EXTRAS: Sandoval's weight isn't a hefty issue

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EXTRAS: Sandoval's weight isn't a hefty issue

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Pablo Sandoval arrived in camp with a tighter haircutTuesday. He looked a little trimmer everywhere else, too.He didnt tell anyone what he is registering on the scalethese days, but weight is like age. Its only a number.Yes, the Giants must keep tabs on Sandoval. Yes, he mustcontinue to work out and keep from overindulging. His weight will always be anissue to monitor closely.But its getting overblown.
Even when Sandoval put on at least 10 to 20 pounds lastsummer, it made no noticeable difference in the way he played. He was stilldiving for grounders at third base. His last at-bat had all the energy of hisfirst. He wasnt the same hopelessly out-of-shape player in 2010 who wouldcollapse breathless, hands on knees, after taking a dozen ground balls.Two winters ago, he went through an intensive conditioningprogram for the first time and he didnt just melt off 38 pounds. He also addedmuscle while increasing his flexibility, balance and coordination. He carrieshimself with more confidence because hes a real athlete for the first time.Ive spoken with Ethan Banning, head trainer with TripleThreat Performance, and he told me Sandoval has been even more intensive withhis six-a-week, two-a-day workouts in recent weeks. He did spend a little moretime in Venezuela than he did the previous winter, but hes been able to buildon the foundation that he already created for himself.So after all those hours in the gym, its understandable if Sandoval is starting to get snippyat questions about his weight. By this stage, Id imagine anyone would be.--Ryan Vogelsong was feeling much better and back in campafter his 24-hour flu bug. Hes still expected to miss at least 10 days withhis strained lower back.--Angel Pagan also arrived at his locker today. So did FreddySanchez, who has been doing agility drills, hitting and throwing most of theoffseason here in Scottsdale.Sanchez still hasnt done any throwing besides playingcatch. He hasnt taken infield, other than just picking up ground balls. Hestill hasnt thrown to bases, let alone try to turn the pivot on a double play.Manager Bruce Bochy wasnt sure if that would be in thecards for Sanchez on Friday, when the club has its first full-squad workout. "Itll be pretty close, Bochy said.Expect Sanchez to DH in the first week of spring games, atleast.--Buster Posey returned to full activities and caught BarryZito, then Jeremy Affeldt off a mound. Nothing like a scud-throwing Affeldt togive Posey a good test.Posey and the catchers also practiced swipe tags afterfielding throws hit by fungo-wielding coaches from the outfield. Bochy ledthis portion of the proceedings. As you know, the Giants dont want Posey toblock the plate and theyll make sure those swipe tags become second nature.That doesnt mean they can protect him from all danger.Remember, he wasnt blocking the plate when Scott Cousins plowed into him.--Jeremy Affeldt joined us Monday night on Chronicle Live. Asa thank you, a producer gave him a gift certificate to The House of Prime Rib.Attention, wait staff: Do the Giants a favor and cut hismeat for him, OK?

Sandoval, ready for second chance, makes way back to San Francisco

Sandoval, ready for second chance, makes way back to San Francisco

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants had to be careful with their public statements over the past 48 hours because they didn't want to get accused of tampering with a player who technically was still property of the Red Sox. That's no longer the case. 

Pablo Sandoval was expected to clear waivers on Friday and be in San Francisco to finalize a minor league deal. One Giants fan, on the way back from Boston, appeared to catch Sandoval boarding his flight. The Giants were preparing to reintroduce Sandoval on Saturday. He is expected to then make his way to Triple-A Sacramento. 

Sandoval, now 30 years old, spent the first seven years of his career in San Francisco, batting .294 with 106 homers. His time in Boston was a disaster and he was designated for assignment last week. The Red Sox released Sandoval on Wednesday, and it was soon reported by MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez that Sandoval would head back to the Giants. 

The Giants believe there is little downside in the move. Sandoval will not be blocking anyone in the minors, because Christian Arroyo is on the disabled list and Ryder Jones can play multiple positions. At the major league level, Eduardo Nuñez could be traded over the next 10 days. 

Down on the Farm: Coach's view of San Jose Giants' stacked outfield

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San Jose Giants/Tim Cattera

Down on the Farm: Coach's view of San Jose Giants' stacked outfield

If it weren't for a bevy of injuries this year, Steven Duggar would be roaming the outfield for a higher level than the San Jose Giants right now. Just ask his manager. 

"If healthy at the beginning of the year, he could be playing at higher levels or the big leagues," Giants manager Nestor Rojas said before the team's 12-7 win Thursday night.  

Duggar backed up his manager's comments hours later in only his sixth game of the year with San Jose. The 23-year-old hit a grand slam, scored two runs and stole a base. Of his six hits in six games with the Giants, five have gone for extra base hits -- four doubles and Thursday's grand slam. 

"He's a solid player. It's fun to watch him play and go out there and compete every day," Rojas said. 

San Francisco selected Duggar in the sixth round of the 2015 MLB Draft out of Clemson. Between Advanced Single-A in San Jose and Double-A with the Richmond Flying Squirrels, Duggar hit .302 with 10 home runs and 15 stolen bases while playing center field in 2016. So far with San Jose this season though, Duggar is primarily playing right field. The change isn't permanent and only shows his versatility to Rojas. 

"He’s one of those guys who’s a really good athlete and can play all three positions in the outfield," Rojas said. 

Once he became healthy, Duggar joined another Giants top prospect, Bryan Reynolds, in San Jose's outfield. And like Duggar, center field is Reynolds' first position, but he's been seeing a lot of time in the corners too. 

"I think it's too early to dictate if he'll be in a corner or center," Rojas believes. "He's really good and he has the tools to play center field. He's got speed and he's got range. He can do really well in all three." 

After starting in left field Thursday night, Reynolds has now played 45 games in center, 24 in right and five in left field this season.

At the plate, Reynolds, who was the Giants' lone representative at the Futures Game this year, is slashing .300/.348/.448 in 80 games. He has also hit five home runs, eight triples and 18 doubles. As he becomes stronger and continues to mature, Rojas thinks Reynolds' power will be unleashed with five-tool potential. 

"Yeah, no doubt about it. The power's gonna come," Rojas said. "First of all, he's a good hitter. I believe that will come around later on and he can hit already. He hasn't shown that much, but it will come." 

The key for Reynolds to climb up the ranks is a simple concept and no different than any other prospect. 

"Just be consistent, it's the most important thing in this business," Rojas said. "It is baseball. You're going to be hot for one month and then go into a slump. Consistency will come with better mechanics and an approach at the plate.

"The kid has been very solid here and very consistent with his approach at the plate. He has the tools."

Rounding out San Jose's stacked outfield is the speedy Ronnie Jebavy, Gio Brusa (second on the team with 11 home runs) and Heath Quinn, who Rojas sees as having big-league pop in his bat. 

"The power is there, he’s one of those big-tool players," Rojas says of Quinn. 

While the Giants have gone through a grueling game of outfield musical chairs in San Francisco this season, a bright future awaits just a drive away in San Jose.