StewartWhiteside competition will go down to the wire

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StewartWhiteside competition will go down to the wire

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The Giants won't choose a backup catcher based on who collects the most hits in the Cactus League. Either Chris Stewart or Eli Whiteside will make the club based on their ability to call a game, catch and throw.

But both will get a chance to take their hacks Sunday afternoon against the Chicago White Sox at Camelback Ranch. Stewart is catching Barry Zito and Whiteside is the DH.

One important detail in this competition: Whiteside has a minor league option. Stewart does not.

(A reminder: If Hector Sanchez makes the club, it'd be as a third catcher. Unless Buster Posey looks suddenly compromised late in camp, his backup is expected to be Stewart or Whiteside.)

In other morning news, Nate Schierholtz moves up to the No.2 position in the lineup. I'm guessing that is because manager Bruce Bochy wants to get him as many at-bats as possible. As I wrote a couple days ago, Schierholtz hasn't secured his starting job in right field. Brandon Belt has done much more this spring to warrant an everyday role.

I spoke to Ryan Vogelsong and he said he was allowed to test his back by taking 20 swings off a tee. He said everything felt fine, but he was only concerned about being able to get his bunts down. Vogelsong is a pretty good hitter (and former Kutztown shortstop), as you'll remember. He's due to throw 40 pitches against KC on Monday.

Finally, I asked Matt Cain if he had any update on his contract negotiations.

"Beat it, Baggs," he said, cordially.

The lineup:

CF Gregor Blanco
RF Nate Schierholtz
LF Melky Cabrera
1B Brett Pill
2B Joaquin Arias
SS Brandon Crawford
3B Conor Gillaspie
C Chris Stewart
DH Eli Whiteside
P Barry Zito

Giants hammer three homers in third straight spring training win

Giants hammer three homers in third straight spring training win

BOX SCORE

At Goodyear, Arizona, Joe Panik, Conor Gillaspie and Jarrett Parker homered for San Francisco. Jimmy Rollins singled and scored twice.

Giants lefty Matt Moore went 1 1/3 innings in his first start of the spring, allowing one run and one hit. He walked two and struck out three.

Cincinnati starter Tim Adleman pitched two innings, giving up four hits and two runs.

Giants spring training Day 14: Moore, Beede debut as SF improves to 3-0

Giants spring training Day 14: Moore, Beede debut as SF improves to 3-0

GOODYEAR, Ariz. — An hour after he gave up a run, walked two, and struck out three in 1 1/3 innings, Matt Moore stood in front of his locker and smiled.

“I usually stink in spring training,” he said. 

That’s not entirely true. By spring training standards, Moore’s 4.06 ERA over 19 exhibition appearances is practically Cy Young-worthy. But the Giants have come to find that Moore, acquired at the deadline last summer, has high standards. He lived up to them the last time he took the mound in orange and black, throwing eight brilliant innings in the final game of the 2016 season. 

Moore had a long offseason to think about the way the postseason ended. He said he doesn’t have regrets. 

“The ball doesn’t go your way, but there’s nothing about what happened that night that I second-guess,” he said. “We all showed up. Boch managed the game, we played the game … that’s the way it goes sometimes.”

The Giants are counting on Moore to help them get back to October. To recover from last year’s lengthy run — his first full season back from Tommy John — Moore pushed the start of his offseason throwing program back a month. Sunday’s outing was just the second time facing hitters this spring because rain messed with some of the coaching staff’s workout plans, but Moore said he feels strong. 

“We got him where we wanted,” manager Bruce Bochy said. “He looked good.”

GAME RECAP: The ball was flying at Goodyear Ballpark Way Out In The Middle Of Nowhere and the Giants took full advantage. Conor Gillaspie, Joe Panik and Jarrett Parker homered in a 9-5 win over the Reds. The Giants are 3-0 in Cactus League play … Tyler Beede struck out one in two scoreless innings. Beede gave up two hits, but he finished his 2017 debut by getting a double-play ball … Jimmy Rollins scored twice while leading off … Albert Suarez made his debut, pitching 1 2/3 scoreless innings … Cincinnati’s pitching was mostly brutal, but former Giants prospects Luis Castillo and Keury Mella finished off the day with three scoreless innings. 

POSITION BATTLE: Parker had two hits and walked twice. His homer was a laser shot. “He smoked that one,” Bochy said. “I didn’t think it was going out, but he scalded it. It shows the kind of power he has.”

Mac Williamson had two hits, a walk, and two runs. He made a slick sliding catch for an out near the left field wall. The left field candidates are off to a good start. 

QUOTABLE: “It’s great. There are a lot more places to eat.” — Moore, on his first spring in Arizona. Moore is from New Mexico, so he’s happy with the switch from having camp in Florida.