Fontenot cut, Vogelsong, Sanchez and Runzler to DL

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Fontenot cut, Vogelsong, Sanchez and Runzler to DL

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. The Giants cut a player from their 2010World Series team and placed four others on the disabled list as theycontinued to shape their opening-day roster.

In addition to placing infielder Mike Fontenot on releasewaivers, the Giants placed second baseman Freddy Sanchez on the disabled listalong with right-hander Ryan Vogelsong, left-hander Eric Surkamp and left-hander Dan Runzler.

NEWS: Giants waive Fontenot

Sanchez (right shoulder), Surkamp (strained flexor tendon) and Runzler (strained lat muscle) areretroactive to March 26, meaning they could be eligible to return by thefifth game of the season on April 11. None of the three players is expected to be ready bythat date, however.

Vogelsong (strained lower back) is on the mend but didnthave enough time to rebuild arm strength after missing the first three weeks ofthe spring. The plan is to activate him on April 15, when the Giants need afifth starter for the first time.

Sanchez has begun playing catch after getting a cortisoneshot in his repaired right shoulder on Sunday. But there remains no timetableto try making throws to bases in infield practice as a precursor to playing inthe field. Sanchez hasnt been able to throw with much zip or attempt the morestrenuous, across-the-body throws that are required of a second baseman whenturning double plays.

Fontenot came over in a trade from the Chicago Cubs in themiddle of the 2010 season and hit .227 as a part-time player last year. The31-year-old was deemed expendable because the Giants already have too manyleft-handed hitters and they dont expect to need much coverage behind BrandonCrawford, who is slated to be the everyday shortstop.

The Giants cut Fontenot on the last possible day before his1.05 million contract would become fully guaranteed. The Giants areresponsible for just a quarter of that amount, saving themselves 787,500.

The club faced the same deadline with Ryan Theriot, Fontenotsteammate at LSU and with the Cubs. But although Theriots best defensive daysat shortstop are behind him, his right-handed bat was a better fit for theGiants bench needs. Theriot will make 1.25 million this season.

Cutting Fontenot might clear the way for the Giants to carrya third catcher in Hector Sanchez, who has been the best offensive player incamp. A third catcher would allow the Giants to better pace Buster Posey in theearly going as he comes back from his horrific ankle injury. It will be morelikely that manager Bruce Bochy can take Posey out of blowout games early or pinch-runfor him if he has a third catcher. Plus Sanchezs switch-hitting bat would be aboon for the bench.

Even with Freddy Sanchez out indefinitely, the Giants feltthey had enough middle infield depth without Fontenot. One factor in thatanalysis is non-roster infielder Joaquin Arias, who has played extremely wellat every infield position this spring. Even if Arias begins the season atTriple-A Fresno, the Giants feel good about having him for insurance.

Giants use big fifth, sixth innings to take down Cubs

Giants use big fifth, sixth innings to take down Cubs

BOX SCORE

At Scottsdale, Arizona, Giants starter Matt Cain gave up two runs — one earned — and three hits over two innings.

New Giants closer Mark Melancon tossed a 1-2-3 third inning in his first outing. Cain threw 40 pitches and Justin Ruggiano had an RBI double in a three-run fifth.

Javier Baez went 2 for 3 with an RBI double.

Giants spring training Day 13: Cain goes two; Melancon has perfect debut

Giants spring training Day 13: Cain goes two; Melancon has perfect debut

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Bruce Bochy planned to give most of his pitchers one-inning stints during the first weekend of spring ball, but Matt Cain stretched it out to 40 pitches on Saturday. 

“I’ve had enough days off the past couple of years,” Cain said, smiling.

In his first start of a crucial spring, Cain threw two innings. He was charged with three hits and two runs, just one of them earned. 

“He’s in a good place right now with his arm strength,” Bochy said. “His delivery is consistent. I’m glad he got a lot of work today, to be honest. It’s something he needs as much as anybody on this staff, is work. He’s going to get it.”

Ty Blach, Cain’s biggest competition for the fifth starter spot, gave up four hits and one earned in his two innings. Neither pitcher was hit particularly hard, and both suffered a bit from iffy defense in the early innings of an 8-6 win over the Cubs. 

The inning separating Cain and Blach was notable for other reasons. Mark Melancon made his Giants debut, getting two groundouts and a fly to right in a quick inning. Melancon received a nice ovation, and he noted the opponent — a Cubs team that helped guarantee the Giants would spend big on a closer — but he didn’t put any added importance on the outing. 

“It doesn’t matter what I do out there right now,” he said. 

Melancon’s new teammates might disagree. Spring or not, the Giants certainly enjoyed watching a closer breeze through his inning. Especially against the Cubs. 

“He’s a pro,” Bochy said. “He’s going to be out there working on stuff, his command and pitches. It was good for Buster (Posey) to catch him. It was a good day for him.”

NOTABLE: On his first swing of the spring, Posey threw his bat up against the visiting dugout. It can only go uphill from there … Bryan Morris had a scoreless debut, striking out one … Josh Osich ran into some trouble in the eighth and gave up a pair of runs, but Bochy appreciated the way he fought his way out of the frame … Former Giants prospect Chris Dominguez started for the Cubs at first base. He had a couple of hits ... If you're headed to Goodyear for tomorrow's game, Joe Panik, Brandon Belt, Conor Gillaspie, Jimmy Rollins, Mac Williamson, Jarrett Parker, Gorkys Hernandez and Trevor Brown will start behind Matt Moore. Also, if you're headed to Goodyear, I'm sorry. 

TRAINER’S ROOM: Eduardo Nuñez is limited to DH duty for now because of a sore throwing shoulder. Nuñez said the tightness popped up after some work in the weight room, but he’s not concerned at all. He said he would have played third base if Saturday’s game was a regular season contest. The Giants expect him in the field sometime next week. 

Nuñez also said it took five weeks after the season ended for his hamstring to get back to 100 percent, so apparently that injury was much worse than it first looked. Nuñez was out on the field before every NLDS game, trying to get clearance to return. He never quite got there. 

Will Smith (elbow) is just a day or two from throwing off flat ground, Bochy said. 

CUETO UPDATE: The Giants had hoped to have Johnny Cueto in camp this weekend, but he remains in Boca Chica, Dominican Republic. Cueto is waiting for a visa for his ill father, Domingo, who will travel to Scottsdale with Johnny. 

LIGHTER SIDE: Brandon Crawford spent a couple of minutes learning some of Jeff Samardzija’s mound moves. The impersonation is pretty solid.