Tag:Bruce Bochy
Posted on: April 19, 2010 11:08 pm
Edited on: April 20, 2010 12:01 am

Giants get good news on Rowand

The shiner on Aaron Rowand's left eye Monday brought to mind the old joke, "You should have seen the other guy."

Only in this case, after Rowand suffered fractures in his cheekbone when he was hit by a Vicente Padilla pitch Friday, the punch-line was different.

"You should have seen it the last couple of days," the Giants' center fielder said. "It's pretty good today."

It's all relative, but the big news of the day for the Giants is that Rowand not only will avoid surgery, but doctors have told him that he should be good to go as soon as he's eligible to return from the disabled list on May 2.

"It's great news for us," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said before the series-opener with San Diego. "It's the best news we could get.

"He can't do any activity until Friday, but after that, he can do baseball activity and then he can come off of the disabled list when he's able to."

Rowand was off to a good start, hitting .304 with a homer and six RBI in 10 games.

In his place, Bochy said he'll probably use Andres Torres more often than not "because Torres is our best center fielder with Aaron Rowand down and we're getting our best defense out there."

With Mark DeRosa also down with a strained hamstring -- the Giants hope he can return maybe as early as Wednesday -- Bochy said he probably will mix and match Eugenio Velez, Nate Schierholtz and John Bowker, depending on pitching matchups.

"A lot depends on where we're at with DeRosa," Bochy said.

DeRosa did pinch hit Monday night, batting for pitcher Matt Cain in the seventh inning with the Giants trailing San Diego 2-1 with one out and runners on second and third. Facing reliever Luke Gregerson, DeRosa struck out.

Posted on: March 27, 2010 8:27 pm
Edited on: March 27, 2010 9:10 pm

Giants torrid spring a harbinger of 2010?

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- By Memorial Day, spring training records often take on the same meaning as yesterday's newspaper, your old report cards and the snow shovel sitting in your garage.

So here are the San Francisco Giants, who are headed toward 2010 with great pitching and questions surrounding their ability to score runs, absolutely ripping it up in Cactus League play.

Though they dropped a 4-3 decision to the Angels on Saturday, the Giants own the best spring record in the majors at 19-8, a .730 winning percentage. They're half-a-game ahead of Cleveland (16-6) in the Cactus League.

Does this mean the Giants maybe have a leg up on positively answering some of their questions? Leadoff man Aaron Rowand, for example, is hitting .474 with a .771 slugging percentage and a .543 on-base percentage. He is a huge key to what the Giants need to do this summer.

Or, perhaps, does it mean that all these spring wins and $4 will get Giants manager Bruce Bochy a latte at Starbucks?

"It's hard to quantify how you look at wins and losses in spring training," says Bochy, in his 16th spring as manager. "A lot of kids are playing.

"But I'll say this: No matter where you're at or what you're doing, it's nice to win."

With the caveat that it is dangerous to buy into spring numbers too deeply, these are among the Giants' spring highlights:

Todd Wellemeyer's 3-0 record and 1.35 ERA. He's pretty much nailed down the fifth spot in the Giants' rotation.

Young right-hander Kevin Pucetas has opened eyes in going 2-0 with a 0.64 ERA over 14 innings.

Top prospect Buster Posey is making a run toward the opening day roster even though Bengie Molina has the catching spot locked down by hitting .415 with a .442 OBP in 17 games. The Giants are talking about spotting him in at first base and catcher.

Outfielder John Bowker is forcing the playing-time issue with four homers, 18 RBI and 34 total bases in 20 games (57 at-bats).

Newcomer Aubrey Huff: 3 homers, 12 RBI, a .438 on-base percentage and a .357 batting average.

"He hits the s--- out of the ball," two-time Cy Young winner Tim Lincecum marvels.

"It can build confidence in a club," Bochy says of winning in the spring. "We certainly want to be in winning mode, whether it's spring training or the regular season."

So far, so good with that.

Sunblock Day: Lots of sun Saturday, but very windy in the desert. Temps in the high 60s to low 70s.

