EXTRAS: Pagan snaps slump, Bochy on OF situation

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EXTRAS: Pagan snaps slump, Bochy on OF situation

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Angel Pagan, acquired for fan-favoriteAndres Torres and reliever Ramon Ramirez in an offseason trade with the Mets,came into Tuesdays game just 5-for-22.After a 2-for-4 day against the Chicago Cubs, including a double and a triple,Pagan upped his spring average to .269 and flashed his speed and glovework incenter all afternoon.Today was a good day, Pagan said. Now I just have to workon consistency.In the top of the second inning, Pagan dove to rob the Cubs Steve Clevenger ofa base hit in the left-center field gap with a runner on second base.Madison Bumgarner, who was struggling in the inning, was appreciative.It looked like he was gaining on it pretty quick so Ithought he might have a chance to catch it, Bumgarner said. It was afantastic catch, though.Manager Bruce Bochy was also impressed.

Great game for him, Bochy said. Great play out there almost made another tremendous play and swung the bat well. Good to see him getsome good swings off.The almost play that Bochy referred to was a fly ball to dead center off thebat of David DeJesus. Pagan turned around and sprinted with his back to homeplate, attempting to make a basket catch a la Giants legend Willie Mays TheCatch. He came up short, but said after the game that he was close tofinishing the play. RELATED: Bumgarner tests new slider grip in rough start
Believe it or not, I thought I had the ball in my glove,Pagan said. I thought it was a pretty good effort. I know I can do a betterjob than that, but thats what were here for. Id rather miss it over herethan miss it in the season. Next time I should be able to catch it.While Pagans speed can lead to some spectacular plays on defense, it alsohelps on the basepaths. It certainly helped him on his RBI triple into right-centerfield in the fifth inning. He looked fast heading to first, then put it intoanother gear halfway between first and second.When he gets going, hes flying, Bochy said. He can run.Thats why hes our leadoff hitter. Hopefully he puts some pressure on opposingteams and makes some things happen. You saw him going home to third thatspretty quick.After covering a lot of ground in center Tuesday, Bochy saidthat Pagan will get the day off Wednesday for rest and maybe Thursday as well becausehes getting a wisdom tooth pulled. Pagan knows his speed will help him handle the difficultoutfield at his new home in San Franciso.The hardest part is how the wind carries it, he said. Thebounce it takes off the brick wall is hard too. RELATED: Posey hitless in third spring start, will DH Wednesday
When I asked if he leans on Nate Schierholtz for advice, Pagan had kind words forhis new teammate: He knows whats going on out there, for sure.--

Brandon Belt saw more action in right field Tuesday, butBochy said that he wont get much time there in the regular season andclarified his plan for positioning his outfielders.Belts doing fine, Bochy said. Hes done OK. He playeda little more right in his younger years so I think hes a little morecomfortable there. I just want to take a look at him there but more likelyhell be going back to left, particularly at our ballpark. Melky will probablybe the one going to right field. But I just want to take a look at it. Huffwill play some outfield, too. Well have to make that decision, which way wethink is the best way to go.Belt went 1-for-3 Wednesday and was tested in right when Alfonso Soriano triedto stretch a single into a double in the fifth inning. Belt hustled to get to theball down the line and fired a one-hop throw to Brandon Crawford, who couldnthang on to apply the tag.I figured he would try and do that so I got to it as fast Icould, Belt said. I gave Crawford a tough ball to handle.--Nate Schierholtz and Mike Fontenot both saw game action Wednesday, alleviatingfears about nagging injuries.NEWS: Bumgarner struggles, Giants lose to Cubs 5-4
Schierholtz, who was nursing a bruised hip, went 0-for-1 as a pinch-hitter. AndMike Fontenot, limited with a groin injury, singled, walked and played secondbase after coming off the bench.While Schierholtz and Fontenot made strides, Freddy Sanchez had his timetablefor a return to second base pushed back. Bochy recently said that Sanchez couldplay defense for the first time this spring on Thursday or Friday, but is nowsaying he hopes to have Sanchez ready this weekend. In the mean time, he willcontinue to get at-bats as Bochys designated hitter.In other minor injury update news, Ryan Vogelsong is stillscheduled to throw 45 pitches in a bullpen session Wednesday morning. And BrianWilson will make his second Cactus League outing later that afternoon againstthe Indians.--No one should be worried about Sergio Romos 4.50 ERA this spring, but itsworth noting that the run he gave up Wednesday wasnt of the ordinary variety.Romo left a slider up to big Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo, who was a memberof the Padres last year after coming over from the Red Sox in the AdrianGonzalez trade. Rizzo pounced on it and sent it around 450 feet to deep rightfield.He hung that one breaking ball, a bad pitch with two strikes, Bochy said. Wherehe threw that ball, it should be hit hard. Its good he gets to see someleft-handed hitters. As good as he is, he has little hiccups againstleft-handers.--In the familiar faces department, spotted at Scottsdale Stadium Tuesday morningwere former Giants outfielders Randy Winn and Pat Burrell. Brian Sabean wasalso seen on the field talking with Bochy, presumably about the tough rosterdecisions that await the general manager and field manager.

