07/19/11 10:13 PM ET
Giants ink 24 picks from First-Year Player Draft
By Adam Berry / MLB.com
Most notably, San Francisco has come to terms with its first-round and sandwich-round picks, infielder Joseph Panik and right-hander Kyle Crick. The Giants also reached a deal with fourth-rounder Bryce Bandilla, a left-hander from Arizona. Their second- and third-round picks -- Oregon State catcher Andrew Susac and Southern California first baseman Ricky Oropesa -- remain unsigned.
Oropesa said after being drafted that he hoped to reach an agreement quickly and get to work in the Giants' Minor League system. Susac, on the other hand, implied his negotiations would go down to the wire. The catcher was a Draft-eligible sophomore and could return to the Beavers next year, hoping for a higher slot in the 2012 Draft.
Of the 29 pitchers selected in the June Draft, 11 have been signed. They have fared much better so far with their position players, coming to terms with seven of 11 infielders and six of seven outfielders.
The final deadline to sign this year's Draft picks is Aug. 15.
Giants to skip Zito's next start
SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants officially adjusted their starting rotation Tuesday, as manager Bruce Bochy announced they would skip Barry Zito's scheduled start Friday against the Brewers.
Instead, right-hander Matt Cain will get the start on normal rest due to Thursday's off-day, and Bochy said Zito's next start will come either July 27 or 28 against the Phillies.
"We're going to skip this turn around for Barry," Bochy said. "With the day off, it allows us to do this. We've been using this 'pen quite a bit, and meanwhile, he can help out there until his next start."
Zito had three impressive starts since returning from the disabled list on June 28, but that stretch came to a screeching halt Saturday against the Padres. The left-hander lasted only 3 2/3 innings, giving up eight earned runs on seven hits (including two home runs) and four walks. Before that, Zito had pitched 21 innings and allowed only three earned runs, posting 11 strikeouts to only four walks.
After his outing in San Diego, Bochy said he considered the poor start to be an isolated struggle, and Zito chalked up all his problems to poor execution.
"When you execute pitches, guys miss the barrel [of the bat]," he said Saturday. "You fall behind [on the count] by not executing and things get a little more difficult out there. It was difficult to get the ball down tonight. For the most part, the curveball didn't have the finish down. The changeup, either."
Cain's career numbers against the Brewers aren't great (2-4, 4.73 ERA, 1.40 WHIP, 37:19 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 40 innings), but Zito's are even less encouraging (2-3, 5.48 ERA, 1.41 WHIP, 32:21 strikeout-to-walk ratio and eight home runs in 42 2/3 innings).
Tejada goes on DL with abdominal strain
SAN FRANCISCO -- Before Tuesday night's game against the Dodgers, the Giants placed infielder Miguel Tejada on the 15-day disabled list with a lower abdominal strain. That roster move opened up a spot for Brandon Belt to join the club from Triple-A Fresno.
The injury occurred in the third inning of Monday night's 5-0 win over the Dodgers, when Tejada moved to his right to field a ground ball hit by Rafael Furcal. Tejada committed his team-high 10th error on the play and came up noticeably hurt, leaving the field as Brandon Crawford came on to replace him.
Giants manager Bruce Bochy initially said the injury did not seem too serious -- perhaps keeping Tejada off the field a day or two -- but Tejada underwent an MRI on Tuesday.
Tejada has seen most of his time at third base and shortstop this season, though Pablo Sandoval has locked down the hot corner since returning from surgery to remove a broken hamate bone in his right hand. The Giants have several options at shortstop, including Crawford, Emmanuel Burriss, Mike Fontenot and the newly acquired Jeff Keppinger -- though they view Keppinger as more of an everyday second baseman.
After scuffling through the first two months of the season, when he batted .217, Tejada had been heating up at the plate. Since June 1, the veteran infielder has hit .286 with seven doubles, three homers and 10 RBIs.
With Monday night's 5-0 win over the Dodgers, the Giants picked up their fifth straight victory over Los Angeles for the first time since April 10-19, 2003. With a win Tuesday, San Francisco could win six straight over the Dodgers for the first time since July 19-Sept. 26, 1969.
Entering Tuesday night's game against the Dodgers, Pablo Sandoval had reached base safely via hit, walk or hit by pitch in his last 26 games, a streak dating back to June 19. That stretch is tied for 10th longest in the Majors this season, with Tampa Bay's Johnny Damon holding the longest on-base streak at 39 games, according to STATS Inc.
The franchise's longest on-base streak in the San Francisco era belongs to Barry Bonds, who reached in 58 consecutive games twice -- Aug. 16, 2001-April 20, 2002 and June 27, 2003-Sept. 20, 2003.
Sandoval and Nate Schierholtz, batting third and fourth in Tuesday night's game, have now hit in those spots in five of the Giants' last six games. In those five games, they have combined to go 17-for-44 with a home run and nine RBIs.
Adam Berry is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.