EXTRA BAGGS: Pence, Aramis not likely for Giants


EXTRA BAGGS: Pence, Aramis not likely for Giants

SAN FRANCISCO Giants GM Brian Sabean left no doubt whyMarco Scutaro was an important piece to add to the roster.

Its his versatility and experience, Sabean said Fridaynight. This is not to disparage players on our team, but you look at theDodgers bench and you look at our bench.

It wasnt a bench player who beat the Giants with a two-runhome run in the Dodgers 5-3, 10-inning victory Friday night. It was former NLbatting champ Hanley Ramirez, acquired from the Miami Marlins when the Dodgersagreed to take on the 30 million still owed to him.

But Sabean tempered expectations that the Giants would makea countermove.

Its not a real good year for us to match up on a biggerpiece, Sabean said. We found that out early, given the number of clubsinvolved, how our roster is situated, and how were constituted payroll-wise,too.

Yes, the payroll: It stands at roughly 130 million, andSabean said on KNBR earlier in the week that he is not getting feedback fromownership that hell get a line of credit to answer the Dodgers by absorbingsalary to take on a big-time hitter.

(The Rockies even kicked in a portion of the 2.2 millionowed to Scutaro in order to get a better player in Triple-A infielder CharlieCulberson.)

That means Aramis Ramirez and his backloaded contract-- 10 million next year, 16 million in 2014 -- probably wont leave Milwaukee for San Francisco. Ive also been told that anyconversations between the Giants and Phillies over outfielder Hunter Pence have not been initiated by Sabeans cabinet.

Yet the Giants will have new faces on the roster soon. Therecould be multiple moves on Saturday as Scutaro joins the roster. PabloSandoval, who wasnt available Friday night, still could go on the disabledlist with a strained left hamstring.

I wasnt going to use him tonight, Giants manager BruceBochy said. Hes making progress and well talk tomorrow. We may have anothermove tomorrow. We do have to make a call. We have to do whats right forPablo.

The Giants could activate Aubrey Huff as well to provide apower threat off the bench, perhaps creating room by demoting Justin Christianor Emmanuel Burriss, who would seem to be less mecessary on the roster now thatScutaro is able to back up at three infield positions.

The roster is in a state of flux, Sabean said.

Scutaro hasnt played third base since 2008 but Sabean saidhed be surprised if the 36-year-old couldnt handle the position.

This guy has been a starting player, Sabean said. This isnot going to threaten (Ryan) Theriot at all, but we do need depth. Hopefully thisis the first of a couple moves. Well see.

I asked Sabean if he sees the potential to acquire a powerthreat for the bench.

Right now Im not sure that exists, Sabean said. Maybesome will come available late. A lot is being bandied about that is not exactlyfactual.

This much is known: The Giants want more bullpen depth,especially from the right side. They might not want to part with the package ofprospects it would take to pry away controllable Cleveland Indians closer ChrisPerez, but perhaps this years version of Ramon Ramirez is lurking out there.

The Scutaro trade was the news to follow in the postgameclubhouse, but Matt Cain did not brush aside a question about Hanley Ramirezsbody language as he circled the bases after his home run in the 10th.

Ramirez posed and watched his shot, then made the lo vistegesture something he carried with him from Miami in the direction of theDodgers dugout.

Yeah, Cain said. Thats something that definitely, guysnotice.

What about the 3-2 pitch to Andre Ethier that Sergio Romodidnt get? (It came two pitches before Ramirezs home run, in case you werentwatching)

Yeah, I think he thought the pitch was there, Bochy saidof Romo. Its one of those pitches you hope you get and we didnt get it. Youput it behind you. He just made a pitch against the next hitter.

There were a few calls there and pitchers were a littlefrustrated. He was calling the same on both sides, I think.

Nate Schierholtzs father, Vai, commented on Twitter thathed seen Dodgers starter Stephen Fife before. His younger son, Vai, got twohits against him while playing for Air Force against the University of Utah.

Its hard to imagine the younger Vai squared one up betterthan his big brother did in the fourth inning with two aboard. But Matt Kempmade the catch on the dead sprint at the wall. There arent many Matt Kemps inthe Mountain West Conference, Id imagine.

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways from Giants' 4-1 loss to Cubs

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways from Giants' 4-1 loss to Cubs


CHICAGO — The rain stayed away Tuesday after an initial delay of just over an hour. Once the first pitch was thrown, the Giants you watched over the previous week pulled a similar disappearing act. 

The lineup had no answer for Jon Lester, who threw a 99-pitch complete game and led the Cubs to a 4-1 win in two hours and five minutes. On the other side, the Cubs bashed three homers off Johnny Cueto, who still hasn’t found that 2016 groove. 

Here are five things to know from Wrigley, where tarp management is no longer a problem … 

--- Cueto gave up three homers for the first time since joining the Giants. It started with Kyle Schwarber’s 470-foot blast onto Sheffield that the Cubs said was the first to reach the street since 2014. The pitches Schwarber, Jason Heyward and Anthony Rizzo crushed had one thing in common: All were left right over the heart of the plate. 

--- Cueto became just the fourth Giants pitcher in the last 15 years to strike out at least eight but also give up three homers. Jeff Samardzija did it earlier this season against the Diamondbacks.

--- Addison Russell started a double play on Brandon Crawford in the second inning that gave Crawford a taste of what it’s like to hit a ball up the middle against the Giants. A year ago, Russell led NL shortstops in the SABR Defensive Index, which is a chunk of Gold Glove voting. This year, he leads the NL with nine Defensive Runs Saved; Crawford is at four. Personally I think Cincinnati’s Zack Cozart is the second best defensive shortstop in the NL, but Russell is certainly the guy who is the biggest threat to Crawford winning a third straight Gold Glove. 

--- The Lester Yips thing gets talked about quite a bit … but it should probably be talked about more. It’s simply incredible that one of the best pitchers in the world refuses to throw to first. Lester didn’t even move off the mound when Buster Posey hit a slow roller in the second, forcing his catcher to make a much tougher play. In the seventh Posey hit a similar ball and this time Lester had no choice; he fielded the ball and threw underhanded to first.

--- Josh Osich did not shave his mustache, he simply grew the rest out until he had a beard. It’s the smarter way to go. This way Osich still has the stache in his back pocket if the team needs some luck. He pitched a scoreless eighth, striking Schwarber out with a nasty slider.


Giants lineup: Ruggiano moves up against lefty Lester

Giants lineup: Ruggiano moves up against lefty Lester

Bruce Bochy and Joe Maddon issued their lineups for Game 2 of the four-game series in Chicago:

Giants (20-26)
1. Joe Panik (L) 2B
2. Christian Arroyo (R) 3B
3. Brandon Belt (L) 1B
4. Buster Posey (R) C
5. Justin Ruggiano (R) RF
6. Brandon Crawford (L) SS
7. Eduardo Nunez (R) LF
8. Gorkys Hernandez (R) CF
9. Johnny Cueto (R) P (4-3, 4.50 ERA)

Cubs (22-21)
1. Ben Zobrist (S) 2B
2. Kyle Schwarber (L) LF
3. Kris Bryant (R) 3B
4. Anthony Rizzo (L) 1B
5. Ian Happ (S) CF
6. Jason Heyward (L) RF
7. Willson Contreras (R) C
8. Addison Russell (R) SS
9. Jon Lester (L) P (2-2, 3.57 ERA)