Lincecum returns to standard workouts


Lincecum returns to standard workouts

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- It was a quiet morning in Giants camp, which counts as anupset when you consider that Aubrey Huff showed up for the first time.Tim Lincecums stiff back was improved and he participatedin activities, including stretching and calisthenics. He also played catch withBarry Zito. The Giants took Lincecum inside a little early as a precaution, but manager Bruce Bochy said he expected the two-time Cy Young Award winner tothrow his usual bullpen session on Thursday.
As for Brian Wilson, he didnt throw with his usual groupoff a mound. But that was predetermined. Instead of throwing a bullpen everyother day, the Giants have Wilson throwing every third day as a precautionbecause of the strained elbow that dogged him most of last season. So hes onthe schedule for Thursday as well.Its all mapped out, Bochy said.Left-hander Dan Runzler still has a touch of the lat strainin his side that kept him out for part of last season, but hes not beingrestricted. Hell also throw his next bullpen on Thursday.Second baseman Freddy Sanchez stretched out his throwingdistance to 140 feet as he attempts to build strength in his repaired rightshoulder. The real test will come when he makes throws as part of fielding hisposition, though.And Buster Posey took a day off from catching bullpens. He's on the every-other-day schedule, but could begin to ramp that up soon.
Other than that, it was just another day for the pitchers tobuild arm strength and watch some of these minor leaguers in camp.One thing youd notice immediately from this group ofyounger arms: They are not shrimps. Seems like everyone is threatening to bangtheir heads on the door frame as they walk out of the clubhouse.You probably know about Heath Hembree, who throws up theupper, upper 90s. But Id suggest keeping an eye on Hector Correa, too. Hesgot a power sinker that should play well against big league hitters at somepoint this season.As for Huff, he arrived a day before position players aredue to check in. He took some swings in the cage, shared a few wisecracks withreporters and shook some hands. (Watch out for the famous Huff dead fishhandshake.)Bochy saw him signing autographs and yelled out his welcome.Youre playing third base and hitting third, Bochy said.Joking, of course.

Giancarlo Stanton to Giants? Upside vs downside from Marlins perspective


Giancarlo Stanton to Giants? Upside vs downside from Marlins perspective

Because we are too cool to allow the games to sustain us and because we all think the purpose of sports is actually not to be the best player but the general manager, the new item on the baseball menu is not the pennant races but “Where should Giancarlo Stanton go?”

The usual suspects are listed – the Yankees, the Giants, the Chunichi Dragons, Real Madrid – and the $295 million still on his contract is not considered an impediment.

But the logic behind the Marlins keeping him is just as clear and more pressing. Namely, Bruce Sherman, the incoming owner, and Derek Jeter, the designated face, did not buy this team and promptly try to make themselves detested by the few people who still care about it.

So far, we know that the monstrous thing in center field (no, not Christian Yelich) is likely to be torn down, and that Stanton is don’t-go-to-the-bathroom-during-his-half-inning entertainment. Beyond that, we know only that the Marlins draw when they win a lot and barely at all the rest of the time. They are clearly a distant third in a four-team race with the Dolphins and Heat for people’s hearts, and now that hating Jeffrey Loria’s living guts are off the table for the fans, there really is no there, there.

So what’s the up-side of moving Stanton (and before we go any further, the Giants don’t have nearly enough assets to make that work, so calm the hell down) for the Marlins? Prospects, the dark hole that makes a three-year plan a six-year plan.

And the down-side? Sherman may as well move the team for the level of fun he’ll get from it, and the only reason to buy a team looking at a $60 million loss is for the fun. Besides, onlky a very few owners have ever made the full turn from villain to hero – the first impression almost always lasts forever.

So while Stanton may create immediate wallet relief for this aggressively average team (their current record of 57-61 is the 12th best in their 25-year history, and they’ve only had eight winning seasons ever), they also have nothing to sell the fans that they have to live with every day. And if they don’t have enough fans . . . well, I hear San Jose is always hot for a mediocre franchise that lurches between spending money and hoarding it.


Giants lineup: Posey out, Sandoval hitting cleanup vs Marlins


Giants lineup: Posey out, Sandoval hitting cleanup vs Marlins

Bruce Bochy and Don Mattingly issued their lineups for today's series finale in Miami:

Giants (48-73) 
1. Denard Span (L) CF
2. Hunter Pence (R) RF
3. Jarrett Parker (L) LF
4. Pablo Sandoval (S) 3B
5. Brandon Crawford (L) SS
6. Nick Hundley (R) C
7. Ryder Jones (L) 1B
8. Kelby Tomlinson (R) 2B
9. Matt Cain (R) P (3-9, 5.22 ERA)

Marlins (57-61) 
1. Dee Gordon (L) 2B
2. Giancarlo Stanton (R) RF
3. Christian Yelich (L) CF
4. Marcell Ozuna (R) LF
5. J.T. Realmuto (R) C
6. Derek Dietrich (L) 3B
7. Tomas Telis (S) 1B
8. Mike Aviles (R) SS
9. Jose Urena (R) P (10-5, 3.76 ERA)