Fontenot cut, Vogelsong, Sanchez and Runzler to DL

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Fontenot cut, Vogelsong, Sanchez and Runzler to DL

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. The Giants cut a player from their 2010World Series team and placed four others on the disabled list as theycontinued to shape their opening-day roster.

In addition to placing infielder Mike Fontenot on releasewaivers, the Giants placed second baseman Freddy Sanchez on the disabled listalong with right-hander Ryan Vogelsong, left-hander Eric Surkamp and left-hander Dan Runzler.

NEWS: Giants waive Fontenot

Sanchez (right shoulder), Surkamp (strained flexor tendon) and Runzler (strained lat muscle) areretroactive to March 26, meaning they could be eligible to return by thefifth game of the season on April 11. None of the three players is expected to be ready bythat date, however.

Vogelsong (strained lower back) is on the mend but didnthave enough time to rebuild arm strength after missing the first three weeks ofthe spring. The plan is to activate him on April 15, when the Giants need afifth starter for the first time.

Sanchez has begun playing catch after getting a cortisoneshot in his repaired right shoulder on Sunday. But there remains no timetableto try making throws to bases in infield practice as a precursor to playing inthe field. Sanchez hasnt been able to throw with much zip or attempt the morestrenuous, across-the-body throws that are required of a second baseman whenturning double plays.

Fontenot came over in a trade from the Chicago Cubs in themiddle of the 2010 season and hit .227 as a part-time player last year. The31-year-old was deemed expendable because the Giants already have too manyleft-handed hitters and they dont expect to need much coverage behind BrandonCrawford, who is slated to be the everyday shortstop.

The Giants cut Fontenot on the last possible day before his1.05 million contract would become fully guaranteed. The Giants areresponsible for just a quarter of that amount, saving themselves 787,500.

The club faced the same deadline with Ryan Theriot, Fontenotsteammate at LSU and with the Cubs. But although Theriots best defensive daysat shortstop are behind him, his right-handed bat was a better fit for theGiants bench needs. Theriot will make 1.25 million this season.

Cutting Fontenot might clear the way for the Giants to carrya third catcher in Hector Sanchez, who has been the best offensive player incamp. A third catcher would allow the Giants to better pace Buster Posey in theearly going as he comes back from his horrific ankle injury. It will be morelikely that manager Bruce Bochy can take Posey out of blowout games early or pinch-runfor him if he has a third catcher. Plus Sanchezs switch-hitting bat would be aboon for the bench.

Even with Freddy Sanchez out indefinitely, the Giants feltthey had enough middle infield depth without Fontenot. One factor in thatanalysis is non-roster infielder Joaquin Arias, who has played extremely wellat every infield position this spring. Even if Arias begins the season atTriple-A Fresno, the Giants feel good about having him for insurance.

Giants spring training Day 9: Bumgarner, Melancon face hitters

Giants spring training Day 9: Bumgarner, Melancon face hitters

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Madison Bumgarner aims to get all 27 outs every time he takes the mound, but on Tuesday the coaching staff gave the ace a nice view of the man who will help out if his nights are cut short. 

Bumgarner threw his first live batting practice session of the spring on the main field at Scottsdale Stadium. Mark Melancon, the new closer, followed him. Both players said they felt good. Both also found things to work on in advance of opening day. 

“Strength-wise I felt pretty good, really good, actually,” Bumgarner said. “My command up in the zone was right where I want it. I’m pretty happy with that. My cutter was pretty straight, but that usually comes around pretty quick.”

Melancon didn’t even throw his go-to cutter, saying he usually pockets it until later in camp. He’s getting the feel for his curveball back because he doesn’t throw it until he reports. Like Bumgarner, Melancon said he’s where he needs to be physically.

“I feel really good,” he said. “In years past there has been some slowness but I don’t feel that this year. I’m right where I want to be.”

The Giants have not finalized a Cactus League rotation, but Bumgarner will likely throw an inning in Friday’s opener. Melancon could follow him, as he’ll throw in the early innings until late March. He said he’ll talk to pitching coach Dave Righetti about closing a game or two over the final days of camp so he can start locking his routine down. It’s probably a lock that he’ll close out that first Bay Bridge Series game back at AT&T Park. 

ICYMI: Here’s actual (shaky) footage of Bumgarner throwing today. At one point, he gave Denard Span a hard time for missing a slider that he was told was coming. Span had a good reason. “I didn't understand him when he said it because of his accent,” he said. 

ICYMI, PART II: The latest podcast is a couple of interviews with Derek Law and Josh Osich. Law explained how he ordered 800 chicken nuggets for his wedding. 

CUETO UPDATE: The Giants now expect Johnny Cueto to join camp this weekend. His status for the WBC is up in the air. Speaking of the WBC, trainer Dave Groeschner will be leaving camp on Feb. 27 to work with manager Hensley Meulens and the Netherlands. Bullpen catcher Taira Uematsu is also working with the team, which opens play in Seoul. Anthony Reyes will be head trainer while Groeschner is gone.

PROSPECT WATCH: Bruce Bochy said right-hander Ray Black was a standout during early live BP sessions. “He had a hell of an outing yesterday,” Bochy said. “They said he was really good.”   Black, 26, still throws 100-plus. He still has command issues, though, with 32 walks in 31 1/3 innings last year. If he can get over that hump and stay healthy, he might rocket to the big leagues.

QUOTABLE: After just about every start last season — most of which were dominant — Bumgarner said he wasn’t happy with his mechanics. He said Tuesday that he’s still searching for the perfect feeling. “I was being a perfectionist,” he said. “If you’re being a perfectionist, I really haven’t had (my mechanics) where I wanted the last couple of years. It’s not like it’s too far off, obviously.”

Johnny Cueto hopes to join Giants camp this weekend

Johnny Cueto hopes to join Giants camp this weekend

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — The Giants have been watching high-quality clips of Johnny Cueto all spring, even though the co-ace has remained in the Dominican Republic. On Monday, manager Bruce Bochy finally managed to get face-to-face with Cueto. Kind of. 

Cueto spoke to Bochy, trainer Dave Groeschner and others via FaceTime, and all involved finally managed to hammer out a schedule for Cueto’s arrival. Cueto has been in the Dominican Republic tending to his ill father, Domingo, but he is expected to arrive in Scottsdale this weekend. Cueto is working to secure a visa for his father, who will travel with him.

Bochy wanted to have a long discussion with Cueto to get a sense of how ready he’ll be for the World Baseball Classic. Cueto’s participation is still up in the air, and not just because he has missed the first week of camp. There is a chance, Bochy said, that Cueto will choose to stay in Scottsdale to continue taking care of his father. The Dominican Republic opens play in Miami on March 9.

“He said he knows he’s got to make a decision real soon regarding what he does,” Bochy said. “Pitching or not pitching, he’s got to let them know as soon as possible.”

Cueto has been throwing to hitters at a facility in Boca Chica. He threw a 45-pitch bullpen session on Tuesday.