Posey gives repaired ankle its most rigorous test yet


Posey gives repaired ankle its most rigorous test yet

PEORIA, Ariz. Barry Zito's incredibly shrinking stuff is cause for alarm, but at leastthe other end of the Giantsbattery appeared fully charged Friday night.

Not only did Buster Posey play nine innings for the firsttime all spring, but no part of it was a country club. He had to squat forthree interminable innings with Zito on the mound. He had to warm up JavierLopez after Clay Hensley left with an injury.

Most impressively, he had to push it harder on the basepathsthan at any point this spring. And then he had to push again.

Posey ran aggressively down the line while beating out aninfield chopper in the fifth inning. He took second base on a wild pitch. Thenhe scored from second on Brandon Belts single to right field. Posey slid intothe plate before the ball arrived, never showing a bit of hesitation.

He was 2 for 5 and has a .324 average this spring.

This was a long game. That was a good test, said Giantsmanager Bruce Bochy, adding that Posey would play first base on Saturday. Hesbeen coming through all the tests.

Its interesting that Posey will play first base a day afterhis most taxing night on the field. Thats probably what the Giants will askhim to do often this season. The club plays 39 day games after night games.Theyll play four such quick turn games out of the first 10 this season.

Bochy said Poseys health, ability and steady progress haveexceeded expectations.

We were optimistic hed be fine, but we havent had anyhiccups, Bochy said. (Trainer) Dave Groeschner has done a terrific job withthe rehab plan and Buster has come through all the stuff we put him through.

Hes really back to where he was.

Bochy added that Posey would do the lions share of thecatching, but he still couldnt put a number on the total starts he expects.Bochy might not have a true read on that until the end of April or the beginningof May.

BREAKING: Giants sign Pablo Sandoval to minor league deal

BREAKING: Giants sign Pablo Sandoval to minor league deal

SAN FRANCISCO — Three years after departing for what he thought would be a better fit, Pablo Sandoval has returned. 

The third baseman, a key cog in the dynasty the Giants built earlier this decade, re-signed with the organization on a minor league deal on Saturday morning. Sandoval will join Class-A San Jose immediately and move on to Triple-A Sacramento on Tuesday. He was in the AT&T Park clubhouse on Saturday to take a physical. 

Sandoval, now 30 years old, spent the first seven years of his career in San Francisco, batting .294 with 106 homers amid battles with his weight and inconsistency. The Giants never quite got on the same page with Sandoval when it came to his conditioning, and he alternated between being a valued power hitter in the middle of their lineup and sitting on the verge of being replaced. 

In Boston, there were no such highs. Sandoval played just 161 games over three seasons, batting .237 with 14 homers, and playing poor defense. He posted a negative Wins Above Replacement in all three seasons with the Red Sox and he was designated for assignment last week. Sandoval twice cleared waivers, so the Red Sox are on the hook for the remainder of a five-year, $95 million contract. 

The Giants have not yet commented publicly about Sandoval, citing tampering rules. The view from team employees seems to be that there’s little risk in signing a former fan favorite who comes essentially for free. With Christian Arroyo on the disabled list, Sandoval will not be blocking one of the organization’s top prospects, although you can argue that a last-place team would be better served looking at players like Ryder Jones.

Most players were guarded in their comments this week. Hunter Pence, the lone player mentioned in a positive light by Sandoval in a scathing article after his departure, said he is excited for a reunion. Others offered some version of, “If he helps us win, so be it.” 

It’s unclear if Sandoval can still do that, and multiple team officials, speaking on background this week, said it’s a coin flip whether Sandoval ever returns to the majors. Still, the Giants are willing to flip that coin, and their history says they don't sign veterans and leave them in the minors. 

Giants make roster moves; right-handed bullpen arm, infielder recalled


Giants make roster moves; right-handed bullpen arm, infielder recalled

The Giants announced a quartet of roster moves ahead of Game 3 of their series against the San Diego Padres. 

Albert Suarez and Orlando Calixte have been recalled from triple-A Sacramento while Steven Okert and Jae-Gyun Hwang have been optioned down to triple-A. 

Suarez has missed the entire season with shoulder and calf injuries. 

Calixte has appeared in eight games with the Giants this season. In 29 plate appearences, he has four hits and three runs batted in. 

Hwang hit .167 in his time with the big league club.