Bochy: Posey to play more first base in 2012

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Bochy: Posey to play more first base in 2012

DALLAS-- Giants manager Bruce Bochy spoke with reporters at baseball's WinterMeetings and provided some clarity on how he plans to use Buster Posey in 2012.Posey, working his way back from season-ending leg and ankle injuries sustainedlast May, will play some first base next season to allow him to rest more whilekeeping his bat in the lineup, Bochy said.Busteris our primary catcher, but if this is a way to give him a break occasionallythen it will work out well for him and whoevers playing first.

Posey hit.284 with 4 home runs in 45 games last season after winning the Rookie of theYear in 2010 with a .305 average, 18 home runs and 67 RBIs."Wed like to get himout there as much as we can without wearing him down," Bochy said. "And if putting him atfirst base a few games allows us to play him more, then this is why weredeciding to give him more playing time at first base.More notes from Bochy's media session:- Second baseman Freddy Sanchez threw today for the first time since undergoingshoulder surgery on Aug. 2.- Closer Brian Wilson has been building strength and will start throwing onJan. 1.- Aubrey Huff is aware of the possibility that he will need to play more leftfield next season and has been working out everyday to get back to where he wasbefore his disappointing 2011 season.He knowsthat left field is a place where he could be getting a lot of playing time.This would help our situation, having the flexibility that we could have withBuster going to first, Aubrey playing left, and with Brandon Belt we can mix and match the waywed like to.
- Nate Schierholtz is the front-runner to take the starting right field job."Its his job to lose but hes got to come in and do what he knows what we think hell do and what he believes he can do and thats stay healthy and go out and play well.
- Bochy is comfortable with Brandon Crawford being his everyday shortstop andwould not comment on rumors that the Giants are interested in Japaneseshortstop Hiroyuki Nakajima, who he called a "good player."
Bochy on Crawford:
Were comfortable. I thought Brandon did a nice job there. I really liked the way he carried himself even through some tough games offensively. He didnt let it affect him and hes a very good defender. Thats the plan right now to have him at short.

Bochy on Nakajima:

"Good tools, very good defender, he can handle the bat. His strength is what he can do at shortstop ... hes a guy who can provide some offense too.

- Hector Sanchez, who hit .258 in a brief call-up last season, has impressed Bochy and is a candidate to back up Posey at catcher, though Bochy said he'd like Sanchez to play everyday.

"This kid is really opening up eyes this past year," Bochy said. "Hes made as much improvement for a young player that Ive seen in a long time. His skills behind the plate, handling pitchers, of course the bat. Hes down there having a great year in Venezuela and I think he leads the league in hitting. And hes a young kid. Hes really making a lot of noise. And for a catcher to swing the bat the way he does as a switch hitter, thats a rare commodity. I look forward to his progress and I look forward to seeing him in the spring.

- Brian Sabean said that Pablo Sandoval would be comfortable catching on days Posey isn't behind the plate if needed.

"On the days Buster needs a day off period and wouldn't be a first baseman or catcher, Pablo could catch Zito starts to get more offense in the lineup and he's open to that. Now whether that happens I don't know but it's been discussed."

- The Giants have reached out to Tim Lincecum's camp regarding a new contract but there have been no substantial developments.

Headed for 100 losses, Giants quietly give up on "Don't Stop Believin'" tradition

Headed for 100 losses, Giants quietly give up on "Don't Stop Believin'" tradition

SAN FRANCISCO — At some point over the last month, the Giants quietly stopped playing “Don’t Stop Believin’” in the late innings of games they trail. 

It’s unclear exactly when it started, or who made the decision. A number of team employees, surveyed over the past week, had noticed. But nobody knew the exact details. Perhaps the longtime staple of AT&T Park was shelved on July 9, when FanGraphs dropped the playoff odds to 0.00 percent for the first time in a lost season. Maybe it was during a bad loss before that or a bad loss after that. You can take your pick. This season has been filled with so many of them it’s hard to keep track. 

Friday’s stood out, in part because this was the kind of night where Journey briefly made sense. The Giants gave Jeff Samardzija a 4-0 lead in the first inning against a Padres team that spent the early innings kicking and throwing the ball all over the field and making mistakes on the bases. It was 5-1 after three innings. By the sixth, the Padres had tied it. By the seventh, they had the lead. By the eighth, it was a three-run lead. 

Before the bottom of the eighth, the in-stadium crew played Prince’s “Let’s Go Crazy” for a crowd of a few thousand. Last weekend, Huey Lewis was the fill-in for Journey. On Wednesday, a game the Giants actually came back to win, the scoreboard played a singalong game to “Happy Together” by The Turtles. 

On this night, the Giants actually would come back. Conor Gillaspie hit a two-run homer with two outs in the ninth, tying the game and sending it into extras. The Giants had trailed by three with one out remaining, but the momentum provided by Buster Posey, Brandon Crawford and Gillaspie was just a blip. The Padres scored three in the 11th off George Kontos, who has pitched five times over the last eight days and was supposed to get a night to rest. 

Kontos was the last to give up runs in a 12-9 loss, but hardly the only one. Samardzija took blame after failing to get through five with a big early cushion. That put pressure on the tired bullpen, and the relievers blew it over and over again. The Padres scored runs in six consecutive innings at one point and had 20 hits. 

“We couldn’t stop them,” Bruce Bochy said, shaking his head. 

Nothing can apparently stop this skid. The Giants are 37-61 and six games behind the Padres. They are much closer to the No. 1 draft pick than they are to fourth place in their division. 

“Don’t Stop Believin’” survived the 2013 season. It survived 2015 and the second half of last year. Nothing can survive this season.

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways as Giants lose marathon in extras to Padres

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways as Giants lose marathon in extras to Padres

BOX SCORE

SAN FRANCISCO — A few hundred, maybe a few thousand, stayed to watch the Giants late Friday night. The Giants did not make it worth the effort. 

Conor Gillaspie’s two-out homer in the ninth sent the game to extras, but the Giants lost 12-9 in a game that lasted nearly five hours. The Giants had trailed by three with two outs and nobody on in the ninth. They tied it. Instead of carrying that momentum over, they suffered yet another demoralizing loss. 

They have dropped both games of this series and they trail the Padres -- who had 20 hits -- by six games in the race for fourth place. Those are facts. Here are five more, mostly from earlier, when a young man harbored dreams of leaving a ballpark before 1 a.m. … 

—- Hector Sanchez took Jeff Samardzija deep to lead off the fourth, and at this point it’s flat-out hilarious. Sanchez has seven homers this season and three have come against his former team. He hit two homers at AT&T Park in 296 plate appearances as a Giant, and the fourth-inning blast gave him three in 11 plate appearances as a Padre. He also doubled in a run and singled. It’s an all-time revenge tour. Just go along for the ride. 

—- There were a ton of scouts on hand to watch two starting pitchers who could move in the next 10 days, and they left disappointed. Trevor Cahill gave up six earned on seven hits and four walks and lasted just 3 2/3 innings. Jeff Samardzija gave up eight hits and five earned in 4 1/3 innings. 

—- I dunno man, it’s really hard getting to five of these every night. Sam Dyson was good again. 

—- Gillaspie's pinch-hit homer was the sixth of his career. He's a hero around these parts, but perhaps Bobby Evans should see if a team out there was watching Friday and remembers his October run. Gillaspie could help a contender. 

—- When MLB inevitably introduces a pitch clock and pitchers start complaining, this will be the game I tell them to sit down and try to watch start to finish.