Gutierrez: A's Cahill taken to school by Yanks early

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Gutierrez: A's Cahill taken to school by Yanks early

May 30, 2011GUTIERREZ ARCHIVEA's PAGE A's VIDEOPaul Gutierrez
CSNCalifornia.com

OAKLAND -- He has a detached cool about him that belies the notion he ever gets rattled.A 23-year-old who warms up to the hypnotic strains of Jefferson Airplane's "White Rabbit?" Too cool for school.Looking over into the opposing dugout and seeing Jeter and A-Rod and Posada (no, he did not beg out of the lineup) and Teixeira and the iconic interlocking "NY" adorning their caps? School, rather, is in session.And A's ace Trevor Cahill was taken there Monday by those marauding New York Yankees. Early, and often, in New York's eventual 5-0 defeat of Oakland that snapped the A's season-high four-game winning streak.RECAP: Yankees get to Cahill early, Athletics lose 5-0

"They've got quite a few of the best hitters in the game," Cahill said, in what will surely be in the running for understatement of the year."It kind of happened quick. I can't really remember what happened. You walk a guy, give up a base hit, next thing you know, it's a 3-0 game."And with Bartolo Colon and his magic-healing fat stem cells acting as a fountain of youth for the 2005 American League Cy Young Award winner, that was essentially the ballgame.GUTIERREZ: A's Insider notes
A hard-hit single up the middle by Derek Jeter to lead off the game was followed by a Curtis Granderson fly out before Mark Teixeira took advantage of Cahill's anxiousness."He sure doesn't seem like it," A's manager Bob Geren said, when asked if Cahill was especially more amped up to face the Yankees. "On the outside."The way to tell, then, is by Cahill's pitch location. The less control he has, the more tightly-wound he is. And the higher his pitches sail.On a 1-and-2 count to Teixeira, Cahill tried to bury a curveball into the dirt. Instead, it hung. And Teixeira pounded the ball into the right-field stands for a two-run home run.Then Cahill walked Alex Rodriguez before Robinson Cano doubled into the right-center gap. Three-to-nothing, Yankees, and Cahill had yet to break a sweat."You just try to execute one pitch at a time," Cahill said.One batter at a time.Getting knocked around by the first five hitters he faced seemed to actually settle the youngster. Cahill allowed only one hit the rest of his afternoon, though he did walk four more batters, including two in the fateful seventh.Those figurative saucer-eyes that Cahill was sporting in the first inning? Long gone by the end of the sixth. He even appeared to twice buzz Yankees catcher Francisco Cervelli with knockdown pitches under the chin after he stole second base in the second inning. But more impartial observers thought the balls just got away from Cahill, and that Cervelli is seen as a drama queen, of sorts, who hangs out over the plate and dives out of the way on anything close."Trevor is still very young and he continues to get better," Geren said.Except, Cahill has gotten progressively worse after starting out 6-0 with a 1.72 ERA in his first eight starts. Since then, he is 0-2 with a 3.51 ERA in four outings.His numbers against the Yankees in his career, though, are downright gruesome in going 0-3 with a 9.72 ERA in three starts against them.Weariness and related poor mechanics that resulted in a different arm slot did him in come the seventh."I paid for it," he said. "It's about getting comfortable and confident."Still think they're not in his head? At the risk of giving the Yankees and their bought-and-paid-for mystique too much credit, they most certainly should be.They have a 207-million payroll. Twenty-seven World Series championships. And, as one A's player told me he felt about the Yankees when he first came up to the bigs, "They're men."To his credit, Cahill settled down. But it was too late. Especially with the A's bats going back into hibernation.Now, if only the A's could inject some of Colon's fat stem cells into their bats.

Giants spring training Day 39: Nuñez receives pair of cortisone shots

Giants spring training Day 39: Nuñez receives pair of cortisone shots

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Buster Posey and Brandon Crawford will return to camp Thursday, show off their WBC championship medals, and then head to nearby Salt River Fields to take on the Colorado Rockies. It'll be a few more days, however, before the Giants have their full infield on the field. 

Eduardo Nuñez said he actually got two cortisone shots in his right shoulder, since an MRI this week showed “something” in two separate spots. Nuñez asked for the MRI because, while he was able to play and make strong throws, he felt pain on a daily basis. He might DH this weekend, but it'll be a few more days before he's cleared to begin throwing. 

