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.

Top pick Heliot Ramos visits AT&T Park, will start Giants career this weekend

Top pick Heliot Ramos visits AT&T Park, will start Giants career this weekend

SAN FRANCISCO — As he was wrapping up the first press conference of his career, Heliot Ramos was asked when he expects to be back at AT&T Park as a player. The 17-year-old smiled and said he hopes to debut in three years. 

“I know it’s hard, but that’s my dream,” Ramos continued. “I know I’ve got to work hard for that.”

A half-dozen Giants officials stood a few feet away, smiling. Three years would be incredibly impressive. It took Christian Arroyo and Ryder Jones four years after being drafted out of high school to reach the big leagues. Buster Posey got a cup of coffee a year after he was drafted, but he was already 22 years old because he had played three years at Florida State. 

Ramos doesn’t turn 18 until September. The Giants hope he is dominating A-ball in three years, and yet, he’s the the kind of prospect that allows them to dream for so much more. 

“If he grew up in Southern California (instead of Puerto Rico) we never would have had a shot at drafting him,” one team official said Tuesday.

Ramos certainly opened eyes in his second trip to AT&T Park, but then again, he put on a display the first time, too. The Giants brought him in for a pre-draft workout and someone pointed out to Ramos that the deepest part of the park was 421 feet. The right-handed hitter, making the transition to a wood bat, wasn’t bothered by the dimensions. He took aim at Triples Alley and tried to blast one out, and he nearly did. Then he started pulling the ball, peppering the left field bleachers with homers and convincing the front office that he was the right pick at No. 19 in this month’s draft. Ramos, described as a potential five-tool center fielder, said he enjoys hitting here.

“It’s a park with a lot of history, and I like that,” he said. 

The clock on his career starts this weekend. Ramos will travel back to Arizona and play in a rookie league game Friday or Saturday. It is always a slow progression for a high school draft pick, but the Giants believe Ramos is physically mature enough to jump right in with both feet. 

Ramos, who said his favorite player is Andrew McCutchen, is listed at 6-foot-2 and 185 pounds and he carries it well. One member of the front office compared his body type to Yasiel Puig as a rookie; another called him a “mini-Cespedes.” Bruce Bochy lit up when asked about the physicality of the organization’s latest top pick. 

“Any time you get a young kid like this, the ceiling is so high,” he said. “That excites you.”

Bochy spent some time with Ramos and his family after batting practice. As they posed for photos, the manager looked out at the field and then turned to a PR representative.

“Can he take BP? Put him in the last group,” Bochy said, smiling. “I’ll put him in the lineup tomorrow.”

Ramos didn’t end up taking swings, but if all goes according to his plan, it won’t be long.

Giants lineup: After nine-run outburst on Monday, Bochy makes no changes

Giants lineup: After nine-run outburst on Monday, Bochy makes no changes

Bud Black and Bruce Bochy issued their lineups for Game 2 of their series at AT&T Park:

Rockies (47-32) 
1. Charlie Blackmon (L) CF
2. DJ LeMahieu (R) 2B
3. Nolan Arenado (R) 3B
4. Mark Reynolds (R) 1B
5. Ian Desmond (R) LF
6. Alexi Amarista (L) RF
7. Trevor Story (R) SS
8. Tony Wolters (L) C
9. Jeff Hoffman (R) P

Giants (28-51)
1. Denard Span (L) CF
2. Joe Panik (L) 2B
3. Hunter Pence (R) RF
4. Buster Posey (R) C
5. Brandon Belt (L) 1B
6. Brandon Crawford (L) SS
7. Ryder Jones (L) 3B
8. Gorkys Hernandez (R) LF
9. Matt Cain (R) P (3-7, 5.54 ERA)