Wilson plays catch, but will he be ready for opening day?

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Wilson plays catch, but will he be ready for opening day?

ST. LOUIS Brian Wilson didnt care if it happened in thenations capital, on the banks of the Ohio River, on the shores of McCovey Coveor on a cold, gray afternoon within view of the Gateway Arch.

He knew his first experience tossing a baseball with his newarm would come on Oct. 19, six months to the date of his reconstructive elbowsurgery. And on that day, he wanted to be with the Giants as they prepared forGame 5 of the National League Championship Series.

First session on a major league field, said Wilson, aftermaking 30 tosses from 45 feet at Busch Stadium. Im right where I need to be.

Wilson vowed to be 100 percent in spring training and fullyoperational for the Giants 2013 opener, even though itll arrive 17 days shortof the one-year anniversary of his procedure.

But Giants head athletic trainer Dave Groeschner, while heappreciated Wilsons optimism, reminded that there are no certainties especially for someone who is having his ulnar collateral ligamentreconstructed for the second time.
REWIND: Giants say Wilson surgery a success

It can be done in 11 months, but sometimes its 16,Groeschner said. At this point, its too early to say. If all goes great maybe. If he has setbacks, which can happen to anybody, itll be tough.

Hes being positive, obviously, but its hard to say. Weknow we will do all we can and he will do all he can. Well just have to waitand see.

For now, all parties were relieved that Wilson couldgraduate from the tedium of arm exercises to some light tossing. There wasntmuch else for Wilson to do other than watch his beard grow, which it certainlyhas.

Wilson looks like he could teach a course on the Talmud.

At this point, I understand its completely ridiculous, hesaid. Im totally OK with that. And I also dont care.

Wilson is going to toss every three days for the next monthbefore he ramps up his throwing program. He said the next checkmark is to startswinging a golf club.

Seriously, he said. Helps to break up scar tissue.

Well, at least he didnt try to grip it and rip it duringhis first throwing session.

They were afraid for me getting amped up three months agoand chucking a baseball as hard as I could, Wilson said. But I like to thinkI value my intelligence.

Responded Groeschner, smiling: He values his intelligencemore than we do.

Wilson doesnt have a contract yet for next season, but hesgot one more year of arbitration before he could become a free agent, and theexpectation is that he and the Giants will work out a one-year deal that isamenable to all parties.

The Giants might even look to ease Wilson into the closerrole, especially since the committee approach served their current personnelwell in the bearded ones absence this season.

Does Wilson expect to pitch in the ninth inning out of thechute?

Im not going to speculate or insinuate anything, he said,but Im paid to be me and Ill be me on opening day.

As if he could be anyone else.

Giants lineup: Panik leading off in series opener vs Cubs

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AP

Giants lineup: Panik leading off in series opener vs Cubs

Bruce Bochy and Joe Maddon issued their lineups for today's series opener in Chicago:

Giants (19-26)
1. Joe Panik (L) 2B
2. Christian Arroyo (R) 3B
3. Brandon Belt (L) 1B
4. Buster Posey (R) C
5. Brandon Crawford (L) SS
6. Eduardo Nunez (R) LF
7. Justin Ruggiano (R) RF
8. Gorkys Hernandez (R) CF
9. Ty Blach (R) P (1-2, 4.15 ERA)

Cubs (22-20) 
1. Ben Zobrist (S) LF
2. Albert Almora Jr. (R) CF
3. Kris Bryant (R) 3B
4. Anthony Rizzo (L) 1B
5. Willson Contreras (R) C
6. Addison Russell (R) SS
7. Jason Heyward (L) RF
8. Javier Baez (R) 2B
9. John Lackey (R) P (4-3, 4.37 ERA)

Former Giants top prospect earns first career MLB win with Twins

Former Giants top prospect earns first career MLB win with Twins

BOX SCORE

MINNEAPOLIS -- Adalberto Mejia made the most of his brief stint back in the majors with the Minnesota Twins by getting his first big-league win.

