Bochy to be patient with Pagan, Cabrera

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Bochy to be patient with Pagan, Cabrera

Programming Alert: Tune into the CLBlitz on CSN Bay Area tonight as our panel discusses the Giants - Mets trade and more! Leave your comment below to chime in on the Blitz.DALLAS -- General manager Brian Sabean is in charge of acquiring the pieces, and it will be Bruce Bochy's job to figure out how they will all fit together. But don't expect a finished puzzle anytime soon, the Giants' skipper will likely wait until spring training to get a clearer picture.

"Going into spring training, really I think I'll start putting guys where I think they'll end up. Keep my options open, get some flexibility and versatility with these guys," Bochy said Wednesday from the MLB Winter Meetings.

More than likely, it will be a fluid situation. Bochy said he plans to have newly acquired outfielders Angel Pagan and Melky Cabrera share time in the leadoff spot while utilizing each player's versatility in the outfield.

"Aubrey Huff will be playing some left in spring training, some first, I'll be moving Pagan around and Cabrera. I think when we get to the last two weeks of spring training we'll know where these guys are gonna be," Bochy said.

"We're excited about getting Angel Pagan. He's a very exciting type player. Great speed, way above average runner, he can play center right and left he's at the top of order, get faster, and helps us do that with the speed he's gonna bring," Bochy said. "He'll hit, a switch hitter, hit the ball out at times. Looking for him to get on base and wreak some havoc. I'm looking forward to him playing for us."

As for filling the shoes of Ramon Ramirez in the bullpen, there's a good chance Guillermo Mota will be once again wearing a Giants uniform.

"We're talking about that now. We have some options. We're talking to Mota right now, see if that works out. We have Dan Runzler and some other options," Bochy said. Sergio Romo and Santiago Casilla are two can pitch the 7th and 8th. We think we can get a guy to fill Ramirez's role. He did a good job, he's a great pitcher and you hate losing a guy like that but we got the type of player I think we needed."

As for saying farewell to Andres Torres, goodbyes are never easy.

"I talked to Andres and he got emotional," Bochy said. "It didn't surprise me, we've all seen him and he's pretty appreciative for his time here and I'm thankful for his time here. We won a World Series and he went to Taiwan with me. So it's hard to say goodbye to someone who's contributed to us winning. He's excited about his chance in New York and his playing time. With us he's looking at more of a backup role so this is good thing for him too."

Of course, stay tuned, as the Giants still could make another deal before the Winter Meetings wrap up on Thursday.

"We're still in the war room talking about what else we can do to improve the club and the bench," Bochy said. "These are the things we're talking about, if Sabes thinks it makes sense for us and works within our budget then he'll do it.

"We haven't stopped, we'll be here through tomorrow, so it's an ongoing process."

Also of note: It sounds like the Giants will indeed be wearing those throwback road unis this season, most likely on Sunday road games.

Giants spring training Day 44: Marrero caps huge spring with eighth homer

Giants spring training Day 44: Marrero caps huge spring with eighth homer

MESA, Ariz. — The Giants went 0-62 last season when trailing after eight innings. Chris Marrero wasn’t around for any of that, but it’s a stat that could help Marrero as he tries to lock up a bench spot. 

The first baseman/left fielder crushed a three-run shot in the ninth inning Tuesday, wiping out a two-run deficit against the Cubs. Marrero also has two walk-off homers this spring. 

“This kid, you see it when he goes up there. He’s got great focus,” manager Bruce Bochy said. “It’s intensity and determination. From day one, you could see it in his at-bats. Late in the game, he seems very comfortable. He wants to go up there.”

Tuesday’s homer, which shot out to right-center, was the eighth of the spring for Marrero. That ties him with a guy named Bryce Harper for the MLB lead, and the vast majority of Marrero’s bombs were no-doubters. 

“It’s been a great spring for him,” Bochy said. “The last game here, it seems fitting that he would do something like that. He’s already done it a couple of times. This kid has done all he can. I love his swing and the work that he’s put in.”

With Michael Morse down, Marrero is the best remaining option as a power right-handed bat off the bench, a glaring need a year ago. Justin Ruggiano, another one in the mix, followed Marrero’s shot with one of his own. The homer was Ruggiano’s second of the spring. 

