Joseph impresses Bochy with two HR day

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Joseph impresses Bochy with two HR day

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- As a catcher, Tommy Joseph has a long way to go to passBuster Posey on the Giants depth chart.But after a two homer game Saturday in Scottsdale, Joseph is starting to makehis manager take notice.Wow, Bruce Bochy said after watching Joseph deposit two fastballs over the left-field fence in a split squad win over the Brewers. Hes making the most of theat-bats hes getting and what a day for him. A 20-year-old kid that reallyhandles himself well here and hes getting quality at-bats.Joseph is getting more at-bats as Posey is eased back into regular playingtime, and hes taking advantage. Hes also learning a lot from the Giants starcatcher. After getting hammered in the helmet by teammates following his 3rdinning home run, Posey gave Joseph some advice.RELATED: Giants split; beat Brewers, fall to Angels
Buster was giving me a hard time, Joseph said. He waslike you gotta learn to take your helmet off before you get in the dugout soyou dont start getting wailed.The way he was smiling after the game, Joseph will gladly take a beating if itmeans more days like Saturday.

It feels really good, Joseph said. Scottsdale is my home so I get to do itin front of my friends and family everyday. So to do that in front of them wasreally special.Joseph said he had eight friends and family members at Scottsdale Stadium for agame in which he started as the designated hitter. He was moved to catcher inthe seventh inning and told me that he was glad to get the chance to playdefense as well.I have more funcatching than hitting or anything else, Joseph said. Its way more fun tocatch a no-hitter or a shutout, you know, to do things for your pitcher I thinkis cooler than hitting home runs.NEWS: Wilson set to make Cactus League debut Sunday
Joseph admitted hes never had the honor of catching ano-hitter, but if he make it to the big leagues, hed be working with astarting staff that would give him a good shot at it. While his youth andposition hurt his chances of making the roster, theres no doubt that hes madean impression on Bochy, a former catcher himself.We think a lot of him, Bochy said. Ive talked about these young catchers,and hes certainly one of them, that we think a lot of. I like the way hescatching too, not just swinging the bat, and its good for him to get someat-bats up here and get some confidence.Joseph, who now has four hits in nine at-bats with six RBIs this spring, was happy that he could put on a show in front of Bochy.Its always nice as a minor leaguer to do it in front ofthe big-league manager, Joseph said. Im just trying to stay within myselfand work on things and just learn. Thats a huge part of being up here with allthese guys. I try to take things from everybody. Success is just a plus.

Mariners designate former Giants pitcher for assignment

Mariners designate former Giants pitcher for assignment

CHICAGO -- Chris Heston was hopeful a move to a new organization could give his career a jolt. It hasn't worked out that way.

The former Giant was designated for assignment on Wednesday by the Mariners, who earlier acquired an outfielder from the Astros and needed the roster spot. Heston was traded to Seattle at the winter meetings for a player to be named later. The Giants have not yet picked that player off a list the teams agreed to.

Heston had a 3.95 ERA as a starter for the Giants in 2015 and threw a no-hitter at Citi Field, but he had trouble transitioning to relief the next season and dealt with an injury in Triple-A. Needing a roster spot in December, the Giants traded him.

Heston started Sunday for Seattle and gave up six earned runs in three innings. He allowed five earned in two innings in his previous appearance.

Giants notes: Span feeling better, hopes to return to lineup Wednesday

Giants notes: Span feeling better, hopes to return to lineup Wednesday

CHICAGO -- Joe Panik's leadoff homer in the series opener was a jolt, but the Giants are a much more dangerous offense when Denard Span is clicking atop the lineup, a spot ahead of Panik, and they hope to have that duo going Wednesday. Span got treatment all day Tuesday and said he could return to the lineup against Kyle Hendricks. 

"The swelling has gone down," Span said of his sprained left thumb. "The thing to do is to come in tomorrow, test it out, and if it feels good, you strap it on."

Span said an X-ray came back clean, but he didn't grab a bat Tuesday to test the thumb, focusing instead on treatment. He is batting .326 in nine games since coming off the DL. His replacement in center this week, Gorkys Hernandez, was 0-for-3 against Jon Lester, lowering his average to .160. 

--- The main story from the second game of this series: Johnny Cueto is now dealing with a second blister, and you can see the lack of movement on his pitches. The Cubs took advantage. Lester didn't need much help while throwing a 99-pitch complete game in two hours and five minutes. 

"He threw a lot more changeups than we've seen in the past," Buster Posey said. "He's shown it in the past but tonight he had good command of it. It wasn't just a show-me pitch. He used it a lot and threw it to lefties as well.

Posey twice grounded short rollers in front of the plate.

--- Posey's throw to nab Javy Baez on Monday was one of the best of the year, and on Tuesday afternoon, Bruce Bochy said, "If he's given a chance, I don't think there's anyone better in the game." That might be true, but Willson Contreras is threatening to get into the conversation. He threw an 85 mph rocket to second in the fifth to nab Eduardo Nuñez. If you're wondering how Lester -- who flat-out has the yips about throwing to first base and doesn't do it -- has allowed just six stolen bases this season, look no further than his young catcher. Long-term, Contreras is the guy I would expect to compete with Posey for Gold Gloves. 

"Nuney, with his speed, can go," Bochy said. "Their catcher made a great throw. Put it right on the money."

--- From before Tuesday's game, what do the relievers think of the new hidden bullpen at Wrigley? And if you missed the Power Rankings the other day, the records are outdated, but there are updates in here on old friends Matt Duffy, Chris Heston, Tommy Joseph, Adalberto Mejia, Yusmeiro Petit and others. Petit in particular is incredible ... just keeps doing his thing. 

--- This play was made by the shortstop. That's good for the old UZR.