it's really not that hard. I mean yeah, we need to take a break. It's more of a mental break, you know? Yeah you let your body rest but once your mind settles down your body's able to relax as well so...

A: But it explains why he's breathing a little hard.

S: I'm breathing a little hard, yeah.

A: Just got done.

S: Just got done running, it's cold out. Windy out. Kind of hard running directly into the wind, but uh, it is what it is. You know, it's part- it's part- it's part of what we do, you know? We've gotta make sure we're ready and it's not easy, you know? You've gotta put in that work.

A: Yeah, you did. I watched and I'm your witness. You were running very fast. Now, let us know how your break was. You tweeted some really cool photos. It looked like you actually were able to take a mental break.

S: Yeah. I didn't toss anything, didn't pick up a rock, baseball, football, anything. Arm's rested. It's just one of those things where I got to hang out with my family, you know? Had my sons with me and that was pretty much the main part. My lady was with, you know, friends- Pagan was with as well. Bam Bam showed up one day, you know, so like it was just a cool ride.

A: Nice! Were you here in the city?

S: No we were in, uh- We went to Lake Tahoe.

A: Oh very nice.

S: First time I was out there myself. Me and Rilen, my six-year-old, we did a lot a lot of things that we never really got a chance to do before, you know. We did some paddle boarding, some jet-skiing. I got some video of us parasailing, and he was- I mean he was....

A: Loving every minute of it with Dad.

S: It was an amazing ride, and he's like "Dad we gotta do it again." You know like, "Dad let's do it again." And I'm like "All right, cool," so like...It was really sweet to see how outgoing and really adventurous my son really is. It was a good time.

A: And who knew what a fisherman you were?

S: Haha, caught me some fish. I caught a couple fish and went out.

A: That's pretty impressive.

S: I think it was a Mackinaw, Mackinese, something- some kind of trout. Mac-something trout. Caught an eight-pounder, which is probably the highlight of the trip when it comes to the fishing part. Caught an eight-pounder. Caught a couple fish and I was holding them, put it up on Twitter, but uh...Just the fact that I was out on a boat. I think we were uh...We were fishing I think right around 2,200 feet, which is the deep part of the lake I think. I may be wrong of course, but we went there. It was fun. We were out at the crack of dawn and worked.

A: Had a good time. All right, you put out some nice tweets to your teammates that were playing in the All-Star Game. Of course Melky the MVP. I know that he's real special to you, so what did it mean to see your buddy, your compadre, earn that honor?

S: Oh the Melkman. That guy, just to see him smile, the personality he has, and he- He's got one of those infectious personalities, infectious smiles. When he's out and going, it's kind of like when he goes we all go. He's got some other guys on our team that shine in the same way, but I think Pagan, he - Not Pagan, I'm sorry, Melky - I was about to name him right now as one of those guys.

A: He is, yeah.

S: Yeah, him and Blanco as well, you know, but Melky, I think it's just his time, you know? It's his time to shine. I've said this a couple times already but he makes you look back and maybe how overshadowed he really was before. You know, playing with, you know, the caliber of guys he played with in New York and Atlanta and then last year an opportunity to shine a little bit in KC. I mean, look at what he's doing. He's just smiling, having a good time so congrats, Melky. I mean, we'll earn - We're watching it. We're watching it live and it's really fun.

A: It's cool. He reminds us all of what it's about. Yeah.

S: We're like little kids. I go out there and I do the same thing and I feel like I play just like a smile, you know? It is what it is, you know, but I think he does bring us back to, to what it's really worth and what it really means to us to play this game. Why we all started to play this game.

Giants spring training Day 6: Bochy looks for improvement on bases

Giants spring training Day 6: Bochy looks for improvement on bases

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — The Giants always put together a long list of potential minor league free agents as the offseason approaches and they tend to go hard after two or three players from that group. One of the guys who got the hard sell over the winter was speedy outfielder Wynton Bernard, and the Giants were attractive for reasons beyond the departures of Angel Pagan and Gregor Blanco.

