Giants split; beat Brewers, fall to Angels

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Giants split; beat Brewers, fall to Angels

BOX SCORE
SCOTTSDALE -- Barry Zito is happy with the progress he's made so far this spring.He allowed one hit in three scoreless innings and the San Francisco Giants earned a 13-3 win over the Milwaukee Brewers in a split-squad game on Saturday.The left-hander threw 30 strikes out of 45 pitches.Zito, who made some changes to his delivery over the winter, said he didn't feel quite as good as the results today, but he's had a strong spring. He's given up two runs in five innings."Every day I'm trying to take it one day at a time, and not get ahead of myself," Zito said.Pablo Sandoval doubled and homered in the Giants' eight-run third inning. It was his first homer of the spring.The Giants had 16 hits, including three homers. Prospect Tommy Joseph hit two homers and drove in four runs.NEWS: Wilson set to make Cactus League debut Sunday
Milwaukee's Mat Gamel, who is taking over at first this season after the departure of Prince Fielder, hit his third homer of the spring, a three-run shot in the fourth inning.Also, Milwaukee's Nyjer Morgan left the game in the second inning as a precaution after he was hit in the helmet by a pitch in the first.Shortstop Brandon Crawford doubled and tripled and had 3 RBIs for San Francisco. He's 6-for-14 with six RBIs this spring."I think really he's going to help contribute to this offense," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "He made a couple adjustments with his swing. He's shortened it up. It allows him to get to balls he wasn't able to get to before."RELATED: Zito self-critical despite improvement in second start
Crawford batted .204 as a rookie last year. But that swing adjustment he made late in the regular season also carried over to the Arizona Fall League.And now he's off to a strong start in the spring."I've played well the last couple of seasons whenever I've made that small change, and I'm doing well here to start out," he said. "It's definitely good for the confidence."Notes: San Francisco's Buster Posey reported feeling fine a day after his first game action of the spring. Posey is scheduled to start again on Sunday, catching four innings. Posey missed most of last season after injuring his left knee in a home plate collision. ... Reliever Brian Wilson is scheduled to make his spring debut on Sunday. Wilson has been out because of a sore elbow. ... Freddy Sanchez will not make his spring debut in the field until Wednesday or Thursday. Bochy had said on Friday that Sanchez could play second as soon as Monday, but the manager said he was mistaken and that the plan was never for Sanchez to play that soon. ... Wily Peralta, considered the top prospect in the Brewers' system, gave up four runs in 2 13 innings in his first start of the spring. ... Caleb Gindl had two hits to raise his spring average to .417.
BOX SCORETEMPE -- The Los Angeles Angels are going to try Mark Trumbo at a couple different spots so they can get his bat into their powerful lineup.It looks as if third base could be an option.Trumbo made a splendid diving grab to his left in the second inning Saturday, robbing Joaquin Arias of a single during the Angels' 9-5 victory over a split-squad of San Francisco Giants."You don't call it the hot corner for nothing," Trumbo said.Trumbo also homered and C.J. Wilson pitched three scoreless innings in his second spring outing for Los Angeles, which gave the left-hander a 77.5 million, five-year deal during free agency over the winter. Wilson allowed one hit, struck out two and walked one.With Albert Pujols set to play first and first baseman-designated hitter Kendrys Morales expected to return to the lineup soon, the Angels are searching for ways to find time for Trumbo. He led the team with 29 homers and 87 RBIs during his rookie year last season.NEWS: Freddy Sanchez's defensive debut delayed
The plan is for Trumbo to play in 50 games at third to go along with time at first, DH and right field.Trumbo, who had yet to have a ball hit to him in one start at third, made a great play on Arias' ball and also handled one ground ball flawlessly."More challenging plays will help me get my confidence," Trumbo said. "Some of that stuff will take some time."Peter Bourjos and Erick Aybar, hitting first and second respectively, utilized their speed to set up a pair of Angels run in the first.Bourjos bounced a single to right field and Aybar followed with a sharp single to right. Bourjos opted to test the throwing arm of Giants right fielder Tyler Graham and raced to third. Graham's throw was slightly late and Aybar took second.Bourjos then scored in Howie Kendrick's fly ball to right field with Aybar taking third. Aybar then narrowly scored on Trumbo's foul popup behind third, beating Conor Gillaspie's throw that short-hopped catcher Eli Whiteside.Angels manager Mike Scioscia has said this spring that he could "mix and match" a set of players to hit in front of Pujols in the third slot but is hoping to settle on two.Bourjos has been mentioned as a leadoff candidate. He hit .289 and had a .337 on-base percentage against left-handers last season while hitting .271 overall with a .327 on-base percentage.Aybar, the team's usual leadoff man last season, hit .279 with a .322 on-base percentage, but only .216 with a .284 on-base percentage against left-handers.Giants right-hander Shane Loux pitched 2 1-3 innings and was charged with three runs, two earned, and four hits. He hasn't appeared in the majors since he went 2-3 with a 5.86 ERA in 18 games with the Angels in 2009.NOTES: Angels 3B Luis Jimenez also hit his first spring homer. ... Angels reliever LaTroy Hawkins made his first spring appearance and gave up three runs and four hits in one inning.

Notes: Ex-Giants not getting much traction, not expected to return

Notes: Ex-Giants not getting much traction, not expected to return

SOMEWHERE IN THE AIR, United States — On the first day of the Winter Meetings, I discovered that my hotel room for the week was a few doors down from a section of rooms and suites dedicated to the Chicago Cubs. So either I have a lot of juice with Marriott or the Cubs have very little juice. 