With Duffy's uncertain health, Rays reportedly trade for another shortstop

With Duffy's uncertain health, Rays reportedly trade for another shortstop

When the Rays acquired Matt Duffy from the Giants last July, they envisioned the then-third baseman as their everyday shortstop.

But the Achilles injury that hampered him with the Giants hasn't fully healed. He hasn't played in a major league game this season and played in just 21 games after the trade last season.

While Duffy is making progress in his latest attempt to get back on the field, the Rays have reportedly acquired a new shortstop.

Tampa Bay and the Miami Marlins have agreed to a deal that would send slick-fielding Adeiny Hechavarria to the Rays for two minor leaguers, according to multiple reports.

As for Duffy, he missed all of spring training due to irritation in his Achillies. He began a rehab assignment in May, but that lasted just three games. Recently, the Rays sent Duffy back to the doctor that performed the operation on his heal last year. According to TampaBay.com, Dr. Bob Anderson removed a calcium deposit that was causing Duffy to be in pain.

"We're hoping that that is what's been causing all the irritation because it was taken right from the spot where he gets most of this pain," Rays manager Kevin Cash told TampaBay.com on Friday.

Once the stitches heal from this latest operation, Duffy should be able to resume baseball activities and start a rehab assignment shortly after that. In the meantime, Hechavarria, who has been on the DL with an oblique strain, will likely become the Rays starting shortstop.

Not a chicken-and-egg discussion: Three reasons why Giants are so boring

Not a chicken-and-egg discussion: Three reasons why Giants are so boring

To best understand what has happened to the San Francisco Giants, one must first decide whether or not they have abandoned hope, or just energy.

I mean, that is the new kneejerk position based on losing 18 of 22 games this month by an average margin of more than a run and a half per game, losing to the Phillies, Royals, Braves and Mets, falling five games behind the San Diego Padres and eight games behind the non-noisy neighbors in Oakland, and since the All-Star Break last year, they are 57-93, the equivalent of the third-worst record in franchise history.

Really, to see a happy thing in this team other than Buster Posey is an act of rankest delusion. What hope would you expend on this team?

But there’s a new element involved now, if you take Ken Rosenthal’s report for FoxSports.com on the team’s internal crises at face value.

Apparently the Giants are boring their own management.

According to Rosenthal, the almost stultifying quiet of the clubhouse has become a concern to general manager Bobby Evans and perhaps even to those to whom he reports.

In citing the contributions of such ‘edgy” personalities as Pat Burrell, Cody Ross and Aubrey Huff in 2010, Hunter Pence in ’12 and Pence, Michael Morse and Pablo Sandoval (huh?) in ’14, Rosenthal suggested that the team is too staid – something that winning 38 percent of your games for an entire calendar year will do to you.

“I don’t think I can be definitive in my answers,” Evans was quoted by Rosenthal as saying, “but it’s not lost on us that we’re maybe a little quieter clubhouse than we’ve been in the past. I can’t answer that as being a factor or not.” He then followed up with the always circuitous they’d-be-louder-if-we-weren’t-such-a-tedious-watch argument, which seems self-evident but can’t really be proven one way or another.

But Rosenthal also credited “some with the Giants” as suggesting that the team even misses Angel Pagan, who allegedly help unite the clubhouse because so few of them liked him.

And now we’ve hit the motherlode of bizarre excuses. Angel Pagan is hurting the Giants far more by leaving them than by being with them. And this is, if you’ll pardon the expression, richly stupid.

Not Rosenthal, whom we can presume did his usual diligent work and correctly quoted “some with.” No, our problem is with the thinking that inspired “some with,” because you have to go a long way to make that explanation stick.

The Giants are playing terribly because, well, they are. Their pitching, which has to be in the top sixth of the league for this plan to work, is below average in many of the important metrics. Their offense is horrendous. Their outfield is a disaster. They are 27-51 purely on the merits.

That they are also boring is coincidence rather than causation, because nobody said they were boring after the All-Star Break last year, and nobody accused them of being boring in Game 4 of the National League Division Series with Chicago.

Boring is what you seize on when every other excuse, including the Mark Melancon-doesn’t-stretch-when-he’s-supposed-to straw man Rosenthal also threw up for chewing.

The truth is this, as much as anything. They are bad. They didn’t think they would be bad. They thought the second half of last year was an aberration rather than a harbinger, and they thought they could have gone to the World Series but for one hideous inning. And they are apparently shocked by this for some reason.

So, are they moping, or are they quitting? Do they need a clubhouse visit from Brian Sabean at his most pissed? What’s the thing that makes them fun guys again – other than, say, a five-way trade that gets them Bryce Harper, Mike Trout, Cody Bellinger and Nolan Arenado?

Because there’s your problem. Yes, they certainly are boring – downright stultifying, in fact. But this is not a chicken-and-egg discussion. They’re boring because they’ve been brutal, because they were slow to address their needs after misdiagnosing their problems, and because all their calculations from years gone by have gone badly wrong.

But if you really think boring is the issue, let’s have Bruce Bochy dress in a clown suit and Pence play outfield in just a sliding pants and a derby, and have one inning per game designated as the Wild Dingo Surprise Inning, in which wild dingoes are loosed upon the field to terrorize the players and/or fans.

See how many wins you get then.