Urban: Giants GM finds another scrap-heap gem


Urban: Giants GM finds another scrap-heap gem

June 15, 2011


Follow @MUrbanCSN
Mychael Urban

Bruce Bochy joked that he was sending his "home-run lineup" out to face the Diamondbacks on Wednesday.We know he was joking because we know the Giants appear to be battling some sort of clinical aversion to sending balls soaring over fences.The best Bochy can hope for these days is a lineup that produces not home runs, but runs, period. Multiple runs, preferably.Then again, it was Madison Bumgarner on the mound for the champs, and if there's anything the Giants have recently appeared more clinically adverse to than long balls, it's scoring multiple runs for the kid.Ultimately, though, none of that mattered. The Giants had Bill Hall.Yeah. Bill Hall. The guy who drove in the winning run. Then doubled and scored a huge insurance run late. And played solid defense at second base all night.That Bill Hall. Who knew?RECAP: Bumgarner gets support, Giants beat D'backs
Who knew? Apparently Brian Sabean knew. Doesn't he always? So successful at picking players off the scrap heap and watching them shine in orange-and-black, Sabean has turned into that quasi-friend of yours from high school who got so many good breaks it was borderline annoying.You know the guy. He found wallets. He fell on fumbles in the end zone. The hottie in science class was assigned to be his lab partner -- and turned out to like Star Trek and De La Soul as much as he did.That's Sabean right now, only a little bit older version. His metal detector is forever buzzing on the beach, his bag full of baubles.Pat Burrell, Cody Ross, Javier Lopez were the baubles last year. Is Hall one of them in 2011?URBAN: Bumgarner gets a win
That remains to be seen, of course, and sure, one game makes a difference-maker not. Hall is no Freddy Sanchez, whose fate for the rest of the season remains to be heard.But because you saw what you saw last year, you can see Hall stepping in, as he did in his first start as a Giant, and being someone who does more than expected.Sabean, apparently, can see it, too.

Waived by Dallas, Deron Williams intends to sign with Cavs

Waived by Dallas, Deron Williams intends to sign with Cavs

CLEVELAND -- Free-agent guard Deron Williams has cleared waivers and told the Cleveland Cavaliers he intends to sign with them.

Williams, a five-time All-Star, was waived this week by Dallas. He will give the defending NBA champions a playmaker they've needed all season and one LeBron James demanded.

Williams cannot sign with the Cavs until Monday. Cleveland hosts the Milwaukee Bucks that night. The Cavs will be the fourth team for Williams, who is averaging 13.1 points this season.

Cleveland coach Tyronn Lue can bring him off the bench and also play him with Cleveland's starters to give James and Kyrie Irving rest before the playoffs.

Cavaliers general manager David Griffin didn't make a move at Thursday's trade deadline, but said the team still needed a playmaker. Williams can also back up Kyrie Irving at point guard, a spot the Cavaliers have been trying to fill since the start of the season.

Griffin's previous acquisitions are a big reason the Cavaliers are 8-1 in February. Kyle Korver is shooting 52 percent from 3-point range since being acquired from Atlanta and has made up for the loss of J.R. Smith, who is out until April with a broken right thumb.

Derrick Williams, who is on a second 10-day contract, is averaging 9.8 points in five games with the Cavaliers.

Cleveland has been also looking to add frontcourt depth since Kevin Love had surgery on his right knee earlier this month. Love, who is averaging 20 points and 11.1 rebounds, said Friday that he plans on being ready for the playoffs.

Free-agent Larry Sanders worked out for the Cavaliers last week and Andrew Bogut is another possibility to join Cleveland. Bogut is expected to have his contract bought out by the Philadelphia 76ers, who acquired him from the Mavericks at the deadline.


A's Gray won't pitch in WBC due to insurance company issue

A's Gray won't pitch in WBC due to insurance company issue

MESA, Ariz. — Sonny Gray won’t be an option for Team USA in the World Baseball Classic, after the tournament’s insurance carrier declined to cover the A’s right-hander for the tournament.

Gray feels great physically now, stressed Oakland general manager David Forst, but last season Gray spent more than 60 days on the disabled list for trapezius and forearm issues, and he also finished August on the D.L. Both of those criteria landed him on the “chronic condition player” list that keeps players out of the WBC.

Astros catcher Russell Martin was denied eligibility for the WBC based on similar criteria.

As it was, Gray was only scheduled to join Team USA for the second round if the Americans made it that far.

“I know Sonny’s bummed, he wanted to pitch,” Forst said. “Again, we were excited to let him do that.”

‘It’s an unfortunate thing, but at the same time it allows me to slow down here and get myself as ready as I can for the beginning of the season,” Gray said. “I know it didn't work out but to have that opportunity to be asked to play is humbling and something that maybe in future can work out.”

MLB pushed for an exception to let Gray pitch, according to Forst, but it wasn’t granted by the insurance company.

“Nobody can play in the tournament if you’re not covered by the insurance carrier,” Forst said.

With Gray now out of the WBC for certain, the A’s pushed his first exhibition start back from Monday to Wednesday since there’s less urgency to have him ready for possible WBC duty. That had a ripple effect on Oakland’s rotation.

Daniel Gossett will now start Sunday’s game against the Los Angeles Angels. Kendall Graveman, originally set to pitch Sunday, now goes Monday against the Giants. All indications are Jharel Cotton and Andrew Triggs remain in line to both pitch Tuesday.

It’s an unusual turn of events, but the upshot is that three of the five players from the A’s 40-man roster scheduled to participate in the WBC ultimately will not. Left fielder Khris Davis (Mexico) and reliever Liam Hendriks (Australia) voluntarily withdrew. Reliever John Axford is pitching for Canada and fellow reliever Santiago Casilla is still scheduled to pitch for the Dominican Republic, though the longer Casilla remains out of camp while his visa process plays out in his home country, the more it would seem to possibly put his WBC status in jeopardy.

“At some point it may become an issue, but it’s not yet,” Forst said.