EXTRA BAGGS: Cain or Dickey to start for NL All-Stars?


EXTRA BAGGS: Cain or Dickey to start for NL All-Stars?

BOX SCOREWASHINGTON Buster Posey hasnt received any guidance orhints from major league officials on whether he should be ready to catch NewYork Mets knuckleballer R.A. Dickey in the All-Star game.

NL manager Tony LaRussa seemed to drop hints on a conferencecall that hell wait to use Dickey until catcher Yadier Molina, whose defensehe knows and trusts, replaces Posey behind the plate.

Dickey is considered a top possibility to start, along withthe Giants Matt Cain. Dickey probably didnt aid his cause by allowing fiveruns on 11 hits in seven innings while getting a no-decision in the Metsvictory over the Phillies on Thursday.

Cain was doing more to aid his cause when he led 5-1 in theseventh at Washington. But he gave up a pair of home runs and his 10thvictory disappeared when Jeremy Affeldt and Santiago Casilla combined to losethe lead in the Giants 6-5 loss.

Posey said he isnt worried about whom hell catch. He wasglad to hear that Dickey plans to bring a special, extra-large sized catchersmitt to Kansas City for the All-Star Game. He also has the phone number forJosh Thole, the Mets catcher. He said former teammate Andres Torres passed italong to him.

But right now Im focused on what we need to do, Poseytold me. After Sunday, maybe Ill give him a call.

The Giants have a few amateur knuckleballers hanging around.Bruce Bochy throws a pretty good one. So does bullpen catcher Bill Hayes. AndBochy can offer advice gleaned from his experience working with Phil Niekroduring his playing days in Houston.

I wont lie, Bochy said. Sometimes the game becomes nofun. You almost become a goalie back there, and it gets a little embarrassing.

In case it isnt abundantly clear, Posey has never caught aknuckler before.

Aubrey Huff took batting practice and fielded ground ballsat first base but didnt start for Single-A San Jose Thursday night.

Huffs knee was sore following Wednesdays game, the firstof his minor league rehab assignment. Observers said he looked gimpy whiletrying to score from second base on a single.

Huff is remaining with the club and its hoped he will beable to play on Friday, San Jose announcer Joe Ritzo reported on his Twitteraccount.

Bochy took advantage of Wednesdays 11:05 a.m. game to pulla July 4 doubleheader. He drove nearly two hours to see the night game atDouble-A Richmond.

His son, Brett, didnt pitch. Hed gone in two of theprevious three games, and the Flying Squirrels didnt have a save situation. SoBochy wasnt going to demand a special command appearance. But he liked what hesaw.

They played well, Bochy said. (Tommy) Joseph crushed one,(Gary) Brown had a great night and (Ehire) Adrianza had some kind of gamedefensively, and he hit a double and a homer.

So I got to see one Giants win yesterday.

Good thing Bochy wasnt able to go to Thursday nights game.Their former top prospect, Zack Wheeler, dominated his former buddies in 7 13innings in Binghamtons 5-1 victory.

Bochy is being consistent while taking Pablo Sandoval out forlate inning defense. As I understand it, Sandoval will be allowed to play tothe end once he hits a certain weight on the scale.

The late-inning moves paid off several times, including inMatt Cains perfect game. But newly entered shortstop Brandon Crawford bounceda potential double-play throw on the games final play.

What was Ryan Zimmermans view of the play, when AdamLaRoche rolled a ground ball to second base with the bases loaded? WouldLaRoche be fast enough to beat it out?

Zimmermans thoughts at the time:

Hopefully Adams fast enough Actually I know hes notfast enough, Zimmerman said. Hopefully they mess it up.

And with that, on to Pittsburgh

Familiar faces trying to find success, health with Giants' Triple-A affiliate


Familiar faces trying to find success, health with Giants' Triple-A affiliate

SACRAMENTO -- A young man named Clayton Blackburn walked into the home clubhouse at Raley Field on Tuesday decked out in Round Rock gear. 

"You're here for my start?" he said, smiling.

