Bochy explains Fontenot trim, drops roster hints

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Bochy explains Fontenot trim, drops roster hints

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. Bruce Bochy stopped short of namingEmmanuel Burriss his opening-day second baseman. But the Giants manager madeit clear that Burrisss terrific spring contributed to the difficult decisionto place infielder Mike Fontenot on release waivers.

Theyre always tough, and Mike in particular, Bochy said. Hesvery popular. I talked to him, thanked him for all he did to help us. With howthe numbers were falling, we just couldnt find a spot.
RELATED: Giants place Fontenot on waivers

The Giants saved three-quarters of Fontenots 1.05 millionsalary by cutting him before Fridays deadline. They have not made such moveswith two others with partially guaranteed deals, infielder Ryan Theriot and right-handerClay Hensley, who both are on the travel squad to play the San Diego Padres inPeoria, Ariz.

In other words, Theriot and Hensley are on the team.

Bochy said he and the staff have discussed the need forcarrying more than one backup middle infielder, perhaps a clue that JoaquinArias will make the club. But the Giants also continue to consider Brett Pill,who went to minor league camp to play third base for the second time in threedays.

Asked what factors made Fontenot expendable even with secondbaseman Freddy Sanchezs health an unknown, Bochy touched on Burrisssemergence.

You look at everything: the spring, the previous year,Bochy said. A guy like Manny is coming off a very nice year and hes out of(minor league) options. You look at all these things -- the right- or left-handedbat and the need the club has. It all came into play.

In other news, Buster Posey is scheduled to catch all nineinnings for the first time this spring. With the knowledge that it's March 30, I still find it hard to believe theGiants will carry just Eli Whiteside or Chris Stewart on the roster and leave catcherHector Sanchezs hot bat in Fresno. Do you really want Posey to catch all nineinnings of a regular-season game when its 8-0 in the fifth?

Also, Brian Wilson threw his inning in minor league camp his first time going back-to-back and Bochy received a positive report. Wechecked off that box. Hes ready, Bochy said.

Heres the lineup for Peoria. Note Brandon Belt at firstbase and Aubrey Huff in left field. The Giants wouldnt go with thisconfiguration this late in the spring if they werent considering it or alreadydecided on it.

CF Pagan
RF Cabrera
3B Sandoval
C Posey
LF Huff
1B Belt
2B Theriot
SS Crawford
P Zito

Crawford returns to Giants after WBC lives up to high expectations

Crawford returns to Giants after WBC lives up to high expectations

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Stuck in a strikeout-filled slump late in the World Baseball Classic, Nolan Arenado grabbed one of Brandon Crawford’s bats before a seventh-inning at-bat. Arenado, the Colorado Rockies superstar, singled the next two times up. 

“I told him, ‘You can keep it, you just can’t use it against us,’” Crawford said Friday upon returning to camp. 

Arenado won’t need it against a team he seemingly hits .750 against. Crawford doesn’t need a lucky charm, either. He went 10-for-26 during the tournament, driving in six runs, including two on a big single in the championship game. Crawford was starting to lock in before he left camp the first week of March, and he said an early WBC game against White Sox lefty Jose Quintana helped him find his groove. 

While Buster Posey found himself pleasantly surprised by the experience, Crawford went into the WBC with high expectations. They were met, and not just because he came home with a medal. Crawford enjoyed his time alongside Arenado, and he noted that it was fun to watch guys like Marcus Stroman from his position at short. He found that Jonathan Lucroy and Danny Duffy were different personalities than he expected, and Christian Yelich opened eyes with his work at the plate over eight games. He was thrilled to be at shortstop when Adam Jones made a stunning over-the-wall catch at Petco Park.

“That was one of the best catches I’ve seen -- no offense, Gregor Blanco,” he said. “That was definitely up there with it. The timing and the crowd being there with him. Blanco’s catch was pretty good, too. (Jones’ catch) was one of the top two outfield plays I’ve seen, I guess.”

Crawford had his whole family with him throughout the tournament, from Florida to San Diego to Dodger Stadium. He had previously represented the United States as an amateur, but his team was heavily favored in that tournament. Against teams like the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and Japan, Team USA often felt like the underdog. 

In the end, Crawford, Posey and Mark Melancon found themselves celebrating a title that they hope will be the first of two this season. Crawford said that as much as he enjoyed the experience, it doesn’t quite compare to getting to a World Series. 

“It’s a lot different,” he said. “They’re as big of games as you can get in March, but it is still March. This lasted three weeks. The World Series, you win after ups and downs with these guys for seven months. With the grind of a long season, it’s satisfying to win.”

On one of the team’s flights, Lucroy told Crawford that the WBC was basically an All-Star Game combined with a playoff series. He found that to be an appropriate comparison, and as he has in postseasons, Crawford found a way to keep it light. When he walked into the trainer’s room on Friday, Crawford saw Melancon, who pitched just two-thirds of an inning after joining Crawford and Posey.

“I asked him if he’s tired,” Crawford said. 

Giants release right-hander David Hernandez

Giants release right-hander David Hernandez

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- There were three veterans in big league camp with $100,000 retention bonuses due on March 28. Two of them have now been released. 

Right-hander David Hernandez was granted his release a day after the same situation played out with infielder Gordon Beckham. Like Beckham, Hernandez was told he would not make the opening day roster. He requested an early release so he could pursue opportunities elsewhere. Infielder Aaron Hill is the third player with a retention bonus, and he is a near-lock to make the team at this point. 

Hernandez, 31, was in camp in hopes of breaking into the bullpen mix. He allowed six runs in six appearances, all coming in back-to-back outings. The Giants are just about set from the right side, and Neil Ramirez appears to be the favorite to break through if a newcomer makes the bullpen. 

If Hernandez does not find a big league job elsewhere, he could return to the organization. He lives in the Sacramento area, where the Giants have their Triple-A squad.