Likes: Butler to the Final Four! Butler to the Final Four! My Indiana-born parents went to Butler They met at Butler. My poor dad was sweating out the win over Kansas State so badly he had to leave my brother's house and take a walk when K-State took the lead late in the second half. He came back with 2:00 left and Butler back ahead. He's been living and dying with the Bulldogs from afar all season. If there will be a Final Four moment that's more chilling than when Butler takes the court in Indianapolis for its semi-final game, I can't wait to see it.

Likes II: The Bruce Springsteen mix CD playing as the Giants hit before Friday's Cactus League game against the Angels. Who made the CD? Giants bench coach Ron Wotus. Very impressive. ... Giants third-base coach Tim Flannery, a musician himself, loved Crazy Heart so much he's seen it three times. ... How about that Kansas State-Xavier game Thursday night? You will not see a better college basketball game. It's rare that you know you're watching a classic at the time it's happening, and that definitely was one of them. What a great, great NCAA tournament this year.

Dislikes: Hate to see veteran Doug Mientkiewicz leave Dodgers camp Saturday to think about things after being told he probably won't make the club. He's a terrific person, and I know he wants to keep playing. We talked the other day and his issue with playing Triple-A is, he's fine with it -- if it's in a place where he thinks he'll get a reasonable opportunity to play in the majors. With the Dodgers, with James Loney at first and the versatile Ronnie Belliard on the roster, and with lefty Garrett Anderson probably on the roster as a pinch-hitter, it doesn't look like he'll get that.

Rock 'N' Roll Lyric of the Day:

"Rock and roll means well
"But it can't help telling young boys lies"

-- Drive-By Truckers, Marry Me

Posted on: September 14, 2009 9:28 pm
Edited on: September 15, 2009 12:25 am

Big Unit eyes bullpen comeback

SAN FRANCISCO -- Faced with a must-win series against Colorado this week -- that's must-win every night, not must-win as in must take two of three -- San Francisco's bullpen has help on the horizon: Randy Johnson threw 48 pitches' worth of a simulated game Monday and hopes to pitch in and help the Giants bullpen soon.

It won't be during the Rockies' series, but manager Bruce Bochy said that if Johnson comes through it and feels fine on Tuesday, he'll likely be activated soon.

He hasn't pitched since July 5 because of a torn rotator cuff.

"It's not strained or bruised, it's torn and I've been out for two months," Johnson said following his mid-afternoon workout. "I've recovered from the injury as much as I can."

Meaning: It's time to roll.

"I know [the Giants] bullpen is pretty beat up and we're playing a lot of teams with left-handed hitters," Johnson said, anticipating spot relief duty.

Bochy was pleased with what he saw, and everyone knows it's all-hands-on-deck now.

"It says a lot about Randy and how competitive he is," Bochy said.

Johnson looked strong, and backup outfielder John Bowker no doubt can attest to that: Bowker was hit by a Johnson pitch early in the outing. The only Giant who got decent wood on the ball was utility infielder Kevin Frandsen, who sliced a ball toward right-center field.

Johnson technically threw 53 pitches overall, if you include his warm-up tosses. There does not seem to be a sense from Johnson or Bochy that the big left-hander needs another simulated game before pitching in a real game.

"What happened today was encouraging," Johnson said. "I feel I'm ready to go. The first step is to be activated. The next step is finding out when I'm going to pitch again. Hopefully, it will be in a real game."

Likes: Randy Johnson working in a quiet ballpark at 3:30 in the afternoon. ... Terrific run along the Embarcadero on a stunningly gorgeous Monday morning in San Francisco. You could not have ordered up better weather. ... Lefty O'Doul's in San Francisco. I can still vouch for the corned beef.

Dislikes: Seeing Hall of Famer Willie McCovey struggling to walk with his arm brace/crutches. If only Stretch's knee injuries could have come with medicine and surgeries as advanced as they are today. ... The Virgin Records Megastore in downtown San Francisco? Out of business. ... Kanye West apparently is a punk.