They were a happy group as they came in and out, and for good reason. The Cubs are the reigning champions and they’re the heavy favorites going into 2017. Every other team at the Gaylord National Resort was chasing Theo Epstein and his guys. The Giants, after landing closer Mark Melancon, feel they have the firepower to compete with the Cubs. 

The Melancon move is the big one of the Giants’ offseason and it obscured just about everything else. Here are some other notes, quotes and rumors from five days at the Winter Meetings: 

--- Bobby Evans said the Aroldis Chapman deal ($86 million) came in right around where the Giants expected. The two sides never met in person, and while the Giants kept tabs on the Chapman market, he was always viewed as an unlikely choice. Part of that has to do with a 30-game suspension last season for a domestic violence incident. Evans said the off-field stuff was “not lost on us.” The Giants knew many of their fans were strongly opposed to a Chapman deal. 

“Our hearts and minds were really focused on one guy,” Evans said as he discussed the closer market. It was Melancon, and the Giants got the guy who will now head a bullpen that blew 30 saves during the regular season. 

Evans took some good-natured shots at that number, by the way. He pointed out that many of those “blown saves” came in the sixth or seventh innings and the Giants won a lot of those games. The more important number for the front office was ninth-inning blown saves that led to losses. The Giants lost nine such games, including five in September. 

“That’s the difference,” Evans said. “If you reduce that number to five or four, then that’s maybe the difference in your division.”

The Giants finished four games behind the Dodgers.

--- Joe Maddon said his biggest fear in the postseason was facing Johnny Cueto in Game 5.

--- Angel Pagan was not at the ballpark for the final game of the season. He had an injection in his injured back and was allowed to stay home to try and recover. The Giants told Pagan to prepare for a Game 5, but some team officials believe his postseason was probably over regardless of how far the Giants got. 

--- It was a little surprising, by the way, how little mention there was of Pagan and other Giants free agents. Pagan was briefly connected to the Orioles at one point but otherwise his name has not come up. There are no Gregor Blanco rumors, and nothing significant with Sergio Romo, Jake Peavy, Javier Lopez or Santiago Casilla. 

Giants people who have talked to Romo say he has at least a couple of offers and he’s confident he’ll find a good fit. Lopez is said to be headed for retirement unless an East Coast team (he lives in Georgia) makes a great offer. Peavy is said to be ready to fight for a job as a non-roster invitee in spring training. It seems the majority of the ex-Giants might have to go the non-roster route. Currently, none are expected to return to San Francisco. 

--- Gordon Beckham is technically a “Giants free agent” and several people in the clubhouse approacedh management to relay what a positive impact Beckham had in his week there. He is the kind of energetic, ball-busting presence that helps over a 162-game season, and everyone in the organization loved having him around, but they’re looking for power bats right now when it comes to the bench. 

--- Ramiro Pena is close to a deal to return as a non-roster invitee. The Giants will also add a catcher for Triple-A depth. They’re selecting from a group that includes former Dodgers and Cubs catcher Tim Federowicz. 

--- There will be new managers up and down the minor league system. The affiliates are expected to announce those choices soon. 

--- At the risk of wiping out a bunch of future "The Player to be Named Later has not been named" tweets, here's how it works: The Giants gave the Mariners a small list of prospects they'll watch in spring training, and they'll scout them and choose one player as the return for Chris Heston. It will not be a significant prospect. 

--- Under Armour will be the exclusive uniform provider of MLB starting in 2020, and all jerseys will have a small Under Armour logo on the chest. No exceptions, from the awful Diamondbacks jerseys to the Yankees pinstripes to the Giants. It was bound to happen eventually. The Giants have some of Under Armour’s most prominent baseball players, including Buster Posey, Brandon Belt and Joe Panik. 

--- The Giants never had any intention of pursuing a reunion with Pablo Sandoval. If they can add depth at third, they will, but for now Eduardo Nuñez is slated to be the opening day starter. Keep in mind, too, that Christian Arroyo will primarily play third base in the minors from now on. 

--- Bill Hayes, who was relieved of his duties as first-base coach, will stay with the big league staff. His exact role has not been determined. Roberto Kelly will not return in a different role. 

--- CSN did a bunch of one-on-one interviews this week, and two of them — Evans and Bruce Bochy — are available here as podcasts. If you’re a fan of the podcast, please consider hitting subscribe on iTunes. It’s good for the pod. 

--- In case you missed it: Here's an explanation of why the Giants are unlikely to add an expensive outfielder. The Giants currently have four players set for the WBC. Hensley Meulens will manage the Netherlands. Ryan Vogelsong helped Melancon choose the Giants. Bochy on if he has any postseason regrets. 

--- Melancon will be introduced at a 1 p.m. press conference on Friday. It will air on CSN Bay Area and you can stream it on this website. 
 

Wife of former Giants outfielder Andres Torres passes away

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Twitter/BengieMolina1

Wife of former Giants outfielder Andres Torres passes away

Former Giants outfielder Andres Torres lost his wife on Wednesday evening.

Soannie Torres passed away from cancer.

Andres played for the Giants from 2009 to 2011 and again in 2013.

During the Giants' World Series run in 2010, he hit .268 with 16 home runs and 63 RBI over 139 regular season games.

In the World Series against the Rangers, he batted .318 and hit a home run.

Torres was the 2010 winner of the Willie Mac Award, -- given annually to the Giants' most inspirational player.

To donate to the Soannie Torres Memorial Fund, click here.