EXTRAS: Burriss plans to bring the leather this time

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EXTRAS: Burriss plans to bring the leather this time

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.

Giants spring training Day 40: Belt continues domination of Rockies' home park

Giants spring training Day 40: Belt continues domination of Rockies' home park

BELT RIVER FIELDS, Ariz. — Earlier this spring, Brandon Belt moved his schedule around so he could get additional at-bats. That led to some random trips across the desert, but there was never any doubt Belt would be in Friday’s road lineup.

Belt demolishes the ball at Salt River Fields, spring home of the Rockies and Diamondbacks. After coming out of Friday’s win, he shook his head in mock disgust when talking about the day’s stats.

“One for four, you’ve gotta be kidding me,” Belt said. “That’s terrible.”

That one happened to be a homer, a three-run shot off Jon Gray, the likely opening day starter for the Rockies. Belt thought he crushed the ball but it ended up pretty high, so it simply dropped onto the berm in right. 

“It squeaked out,” Belt said. “Good mojo, I guess.”

The mojo kept his remarkable run going at Salt River. His updated career stats here: 22 for 35, with eight homers, four doubles, one triple and 18 RBI. Belt said he’s not quite sure why he turns into the flames emoji every time he steps onto this field. 

“I don’t know what it is, but I like hitting here,” he said. “Maybe it’s the batter’s eye?”

Salt River has a dark green batter’s eye with no distractions on either side, and the Giants certainly saw the ball well Friday. They had seven straight hits in the third before Gray was pulled with a sore foot. Belt hit second, and manager Bruce Bochy said that wasn’t simply because Joe Panik had the day off. Bochy will look at several different lineup permutations over the next week, and a Span/Belt/Pence/Posey/Crawford one-through-five is one option. 

“I like (that spot) a lot,” Belt said. “I feel good getting started and knowing I’ll get to bat in the first inning. It’s a good spot. I don’t think my approach changes that much: Get a pitch to hit and try to hit it hard.”

GAME RECAP: Jeff Samardzija was sharp in four innings, allowing just two hits and striking out three. He threw about 45 pitches on the field and then went down to the bullpen for 45 more. Samardzija certainly benefited from having Buster Posey back in the lineup. He said Posey noticed during warmups that Samardzija’s delivery was a little flat and his arm was dragging too low. 

“That doesn’t happen often,” Samardzija said of having a guy like Posey back there. “You have a lot of catchers who are afraid to say something.”

The rest of this one was a laugher until the ninth, when the Rockies rallied and brought the winning run to the plate. It hasn’t been a great spring for the bullpen.

STOCK WATCH: Chris Marrero hit a deep homer, his seventh of the spring. He also made a nice pick at first, where he looks much more comfortable. At this point, it appears it’s either Marrero or Kelby Tomlinson for that final bench spot.

TRAINER’S ROOM: The news on Will Smith was as expected. He will have Tommy John surgery next week. 

There is good news for Trevor Brown: The catcher, who has a sore ankle, took some swings and he’s feeling much better. Brown did not, as first reported, get hurt hiking on an off day. It happened during a game. Brown won’t be ready in time to return to Cactus League action, so he’ll likely stay here during the Bay Bridge Series and then travel home with Triple-A Sacramento. 

ICYMI: Brandon Crawford, Buster Posey and Mark Melancon are back in camp. Here’s a story on Posey’s WBC experience, with the catcher saying he’d like to play again in four years. Here’s Crawford on his month, which ended with him giving an NL West rival a slump-busting bat. 

ROSTER UPDATE: The Giants released David Hernandez, at his request. They have started to tell others that they’re not making the opening day roster, so there should be a series of minor transactions this weekend. (You know where to go.)

QUOTABLE: "I swung at a heater and a slider went right into my bat. I was happy to be able to track (pitches), and happy that the next time the bunt didn't go off my beautiful face." -- Samardzija, when asked about his double off the wall. 

Plenty of high-profile MLB players wearing new uniforms in 2017

Plenty of high-profile MLB players wearing new uniforms in 2017

Chris Sale traded socks (AP) -- or Sox - from white to red. Edwin Encarnacion took his big bat to Cleveland. Aroldis Chapman returned to the Bronx.

Plenty of All-Stars, Cy Young winners and MVPs are wearing new uniforms this season.

The biggest move occurred when the Boston Red Sox acquired Sale from the Chicago White Sox. The five-time All-Star left-hander left a team that hasn't reached the playoffs since 2008 for one that's won three World Series titles since 2004.

Encarnacion left Toronto for the team that beat the Blue Jays in last year's ALCS. He averaged 39 homers and 110 RBIs over the past five seasons in Toronto and gives the Indians a major boost.

Chapman is back in New York after spending the first half of last season with the Yankees before he was traded to the Chicago Cubs and helped them win the World Series.

Here's a 25-man roster of familiar faces in different places this season:

STARTING LINEUP

1. CF: Dexter Fowler. Jumped from World Series champion Cubs to rival St. Louis. Gives the Cardinals stability atop the batting order.

2. RF: Adam Eaton. Traded from White Sox to defending NL East champion Nationals. He'll play center field in Washington between Jayson Werth and Bryce Harper.

3. DH: Kendrys Morales. Joined Blue Jays to help fill Encarnacion's void after spending past two seasons with the Royals.

4. 1B: Encarnacion.

5. C: Brian McCann. Traded from Yankees to Astros, giving Houston's stacked lineup another slugger.

6. SS: Ian Desmond. Returns to NL to join Rockies after one season playing outfield in Texas. He'll play first base for Colorado, but he's back at shortstop on this squad.

7. LF: Matt Holliday. Signed with Yankees following 7 1/2 seasons in St. Louis. The seven-time All-Star will likely DH in New York though he'll see some action in left field.

8. 2B: Brandon Phillips. Waived no-trade clause to go to rebuilding Braves after 11 seasons with Reds.

9. 3B: Howie Kendrick. Comes east after spending his entire career in Los Angeles - nine seasons with Angels and last two with Dodgers. Kendrick is playing left field for Philadelphia but he starts at third to fill this lineup.

BENCH

1B: Chris Carter. Landed with Yankees after swatting 41 homers for Milwaukee last season to tie for NL lead.

INF: Jimmy Rollins. Former NL MVP is trying to land a roster spot with San Francisco as a utility man after playing all but one-third inning of his 17-year career at shortstop. Has bounced from Dodgers to White Sox to Giants after 15 seasons in Philadelphia.

OF: Michael Saunders. All-Star for Blue Jays last season and will start in right field for Phillies.

OF: Carlos Beltran. Returns to Houston after spending half the 2004 season with the Astros and hitting eight postseason homers for them.

C: Matt Wieters. Left Baltimore for Washington to replace All-Star Wilson Ramos, who joined Tampa Bay and is still recovering from knee surgery.

STARTING ROTATION

Sale.

Edinson Volquez. Goes from Royals to Marlins.

Jaime Garcia. Lefty joins Braves after eight seasons in St. Louis.

Jered Weaver. Stays in California, switching to Padres after 11 seasons with Angels.

R.A. Dickey. Knuckleballer returns to NL East after four seasons in Toronto. One of two 40-plus former Cy Young award winners signed by Braves.

LONG RELIEVER

Bartolo Colon. Other veteran Braves signed to bolster rotation. He'll be long man on this staff.

BULLPEN

Chapman.

Mark Melancon. Signed with Giants after finishing last season in Washington.

Sergio Romo. Went from San Francisco to rival Dodgers.

Wade Davis. Traded from Royals to Cubs to replace Chapman.

Santiago Casilla. Stays in Bay Area, going from Giants to A's.