Posey pumped to face live pitching

682446.jpg

Posey pumped to face live pitching

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The Giants are taking it easy on Buster Posey as he workshis way back from a devastating left ankle injury. But theyre not putting abubble around their cleanup-hitting catcher.Posey caught Tim Lincecums side session on Saturday andhell do more catching on Sunday the first time hell spend time in the squaton consecutive days. Hell also take swings in live batting practice aspitchers face hitters the first time hell encounter live pitching since herapped a single in the ninth inning May 25.Looking forward to it, Posey said.

Hitters often stand in the box and track most pitches duringthe first live BP day. Posey said hell do some of that. But hes eager to takesome hacks, too.Its easy to forget that Posey wasnt lighting up the boxscores during the early part of last season. He had a .244 average on May 11before starting to turn a corner. He was 17 for 43 in his last 11 games (.395)before the collision at the plate ended his season.Poseys bat is vital to the Giants offensive turnaroundthis season. He said he plans to stand in the box for more side sessions andtrack pitches as he works to get his timing back.When games begin, the real tests will arrive. One of them isbeing ready for plays at the plate, and that includes taking a defensive stancewhile receiving throws. Manager Bruce Bochy worked with Danny Martin, theGiants video coordinator, to compile footage of plays where the catcher set upproperly to make a swipe tag. Bochy sat down with Posey and showed him thefootage Saturday.Pudge Rodriguez was in several of the clips. Bochy calledRodriguez the master of the swipe tag.

Former Giants OF Gregor Blanco agrees to deal with NL West rival

Former Giants OF Gregor Blanco agrees to deal with NL West rival

After five seasons with the Giants, outfielder Gregor Blanco has a new home.

The veteran outfielder has agreed to a minor league deal with the Arizona Diamondbacks, according to his agent Wilfredo Polidor.

The deal includes an invitation to spring training.

The deal includes a $1 million base salary if Blanco makes the major league roster, according to SB Nation's Chris Cotillo. Blanco has a chance to earn an addition $2.7 million in performance-based incentives and has an opt-out of April 1 in the deal.

Shortly after Polidor made the announcement, Blanco thanked the D'backs on Twitter for the bringing him to the organization.

"Thanks to the @Dbacks for let me part of a dream the same dream I got another ring another championship let's all dream together we can doit," Blanco wrote.

Blanco bounced around from Braves to the Royals from 2008 to 2010, but found a home with the Giants prior to the 2012 season.

Over five seasons with the Giants, Blanco appeared in 649 games. He hit .259/.338/.360 with 244 runs scored, 78 doubles, 24 triples, 19 home runs, 157 RBI and 75 stolen bases.

President Obama pardons Giants legend Willie McCovey

President Obama pardons Giants legend Willie McCovey

President Barack Obama pardoned Giants Hall of Famer Willie McCovey on Tuesday.

McCovey, along with Dodgers Hall of Fame outfielder Duke Snider, pleaded guilty to tax fraud in July of 1995. The crime came from not reporting income McCovey earned from signing autographs and appearing at sports memorabilia shows. 

McCovey previously pleaded guilty to not listing $70,000 he made from 1988-90, according to the San Jose Mercury News.

Through the Giants, McCovey said: "I want to express my sincere gratitude to President Obama not only for this kind gesture on my behalf, but also for his tireless service to all Americans. He will be deeply missed and I wish him all the best in the future."

The 79-year-old McCovey was one of 64 people who received pardons from President Obama Tuesday as his final days in office wind down.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.