Ruggiano is a better fit defensively in the outfield, but Marrero has been solid at first and Bochy said he’s fine with what he’s seen in left field. “He’s still working on it,” Bochy said, noting that Marrero will play left field during the Bay Bridge Series. 

LEADING OFF: Denard Span saw a wild pitch bounce off the bricks behind home plate, and he never slowed down. Span sped around third in the second inning and slid in ahead of the throw. The notable part of the play wasn’t that a quirky bounce allowed Span to take 180 feet on a wild pitch. It was that his legs did. The 33-year-old has been a different guy in his second spring with the Giants. Last year, Span was coming off hip surgery. This spring, his old game has returned.

“I’ve just been able to do the things I’ve always been able to do,” Span said. “I have more control of my body. I’m stronger. I had a full offseason and a full spring training to get my legs up under me. The last couple of weeks, I’ve felt much better and more confident.”

A healthy and spry Span would be a big boost to a lineup that often looked flat in the second half last season Span showed off every aspect of his game Tuesday. He blasted a leadoff homer on Jake Arrieta’s second pitch, and during their second matchup, he put a perfect bunt down the third base line for a single. Span stole second easily before his race home. 

“He’s playing terrific baseball and he’s been a real inspiration, being our leadoff hitter,” Bochy said. “That’s what we needed — energy at the top of the order.”

TRAINER’S ROOM: Eduardo Nuñez (shoulder) is feeling much better, and Bochy said he’ll play third base during the games at AT&T Park before getting four or five innings at shortstop on Saturday. Joe Panik (drilled in the back on Monday) said he’s feeling fine. 

POSITION BATTLES: Here’s the latest on Matt Cain, and here’s an update on Aaron Hill and Jimmy Rollins. 

ICYMI: Big news today from NBC Bay Area. Matt Williams, Javier Lopez and Cody Ross have joined out pre- and post-game shows. You can find stories about those guys on our homepage here. Those shows will also now be an hour long on both ends of the game, adding an extra hour of Giants coverage to your day. Which is good. 

That’s all on the way during the regular season. If you missed any of our spring coverage, you can find a bunch of features here, and podcasts here (spring pods included Mike Morse, Matt Cain, Mac Williamson, Jimmy Rollins and others, with one more coming this week). And in case you’re new to our coverage, the Twitter account is here and the Facebook page is here. Next stop, San Francisco … 

 

Giants appear to have decided between Hill or Rollins for roster spot

Giants appear to have decided between Hill or Rollins for roster spot

MESA, Ariz. -- Aaron Hill didn't play in the final Cactus League game, but he didn't need to. By simply being on the flight to San Francisco on Tuesday, Hill got good news. 

The veteran infielder was due a $100,000 bonus on Tuesday, and while the Giants haven't formally announced their roster, you don't pay a man that much money to come play three exhibition games against the A's. Hill appears to have made this club as a second backup infielder, along with Conor Gillaspie. Another veteran, Jimmy Rollins, got the news that the Giants are headed in a different direction. 

Team officials spoke with Rollins this week about their future plans. He was not on the travel roster Tuesday and did not attend the game against the Cubs. 

"We're waiting to hear back from him," manager Bruce Bochy said. "He knows the scenario and the situation. We're waiting to hear back."

Rollins, 38, showed the Giants that he can still handle shortstop defensively, and he was a quick learner when he moved to second. But he hit just .119, falling behind Hill, Kelby Tomlinson and others in the mix for bench spots. It would seem unlikely that Rollins would want to get additional at-bats in Triple-A, but that feeling hadn't been fully conveyed to team officials Tuesday. There was a hope that Rollins, an East Bay native, might join the team for the Bay Bridge Series, which finishes Saturday in Oakland. Rollins grew up an A's fan.

Rollins and Hill were part of a crowded infield group at the start of camp. Gordon Beckham also had a retention bonus and he asked to be released when he was told he wouldn't make the opening day roster. David Hernandez, the third player due a bonus, also was released. He promptly signed with the Atlanta Braves.