“I thought it was a good opportunity, and it also was a good fit for me because I’m from California,” Bernard said. 

Bernard is technically from Padres territory, but that gives him a connection to one of the men he’s hoping to impress. When Bernard was playing for Rancho Bernardo High, he often went up against a Poway High team that included a young Brett Bochy. Bruce never saw Bernard play because his job kept him away from most of Brett’s games, but he should see plenty of the 26-year-old this spring as the Giants look for a needed speed dimension. 

A big part of the staff overhaul was about making sure the Giants fare better on the bases. Roberto Kelly and Billy Hayes are out and Phil Nevin and Jose Alguacil are in. The Giants stole 79 bases last season, ranking eighth in the National League, and it’s not like they made up for the lack of small-ball by hitting the ball out of the park. Advanced metrics — tracked externally and also by the Giants — showed an inability to make an impact on the bases. According to BsR, an all-encompassing metric tracked by FanGraphs, the Giants were below average, ranking 17th in the majors. 

“We just want to be smarter baserunners,” Bochy said. “You always want to be aggressive. Everyone has the same philosophy — run hard — but it’s the old adage ‘strong to compete, smart to win.’”

A full season of Eduardo Nuñez will help, as would 162 games of Hunter Pence — who tends to make things happen on his own — and Joe Panik, one of the team’s smartest runners. Jimmy Rollins could provide speed off the bench, and Bernard hopes to make himself a viable option in the outfield. He stole 23 bags in 28 attempts last season for the Tigers’ Double-A and Triple-A teams and he stole 88 total bases the two seasons before 2016. 

The Giants know the kind of potential Bernard has, so early in the offseason he got a call telling him to hook up with fellow San Diego resident Vince Coleman, a legendary baserunner who would be joining the staff. The two worked out often in advance of spring training. 

“The Giants said he was in the area and I called him 20 minutes later,” Bernard said. “I feel like I can add a different dynamic with my speed.”

Bernard can play all three outfield spots and he sports a .360 on-base percentage in the minors. He’s likely ticketed for Triple-A for now, but a player with the same profile showed up in camp in 2012, and it wasn’t long before Gregor Blanco had locked up a roster spot. 

Whether Bernard is part of the mix, or it’s a Gorkys Hernandez or Nuñez or Kelby Tomlinson, Bochy knows he needs a little more athleticism and baserunning savvy in a division where the games are often won by one run. 

“We probably made more mistakes than we should have last year,” he said. “The numbers show it.”

CUETO UPDATE: The co-ace remains in the Dominican Republic, where he is tending to his father. The Giants don’t have a timetable for Cueto’s arrival, but he didn’t miss anything Saturday. The workout was banged because of rain. 

Cueto is at a hotel a few minutes from the club’s Santo Domingo facility and he has been working out there. The hope is that Cueto’s father soon gets well enough to travel to Arizona, where Cueto can continue to take care of him. 

NEW FACE: Slade Heathcott, a former Yankee, signed a minor league deal with the Giants on Friday. He will be in minor league camp this spring, not big league camp. The Giants liked his athleticism. 

QUOTABLE: “You can always look back, study it, learn from it … the second half, I think for everybody, you learn from it. Did we drop our guard? Hopefully it wasn’t complacency, which lets you think you have a bigger margin for error. Hopefully you learn from it.” — Bochy, when asked about the lesson learned last season. 

Report: Giants sign former Yankees top OF prospect Slade Heathcott

Report: Giants sign former Yankees top OF prospect Slade Heathcott

The Giants reportedly added to their outfield competition by signing former Yankees top prospect and 2009 first-round draft pick, outfielder Slade Heathcott. 

Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports was first to report the news

Heathcott, 26, has only appeared in 17 MLB games, all in the 2015 season for the Yankees. In his short promotion, the lefty batted .400 (10-for-25) with two home runs and two doubles. 

Through multiple stints in the minors, Heathcott has slashed .266/.343/.390 with 26 home runs for his career. 

San Francisco reportedly signed Heathcott to a minor league deal with a big league invite for spring training.