Giants

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.

Giants' Austin Slater ready to take big step in rehab from groin injury

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USATSI

Giants' Austin Slater ready to take big step in rehab from groin injury

SAN FRANCISCO — Austin Slater is quietly one of the fastest players in the Giants organization, but at some point this week, he will hope for the best from a slow jog. 

Slater is nearly to the point where he’ll be cleared to start running, and if that goes well, the Giants will increase his activity and start to target a rehab assignment. The rookie outfielder has missed 35 games with a right groin strain but the Giants are confident Slater will return in September. Originally, there was some thought that he would be out the rest of the year. Slater should begin running this week. 

“Running is the biggest hurdle,” Slater said. “I’ve been throwing and swinging. I’m swinging at 100 percent. That’s where the optimism comes in.”

Slater will take batting practice with the team on Friday. It’ll be his first time doing that since he went down in the second week of July. He has mostly been doing agility work in recent days and said it has gone well. 

Elsewhere on the injury front, there is good news and bad news. Miguel Gomez had a setback with his knee and he won’t start a rehab assignment as hoped. Gomez is in a holding pattern for now, but Bochy believes the Giants are fine on the infield. In an emergency, Buster Posey can play first and Ryder Jones can back up other infield positions. Orlando Calixte also provides coverage. 

The good news is that Johnny Cueto will throw another bullpen session on Friday. He could pitch a rehab game soon. Also, here are updates on Brandon Belt and Joe Panik.