03/18/12 9:14 PM ET
Bumgarner nearly ready for the season
By Owen Perkins / Special to MLB.com
"He wanted to stay out there, but we wanted to get a couple guys out there, so we decided to send him to the 'pen to get some more work," manager Bruce Bochy said. "He held up pretty well. This is the time in spring when pitchers start bearing down and get locked in before the season starts. Our guys have done a great job of that. Each start is important for their location, using all their secondary pitches, and Bum did that today."
On a day when it was hard enough just to grip the ball, Bumgarner's command never left him, as he was efficient and dominant against the Padres, blanking them on four hits, while walking none and striking out two. He lowered his spring ERA to 3.72, and he has walked only one batter while striking out 13 in Cactus League play.
"I try to incorporate everything during Spring Training," Bumgarner said, noting that he's using all of his pitches and is not using outings to focus on any one aspect of his game. "Sometimes in the season it might be different, but here I think everyone wants to incorporate all their pitches and get a good feel for everything."
To have that good a feel and command in a game when no one would have been surprised to see it called for rain in the second inning bodes well for his readiness to start the season.
"We still need to play the rest of the games and get ready," Bumgarner said. "But I feel like I'm close to where I need to be."
Time running out as Sanchez aims for roster
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz -- With two and a half weeks left in the Cactus season, players are starting to hit their stride. The light at the end of the tunnel is visible, and players are talking about feeling ready for the regular season.
But for second baseman Freddy Sanchez, who has yet to play in the field for the Giants this spring, time is starting to run out.
"We're down to two weeks and we haven't gotten him out there yet," manager Bruce Bochy said assessing Sanchez's status regarding the Opening Day roster. "We're still optimistic that he will get out there and be ready, but each day goes by, sure, that possibility grows a little bit of him not being ready."
Sanchez, 34, is recovering from a dislocated shoulder that ended his season last June. He's made four appearances as a designated hitter, going 5-for-18 (.278), but he hasn't gotten the green light for his infield work yet. Bochy remains hopeful of getting Sanchez in his first game at second base in the coming week.
"I'd say doubtful on Tuesday," Bochy said of a debut date in the field. "Once he takes a good infield and feels like he can play in a game, that's when we'll put him out there, but we're not at that point yet. We're not going to know tomorrow [on the off-day]. Tuesday he may come in and feel great and take infield, but we'll probably wait until the next day if that's the case."
In Sanchez's absence, Emmanuel Burriss has made a strong push for consideration. He's played more innings than any other Giant at second, while also getting in games at short, third, and in left. He's hitting .441 (15-for-34) with five doubles and a triple.
"Manny's playing well," Bochy said. "We'll meet after the day off and reevaluate where we're at. Freddy Sanchez will play a part in this when we can get him out there. Manny's playing some good ball."
Huff out of lineup for second day with tight back
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- First baseman Aubrey Huff was out of the lineup for a second day on Sunday after being scratched from Saturday's lineup with a balky back.
Huff's back began acting up in batting practice Saturday. Though he couldn't get it loosened up Saturday, he's not worried about the issue lingering around.
"Today is a lot better," Huff said Sunday. "Tomorrow is an off day. Give it another day, and, boom, back out there Tuesday."
Huff is having a solid spring, hitting .286 (8-for-28) in 10 games with a pair of home runs.
Giants trim roster, Correa, Graham go to Triple-A
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The Giants announced another round of cuts Sunday.
Pitcher Hector Correa and outfielder Tyler Graham were optioned to Triple-A, and infielders Chris Dominguez and Nick Noonan, outfielder Juan Perez, catcher Jackson Williams, and pitchers Justin Fitzgerald, Mitch Lively and Matt Yourkin were all reassigned to Minor League camp.
Correa, a right-hander, pitched well in the Cactus League, posting a 3.86 ERA in 3 games. He allowed one run on three hits and two walks in 2 1/3 innings while striking out three.
Perez opened some eyes at the plate, hitting .500 over the course of eight games. He was 4-for-8 in the Cactus League with a triple, a homer, and two RBIs.
Right-hander Lively pitched in three games without allowing a run. He gave up two hits in 1 2/3 innings.
Southpaw Yourkin made three appearances, covering eight innings, and established a 2.25 ERA. He allowed two runs on eight hits and three walks (one intentional) while striking out four.
The position players remained in camp for Sunday's game.
Roster decisions will get tougher for Giants
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- After making a round of cuts on Sunday, the decisions only get tougher for the Giants in the two-plus weeks that remain before Opening Day.
It sounds as if manager Bruce Bochy had his druthers, Gregor Blanco would be on that 25-man roster when the club opens the regular season against the Diamondbacks.
Blanco, 28, a non-roster invitee who's played parts of three seasons with the Braves and Royals, has hit .444 (16-for-36) in 13 games in center this spring, and leads the Cactus League with seven stolen bases.
"He's done all he can do to make this club," Bochy said Sunday. "He's played great. We can't give you anything definite on what's going to happen, but he's played as good ball as anybody here this Spring. Gregor's really swung it well, run the bases well. We're very excited about having him."
A tougher decision may be for the backup catcher slot, where Chris Stewart (.278, 5-for-18) and Eli Whiteside (.263, 5-for-19) have made it a battle.
"I think a lot of both of them, and they're both playing great," Bochy said. "Nice games, catching well. That's not going to be decided 'til the very end."
Owen Perkins is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.