Rock 'N' Roll Lyric of the Day:

"Nighttime on The City of New Orleans,
"Changing cars in Memphis, Tennessee.
"Half way home, we'll be there by morning
"Through the Mississippi darkness
"Rolling down to the sea.
"And all the towns and people seem
"To fade into a bad dream
"And the steel rails still ain't heard the news.
"The conductor sings his song again,
"The passengers will please refrain
"This train's got the disappearing railroad blues"

-- Steve Goodman, City of New Orleans

Posted on: September 8, 2009 9:25 pm

Lincecum: The back story

San Francisco scratching Tim Lincecum from Tuesday night's start against San Diego with inflammation in his back, to say the least, is not good news for the Giants.

Unless ... Lincecum returns to the rotation on Friday against the Dodgers, which would then put him on target to start the finale of a huge series against Colorado next Wednesday and. ...

This is the time of year for conspiracy theories, with all hands on deck and all eyes on the out-of-town scoreboard. And if the Giants were to use a sore back as camouflage to shuffle their stretch-run rotation and set Lincecum up to face both the Dodgers and the Rockies, well, it could be a move of sheer brilliance.

Alas, there are enough indicators that signal this probably is no ruse.

But in speaking with the San Francisco media before Tuesday night's game, Giants manager Bruce Bochy did say it's "possible" that Lincecum could start before his next turn in the rotation (Monday night against the Rockies).

Bochy also did say that his ace will start as soon as he becomes available.

"The sooner we can get him out there, the more starts he would get," Bochy aptly noted.

Hmmm. ...

Now, about those indicators.

Lincecum's velocity has been down in his past few starts, climaxing with the Giants' mysterious decision not to display pitch speeds during the right-hander's last start at home, back on Aug. 28. Instead of his usual 94 m.p.h., Lincecum's fastball has been tracking at 92, 93. Not enough to set off serious alarms, and yes, sometimes a power pitcher's velocity will drop late in the season.

Of course, as the excellent website FanGraphs.com noted in an analysis of Lincecum's slow start back in April, the Cy Young award winner's fastball over his first two starts this season averaged just 92.8 miles an hour, a small drop from the 94.1 career average on his fastball. And nothing apparently was wrong then.

Given his violent motion and small frame (5-11, 170 pounds), durability questions always have hounded Lincecum throughout his career. Not only has he avoided any serious issues so far, he's been a true workhorse. Lincecum leads the NL and ranks second in the majors with 200 1/3 innings pitched, though he ranks sixth in the majors in pitches thrown (3,034).

At 13-5 with a 2.34 ERA, Lincecum is making an excellent case for a second consecutive Cy Young award while the Giants make a spirited dash toward a potential playoff spot.

Best-case scenario right now is if Lincecum makes an extraordinarily rapid recovery and suddenly becomes available to face the Dodgers and the Rockies.

Worst-case scenario? Nobody wants to think about that one right now. And hopefully, we won't have to think about it. The Giants insist this is just a "flare-up", and nothing more.

"The best thing for us is to talk about this in a couple of days," Bochy said. "We'll have more information."

Good news on Thursday or Friday would be most welcome.

Likes: The Giants' upcoming homestand against the Dodgers and Rockies, beginning on Friday night. ... September scoreboard watching. ... Brad Penny making it known to other clubs after he left Boston that he was heading straight back to the National League. He's no dummy. One taste of the AL will do that for a pitcher. ... Stephen Colbert on the cover of the current issue of Rolling Stone. Good interview. ... Sam Kashner's piece on William Manchester and his book Death of a President in the current issue of Vanity Fair. Manchester was asked to write the definitive account of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy by Kennedy's widow, Jackie, but it turned political and took a toll on Manchester over the next several years as he attempted to complete it and deal with the changing attitudes of Jackie and Robert Kennedy, JFK's brother. Very compelling read.

Dislikes: The Pink Pony closing in Scottsdale, Ariz. In its day, you could find executives and players from every team that trained in the Phoenix area hanging out there each spring. In its dotage over the past few years, you still could find stray baseball officials and writers hanging out there. A steak joint located in Scottsdale's Old Town, the Pony was legendary.

Rock 'N' Roll Lyric of the Day:

"Beth McKenzie got the job of her dreams
"Retouching photos for a magazine, aimed at teens
"It’s Thursday night she should be out on the scene
"But she’s sitting at home watching The King of Queens"

-- Fountains of Wayne, Someone to Love


The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com