Giants

EXTRAS: Cain mum on contract, Sanchez a confident catcher

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EXTRAS: Cain mum on contract, Sanchez a confident catcher

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Matt Cain allowed two runs on five hitsin 3.2 innings against the Cleveland Indians Wednesday, and most of thequestions he took in the clubhouse were about his outing.One bold reporter, however, asked Cain about ongoingcontract negotiations on a long-term extension.No updates, Cain said. Good try thought. Puntpunt onedown there real quick.Cains next contract remains a mystery, but the big right-hander is stillfocused on the task at hand: working on all his pitches in preparation for theregular season.I started throwing a couple more sliders today but we didnt get too far intothose, Cain said. Were still kind of on fastball command and working on thecurveball and the changeup, but the slider is going to start falling into playmore.RELATED: Posey's first spring hit an oppostie field home run
Giants manager Bruce Bochy liked what he saw from Cain, who struck out four andwalked one, even though he couldnt finish the fourth inning after throwing 71pitches, 48 for strikes.I thought Matt threw the ball well, Bochy said. He got his work in and hejust got to his pitch limit, which is why I went out there and got him. But hehad good stuff and he only gave up that one run. The other run was that wildpitch so I thought he did a real nice job.--The wild pitch Bochy referred to was one thrown by Mitch Lively, who came in tofinish the fourth in place of Cain. Livelys pitch slipped through HectorSanchezs legs, allowing one of Cains baserunners to score.Bochy said after the game that Sanchez normally makes that play and that hesbeen impressed so far this spring with his young catcher.Hes comfortable catching these guys and calling the game, Bochy said. Kidsgot a lot of confidence. He can hit and he can catch and throw. Its just amatter of getting some time up here to where he does feel like he belongs andhe carries himself like that. I thought he did a good job with Matt today.Cain also praised Sanchez after his start, saying that hes made strides sincehis call-up last season.I dont know if he was timid to call certain pitches hereand there but I think now hes got the confidence to take some chances onpitches in or throwing chageups behind in the count, Cain said. I think hesgot that confidence because he relays that confidence from the pitching staff,the way that all the guys arent afraid to throw any pitch really in anycount.Sanchez didnt just call a good game Wednesday, he also went1-for-2 to raise his spring average to .444.With Chris Stewart and Eli Whiteside, his competition forthe backup catcher job, both out of minor league options, Sanchez seems likethe odd man out for a roster spot. But if he keeps hitting, he will make thedecision hard on Bochy and general manager Brian Sabean.

--Another player that looks to cause headaches for Bochy andSabean is Gregor Blanco, who continued his hot spring by going 1-for-3 with awalk and a run scored out of the leadoff spot Wednesday.RELATED: Vogelsong tests back with 45-pitch bullpen session
Blanco is now batting an even .500 in the Cactus League and continues to showcasehis amazing speed.In the first inning, Blanco went from first to third on a ball that never leftthe infield. Bochy took notice.He goes first to third on a dribbler because he has theability to make things happen, Bochy said. He knows how to play the game,too. Hes a smart player.Bochy also praised Sabean for bringing in Blanco as a non-roster invitee.Great signing, he said. Were excited to have him. Hes aguy thats going to go down to the wire, we know, but hes certainly intriguingthe way hes been playing.--Brian Wilson made his second appearance of the spring and worked a perfectfifth inning. Motion feels good, Wilson said. Another pain-freeouting.

After hitting 93-94 MPH in his first outing on Sunday, Wilson hit 95-96 againstthe Indians. Wilson said he isnt even trying to ramp up his velocityjust yet.I think I should stay low 90s as of right now if I can andjust progressively work towards Opening Day to max out then and try and sustainthat for the rest of the season, he said.Bochy said that Wilson was throwing his breaking ball andhis cutter and that hes ready.Wilsons next test will come on March 17, St. Patricks Day.

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

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AP

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 MassLive.com. "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."