Giants prospects Beede, Arroyo impress in final hours in big league camp

Giants prospects Beede, Arroyo impress in final hours in big league camp

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Before Sunday's game, the Giants reassigned Christian Arroyo and Tyler Beede to minor league camp. The organization's top two prospects made sure to make big impressions on the way out of Scottsdale Stadium.

Beede pitched two shutout innings, lowering his Cactus League ERA to 0.96. Arroyo went the opposite way in the ninth inning for his first homer of the spring.

The front office has not set a timetable on either player's arrival in San Francisco, but both are expected to push for summer or September promotions from Triple-A Sacramento. Manager Bruce Bochy added an interesting wrinkle to Beede's case Sunday, saying the staff has discussed using the right-hander out of the bullpen at some point.

"I'm not saying that's what he's going to do, but it keeps his options open and ours if we need help in the 'pen," Bochy said. "He's at 94-95 (mph) and he's a guy that holds runners well. He's a guy with good stuff."

Beede said earlier this month that he's intrigued by the possibility of helping the Giants down the stretch as a reliever, but for now his focus remains on getting stretched out. He entered camp as the seventh starter in the organization and did nothing but help his cause. Over five spring appearances, Beede allowed nine hits and one run in 9 1/3 innings. He walked four and struck out five, and coaches raved about the presence he showed on the mound a year after he appeared to be nervous during spring outings. 

“I’m happy with it,” Beede said. “It went way better than I expected in terms of comfortability and how sharp I felt. For the most part, you want to make sure you leave a good impression so they know what they’ve got if there is the possibility of being called up.”

Beede felt he didn’t do that last spring, but he shook it off to post a 2.81 ERA for Double-A Richmond. That showed Bochy something. The last month showed him even more. 

“It’s been neat to watch his progression in the past year,” he said. “Last year, he did a good job in Richmond. The velocity picked up. He’s a four-pitch guy. I think he made enough noise that we’re confident that we can use him at any point.”

Shortly after Beede made his final case, Arroyo left a lasting mark. His homer to deep right raised his average in big league camp to .278. Over three springs at Scottsdale Stadium, Arroyo is now 19-for-44 with three homers. He took the news in stride, saying it’s time to get regular playing time. Arroyo will continue to play second, short and third for Sacramento, with the idea that he could be a midseason fill-in if injuries pop up. 

“I got an extra week this year, so that was fun, but it’s time for me to get some more consistent at-bats and go back over to the minor league side,” he said. “Hopefully I left the people here with a smile on their face.”

Early offense, six strong from Cueto lift Giants past Braves in finale

Early offense, six strong from Cueto lift Giants past Braves in finale

BOX SCORE

SAN FRANCISCO -- The blisters on Johnny Cueto's middle and index fingers that limited his effectiveness in his last few starts haven't yet completely healed.

But the two-time All-Star is learning to pitch with them.

Cueto threw six strong innings and Brandon Crawford drove in three runs as the San Francisco Giants defeated the Atlanta Braves 7-1 on Sunday.

Cueto (5-4) bounced back from his roughest stretch as a Giant. He was 0-3 with a 4.33 ERA in his previous four starts.

"They're not bothering me like they were before," Cueto said through a translator. "I'm just getting used to it but I have to continue pitching until they get better."

The Giants won their third straight home series and posted their 11th victory in 18 games overall.

Crawford's two-run single highlighted a four-run second against R.A. Dickey (3-4) that made it 6-0.

Matt Kemp had three hits for Atlanta. But the Braves couldn't get much going against Cueto, who allowed one run on six hits and a walk. Cueto struck out eight, including five in a row at one point.

"He did what he needed to do to get us out," Kemp said. "We had chances to score runs and we didn't. I think in this series we really didn't do a good score of scoring runs."

Dickey allowed a season-high seven runs (six earned) on six hits and five walks in six innings.

"This can be a challenging place to throw because of the wind because it swirls so much," Dickey said.

Eduardo Nunez and Gorkys Hernandez each had two hits for the Giants. Joe Panik tripled to start the second-inning burst.

Cueto had two productive at-bats, bunting a runner to second in the second inning and driving in a run with a sacrifice fly in the third.

"It's always nice to have a lead and I thought Johnny was the sharpest he'd been this year," Giants catcher Buster Posey said. "Hopefully it's something he can build on. The changeup was working really well and his command of the fastball was really good."

Posey was 0 for 2 with two walks. He hasn't struck out in 55 consecutive plate appearances.

FUN FACTOR:
The Giants scored the game's first run when Nunez came around from third when a knuckleball glanced off catcher Kurt Suzuki glove in the bottom of the first. The play was ruled a passed ball. Asked if he had any empathy for the plight of his counterpart, Posey said "Yes, no question. It's not fun to hit, it doesn't look fun to catch, either."

FANCY FIELDING:
Hernandez made a diving catch in the gap in left-center robbing Emilio Bonifacio of an extra-base hit with one out in the seventh inning.

TRAINER'S ROOM:
Braves: 2B Brandon Phillips left in the fifth for pinch-hitter Jace Peterson. Phillips fouled a ball off his foot in his last at-bat in the third.

Giants: LHP Madison Bumgarner will start his throwing program on Friday, manager Bruce Bochy said. Bumgarner will start out playing catch and make five rehab starts. The 2014 World Series MVP suffered a separated left shoulder in a dirt biking accident. "The progress is happening," Bochy said. "I think he sees light at the end of the tunnel." ... Slumping rookie INF Christian Arroyo was out of the lineup on Sunday and his playing status appears uncertain. Arroyo, who turns 22 on Tuesday, is 0 for 19 in his last five games. "I'll talk to him, about what his situation is," Bochy said. "I'm definitely planning on giving him a couple of days" off.

UP NEXT:
Braves: RHP Julio Teheran will make his first career start against the Angels in Anaheim on Monday. He is 3-9 with a 5.63 ERA in 15 career interleague starts.

Giants: LHP Matt Moore will face the Nationals for the second time in his career. He was with Tampa Bay when he gave up two runs in five innings against Washington in 2012.

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