Robbie Grossman, Max Kepler and Chris Gimenez all homered to help Mejia and the Twins beat the Kansas City Royals 8-4 in the second game Sunday to salvage a split of a doubleheader.

Mejia (1-1) was the Twins' 26th active player for the second game and allowed three runs in seven innings, on two home runs by Salvador Perez - who also went deep in the first game.

Mejia's reward for his first win? A trip back to Triple-A Rochester.

"I'm going to go down there and work on the things they told me work on," Mejia said through interpreter Carlos Font. "Then it will be up to them to see when I get back."

Grossman and Kepler each hit two-run homers in the first inning, and Brian Dozier had an RBI double in the second off Ian Kennedy (0-4) in his first game back from the disabled list.

Brandon Moss hit two of Kansas City's four home runs in the opener of the doubleheader, and Perez and Jorge Bonifacio each hit two-run homers to lead the Royals to a 6-4 win earlier in the day.

With the split, the Twins are now 7-1 on the year against the Royals. Kansas City's win in the first game snapped a seven-game losing streak against Minnesota.

Kennedy, who returned after missing time with a hamstring strain, said he felt fine physically. He walked three batters and gave up a pair of two-run homers in just two innings Sunday.

"He was way out of whack," manager Ned Yost said. "His leg was fine. He felt normal, felt good. Just timing was off, rhythm was off."

MINOR'S WIN

Mike Minor's road back to the majors was not an easy one. Shoulder surgery kept him out of the majors for two years and resulted in a move to the bullpen.

Minor got his first victory since 2014 with 1 1/3 scoreless innings of relief in the first game Sunday. He relieved Jake Junis with a 5-2 lead in the fifth, two outs and two on. The 29-year-old left-hander walked Max Kepler, then retired Kennys Vargas on a popup. Minor retired the side in order in the sixth.

Minor had surgery to repair a torn labrum in his pitching shoulder in May 13, 2015, and did not appear in the major leagues in 2015 and 2016. Minor, who signed a $7.25 million, two-year contract with the Royals in February 2016, got his first major league victory since Aug. 28, 2014, for Atlanta.

JUNIS' FIRST START

Kansas City's Jake Junis, a 24-year-old right-hander, was recalled from Triple-A Omaha and made his first big league start after a pair of relief appearances. He allowed two runs, five hits and four walks in 4 2/3 innings, leaving after RBI singles from Brian Dozier and Miguel Sano.

Junis found out Saturday that he would be making his first career start. He didn't pitch deep enough to get the win, but impressed manager Ned Yost before the Royals optioned Junis back to Omaha after the game.

"I thought he did a nice job," Yost said. "We tried to get him through that fifth inning, but we needed to win this game."

ROYALS MOVES

Kansas City left fielder Alex Gordon missed the second game to join his wife, who is due to give birth on Monday. Infielder Raul Mondesi replacing Gordon on the roster but was optioned to Triple-A Omaha after the game. That means LHP Miguel Almonte, initially the Royals' 26th active player Sunday, remains on the 25-man roster. ... RHP Al Alburquerque was designated for assignment to make room on the roster for Junis.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Royals: RHP Nate Karns had his pitching arm evaluated after Friday's start against Minnesota. Manager Ned Yost said fluid was found in the elbow area but Karns does not have a strain. Karns exited his start Friday after five innings and threw just 72 pitches due to stiffness in his arm.

Twins: RHP Phil Hughes was placed on the 10-day disabled list Sunday with shoulder discomfort. Hughes took the loss in the first game of Sunday's doubleheader. Right-hander Kyle Gibson will take Hughes' place on the roster.

UP NEXT

Royals: LHP Jason Vargas (5-2, 2.03 ERA) starts Monday's series opener at the New York Yankees.

Twins: RHP Kyle Gibson (0-4, 8.20 ERA) will be recalled from Triple-A Rochester to start Monday against Baltimore.