EXTRAS: Burriss plans to bring the leather this time

EXTRAS: Burriss plans to bring the leather this time
February 21, 2012, 1:21 am
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Emmanuel Burriss wasnt so well equipped last season.

No longer limited to the middle infield, Burriss became a utility-man extraordinaire, getting experience at left field, third base and even first base. He did surprisingly well at all positions, giving him an edge to win the last spot on the Giants opening-day roster as he enters spring training.

But he always seemed to be playing with a borrowed glove.

He used catcher Chris Stewarts first basemans mitt, bench coach Ron Wotus third basemans glove and he snagged some extra leather from Nate Schierholtz whenever Bruce Bochy pointed him to the outfield.

When Burriss played the outfield at Triple-A Fresno, he raided the locker of Grizzlies teammate Tyler La Torre.

Wait. Isnt La Torre a catcher?

Uh yeah, Burriss said.

Now Burriss has a whole new collection of gloves on order. Hell enjoy breaking them in this spring and never needing to rely on the charity of his teammates.

Not that Stewart minded handing over his first basemans mitt.

He kept it warm for me, Stewart said. When I needed it, it was ready to go.

You might wonder: Why does Stewart own a first basemans mitt in the first place? Well, he has his own glove story to tell. He had been called up by the Chicago White Sox in 2006 and joined the team at Fenway Park.

Ozzie (Guillen) called me over from the bullpen, so here I think Im coming in to catch, Stewart said. I get to the dugout and Ozzie says, If (Paul) Konerko gets on, youll pinch run and youll play first base. Oh, and do you have a glove?

Stewart couldnt just say no, could he? Of course not. He told Guillen he would find a glove, then he began to envision all the ways he could look like a total spaz in his major league debut.

Then Konerko lined out, Stewart said. And I took a deep breath and I sat down on the bench.

Stewart has one more message to pass along to Burriss:

Tell him he can borrow my catchers mitt if he wants to, he said, grinning. Anytime.

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As expected, Buster Posey did not catch any bullpens Monday. He did take batting practice without his ankle brace and participated in other drills. He iced down his ankle after the workout.

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Ryan Vogelsong is not having a great spring thus far. In addition to his strained back, which could force him to sit out the first two weeks of camp, Vogelsong was sent home Monday with flu-like symptoms.

REWIND: Back strain slows Vogelsong's spring

Were getting it all out of the way early, Bochy said.

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With Vogelsong out, the Giants are looking at their starting pitching depth and maybe even scanning the free-agent ranks to find a last-minute arm or two. For now, Ramon Ortiz and Brian Burres will be stretched out along with Eric Surkamp.

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Another player who will be sidelined is minor league infield prospect Charlie Culberson. He broke the tip of his left index finger when he dropped a dumbbell on it in the weight room a week ago. Culberson is wearing a splint and said he should be OK to take ground balls in a week.

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Maybe it wasnt such a good idea that Brian Wilson threw off a bullpen mound one spot over from flamethrowing prospect Heath Hembree, who has been known to dial it up in the 99 mph range.

I thought the same thing, Manager Bruce Bochy said. Two power arms next to each other, first bullpen, the last thing you want is for them to compete and see who throws the hardest.

Clear advantage: Hembree.

That was pretty neat, said Hembree, who was drafted by the Giants four months before Wilson clinched the World Series championship. I cant say I was watching what he was doing. I was just trying to focus on getting my own work done.

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In case you hadnt heard, Aaron Rowand, now a non-roster player in Florida Marlins camp, was able to get his familiar No. 33. The player who gave it up was none other than Scott Cousins, the baserunner who injured Buster Posey with his spearing collision at the plate May 25.

Cousins decided to switch to No .6, saying it was in homage to J.T. Snow his favorite Giant while growing up a huge fan of the team.

Heres the weirdest part: It was Snow, remember, who once famously collided with a catcher in Florida Pudge Rodriguez in a failed effort to knock the ball out of his glove. The play was the final out as the Marlins clinched the NL Division series in 2003.

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The Giants will play an intrasquad game on March 1, Bochy said.