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 lineup: Posey catching, Nunez at third base against Braves

Giants lineup: Posey catching, Nunez at third base against Braves

The Giants look to win two straight against the Braves and Bruce Bochy has made a few changes to the lineup Sunday.

Atlanta Braves (21-26)

1. Ender Inciarte (L) CF
2. Brandon Phillips (R) 2B
3. Nick Markakis (L) RF
4. Matt Kemp (R) LF
5. Matt Adams (L) 1B
6. Kurt Suzuki (R) C
7. Rio Ruiz (L) 3B
8. Dansby Swanson (R) SS
9. R.A. Dickey (R) P

San Francisco Giants (21-30)

1. Denard Span (L) CF
2. Eduardo Nunez (R) 3B
3. Brandon Belt (L) 1B
4. Buster Posey (R) C
5. Brandon Crawford (L) SS
6. Justin Ruggiano (R) RF
7. Joe Panik (L) 2B
8. Gorkys Hernandez (R) LF
9. Johnny Cueto (R) P

Belt relates to Arroyo's benching in slump: 'It doesn’t need to be bad thing'

Belt relates to Arroyo's benching in slump: 'It doesn’t need to be bad thing'

SAN FRANCISCO — At this point Bruce Bochy has had plenty of experience working young infielders into his everyday lineup, so he knew exactly which move to turn to when Christian Arroyo dropped into a wicked slump.

With Arroyo hitless in his last 21 at-bats, Bochy sat him Saturday night against the Braves. His plans could always change, of course, but Bochy said he planned to sit Arroyo at least one more game. It’s a move he used most notably in 2013 to help Brandon Belt get back on track.

Belt was in a 1-for-19 rut when Bochy kept him out of the starting lineup for an entire series in Philadelphia. He had just one pinch-hit appearance, but he returned for the opener of the next series in Tampa Bay, notching three hits and a homer. Belt batted .346 the rest of the way.

Asked about that experience and Arroyo's current one, Belt at first made a different point.

“Arroyo has actually been really good for us,” he said. “That road trip we just had, we faced a lot of really good pitchers. There’s nothing for him to hang his head about.”

Belt has actually had several “clear your head” breaks over the years.

“It allows you to reset a little, and with the pressure, you can release that a little bit,” he said. “For me (in 2013) it forced me to make (mechanical) changes and when you have time off you see everything more clearly. You can make changes or go back to something that was working for you before. He shouldn’t look at this as a timeout. It doesn’t need to be a bad thing. You can make adjustments and it can be a good thing.”

Bochy originally planned to rest Arroyo on Thursday in Chicago, but Eduardo Nuñez’s hamstring needed a day. Arroyo started at second Friday against a lefty but got the full night off Saturday. With Conor Gillaspie sidelined for several more days by a tight back and Hunter Pence out the rest of the homestand, there's time for the Giants to contemplate what they want to do going forward.

“We’ll get this sorted out,” Bochy said. “We’ve (worked) him pretty hard. This is to give him a chance to catch his breath, get his mind right, and work on some things.”