Giants

EXTRAS: Speed thrills, Romo's standing O, five-man rotation

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EXTRAS: Speed thrills, Romo's standing O, five-man rotation

PEORIA, Ariz. -- After a dismal offensive output last season, Bruce Bochy andBrian Sabean have expressed a desire for the Giants lineup to utilize morespeed this season.In a 5-2 win over the Padres Thursday in Peoria, the Giants didjust that, attempting eight stolen bases, four of which were successful.Two of the thefts belonged to Gregor Blanco, who isfollowing up his MVP performance in the Venezuelan winter league with a strongstart to spring training.The non-roster invitee added two hits and a walk with tworuns scored as Bochys designated hitter out of the sixth spot on Thursday andis now hitting .429 with four steals in Cactus League play.
While Aubrey Huff, Brandon Belt, Brett Pill and EmmanuelBurriss are all infielders capable of playing in the outfield, youd betterbelieve the Giants would consider leaving a roster spot open for Blanco, whowould offer Bochy a more prototypical fourth outfielder.

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Another outfielder with wheels fighting for a job showcased his talents on Thursday.Tyler Graham is still looking for his first hit of the spring but demonstrated why speed never slumps.In the third inning, Graham hit a fairly routine ground ball to shortstop, but his hustle up the baseline forced Andy Parrino to hurry the throw, which was offline and resulted in an error.Graham then got himself into scoring position with a steal and came around to plate the Giants' second run on Angel Pagan's single up the middle.
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Bochy called on reliever Clay Hensley to make his springdebut in the seventh inning, and the 32-year old righty delivered a scorelessinning with a strikeout.Hensley waited a long time to pitch in a San Francisco Giantsuniform. He was selected by the club in the eighth round of the 2002 draft andlast pitched for the franchise as a 23-year-old member of the San Jose Giantsin 2003, when he was traded for reliever Matt Herges.--Sergio Romo followed Hensley with a scoreless eighth inning,which included two strikeouts and a reminder of how deadly his Frisbee slideris when he keeps it low and away from right-handed hitters.Romo rode that slider to a career year in 2011, as he put upa 1.50 ERA with 70 strikeouts compared to just five walks. He also completed arelievers perfect game with 27 consecutive outs recorded. No wonder he got a standing ovation from the (no surprise,really) pro-Giants crowd at Peoria Sports Complex.--Eric Surkamp is scheduled to make his first start of thespring Sunday against Seattle. Tim Lincecum is scheduled to pitch the followingday as the Giants move to give their starters the standard four days of rest.Its unclear if Lincecum will start a minor league game ortake the mound against the Kansas City Royals in Surprise. The two-time CyYoung award winner allowed five runs in two innings in his last outing onWednesday.Surkamp, who may start the season with the big-league club ifRyan Vogelsong cant start due to back issues, has an 8.31 ERA so far. After a roughfirst outing on March 3, the 24-year-old lefty rebounded Wednesday with threeinnings of one-run ball.--The Giants used speed and small ball to put most of theirruns on the board Thursday against the Padres, but got a big fly from anunexpected source. Outfielder Juan Perez, who has all of 26 home runs in almost1,500 minor league at-bats since the Giants drafted him in the 13th roundin 2008, hit a tape-measure solo shot off Padres reliever Cory Burns. Burns threw changeups on three of the first five pitches of the at bat to getahead of Perez 1-2. But Perez sat on the changeup on the sixth pitch and sentit over the left-field fence for a home run in his only plate appearance of theday.While the power hasnt been there in his professionalcareer, Perez owns the NCAA Division II single-season home run record, whichhe earned by hitting 37 at Western Oklahoma State in 2008.--After the game, Bochy confirmed that Freddy Sanchez wouldserve as the Giants designated hitter Friday against the Reds.Like Buster Posey, Sanchez will get his first licks of thespring in against flame-throwing Cincinnati lefty Aroldis Chapman.
BAGGARLY: Posey will get 100-mph test in spring debut
The concern with Sanchez, who hasnt played since dislocatinghis shoulder diving for a ground ball in June, is his ability to make throws,not swing the bat, which is why Bochy plans to let him DH. Theres still notimetable for putting him in a game at second base.--An Angels scout who was kicked out of Scottsdale Stadium Wednesdayreceived an explanatory call from manager Bruce Bochy later that night.
REWIND: Bochy doesn't apologize after booting Angels scout
Jeff Schugel, who was shocked to be sent packing duringinfield drills, talked with Bochy about the incident. The Giants manager told Schugel that he was working on a specificdrill that he didnt want seen and didnt mean anything by it.