Sorry, Clayton, I was on Panda Watch for two days. But it was fun watching Blackburn, DFA’d in a weird move earlier this year, face former teammates. Blackburn hasn't had a great season with Texas, but he is still just 24 and he has gotten into terrific shape. Given what happened during his call-up last year, you should root for him to get a second chance. 

Blackburn gave up three runs over six innings against his former team. The River Cats won on Jarrett Parker’s walk-off homer to dead center with two outs in the ninth. Parker was one of many familiar faces in the lineup Tuesday. Here are some thoughts on guys you know, and guys you will: 

--- Trevor Brown is the backup catcher in Sacramento, which is certainly a fall from his run as Buster Posey's backup. Brown is batting .168 in what has been a very frustrating season for him. The groin injury that slowed him early lingered, he had a concussion, and he hasn't been able to find any BABIP luck. This year seems a lost one for a guy who was a big part of 2016. I’m still intrigued by his versatility.

--- Chris Shaw is the latest podcast guest. You can stream it here. We talked about his power, his move to left, thinking he was a Ray, and more. I didn't see many at-bats, but I saw enough in left field to be confident he'll be fine out there. 

--- Parker started in center field and made a nice running catch at the wall. He wouldn't hold up as a big league center fielder, but perhaps the Giants should throw him out there a few times down the stretch to see if he can be a backup option next season. Parker said he finally found his swing over the past few games. His rehab assignment ends in about a week, and he’s expected back in San Francisco. 

--- Reyes Moronta, who spent a day in the majors in May, was promoted to Triple-A. In his first inning, Drew Stubbs took him deep. I found that quirky. It's been a long season with far too many transactions. 

--- If Steven Duggar would stay healthy, he would probably make it up to SF in September. Unfortunately, his hamstring was tight again this week, keeping him out of San Jose’s lineup for a few days. Speaking of health: Tyler Beede’s groin injury will keep him out longer than just the standard DL time … Melvin Upton Jr. is still in Sacramento rehabbing a shoulder injury, but he’s not throwing yet so it’s hard to picture him making any noise before September call-up time …Christian Arroyo is in Arizona rehabbing from hand surgery. 

--- Derek Law was smiling because Derek Law is always smiling. He has a 4.32 ERA but said he feels much better than those results. “My slider is back,” Law said. He should be, too, when the Giants expand their roster. There are some other interesting relievers in Sacramento. A first baseman told me opposing hitters grumble about facing D.J. Snelten (1.84 ERA) and Tyler Rogers has a 1.94 ERA as a dirt-scraping right-hander. 

--- A teammate predicted Carlos Moncrief would hit .270 in the big leagues if called up, and he ended up getting that call Wednesday morning. Moncrief is a fun clubhouse addition. He gave Sandoval some good-natured heckling for talking to reporters after going 1 for 4. 

--- The Giants have had a lot of veterans visit San Jose this season. They all bought the postgame spread, but word around the block is that Madison Bumgarner provided the best meal. He had steak and lobster delivered to San Jose Muni. 

Eduardo Nunez 'forever grateful' for his time spent with the Giants

Eduardo Nunez 'forever grateful' for his time spent with the Giants

SAN FRANCISCO — Eduardo Nuñez left San Francisco in a strange way. The third baseman was traded in the middle of Tuesday night’s game and mostly said his goodbyes in a stairwell behind the home dugout at AT&T Park. Before joining the Red Sox, Nuñez took to his social media pages to send a message to the Giants and their fans. 

On Twitter, Nuñez thanked the organization for “the great opportunity and experiences learned” and wished the team the best of luck. His Instagram message was a bit longer. 

“I will be forever grateful to have had the opportunity to be a part of this amazing team,” Nuñez wrote. “I value the experiences learned during my time here and I will miss my teammates, the fans, and the beautiful city of San Francisco very much. Best wishes to the Giants organization during the rest of this season. God Bless.”

Nuñez is expected to join the Red Sox on Friday. Boston’s manager, John Farrell, told reporters that his new infielder will get “a high number of at-bats” despite the presence of top prospect Rafael Devers. 

"This is someone who's swinging the bat very well right now,” Farrell said, according to "A high energy player that can run the bases well. He’s got really good line drive power so his .300-plus batting average to mix into this lineup is a good addition."