The Giants are hopeful that the shots calm all this down, and Nuñez anticipated being ready for Opening Day. Still, it certainly sounds like this will be a close call. Conor Gillaspie, who is having a huge spring, could get plenty of early time at third. Manager Bruce Bochy doesn't anticipate Nuñez missing Opening Day.

"He should be ready," Bochy said. 

The Giants need all the good injury news they can get. It is expected that Will Smith will announce Friday that he's having Tommy John surgery. 

ICYMI: From this morning, a feature on George Kontos and his rise over the last few years. 

Also, one of the bench candidates, Gordon Beckham, asked for his release. The Giants will soon have to make decisions on Hill and David Hernandez, who have similar retention bonuses due March 28.

GAME RECAP: The Giants played one of their uglier games of the spring, losing 9-2 to King Felix and the Mariners … Matt Moore lasted just 1 2/3 innings, giving up four runs on four hits, two walks, a balk and a wild pitch. It was the same old thing: Moore just all of a sudden lost his command, and because he got up past the 30-pitch mark in the second inning alone, the Giants cut it off. Moore went down to the bullpen and got up to around 80 pitches. He'll make one more start down here, Tuesday against the Cubs ... Joe Panik had a hard double, one of just four hits for the Giants … Chris Marrero hasn’t played a whole lot of left field this spring, and he didn’t show much to the coaches on a couple of opportunities to throw home. The left field situation remains a mystery. 

POSITION BATTLES: Kelby Tomlinson played six innings of left field in a minor league game, and he had to wait until the sixth to get his first and only fly ball. There seemed to be a lot of interest from decision-makers about how Tomlinson fared, and his action today opens up an intriguing possibility. There’s a roster permutation that has the Giants keeping just one reserve outfielder (Gorkys Hernandez) and three backup infielders: Conor Gillaspie, Aaron Hill and Kelby Tomlinson, with the latter two being options in left field. 

FAMILIAR FACE: Angel Pagan made it through the WBC healthy, and he apparently is drawing interest from the Phillies and Blue Jays. Giants people are confident Pagan will get a big league job somewhere over the coming week. 

Giants reliever Will Smith leaning toward season-ending Tommy John surgery

Giants reliever Will Smith leaning toward season-ending Tommy John surgery

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Left-hander Will Smith, a key piece of a revamped bullpen, is leaning toward having Tommy John surgery, manager Bruce Bochy said Thursday night. 

Bochy said surgery was the recommendation of both doctors who examined Smith's elbow this week. Smith will talk to his agent before coming to a final decision on Friday. The procedure would keep Smith out the entire 2017 season and likely would cause him to miss the start of the 2018 season.

Smith, 27, missed the first month of camp because of pain in his throwing elbow. He returned March 17, but during a March 20 outing he again felt pain and called for a trainer. A second round of diagnostics revealed a strain and a sprain in the elbow. Smith saw team orthopedist Dr. Ken Akizuki in San Francisco and flew to Los Angeles this week to get a second opinion from Dr. Neal ElAttrache of the Kerlen-Jobe Clinic. 

"They had the same opinion," Bochy said. "There is a tear there. You can try to rehab it and if that doesn't work you're behind a couple of months ... It's not a definite he's going to have it done, but two doctors are in agreement on what this is."

Smith was expected to serve as the late lefty for the Giants, getting setup work in the seventh and eighth innings. With Smith out, the Giants will lean on young lefties Steven Okert, Josh Osich and Ty Blach. 

"We're going to have to have someone step up and help us in the seventh and eighth," Bochy said. "That was going to be will's role. He's a guy we were leaning on."

Smith was acquired from the Brewers at the deadline last season in exchange for right-hander Phil Bickford (who is currently serving a 50-game suspension) and catcher Andrew Susac (who is currently injured). After a shaky start, he finished the regular season with 18 consecutive scoreless appearances. 

The Giants have for the most part avoided Tommy John for 40-man roster pitchers. Hunter Strickland, Derek Law and Josh Osich have all had it during their time in the organization, along with outfielder Mac Williamson. Prospect Ian Gardeck is currently recovering from Tommy John. The last Giants pitcher who was likely headed for the roster before having Tommy John was left-hander Eric Surkamp. He had surgery in 2012.

The timetable is different for every pitcher, but the general consensus is that the procedure sidelines a pitcher for at least a year, and usually closer to 16 months. Matt Moore, Thursday night’s starter, had Tommy John on April 23, 2014. He did not return to a big league mound until July 2, 2015, and even then, he was under restrictions. 

Smith is under team control for two more seasons after this one.