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways as Giants drop finale in Miami

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AP

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways as Giants drop finale in Miami

BOX SCORE

SAN FRANCISCO — The flight from Miami to San Francisco is one of the longest in the league. It will not be a happy one.

The Giants fell behind early and never recovered, losing 8-1 in the series finale with the Marlins. The Giants had won six of nine entering the road trip. They dropped a series in Washington D.C. and then lost two of three to the Marlins. 

You are here already, so here are five things to know … 

—- Matt Cain deserved better in the first, and it was kind of a stunning error that cost him. With two outs, Brandon Crawford dropped a liner that was hit right at him. The next batter, Tomas Telis, hit a two-run double. 

—- Cain was charged with five runs in four innings, but only two of them were earned. He struck out seven and walked just one, showing a good curveball throughout. Several times, he dropped down for a new look. Like I said, he deserved a bit better than that final line. 

—- Pablo Sandoval’s walk in the eighth was his first since returning to the Giants. His numbers, by the way, are right in line with his Boston numbers. 

—- Albert Suarez has seen his stuff take a tick up during this stint with the Giants, but it’s not leading to results. After giving up a walk-off grand slam on Sunday, he allowed three runs in 2 2/3 innings in relief of Cain. Suarez currently has a 7.43 ERA. 

—- Giancarlo Stanton was 2 for 4 with two singles. His run of six games with a homer came to an end. I suppose that’s a small victory for the Giants?

Giancarlo Stanton to Giants? Upside vs downside from Marlins perspective

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USATI

Giancarlo Stanton to Giants? Upside vs downside from Marlins perspective

Because we are too cool to allow the games to sustain us and because we all think the purpose of sports is actually not to be the best player but the general manager, the new item on the baseball menu is not the pennant races but “Where should Giancarlo Stanton go?”

The usual suspects are listed – the Yankees, the Giants, the Chunichi Dragons, Real Madrid – and the $295 million still on his contract is not considered an impediment.

But the logic behind the Marlins keeping him is just as clear and more pressing. Namely, Bruce Sherman, the incoming owner, and Derek Jeter, the designated face, did not buy this team and promptly try to make themselves detested by the few people who still care about it.

So far, we know that the monstrous thing in center field (no, not Christian Yelich) is likely to be torn down, and that Stanton is don’t-go-to-the-bathroom-during-his-half-inning entertainment. Beyond that, we know only that the Marlins draw when they win a lot and barely at all the rest of the time. They are clearly a distant third in a four-team race with the Dolphins and Heat for people’s hearts, and now that hating Jeffrey Loria’s living guts are off the table for the fans, there really is no there, there.

So what’s the up-side of moving Stanton (and before we go any further, the Giants don’t have nearly enough assets to make that work, so calm the hell down) for the Marlins? Prospects, the dark hole that makes a three-year plan a six-year plan.

And the down-side? Sherman may as well move the team for the level of fun he’ll get from it, and the only reason to buy a team looking at a $60 million loss is for the fun. Besides, onlky a very few owners have ever made the full turn from villain to hero – the first impression almost always lasts forever.

So while Stanton may create immediate wallet relief for this aggressively average team (their current record of 57-61 is the 12th best in their 25-year history, and they’ve only had eight winning seasons ever), they also have nothing to sell the fans that they have to live with every day. And if they don’t have enough fans . . . well, I hear San Jose is always hot for a mediocre franchise that lurches between spending money and hoarding it.